She hadn’t needed to answer it. There would only ever be one call made on this phone then she’d lose it as quickly as she’d got it. Without turning on the bedroom light she fumbled her way over to the window, opened the curtains the merest bit and strained her eyes to look out into the pitch black of the winter’s night. There was not a sound coming from the sheep in field opposite the cottage, and she hoped and prayed that they would not be disturbed by her leaving the house in the early hours of the morning. Had there been a moon she would at least be able to see where he was waiting. Then she spotted a tiny orange glow, the light from a cigarette. She hadn’t realised he smoked, he’d certainly not done so in her company so her strong feelings on the subject had never come up. Still, if he was a smoker it would a small price to pay. Sonya was besotted with him even though they had only met two or three times; love at first sight was something she’d never believed in until this week.
She grabbed her small pre packed bag of essentials, eased open the bedroom door praying it wouldn’t creak then slowly and silently descended the narrow staircase. Only two bolts and a door lock stood between her and her new life. The first one slid effortlessly aside. She held her breath as she twisted the key. Not a sound. Sensing freedom she bent down to release the bottom bolt, but it refused to budge. She pulled it a little harder. Nothing. Her heart began to beat a little faster; she was aware of moisture forming on her top lip.
Suddenly it crashed open with a deafening bang and she caught the flesh of her finger between the bolt and its barrel. It was agonising; in the darkness she could feel blood trickling across her palm. She waited making not a sound, expecting to hear James wake up and leave the spare room to investigate. But remarkably, he didn’t.
As she pulled open the heavy oak door it let out a disapproving groan, as if were trying to tell her something, but it wouldn’t have mattered if he had heard it, because within seconds she was running as fast as her shaking legs would carry her in the direction of the orange glow. She couldn’t understand why Sam wasn’t walking towards her. She glanced over her shoulder at the cottage and as she did so the light in the spare room flashed on. She stopped and turned, and for the first time in days she asked herself what on earth she thought she was doing. It was then she realised that the face watching her from the window was not her husband James. It was Sam. She turned to face the field and the light from the window was illuminating a figure smoking a cigarette and holding cell phone. He was smiling. Not a pleasant smile, more a menacing one. She had never seen James look like that before.
James had been planning to leave Sonya for some time. He was a man of means and before they married he drew up a prenuptial agreement. It was unusual inasmuch as it stated that in the event of Sonya leaving him at her instigation, then she would be entitled to none of his estate. On the other hand, should he leave he would have to share everything he owned with her. He therefore had to find a way parting without it being his fault. Unbeknown to her he’d arranged at some considerable expense for her to bump into several eligible men over the past year or so. It was Sam that managed to work the magic. He’d persuaded her that once they were together she’d have no need for James’ money. But of course, she was never to see him again. And James had been careful to cover his tracks making it nigh impossible for him to be accused of anything untoward. It was Sonya’s word against his and his accomplice Sam; or so they thought.
The call came three years later. It was from her solicitor. It was good news!