The Best Solution

Ezra Azra

Copyright 2023 by Ezra Azra

Photo by Chandler Cruttenden on Unsplash
Photo by Chandler Cruttenden on Unsplash

One moonlit night, something came down from the sky and crashed on Earth, reducing to rubble, in less than a minute, itself and three homes in a row on a street.

Law enforcement authorities would never be certain about what it was that came down from the sky that moonlit night.

They were certain it was not a meteor; not space debris from all the junk leftovers whirling about around the planet, uncontrolled, from all the international space exploration; not a weather lightning strike; not a terrorist attack.

The three homes were in an upscale gated community, Clairwood, that had its own private law enforcement officers. Fortunately, two of the homes were empty, up for sale.

The third home was presenting Law enforcement officers, of the community and of the City, with unanswerable questions.

The investigating Detective, Sergeant Yvonne McBride, found half of a plastic identification card that displayed a partial address. After hours at the station searching the computer records, she put together only one likely complete address. It was in Merebank, two towns away. She contacted the Chief of police there, by phone, Captain Regina Yorke.

Captain Yorke sent a Uniformed officer to the Merebank address. The officer knocked on the front door. Mrs Pamela Robertson opened the door. "Hello, officer." "Hello. I am officer Elizabeth Sneddon. I am investigating that destruction of three homes by freak weather in Clairwood, two towns away."

"Oh. I thought you are here about my missing husband. I filed a missing person report with the police just this morning. It's been three days since he came home."

"I am here about that, too, Mrs Robertson. We received a report from the Clairwood police that this address was found in the debris of one of the destroyed homes. The address was 20 Cherry Road. Does it ring a bell?"

"No. I have never been to Clairwood." "Your husband?" "He might have been. He works for the International Life Insurance Company, Full Moon." "What is your husband's name?" "Randolf." "May I have a photograph to send to the Clairwood police?" "Yes, of course."

Mrs Robertson left, and returned in a minute with a photograph she handed to officer Sneddon. "Thank you, Mrs Robertson. I will let you know what we find, one way or the other." 

"Thank you, officer." The officer left.

At the Clairwood police station, Detective McBride was in consultation with the Chief of police in the Chief's office. The information from Mrs Robertson was being analyzed.

"Any correlation?" "Yes, but flimsy. I have asked other neighbours. None of them knows much about the occupants of that occupied house. All I could gather is that there was a man and woman, and that they had lived there for about a year."

"Married?" "The neighbours assumed." "Vehicle registrations?" "Surprisingly, no signs of vehicles in the debris. Either, the couple was not at home when the disaster happened, or the vehicle debris was blown away." "Ask Mrs Robertson for her husband's vehicle registration." "Will do. I have contacted Full Moon. There are no insurance policies in the Robertson name. There are about a dozen in other names in Clairwood. I'm checking them out." "Where are you gong with that?" "The possibility that Mr Robertson was a bigamist, and had a policy on his Clairwood wife." "Or his Clairwood live-in sex partner?" "Yes."

Pamela had fixed herself a light breakfast. She knew her life was in crisis. She had filed a missing person report a few days ago, but her husband was missing for over six months. It was integral in the kindness of her heart that there was no regret in her that they had not taken out a life insurance policy on her husband's life. More than once over the years they had found humour in that neither of them had life insurance policies from, at least, the life insurance Company for which her husband worked so diligently.

The police search for him was, practically, at an end. The last word Mrs Robertson had heard from the police was months ago. It was time for her to make final decisions.

She was in her twelfth year as a school teacher. Her career was proceeding well. On their joint salaries, the mortgage on their home had been paid off, years ago. She could manage comfortably on one salary.

She and her husband had tried to have children, but were not successful. They had decided to not try to find out which one was, or if both were, infertile. They had known thoroughly that their mutual romantic love and respect were forever.

Never in the remotest of possibilities did it occur to Pamela Robertson that her husband could have died in an illicit extra-marital affair. With the Clairwood police, however, that possibility was becoming more of a probability, even though their search for evidence had long been allowed to grow cold.

That probability was the focus of the last discussion between the Chief of police and Sergeant Yvonne McBride.

"Sir, no official record for that address indicates there was a female occupant." "But some of the neighbours say there was at least one." 

"Yes." "And since the time of the disaster was in the evening, and evidence was found of Mr Robertson's marriage home that is two towns away, it is very likely he was in that home when the disaster struck." 

"Selling an insurance policy?" 

"Not likely, since Full Moon's regulations forbid business transactions anywhere after hours, except in the Company's offices downtown." 

"Full Moon records indicate a sale to a female occupant of that disaster address?" 

"No record." 

"And we have no leads to the identity of that female, at all." 

"None whatsoever, sir." A long pause.

"A gut feeling?" Another long pause; this one awkward and a little painful. "He was cheating on his wife." Another long pause.

"At no time did we give his wife even the slightest indication he might have been in an extra-marital affair?" 

"No, sir." 

"Excellent. Keep it that way." 

"If she brings up the possibility? Sir?" 

"Give her the truth, that there is no hard evidence."

"And, sir, if she, like you, asks for my gut feeling?" 

"Treat it as one of those rare situations when a police officer is allowed to not have the guts to speak the truth." They looked at each other, smiling drily.

"Just between you and me, Sergeant, if he was cheating on his wife, the way he died was the best solution for both of them." A short pause. 

"Right? Sergeant?"

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