Character interview: Jimmy Murphy

This is the third instalment in the series of interviews with characters from Abernathy, this time with Jimmy Murphy — the last person to see Sarah McIntyre alive. As always, go to http://unbound.co.uk/books/abernathy to pledge and pre-order.

Name: James (Jimmy) Murphy

Age: 29

Occupation: Labourer, construction worker

Place of birth: The back of my mom’s Camry, or so my dad said

How did you and Sally meet?

Church, back when I used to go. I liked her right away. I liked how she didn’t know how pretty she was when she smiled. She was so smart and funny — way too good for me. I knew that, even if she didn’t. I kept waiting for her to find somebody better, waiting for her to figure it out. I wanted her to figure it out. She deserved…more than me.

How long have you been married?

Almost five years. I asked her when we’d been dating for, like, two months. I knew she’d say yes. I knew how much she wanted to love and be loved. All I ever wanted was to make her happy. Guess that didn’t work out so great.

Why not?

It’s like I said: she deserves more. I’m weak. I know I am — always was. She should have somebody who can take care of her. Not somebody like me. I tried to be better for her, but…I guess I just didn’t have it in me.

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?

Someplace warm and quiet, where I could be out of everybody’s way and I wouldn’t have to live up to anybody’s expectations. Someplace where there was nobody to disappoint. Someplace where I could just…be.

What’s the one thing that makes you proudest?

Making Sally happy, at least for a little while. I know she’s not happy now — hasn’t been for years, no matter how hard she tries to pretend otherwise. But there was a time when she didn’t have to pretend, and I’m glad of that.

When were you happiest?

Honestly? I don’t know that I’ve ever really been happy. I don’t think I ever did enough to earn it.

What’s your biggest regret?

That I let Sally down so badly. I wish I could tell her how sorry I am, how much I always loved her, but it’s way too late for that now. It’s too late to make any of it better. I just hope maybe she knows somehow.

What’s your greatest fear?

That I hurt her too much for her to ever get over it. Sally, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.

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