I’ve got a plan. My pale fingers folded around the small bouquet of Violets grasped in my cold palm. Death had a way of distorting things, of changing perceptions. Here I am bringing you flowers and yet just because I killed you everyone thinks they’re better than me, that I’m the lowest of the low. I don’t see any of them bringing you flowers. Well, they probably did in the beginning, but it’s been a whole life sentence since then and the only remaining petals are grey and crisp with dying veins running through them.
But you understand, don’t you Christine? You got it, that you made me do this. And that really wasn’t very fair of you, so I have a plan. I’m going to cover the town in violets, no I’m going to cover the world in violets, so everyone remembers that it was your fault not mine.
I traced your engraved name, my calloused finger lightly pulling across the storm cloud coloured stone. The last time I saw you was at home; you had this crystal vase which I don’t think was really in your allowance so who were you sleeping with to get that money? My nostrils flared and I had to take a moment to physically shake my head like that would clear my mind of your wrong doings. ‘Shake out the cobwebs.’ My mother used to say.
Anyway, you were placing these rather gorgeous violets in the vase, arranging them so that every petal was displayed like a prize and then suddenly crime scene tape warped the street with its angry criss-crossing lines, yellow and unforgiving and noticeable.
And no, I don’t remember anything in between but you must’ve admitted to your affair to make me so angry because honestly, up until then I’d been perfectly reasonable. Yes, I know you got frustrated when I deleted your holiday photos with your sister but that was for your own good. You couldn’t see that she was poisoning you against me, I heard her use the word ‘controlling.’ What a slap in the face when it was the same day I let you go and see her, how’s that for controlling? You were out the house, weren’t you? Yes. Exactly. And I hadn’t even pointed out how you washed the dishes wrong and tried to force my way through to show you how it should be done. No, I just smashed them against the wall so you wouldn’t have to wash them so wrong in future. You really were lucky to have me, another man wouldn’t have been so forgiving.
Even now I’m spending all my hard-earned money on you, violets are expensive you know. And I had to buy a wheelbarrow full just to cover the town to prove my point that I’m the victim in this. You played me, it’s like you wanted me to stab you and then you just bled all over the knife like that to create a whole host of evidence and tarnish my father’s good name. The surname ‘Fraser’ used to mean something, it used to be ‘a hard working mans name.’ My dad would say, and he gave it to me, his only son to carry on the name. I handed it to you when we got married out of pure love and then the newspapers sprayed across their front pages ‘the Fraser killing’ and ‘emergency services worker stabbed by husband Fraser.’
He’s so betrayed by you that he can’t even look me in the eye anymore, I must just be such a painful reminder of you. See how I’m being controlled even beyond the grave? I would shake my head and cry, but I have a plan to be getting on with.
I start to move away from you, from your slightly moss-covered gravestone, and survey the place I’m in. There’s a patch of buttercups over there, all growing in perfect alignment but there are no buttercups anywhere else. Maybe they understand how all it takes is flowers to end a life, we are as fragile as flower petals when you really think about it. I wander over, acting like I don’t care, but gleeful to have found someone that surely understands. Looking down at the grave by the buttercups I read, ‘Beloved mother, wife, friend. Mary Wallace. 1972-2022.’
What did you do Mary Wallace? Why would someone have to plant buttercups beside you to remind people it was your own fault, and they should be free of any guilt. I’m not a selfish person but I did find myself smiling inwardly at the thought that I wasn’t the only person who had to be tarnished in this way.
‘How did you know her?’ A deep voice speared through my daydream. Spinning round, I found myself staring into the eyes of a soulful man, red rimmed and puffy.
‘Oh, I didn’t.’ I stumbled over my words awkwardly. ‘I’m here for Christine over there.’ I pointed at where my beloved wife lay. ‘I was just admiring the buttercups.’
‘She loved them.’ The man smiled, remembering tinged with sadness. ‘She used to tell the kids to put them under their chins to see if they liked butter or not so it’s really quite sweet that buttercups would start to grow beside her.’ He knelt down to hold the small yellow flowers between his large hands. He plucked one from the earth and held it under his chin. ‘She said it meant I loved butter, but I used to hate it. Honestly couldn’t even have it on toast.’
‘You don’t have to feel guilty, you know. The whole buttercup thing, I get that you planted them because I’m doing the same with Violets.’
He looked confused for a second, ‘I don’t feel gui..’ He stopped and squinted as if trying to assess me. ‘My god Edward Fraser.’ He spluttered as his sad eyes quickly turned to angry ones. ‘Get away from my wife. You won’t ruin her memory.’ He planted himself between myself and the grave, standing up straighter so his shoulders looked even broader than before.
‘Do I know you?’ I squinted back but no memory of him sprang forward.
‘No but I’ve seen your mugshot in the papers and I’ve seen that poor woman’s family try to heal. The little one even had to change her name, ya know that?’
‘What are you rambling on about?’ I was starting to tire of this man, see how everyone still tries to paint me as the criminal? And it’s just not okay.
‘The little sister, the young one. Christine’s little sister called Violet. She got her some flowers or a vase or something and next thing you know she’s blaming herself for your callous act and changing her name because the name violet made her feel sick. So get away from my wife and do a favour and leave your poor Christine alone to. Let her rest now and let people remember her without having to see you here.’
It felt like I’d been punched in the gut. It truly was never my fault; it was her sisters. Well now the violets would take on a whole new meaning when they were spread around town. People would see them and instinctively know it was her. Spinning on the heel of my boot, I began to saunter away throwing those little purple flowers everywhere. It was raining violets.
You know violets symbolise honesty, remembering, healing.
And I think that’s kind of fitting, well fitting and beautiful because we finally got the truth. And may people remember it's not my fault when I have to go and kill her sister too.