I got out of bed late – it was a Saturday – and went downstairs, but Suzanne wasn’t there. I assumed she’d gone to the shop for the paper and a lottery ticket, so I made myself some coffee and toast, and went outside to sit on one of the chairs on the patio.
I sat there for ten, maybe fifteen minutes, looking at the garden, my eyes closed for the most part, thinking about nothing in particular, until after a while I opened them and saw that the soil from one of the flower beds had been disturbed. It was all piled up higher than usual, so I went over to have a look and saw what I thought were five toes poking up through the soil. I blinked, because I couldn’t believe they were there, but they were, or at least I thought or imagined they were, only I didn’t want them to be, so I scuffed the soil over them and went back to the kitchen to wash the dishes. I thought Suzanne would be home soon and she wouldn’t want to see that.
When I’d finished washing, I went through to the living room to watch TV and wait for her to come back, but she didn’t. By that point it was getting on for eleven, eleven thirty. It never usually takes that long to get the paper, so I went through to the kitchen and phoned her on her mobile, but she didn’t answer, so I left a message. I thought she’d ring back soon enough, but she didn’t, so I tried again, this time from the living room, as I’d gone back through to watch TV, and this time I heard, or felt, a vibration from upstairs, so I went up to find her mobile on her bedside table. I thought it was strange that she’d gone out without it, so I went downstairs to check if the car was still there, and it was.
Then I remembered the toes.