Just like Michael Corleone, Tony Montana, and Carlito Brigante before her, I fear Jen is finding it more and more difficult to resist the allure of the criminal underworld.
It started innocently enough. After an unfortunate disaster with a casserole dish, Jen made it her mission in life to get a replacement, first by appealing to the manufacturers, then by appealing to the suppliers. To Jen’s shock, they both obliged and she was left with more casserole dishes than she could ever need.
I think that’s when the seed was sewn. Suddenly she felt untouchable. With little more than a silver tongue, she had managed to literally treble her wealth in exquisite crockery. What else was she capable of doing, she must have wondered?
Yet just like one of those criminal masterminds, Jen pushed it too far, too soon, and on a cold, grey morning in October, justice finally caught up with her.
She was travelling from Liverpool to Birkenhead, a journey she has made a thousand times before, when she decided the rules no longer applied to her. She crossed the border between the two lands, emerging from the tunnel on the other side, and floored the accelerator.
It was just the slip the police had been waiting for and Jen found herself facing almost all of Merseyside Police. Knowing there was no escape, she had no option but to surrender without a fight.
Having finally cornered the elusive criminal, the police were not about to go lightly. They pulled out all the stops, reading Jen her rights and breathalysing her for good measure.
They didn’t have enough evidence to do her for the crockery job, but they were happy enough to punish her for something – as a warning. That night Jen came home with a speeding ticket and the breathalyser tube as a reminder of her debt to society. In defiance, she cracked open a bottle of Bud and fumed over the injustice.
Still, I could see the shame she felt. That’s why I thought it was over, why I thought Jen would turn her back on crime once and for all. But they say that once you’ve had a taste of that life it’s hard to go back to normality, and yesterday I saw the truth of it.
‘You’re handsome,’ Jen told me with a smile.
‘Really?’ I said, disbelieving. Then, only half seriously, ‘More like rugged, I’d say.’
Jen studied my face. ‘Nah, you’re too clean cut to be rugged.’
‘Clean cut? My face carries a scar and I’ve got a beard. What more do you need to be rugged?’
She paused for thought. ‘To kill someone.’
Spine chilling, I know. But I think murder is a step too far even for the most dangerous of crockery sharks.
…still, just in case I’m being blinded by my feelings, let this stand as my testimony if anything should happen to me!