As best friend you get the important jobs. My official title – Legacy Contact. My job? To edit the evidence of her life. Every piece. Delete it. Burn it. Disinfect and return it in a neatly written eulogy that vaguely resembles memories. Enough to make people cry. She wants people to cry.
I do as I’m told. I start looking for any character-flaws in her story of a sensible, thirty-something, married woman, with an extension and a middle – management job. On her phone, I find her first typo. A message to Barry the Twat:
‘I’m sad ads alond and I miss your dock.’ Sent at 2:48am.
Some drunk pictures. A naked selfie, wearing my missing shoes! Like a perverted LOST poster. Google search history: Menopause – does your clit fall off?; Is anal gaping real? Lump in neck tired no appetite? When to say I’m leaving you? Messages. Opinions and gossip, some about me. I was, ‘mental’ to leave the publishers. She’s right. I’m skint. I re-read our messages from her perspective.
I find a tin whilst editing her wardrobe. Inside, a pack of fags is disguised as a deck of cards. Moustache bleach. Jackie Collins. Slimming pills. Her Mother-in-law’s Order of Service. On the back is written: Bread, fags, milk, stamps. A vibrator. Underneath, love letters from a prisoner on death row. A poorly punctuated poem, penned in her hazel eyeliner, onto the back of a beer mat. Batteries. A photograph of me. A silver coin lodged in a cork. A Polaroid of her wedding-ring finger wrapped around an exotic cock.
I put it all back in the tin, a time capsule for secrets. I fill it with everything I know of her, everything I’ve discovered. I fill it until the lid distorts, like the rumble of a thunder storm and the hinges start to falter. I fill it until I cannot lift it easily. I heave it to the park where we first met, I start to dig. I push the little box inside. She is everywhere. I fill the hole with the swings, the seesaw and the lamp post where we used to hide our eyes. The alleyway where, she was fingered by a fourth year, or maybe that was me. The park-bench where we first tasted cider. The bus-shelter we first smoked pot under. I throw it all in, schools, cars, trees, houses. Until there is nothing left but cracked pavements. I skip through the apocalypse. Like a child, heading home. I am lighter. But, I am alone.