It was a two day drive to the Crocodile River in the Palembang district of south Sumatra.

It was from a remote spot on the hanging bridge that she had once stood compromised as a fourteen year old girl many years before.

She was back for the first time in twenty years for a reason.

A forgivable and redeemable mission.

Her short nimble frame struggled to take the heavy lifeless body from the boot of the car.

She unsipped the corpse from its modified body bag and dragged it with all her might to the weather-made cavity on the bridge.

The body was then thust fifty metres downward into the torrent of the Crocodile River.

The head smashed against boulder rocks and blood splattered.

The body briefly floated downstream.

Then the crocodiles came and feasted upon their prize prey.

There were no tears in her eyes or emotion on the woman’s face but she hummed quietly and melodically a Sumatran song remembered from her childhood.

Two crocodiles fought for the right to drag the limp body beneath the waters before the victorious one and the body disappeared from view.

Before returning to the car, the body bag was burnt and those remains too were also nonchalently discarded into the river.

The man had died several days before of probable natural causes in his room at the house which she shared with him.

There are some who might suggest that she had motive for killing the man who was her lawful husband but the simple truth is she did not.

They had not slept together in many years and there were no outward signs to the world that they were even married to each other.

They lived in different worlds and totally separate lives.

He was twenty five years her senior and a stranger in a foreign land.

To anyone who asked, he had simply returned home to his native land.

Their only child was grown and away living in England, an infrequent commmunicator to this father.

As for other relatives, they were either unknown or long blown in contact.

The slumped body had been lying there for four days before it was discovered.

Not the wife or the maid or a passing visitor, it seemed, had any inclination of the man’s demise.

On the night that she discovered her husband’s body, the wife requested her lover to make love to her for two long hours on the bed where the corpse lay.

There was an air of pre-meditation about the actions of the widow.

It was the lover who then prepared a makeshift body bag and placed the body inside it.

The widow alone, by insistence and persistence, dragged the body into the boot of the car in the dark of the night.

There was no blood.

There would be no delay.

The journey was immediate.

The woman did not change the clothes which her lover had impetiously re-arranged while callously agreeing to her sexual request.

This was a course of action that only she could explain.

The two day journey from her home on the southern outskirts of Jakarta city to this distant Sumatran outpost across the Sunda Straits was slow but certain.

When she arrived at the Crocodile River, the widow prayed for several hours before undertaking the task of disposing of the body.

She had suffered too for all these years.  Nobody can or will ever begin to understand.

Her actions in all their excess were her way of gaining release for a lifetime culmination of distress and enforced tolerance.

There would be no crocodile tears for the passing of a loved one.

Still to this day, five years on, now married to a man she purports to love, a selfie picture of the widow at the Crocodile River on that May day serves as a screensaver on a smartphone and profile for social media.

It is irrefutable yet damning evidence that there are, of course, two sides to every story.


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