A woman makes a mistake that ruins her life.
|“Get up!” she shrieked at the limp figure lying perfectly still on her living room floor.
“This isn’t funny!”
She knelt down beside him and gently caressed his cheek before slowly running her fingers down, until her hand rested on his chest. She pressed down lightly, but felt nothing. She pressed harder; still nothing. She applied more pressure still and…yes! There it was. It was a faint heartbeat, but a heartbeat all the same.
Letting out a deep sigh of relief, she sunk further to the ground, allowing her skirt to billow out around her. She’d never meant for any of this. All she’d wanted was for him to stop accusing her and just be able to trust her. She’ll admit, she shouldn’t have been going behind his back, but couldn’t he have confronted her? Did he have to play the detective? By doing so, he’d uncovered her affair and caused the biggest argument they’d ever had. Then he’d walked up to her…she really should have known him better. Now that she thought about it, she knew he wouldn’t have hit her. It was just the moment; these thoughts weren’t the ones to race through her mind. No, all she could consider was the pain if he hit her. So she’d shoved him away. Surely the blame couldn’t be placed on her for him tripping on the corner of the rug. Surely the blame couldn’t be placed on her for his head hitting the edge of the table. Surely the blame couldn’t be placed on her for knocking him back in self defence. Surely.
With a shake of the head, she was conscious of the fact that these excuses weren’t good enough. Besides, she wasn’t the one that needed to hear them.
She straightened her back and looked away from her husband. She felt a single tear slide down her cheek and quickly wiped it away. Now was definitely not a time for weakness. Taking a deep breath, she steadily reached out and pressed a palm to his chest again. This time there was no doubt. She could immediately tell he wasn’t breathing and there was no heartbeat. She had killed her husband. She drew a sharp breath to contain the tears that wanted so badly to spill over. She blinked a few times to regain composure then achieved the task of lifting him. She thanked a God that she didn’t even believe in that she’d married such a small and skinny man as she took him to their bedroom.
Before placing him on the bed, she rested him on the carpet and threw the covers back. She gently lifted him and placed him in the same spot she’d watched him lie every night since they’d married. She then placed his glasses beside him. If not for the blood weeping from behind his right ear, he could have been sleeping. The look upon his face could merely have come from a bad dream, not from the knowledge his wife didn’t love him.
The fight to prevent herself from even letting out a sob was becoming much tougher, but she remained in control.
For years to come, she considered the moment the doorbell rang as the moment her life ended. She would always maintain the belief that if she’d had just a few more minutes, she could have cleared up and got away with the lot. She would have come up with a great excuse rather than the second-rate one she was forced to settle for. An excuse that was seen through very quickly.
She answered the door to a middle-aged policeman and a policewoman of around her own age.
“Ma’am, I’m Senior Constable Jacob Norton. My partner and I are here because one of your neighbours called a domestic disturbance. Mind if I come in to talk to you for a few minutes?”