After ten years even a strong marriage can become strained. That was no excuse. I found myself interstate on business, staying in that part of town where women can be bought on street corners. She seemed a little lost among the hard-bitten, the brazen and the desperate.

She told me where to drive. By the time we got there her words were slurring, she was having trouble focusing. It’s nothing, she said. I let myself believe her.

Later I offered to drive her to hospital. She didn’t want to go. I took her instead to a flat at the back of a rundown block, opened the door with her key, laid her on the couch and left. I told myself I didn’t want to get mixed up. Besides, I’d offered. Hadn’t I?

Next morning the radio reported an attack. A young victim. A man being sought. I had no courage for admissions. I could have helped. I could have told police what I knew. But I flew home instead.

Before I could knock, my wife had the front door open. She was clasping Rebeccah tight to her. ‘What have you done, Leigh?’ she said. ‘What have you done?’

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