“Yes?” John held his phone to his ear. His eyes were still closed. What time is it? “Who is this?” An officer. What the hell is going on?
“You want to come by? Why? What’s the problem?”  He pulled his phone away from his ear and the glowing displayed 12:30 am. It was then he felt the bed for his wife. She wasn’t there. She didn’t come home last night.

“It’s related to Nina? Is she ok? What’s going on?” Oh, no. They wanted to discuss it in person. This can’t be good. He sat up, put his feet on the floor and turned on the lamp next to the bed.

Several minutes later, the officer he had spoken with on the phone  was sitting on his couch. He apologized first, and then told him his wife had been involved in an altercation. Yes, it seems she was robbed. Yes, she is dead. Yes, an investigation is pending. No, he had no idea why she was in that area of town. No, he had not spoken with her that afternoon.  No, there is no suspect. He gave him his card and left. 

She was gone. Nina. Gone. What did that mean? Gone?  He paced around the house, not really knowing what to do.

When the sun rose, he was still pacing. He looked at his phone. He didn’t want to call his boss, but he did anyway. Same as the officer, he was sorry. Then, he looked at his phone again and sighed. He called his mom. “She’s gone.” He sat down on the couch and looked at the wall. “She was robbed and murdered.” He leaned back and put his free hand to his forehead. “Yea, I am ok.” A tear streamed down his face. “I love you, too. Thank you.” She was sorry too. Thankfully, she said she would be in touch with Nina’s mom. “I know. She has already lost her husband and son. This will more than likely put her over the edge.”  He hung up the phone and his head collapsed in his hands.  

His thoughts were knitted together like a poorly made scarf, “I should have tried. I can’t believe it’s come to this. I didn’t love her enough. What was she doing there? Did she want to die? If I had just tried harder, we would have been together. I would have been with her. This isn’t real. This isn’t happening. I can’t. I don’t know. I just can’t.”

And he exploded into heart wrenching wet  sobs. He fell to the ground and writhed on the floor. He slammed the palms of his hands into the hardwoods repeatedly, until he couldn’t feel them any longer. He ripped off his wedding band and threw it into a wall. He rolled over on his back and wailed.

He woke up and pulled himself off the floor. He grabbed the back of his neck and massaged it. He sighed as his phone rang. Nina’s mother. He forwarded the call to voicemail. He stood up. He closed all the blinds in the house and hugged the walls as he stumbled to their… now his bedroom.

He slept through seventeen missed calls. The eighteenth woke him up. He rolled over, grabbed his phone off the nightstand, and looked at the caller id display. It was Myra.

Shit.

“Hey.” She was talking, but he didn’t understand a thing she said. He wondered how he had slept for nearly 24 hours. Maybe 12. He didn’t know whether it was day or night. “Are you there? Are you listening to me?”

“Yes, Myra. Sorry. What did you say?” She wanted  to see him. Her husband wasn’t coming home this week, afterall. “No, that isn’t possible. My wife. She is dead.” He hung up the phone. He laid back down on the bed and stared through the darkness at the ceiling. He didn’t want to be awake. He didn’t want this to be real.

It rang again. “Yes?” He stood up. 
“Oh, Officer Riley. What? Sure. Fifteen minutes? Ok.” He hung up the phone and sighed. “Shit.” He dialed Myra’s number again and told her she needed to go to the police station with him.

“Why?”, She asked.

“Because, they want to ask me a few questions and I am sure they will ask about my whereabouts the evening my wife was murdered.”  He couldn’t believe this was happening to him. When was she murdered? Was it last night? The night before? Nothing made sense. Time wasn’t right.  “Surely they don’t think you did it. You don’t need me.”

“Myra, yes I do! I need you to verify we were together.”

“No, I don’t think so. This would ruin my marriage. My life. I have a little girl! You know that! I can’t do that for you. I am sorry.” And with that, Myra hung up the phone.


This is part 2 of the story I posted last week (Finally, She Smiled). Hopefully, it would also work as a stand-alone. I promise to write something more light and fluffy soon.

Advertisements