Eavesdropping at a Funeral
Thursday, three days after finding Winchester Harmon dead on their front stoop, Pam and Drew arrived home from their respective jobs at the same time, an unusual occurrence. Bear honked as he drove away, Drew shambling up the front walk to meet Pam on the stoop. He gave her a tired kiss and she pulled the mail from the mailbox before unlocking the door, the two of them going in the house.
“What do you want for dinner?” Pam asked as she sifted through the mail in her hand. She dumped her bag on the nearest chair she passed.
Drew collapsed on the couch.
“I don’t care,” he said. “I’m not sure I have enough energy to chew it. I hate sheetrock. Hate it.”
“I know, baby,” Pam said automatically, but not without sincerity. She stopped suddenly in the kitchen doorway and Drew heard her mutter, “Oh shit.”
Drew’s dead muscles surged with a new life. The only reason that he could think that Pam would be muttering any swears while looking at the mail would be a bill that they didn’t need and couldn’t pay. Adrenaline got him to his feet before he even knew he was moving. Fight or flight in response to a bill. Seemed perfectly reasonable and not at all the result of continued stress.
“What?” he asked, crossing the living room in several large steps. “What is it? What now? Who wants money now?”
Pam turned and looked up at him, holding up a card.
“We’ve been invited to Winchester Harmon’s funeral,” she said faintly, in total disbelief.
“His funeral?” Drew asked, confused. He took the card away from Pam and looked at it. “Who sends invitations to a funeral?”
“Rich people, apparently,” Pam said. “Just another way to extort status. A guest list for a wake.”
Drew looked over the invitation. It was addressed to both of them and indeed asked that they come to the funeral service that was going to be held on Sunday. They’d found Winchester Harmon dead on their doorstep on Monday.
“Why would they invite us?” Drew asked, looking the card over and over again. He couldn’t believe it. It didn’t make sense. “How did she even know we found her husband?”
“Well, I did send Mrs. Harmon a condolence card,” Pam said. Drew looked up at her and she ducked her head a little, sheepish. “I told you I was going to. It only seemed like the nice thing to do. I guess she decided to invite us to the funeral because of it.”
“That must have been a carefully worded condolence card,” Drew said. “We found your husband dead on our lawn. Sorry for your loss.”
Pam smacked his arm. “Good gravy, Drew, I have more sense than that. I was very tactful about explaining who we were and why we were sending a card. I wanted to make sure that we weren’t just some weirdos that like to send sympathy cards to rich widows.”
“You say that like it happens all of the time,” Drew said with a smirk.
“It could,” Pam said and she smiled sly at him. “I wouldn’t know. I’m not a rich widow.”
“And I am happy for that,” Drew said, kissing her.
Drew felt his weariness return and mingle with mild desire. His wife had that effect on him still.
“So, what do you think?” Pam asked.
“I think I want to skip dinner and take you to bed while I’m still awake,” Drew said, kissing her again.
Pam giggled and pulled away a little.
“I mean about going to Winchester Harmon’s funeral. Do we go?”
Drew thought about it for a minute, rubbing his wife’s back while he considered it.
“Sure,” he said. “Who knows what kind of information we might get by mingling with family and friends and acquaintances.”
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