Accused of crimes he had not committed, found guilty all the same and sent to prison where he had spent six horrible but instructive years: now he was officially innocent after all and was arriving home on the 5.45, as if coming home at the end of a working day.
She reviewed the house. Knowing they would make him angry, she had thrown out all the papers accumulated during his time away; all the letters to and from lawyers, newspaper cuttings, and, particularly difficult, her tentative correspondence with victims and their families. She wondered if all their pain would start all over again, hoping it wouldn’t, but pretty sure it would. There was a new – and hopefully this time real – accused for them to focus on, but they must feel as if the whole mountain was there for climbing once more. Poor things.
She had cleaned the house from top to bottom and invested in new pillows for him, having thrown his old and sweat-smelly ones out when he was convicted and for the past six years she had really enjoyed having a double bed all to herself. She had stocked the cupboards, fridge and freezer up with a few of his favourite foods, but not a lot as he was always firm about excessive spending. She had removed from the bookcase the chick lit that he despised and which had been her pleasurable vice while he had been away. Ditto comfort movie DVDs: all gone to a new destination.