Day 332 – The Salesman – Part 11

Word count: 834

Eight years later…

Clean combed hair, a smattering of hair gel, a lean smile and a set of polished teeth: these were the last things that he ensured people saw of him, if they were the target at least.

Brian laid awake on his king sized bed. Michelle was sleeping next to him, her expensive perfume emanating from every crevice of her body. The moonlight sparkled on the balcony railings and the wind gently blew in the silk curtains. There was no noise of traffic. It was three in the morning and he could not sleep.

Restlessness could not encompass everything of what he was feeling. His body was not tired; his mind was not fatigued, but it certainly was troubled. The feeling had been eating away at him for several months now. It was a natural elasticity; a earning to undo the mistakes he had made. His life was perfect now. The bank was always full of money; he could have as many holidays as he liked; there were no limitations as to where he could go and what he could do. Michelle was back with him; he had his old girl back, the one he fell in love with. At least he thought he did.

Mrs Hinkerley died eleven months ago. She had lived well. She had lived knowing some form of “justice” had been made. She lived like a queen; she lived like Brian’s grandmother. No expense could be spared for her. She had everything she wanted, but she still died. He could not pay for that not to happen. Brian had been on a job at the time of her passing. He had ignored the calls he was getting from the hospice. He returned too late. She was already dead. He was the only one to attend her funeral. No one else attended; it was just Brian and the priest. After all that she had made him do, she wanted a catholic funeral. That still amused Brian.

Often Brian would remember the last conversation he had with Mrs Hinkerley. She was lying in bed, he was sitting by her side: two days before she died. It was not old age that took her in the end but cancer. There was not a chance of recovery, not that she would allow it. She refused all pain medication. She wanted to feel it; she wanted to feel for every last second of her life.
“I bet you wish I’d never asked you what I did?” she had said, wakening from her slumber.
“What?” he had replied, confused.
“You remember. The first day we ever met.”
“Yeah I remember. Why do you think I wish that?”
“Just you wait and see, just you wait and see.”

It seemed odd at the time, but Brian had thought of her words every day since her death. The more he thought about it, the more it plagued him and the more he understood.

He was a god among the underground. Shrouded in mystery, he was known as the man that would arrange the sale of someone’s grandmother so long as the price was right. He took out good men, bad men; there was seemingly no line he would not cross and his reputation spread like a malignant tumour. He arranged dodgy sales; he arranged contacts to meet other contacts; he was the best damn tradesmen in the North. No one knew his real name for he was only known by The Salesman: and that was just what he did.

Michelle knew nothing of what he did. She assumed he sold condos to multi-billionaires and their shopaholic wives. He kept his life and his work very separate, but each was still full of regret.

“Honey, you awake again?” Michelle turned over.
“Yeah, I’ll be alright.”
“You got to go see a doctor. I won’t have you getting ill over this… it’s been months since you last slept properly.”
“I know, but…you know what I’m like with doctors.”
She curled up into his arms, “But I can’t see you like this. I wish you’d tell me what’s wrong.”
“What’s wrong? Nothing’s wrong.”
“I notice things, Brian, I notice things.”
“Nah, there’s nothing to worry about. I’m just getting old…”
“And so am I…”
“Hey, no! You’re as young and as beautiful as the day we got married….”
“But I feel old. I feel too old.”
“Too old? Too old for what?”
“You know what…”
Brian’s stomach lurched as if with inertia. It was the Conversation again.
“Michelle, you know… you know how I feel. I thought you were okay with that?”
“I am… and I’m not. I can’t help what I feel. It’s natural.”
The truth was there was nothing more on the planet that Brian wanted than children. But he couldn’t bring himself to allow Michelle to become pregnant. He could not allow a child into his life. He could not put a daughter or a son at risk.
“Maybe in time,” he lied, “Maybe in time…”

~ by S.G. Mark on September 3, 2012.

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