Ever since his wife died he slept alone on their bed, breathing as quietly as possible lest the intangible intelligence of the sheets forget the patterns of her body even though he had paid a nominal hacker an more than nominal fee to stop the sheets from noticing her absence. The negative space of the sheets adjusting to a body no longer there, the subtle temperature shifts that had kept her skin cool, the soft rustle that meant to waken somebody who would never again wake up:
He had like everybody else an eternity of videos and a haziness of memories, yet those nights alone in their bed was the closest to her he had gotten to be in a long time; maybe longer than she had been dead.
He slept with others. Often. Always on their beds. Their common friends. Her coworkers. Others who he thought might be the one she had been cheating him with. Always with half of his attention on them and half on the sheets, skin alert to the echo of a well-known caress.
Perhaps more than half of his attention. He missed her so much – and he didn’t want to be wrong. The police hadn’t had any suspects, after all, only the unofficial certainty that it had been a lover who had murdered her.
He didn’t want to kill the wrong person. (But he’d do it in bed, and take away the sheets, and lie to himself about what for, at least for a night or two.)