Thursday 10 am
Rob was pleasantly surprised to hear from his wife about her plans to be away at her mother’s house, for the weekend. “At last,”, he said to himself, “I can watch the game in peace”. She could be quite irritating. She never did like him drinking over the weekend. Rob did not know how much he drank while watching the game. Beer bottles, one after another would disappear into the trash bin.
Thursday 6 pm
Rob called him over the fence. He was there with four, six-pack beer. Rob wanted to keep it in Dijkstra’s compound till he picked it up on Friday evening after his wife left for Sylvan Beach. Dijkstra let him.
Friday 10 am
Rob’s wife left for Sylvan Beach. That was where her mother stayed. A small town with just over 900 residents. A four-hour drive was that was between her and her weekend peace. She told Rob not to drink too much. Rob on his part said,” No dear , I haven’t even got beer for the evening. I am going to enjoy the game.” She kissed him goodbye.
Friday 2 pm
“I hope there is peace and quiet this weekend”, said Dijkstra to himself. His neighbour, Rob would be drunk by now but since his wife was away at her mother’s Rob would be busy with the TV and drinks. With Rob’s wife not there to get into argument, Dijkstra really hoped for some sedate weekend experience.
Friday 3 pm
Dijkstra had to talk at the local puzzle club at 4 pm. He got ready. He checked everything was okay. He kept the beer in his garden near the fence so that Rob could pick it up.
Dijkstra returned from the club. He could hear Rob and the TV with the game on. He peeped out and saw that Rob had picked all the beer.
Saturday 9 am
The TV was still on at Rob’s house.
Saturday 6 pm
The TV was still going on. Dijkstra wondered whether Rob had slept at all.
Sunday 2 pm
The doorbell rang. Dijkstra opened the door and found Rob’s wife standing there looking very agitated. She was panting and managed to speak. “Rob is dead!”. She ran back to her house.
Dijkstra called the police and went to Rob’s house.
Sunday 8 pm
The coroner examined and said that that Rob died of alcohol poisoning. Too much of beer he opined. There were 24 bottles of beer strewn on the floor.
Next Sunday 8 am
Rob’s wife came to Dijkstra’s house to tell that she was moving to Sylvan Beach for good.
Sunday evening 7 pm
Dijkstra cleaned out the medicine cabinet. The insulin vials were now empty. He destroyed all the vials. All the powdered glass were now mixed with the coloured beads that were in the beautiful vase decoration.
Two weeks earlier
Dijkstra met Rob’s wife coming out of the supermarket. She seemed worried. She told Dijkstra that she was fed up with Rob and wanted to leave him for good and return to her home with her mother at Sylvan Beach, He suggested that she should go over the coming weekend to her mother’s house and that would perhaps give her some peace of mind. She agreed to do just that.
By- Prof. Eswaran Narsimhan