She didn’t torch the place. Not yet. The others could have done it if they’d wanted. She fudged a tear. Anything more might have signalled guilt. Her predecessor, Gestas, would take the blame. They’d be happy to let him have it. They’d needed to crucify someone and Gestas, such an impenitent robber, the one she’d called friend, lover, rose highest. As she knew he would. Somehow she wandered away and washed her hands, thinking of how she might return. Someone would do well out of this. And she had the names and numbers, the secret places, the matchbox and fuel.
He makes a cup of coffee: milk, one sugar. Drinks it in the kitchen, his bathrobe loosely tied. He dresses in front of the mirror, tweaks his tie and collar. He walks through the hallway, steps out to the waiting car. He checks emails in his office, calls meetings, takes lunch. He looks at figures, hires, fires, shouts down the phone. He wines and dines the influential. People, when they speak at him, they say… because there is so much to say, and he is the boss, the whole damn thing… if they say, if he was losing, what, what?
It’s not that I used to believe you and that now I don’t. Or that I thought you were amusing whereas now you infuriate me. I never thought you spoke the truth. It was clear that everything you did was a sham. Maybe you helped pass the time, or maybe I thought… what did I think? I don’t know. But the revelations don’t surprise me, not one bit. When I found out, well, it all made sense. It was like I’d always known. Maybe I had. Deep down. Only one thing has changed. Now it stops. It’s over. Done. Finished.