The Funeral

Cass was always surprised at how quickly funerals happened.   Weddings took years of planning but funerals were done and dusted within days.

Julian had an autopsy because he did not die in a hospital. It was clear his liver had decided enough was enough and to surrender in the Julian War. Cass kept quiet about Julian’s gift. She did not want the financial taint of suicide to affect Rebecca. Cass hoped Julian had some life policies, which would pay out.

The missing watch was assumed to have been lost in his escape from the Rehab Centre. Julian was always misplacing things; the Wealthies’ life savings, Oligarchs’ hidden profits, over entitled 40-year-old Perma-Children’s trust funds. A £40,000 watch was considered small fry in comparison.

The night before the funeral, Cass dutifully followed Julian’s last instructions and paid a visit to Hatton Garden. What she found would not solve all Julian’s indiscretions. It would have to be a leap of faith. But at present that was as good as it got. A white plastic stick and anonymous pictures sent to her phone, of her niece playing at school, made sure of that.

She sat in the back row of the Crematorium with Dolores, who sobbed noisily. Dolores started to shake as the coffin was carried past. She did not resist Cass’ protective arm around her shoulders. Cass wondered darkly if Dolores would be as upset at the death of her actual parents.

Julian would have been gratified. The house was packed. Cass knew a lot of people fell for Julian’s charm but there were vultures as well.   Usman was trying to network with some clients, who had known Julian as a friend. Cass caught a glimpse of the card, he was handing out. It was for a different company. Caroline strode in late and decided she needed to get a good seat at the front. Rebecca remained dignified. Cass worried she would fracture under the strain.

Julian had never struck her as a fan of Motown. Cass stifled an inadvertent laugh as he descended into the flames, “Papa was a rolling stone…”