He planned his next move in the same meticulous way he had always done.
Several years ago they had taken out insurance naming each other as the beneficiary. The insurance company had paid his claim after a few months while they waited for the police to declare that he wasn’t a suspect in the murder. The lump sum they paid was still sitting in his bank account. He thought his decision not to draw on the money to buy a fancy car or another luxury item so as not to draw any attention to himself was the right one.
Apart from the two weeks following his wife’s death, he had taken no time off from the office and so had plenty of holidays owing to him. He decided he would take some time and go on his first trip. If travel really suited him and he found the faraway places to his liking, he would then resign his job and travel. He had the insurance money and a fairly large savings account that they had set up for their retirement, so money was not going to be a problem.
Because his wife had had no desire to travel outside the country, he was not an experienced traveller. So one day on his lunch hour, he visited a travel agent to get some help. It was decided that a photo safari in Africa would be the way to start his world travels. Here he would see those large animals that ranged the wide open spaces that he’d always longed to see. After a few days considering which tour to take he made his choice.
He had played with photography in the past, mostly taking photos of his garden and on the rare occasions, they left home, taking photos of the places they visited. He was in luck – the local photo club was meeting each week and new members were welcome. He knew that he could learn much from them in the few weeks before he set off.
But he also knew that the others on the tour would have high-end cameras and so his next move was to a camera shop where he paid (in his mind at least) an inordinate amount for a camera. He was assured by the helpful assistant that it was “user-friendly” and if he had any problems she “would be very happy to help him.” This with a somewhat flirtatious smile.
Next stop, new luggage, suitcase and backpack. Then off to a menswear shop in whose windows he had often peered but into which he had never ventured. But he left with all the clothes he would need for the safari.
He would need a passport. This was easily arranged and he paid extra for it to be available urgently and for it to be delivered by courier.
There were no children from the marriage and no close family and so he told his friends and work colleagues that he was going away for a while to be on his own and get over the loss of his wife. He had an alarm system installed in the house, gave a spare set of keys to his neighbour and eventually, he was ready to set off.
All that remained was the short wait for tickets and vouchers for the tour and for the passport to arrive.
He spent the few days before he left imagining the wild animals he would see, roaming around and living in their own habitat, rather than in a zoo.
To be continued….
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