The Holistic Side of Death
Pam and Drew exchanged information that night while sitting together on the couch, eating a bag of tortilla chips and a jar of homemade salsa for dinner. They picked every little scrap of conversation apart looking for any clues as to who might have killed Winchester Harmon. Drew insisted that the Frenchman was out as a suspect since he was too keen on collecting his debt, but it did open up the idea that someone else could have killed Harmon for a debt owed. Pam couldn’t rule out any of the mistresses, really, and neither did Drew, but they both agreed that of the three, the sexy one would have been the least likely murderer. Her affair with Winchester Harmon was almost as much of a business deal as she claimed Winchester Harmon’s marriage to his wife was. Murder is bad business when you work in affairs.
By the time they went to sleep that night, all they really had was a suspect list, a couple of possible motives, no evidence, and no hint as to why a very wealthy man would be in such a questionable neighborhood at such an ungodly hour.
And then their little investigation was once again relegated to the back burner by the demands of life. The lunch Drew’s bosses made him and the rest of the crew go to demanded overtime to make up for it; meanwhile, Pam found herself suddenly inundated with her freelance bookkeeping clients having one number emergency after another requiring her to work much longer hours to untangle their various messes.
When Pam woke up on Saturday afternoon, she rolled over and looked at her husband and realized it had been two days since she’d last actually spoken to him. All they’d done was sleep in the same bed for a few hours at the same time and though Pam occasionally talked in her sleep, she wouldn’t count that as an actual conversation.
She wanted to wake up Drew and get as much time as she could with him before some sort of emergency cropped up in life that took either her or him away, but instead, she let him sleep, knowing he was exhausted from the past two days of work. It was a miracle that the foreman wasn’t making the crew work on a weekend, but the trade-off was starting an hour earlier and then working two hours later. There was the illusion that the money would be worth it, but Pam did books for a living. She knew that money was already spent long before Drew brought home the paycheck.
Pam double-checked the weekend schedule (she didn’t work weekends and Drew had no birthday parties requiring his magical skills scheduled) and decided to let Drew sleep as late as he wanted while she cleaned the house as quietly as she could.
By noon, the house was clean, Drew was up, and lunch/breakfast was had.
By two, Pam and Drew were cuddled up contentedly on the couch, each of them reading their own book. When someone knocked on the front door, Pam almost considered not answering it. By the way Drew tightened his arm around her, she knew he was thinking the same thing.
Pam answered the door anyway.
She was greeted by a huge floral arrangement, an array of puffy yellow, white, and orange flowers in a huge vase. Pam stared at it for a second in startled confusion.
“Hello,” came a voice from the other side of the flowers. “Is this the Bendixen residence?”
“Yes,” Pam said, straining to see around the flowers.
The flowers moved to one side, revealing two handsome young men, both of them blond, bearing a striking resemblance to each other as well as someone else that Pam couldn’t quite name.
“I’m Alexander Harmon,” said the man holding the flowers. “This is my brother Nathaniel.”
Pings of recognition went off in Pam’s brain.
“Oh, yes! Winchester Harmon’s sons,” she said.
“That’s right,” Alexander Harmon said with a well-practiced, professional smile.
“Our mother wanted us to come by,” Nathaniel said. He projected a much stiffer persona. Pam figured him to be older. “She wanted to thank you for being so kind in sending the sympathy card and coming to the funeral.”
“Oh, that’s not necessary,” Pam said, remembering how Carolyn Harmon initially confused her for one of her husband’s mistresses.
“It’s the least we could do,” Alexander said and there was something about the tone of his voice that made Pam think that the least was still too much for the likes of them.
“That’s very kind.”
Alexander offered her the flowers and Pam took them, not surprised at how heavy the huge arrangement was. She shifted the arrangement to her hip like it was a toddler.
“Our mother told us that you were the one that found our father,” Nathaniel said. He showed no emotion, but Alexander suddenly looked very solemn, if not a little uncomfortable.
Pam hesitated a second. “Right where you’re standing.”
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