Written by Kris Kaila
She was probably out somewhere trying to teach him a lesson. Probably having dinner with a friend, just because he was a little late. He wanted her home so he could accuse her of all the things he had conjured up driving home. Gone was the night they had spent together laughing and making love. Gone was the morning they spent feeling closer to one another than they had in awhile.
He stormed inside the house and dropped his briefcase by the door. Dropping his keys in the empty candy dish, he saw the answering machine blinking. It was probably either a message for her, or her calling him. (His clients, co-workers and friends all called his office or cell phone). Roger knew he could never actually kill his wife, but he could piss her off some more. He decided he would not listen to the message. Why should he? He walked up to his bedroom, changed and lied down on his bed.
Two hours later, the repeated loud banging on the downstairs door finally woke him up. Before he opened the door, he could see the red and blue lights through the window.
“Mr. Roger Gill?” The police officer asked.
“Sir, I am sorry to be the one to inform you…”
Roger starred at the glow of the television, the faces had begun to blur, as the tears filled his eyes. She had never made it home. Reena was dead. He could not stop the message on the answering machine from replaying in his head.
“Hey Roger, it’s me. I’m going to be home late tonight. I have to finish last month’s figures. I think I should be finished by eight-thirty. Hey…if it’s not too much trouble, Roger, could you…come by. You see…there have been some muggings in this neighbourhood, and I’m, uh…kind of scared. I know it’s stupid, but still…uh…call me. Otherwise, I’ll see later at home. Oh, by the way I had a real nice time last night. It’s been awhile… But anyway, talk to you later.”
If only he had heard the message. He had been home at 8:30 and could have gone to walk her to her car.
“Earlier this evening, a woman was sexually assaulted and left for dead right in front of the accounting building where she worked. The victim was a woman in her late thirties. After being dragged into the park nearby she was assaulted repeatedly. With a blunt object she was struck at least five times. A late night jogger found her body upon hearing some moaning. By the time help arrived she was pronounced dead. The police have no suspects at this time, but are warning women in the area to be careful. This is Barb, from channel 9 news.”
Roger finally turned off the television. He sat on the edge of bed looking at his reflection in the screen. His sweet Reena was dead. It was his fault. She was so young and suddenly without any warning she was taken from him. He sobbed for a moment, and then stopped, mid-sob. Was she taken from him? Had he been given a chance to save her, would he have? If he would have listened to the message he could…would have gone to pick her up. No matter how angry he was at her, if she were frightened, he would have gone to her. Wouldn’t he have? He would have. Wouldn’t…he…have?
She was gone now. Whether he could have saved her is beside the point now. She’s dead. Gone. It wasn’t really him that killed her. Thoughts of murder were not the same as killing someone. No one would blame him for not listening to the message. Anyone could have made that mistake. It was God’s will. She was gone. He was alone. Alone. Alone…to make all the decisions. His decisions. His first decision was to take some time off work. In fact, he would work less, period. He did not need expensive things, like she did. He no longer had to worry about missed meals, or buying gifts to placate her. No more of her condescending remarks. Roger would no longer have to embarrass himself by going to the sperm clinic. Sitting the tan coloured room with magazines soiled from pathetic men like him, sitting in the same seat as him. Sent here by their aging nagging wives. He could adopt as many kids as he wanted. She was gone. Gone. He was not to blame. It was not his fault, at all. It was all a part of God’s greater plan. It was all meant to work out like this. He loved her the best he could. No one could have asked him for more. For the first time since the police had arrived at his door, Roger smiled. He was free. He. Was. Free.
Roger got up from the bed, grabbed his jacket, tie and briefcase. At the lobby, he checked out. He would wait awhile and then sell the house. She was gone, and so would her house along with her memories. As he drove home, he stopped by the Fraser River. He got out of the car and walked to bridge with his briefcase still in his hand. He balanced the briefcase on the railing as he opened it up. Taking the cold hard metal out from beneath his papers, he stared at it one last time. He leaned over and watched as the nine-millimeter fell from his hand.
ALTERNATE ENDING next time.
k (My Novelesque Life)