She knew what it meant when she heard the doorbell. I mean, there were maybe 10 or 20 things it could have been, but she knew. She hadn't ordered a package, and it was too early for her friends to stop round. Not that they would anyway. In her fear of this day coming, she had isolated herself from everyone around her, preferring to stay at home and wait for the phone to wring or a letter to arrive. And these days, she was far too much of a bitch when she was around people. She didn't blame them for staying away.
She couldn't breathe. The gravity of this was sinking in.
but what if he's only missing?
No. That would be worse. The uncertainty, the waiting, the false hope; all so it could be crushed when the video footage was released of his body being dragged through the streets, just as dead as he could be now.
Is now. Stop hoping.
That glimmer of hope would only make it worse when she actually opened the door to find the officers standing there, confirming what she already knew. She didn't want to make it worse than it has to be. She didn't want to cry. She didn't want to break down as if she was unprepared for this. She would open the door, ask when and how it happened, and invite them in and make coffee on the worst day of her life.
And then what? Then she would travel back to her home town and visit a friend she hadn't seen in years. She would cry on his shoulder, and there would be more coffee, from his wife this time, and maybe when she was in the area she might visit her parents-in-law. Well, ex-parents-in-law I suppose it was now.
Oh, God, I'd have to break the news to them
Maybe not then.
But on the way home, I can stop off and kill myself.
Part of her expected the logical part of her brain to step in and stop herself there. It didn't, but why should it? She had no-one left to hurt by doing it, and no-one left to live for. The dull grey of her firearms safe throbbed in her peripheral vision.
The doorbell rung a second time, and she walked downstairs in a trance to answer it, pausing and bracing herself as she opened the door. She made a guttural sound, like someones dying breath; there were not uniformed officers on her doorstep, complete with somber expressions, instead there stood a scrawny man with a clipboard in his hands and a ribbon on his chest, canvassing for votes. Falling to her knees, she hugged the mans legs crying tears of joy.
The man looked understandably stunned. "I... uh... Take it you'll be voting for me then?"
If you spend your whole life waiting for death, it can only come too quickly.