It had been two weeks since the funeral. It was all so sudden that Jennifer was still getting used to the idea that George was no longer there. Although he was not the knight in shining armour, she had been satisfied with him. Good old tidy George, always everything in its right place. She could not have wished for a better husband.
Jennifer thought she would never get married. Her younger years were spent looking after her bedridden mother, never visiting dances with other teenage friends, and not dating any men, as she never really met any. She missed the connection somewhere, but found her satisfaction in looking after the home, keeping things clean and neat. She was proud of her home and when her mother died she was alone, but she still lived in the appartment and continued with the daily cleaning routine, keeping everything in its place.
Everything would have carried on as it was, had Jennifer not read once in the newspaper about a lady that had been found dead in her apartment. It disturbed her as the corpse was only found six months after the death, the person concerned never being missed. Jennifer began thinking that could have been me.
“Who would miss me when I am not here any more?” and so Jennifer decided that she would look for a man. She placed a contact enquiry in the newspaper, as this seemed the most neutral and inconspicuous way of doing things. At the beginning she was overwhelmed by correspondence received. She even met two men, but their interests seemed to lie more in a bedroom experience than companionship. One of the men even asked if she lived in her own property or was renting. Jennifer was not stupid and decided to leave things as they were. Perhaps dying and not being discovered would be a better alternative. It was then she met George.
She was visiting the local library and browsing though the shelves. She saw just the book she was looking for “Cleaning and Organisation in the household”. “Ideal” she thought but as she put out her hand to take the book, she felt another hand on hers.
“Please excuse me” said a voice, “It seems we both have the same choice in mind.”
She looked at the person standing next to her. A very nicely dressed man, tie and suit as it belonged, nothing scruffy or blue jeans and t-shirts that most of the people seem to be wearing during the day. Above all clean shaven, no beard or moustache, just perfect. Jennifer was always careful to dress well when she left her apartment, making sure that everything matched well, and this man seemed to have the same idea.
“I have an idea” said Jennifer. “We both chose the same book. Perhaps one of us could read it and then let the other know when it is finished.”
“A good idea young lady” said the stranger. “By the way my name is George Conway and here is my card. Of course, you may have the book first of all. You could perhaps contact me when you have read it and we could meet to let me have the book.”
Jennifer noticed that the card belonging to the stranger said he was a salesman which was a nice organised job, and you always had to be well dressed and be well mannered. Jennifer was impressed and after reading the book she called George Conway, and made an appointment in a café to give him the book. This was the first of many meetings. She found that George also lived alone in his own house.
At last the man that Jennifer was looking for; clean, well organised, and his interests seemed to be the same as hers. His hobby was collecting coins from all over the world and Jennifer found this a nice tidy hobby. George invited her to his house and showed her the collection. Everything nicely labelled and neatly organised. She was also impressed by the nice clean appearance of everything where he lived. She naturally invited George to visit her and he was full of compliments for her nice tidy apartment. Even Jennifer’s cooking skills appealed to George. He was no gourmet, and liked his food plain and simple, just the way Jennifer made it.
Eventually the day came when George visited Jennifer with a wonderful bouquet of flowers and asked her to be his wife. She told him she would have to think about it, but George told her there was no rush, and there would be enough room for both of them in his house. He also assured her that he found they would be good company for each other, as they really seemed to share the same interests and life style.
Jennifer decided to accept and they had a quiet ceremony in a registry office. Just the two of them and the vicar and his wife from George’s church as witnesses. George was not deeply religious, but he would visit the church regularly on the first Sunday of the month and naturally Jennifer now accompanied him. The first night of their marital life seemed to be something new for both of them. George carried out his marital duty short and to the point, and Jennifer was not unhappy about this. They had no big discussion afterwards, and with time Jennifer found that even this was an organised job; the first Sunday morning in the month was the regular thing. George did once mention to Jennifer, that he was not a family man. This did not bother Jennifer as she did not want any children messing up her normal clockwork life.
There was one little thing that bothered Jennifer and that was the garden shed. It was always kept locked. There was a padlock on the door, quite rusty that looked as if it had seen better days. She once asked George why the shed was always locked.
“Jennifer, that is my private area. I have a collection of very expensive coins kept in the shed and I would prefer if no-one had access to them. I do not want anyone touching them. It would spoil their value.
Now George was dead from a heart attack. “Surprising” she thought after leading such a calm and well organised life. One day she decided it was time to go through George’s belongings and dispose of what was no longer needed. Her thoughts then drifted to the garden shed with its rusty padlock. “All those valuable coins just left to be discovered by a stranger one day” went through her mind. She made her way down to the shed, but it entered her mind that she had no key. As all good citizens she phoned for a locksmith and told him of her problem. He arrived quite quickly and broke the lock on the door. It really did not need such a lot of force, it was so rusty.
The door was opened and both the locksmith and Jennifer were surprised to see how well organised and tidy the shed was; A row of special books on a shelf containing the famous coins and a large filing cabinet. It was when Jennifer opened the cabinet that she had a surprise. There were identity cards or driving licences, row upon row showing women that Jennifer did not know. Each small plastic identity card or driving licence was accompanied by a card showing details; first of all a date, and then a place. There were remarks such as “dirty fingernails, stains on her blouse or generally untidy”. The locksmith was still with Jennifer and told her that something was peculiar. These cards and documents must belong to the people shown on them.
“I think you should give them to the police” he said.
Jennifer decided this would be correct. She called the police and told them what she had found and that they could perhaps return them to the people they belonged to.
The police came and picked up the documents. They asked Jennifer a lot of strange questions about George. What he did during the day when he was alive, where he worked, and whether he was a difficult person to get on with. She told them the truth; that he worked as a salesman, was mostly visiting his customers during the day, and that he was the ideal husband that any wife could wish for.
Unfortunately George’s shed collection could not be returned to the rightful owners. They had either disappeared, or been found strangled. After examination of the cards the remains of the women that had disappeared were also discovered under the word “place”. It was a good thing that George was so well organised.