The Girl on the Train: Chapter 37

ANNA

SUNDAY, AUGUST 18, 2013

EVENING

She’s on the floor in the kitchen. She’s bleeding, but I don’t think it’s serious. He hasn’t finished it. I’m not really sure what he’s waiting for. I suppose it’s not easy for him. He did love her, once.

I was upstairs, putting Evie down, and I was thinking that this is what I wanted, isn’t it? Rachel will be gone at last, once and for all, never to return. This is what I dreamed about happening. Well, not exactly this, obviously. But I did want her gone. I dreamed of a life without Rachel, and now I could have one. It would be just the three of us, me and Tom and Evie, like it should be.

For just a moment, I let myself enjoy the fantasy, but then I looked down at my sleeping daughter and I knew that was all it was. A fantasy. I kissed my finger and touched it to her perfect lips and I knew that we would never be safe. I would never be safe, because I know, and he won’t be able to trust me. And who’s to say another Megan won’t come along? Or—worse—another Anna, another me?

I went back downstairs and he was sitting at the kitchen table, drinking a beer. I couldn’t see her at first, but then I noticed her feet, and I thought at first that it was done, but he said she was all right.

“Just a little knock,” he said. He won’t be able to call this one an accident.

So we waited. I got myself a beer, too, and we drank them together. He told me he was really sorry about Megan, about the affair. He kissed me, he told me he’d make it up to me, that we’d be OK, that everything would be all right.

“We’ll move away from here, just like you’ve always wanted. We’ll go anywhere you want. Anywhere.” He asked me if I could forgive him, and I said that I could, given time, and he believed me. I think he believed me.

The storm has started, just like they said it would. The rumble of thunder wakes her, brings her to. She starts to make a noise, to move around on the floor.

“You should go,” he says to me. “Go back upstairs.”

I kiss him on the lips and I leave him, but I don’t go back upstairs. Instead I pick up the phone in the hallway, sit on the bottom stair and listen, the handset in my hand, waiting for the right moment.

I can hear him talking to her, soft and low, and then I hear her. I think she’s crying.

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