I started this story with a bang and then lost momentum. However, I printed the manuscript and now I walk around with it in my handbag. Yesterday, during some idle time, I began editing and now I have finished the second draft of chapter 1. The title at present, which is not definite and can change, is: A Fatal Indiscretion.
“What do you want from me?” cried Sherry, her eyes red as she leaned against the kitchen cupboard.
They had been fighting for the best part of the last hour, she felt like she had said one thing over and over again but Ryan kept pushing and pushing. It is like he wanted her to say she didn’t care; that she didn’t love him anymore. She wasn’t sure if she loved him anymore or if she was holding on to the love she once had for him; she knew one thing and that was that she had made up her mind about what she wanted and where she was going to be.
“I want what I have always wanted for you to just love me, ME!” screamed Ryan, hitting his chest with his fist.
They had been married for six years and were parents of a four year old, they had gone through so much together, fought so hard for this life they lived. Ryan couldn’t believe after all of that Sherry would risk it all. He watched her figure standing in front of him in one of her house dresses and resisted the urge to reach out and pull her in an embrace. He has loved her so much that he found her sexy even in this dinged and torn dress that hung on her body with no shape or without highlighting any of her curves. Her hair was in a little bun on her head and her face was tired. He knew she had been up most nights lately, ever since everything came to light a week ago. He knew she was deliberating and making her decision whether to stay with him or walk and he often lay right next to her, awake as well, afraid to ask what she was thinking, afraid to hear her decision. At least until today, this morning he had decided he had had enough and she needed to tell him what she wanted, and now her time had come. He didn’t know if he could live with a decision that meant she was going to leave and he tried not to think along that line. He didn’t know if he had the courage to let her go if she wanted to.
“If I didn’t love you I wouldn’t be here,” Sherry said as she wrapped her arms around her body for comfort.
Was she telling the truth? Was she being honest with this man she had sworn to love and cherish until death do them part? She never expected things to get this way, had someone told her six years ago they would be here, in their own house, with their own family, with him standing before her, waiting to hear if she was going to stay or go, she wouldn’t have believed it. Ryan was still as handsome today as he was when they met ten years ago. He still stood above her long, lean, and dark with big eyes and long lashes, pink thick lips which she remembered she couldn’t wait to kiss. His arms were still long and inviting her to curl into them and rest her head on his chest to listen to the rhythmic beating of his heart. He was still the man she fell in love with, still the man who fathered her child, still the man whose last name she carried, but something had changed in her, something that made her ponder on whether she should be here or she should go.
“You are not here for me, you are here for her and I know it, if it wasn’t for her you would’ve left,” the words came out of his mouth and only now had he chosen to accept it.
Their daughter Amarie; sweet little four year old Amari, had left a while ago with her dolly to play at grandma. Was it true? Was she still here just for her? Hadn’t she promised her when she first held her that she would give her a family? That she would fight heaven and hell to make sure Amarie grew up in a complete family, and not like her, torn and disappointed, because her father had chosen to live with another family instead of her and her mother. Hadn’t she sung lullabies to that little girl and prayed to God to keep them together for her sake? Hadn’t she asked God to help her raise her as a complete and happy individual, never wanting for love or affection? Was she really staying just for Amarie?
“That is not true,” Sherry said, “I am here for both of you, for us, for our family.”
“Don’t lie!” Ryan screamed as he lounged at her and grabbed her arms pressing his fingers into them. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she grimaced from the pain of his grip.
He felt an anger stir inside like a tornado twisting in his chest and gathering more and more fury with each breath he took. Ryan didn’t know how it possessed him to grab hold of her like that. In ten years he had never raised his hand on her, never as much as pinched her outside of horseplay and today he was grabbing her fiercely, and he didn’t want to lose. He wanted to blame the anger, and the pain for his actions, but he knew he was thinking straight, he knew he was processing this action and he knew that he wanted to hold her like this and he wanted to grab her in his arms and hold on to her tightly and never let her go. Ryan knew he was ready to do anything to keep Sherry in his life.
“I can’t believe after all we went through to have this family you would do this Sher, why Sher, why?” Ryan asked as he shook her body violently. She sobbed and leaned her head on his shoulders but he pushed her body away and sent her into the cupboards where she fell against them and slowly dropped to the floor. He turned his back, he couldn’t bear to see the betrayal in her eyes.
Just then a little shadow was seen coming from the back of the yard into the house and Ryan moved quickly to the glass door and stopped before Amarie and said, “Hey baby.”
“Hi daddy,” said the little four-year old.
Sherry heard her voice and quickly got up and turned to the sink where she tried to salvage her appearance.
“Daddy are you crying?” asked Amarie
“No, mommy was cutting up onions just now,” Ryan said, he had tried his best to keep whatever was going on between them from her. He hugged her close to his chest as he bit back tears. “Daddy is going out for a while,” he said to her as he loosed his grip on her and walked out of the room. Sherry did not turn from the sink.
“Hi mommy,” Amarie said as she walked up to the sink
“Hi baby, did you have fun at grandma?” Sherry asked
“Yes mommy, I like that our backyards are connected and I can run over by grandma when I want,” Amarie said as she settled down on the ground where she had some toys she was playing with earlier.
She tucked herself behind the counter and continued with the mall she was going to build with her blocks. Sherry watched her playing and felt the tinge in her chest, she wished things were different. She tried to wish away the last six months and everything that had happened but she couldn’t. She didn’t know how things had gone so wrong so fast, but she did know that for that little girl who played before her, she would do anything.
“Mommy I am going to the washroom, please keep an eye on my mall,” Amarie said as she got up
“Amarie,” Sherry called to her as she was about to leave the kitchen, Amarie turned and smiled “I love you” sherry said to her, blowing her a kiss.
“Love you too mommy, I’m coming right, back don’t worry,” Amarie said as she disappeared around the corner.
Ten minutes later a stout woman made heavy steps as she walked from her house through her backyard and through the backyard of her daughter’s house, gasping for breath as she walked, her big thighs swishing and rubbing against each other and her feet pounding on the gravel path.
“Sher,” she called out as she neared the glass doors, “I heard Ryan’s car pull off a while ago, so . . .” she stopped midway of her sentence as she was now standing in the kitchen.
The kitchen floor tiles were red with Sherry’s blood and the cupboards and cabinets reflected droplets of blood that had spewed from the body. Sherry’s lifeless body bearing the sign of several stab pounds and her house dress soaked red with blood, lay against the cupboard where she had fallen and was left propped against, her head hanging on the side with one arm resting on the ground and the other hand left resting on the rim of the cupboard.
Sherry’s mother, Ingrid, ran to her daughter and yelled out her name, slapping her face over and over. When she got no response she reached for the kitchen phone and rang the police. With her hands, and feet covered in blood she searched for Amarie, calling out her name and running from room to room. Then Ingrid went back to the telephone and called Ryan’s number. She listened to the phone’s ringing tone as she looked around frantically. When the phone rang out and started beeping incessantly, Ingrid she hung up and tried again and again, on the third try she stood in the kitchen watching her daughter’s dead body propped against the cupboards, her two arms were now in front of her and her head still hung to the side. The tears stung Ingrid’s eyes first and then the feeling built up in her chest. She felt a sudden rush of emotions as the reality of the scene finally hit her and she started to scream. Loudly she wailed as she fell to the floor inches away from Sherry. She heard the sirens pulling up outside of her house and the footsteps making their way across the back yard but she couldn’t stop it. She had spent her entire life dedicated to this precious girl who sat dead in front of her and now she couldn’t imagine life without her.
“Mom, you are my bestest friend, you know that,” Ingrid heard Sherry’s voice saying as she closed her eyes and saw her daughter dressed in her wedding dress sitting in front of her mirror.
“Did I ever thank you for everything you did for me?’ Sherry had asked Ingrid.
“Nope, but I know you were grateful when you made me proud with everything you accomplished,” she had said to her before hugging her from behind, both of them watching at each other’s reflection in the mirror.
Ingrid opened her eyes as she saw the two men in uniform checking Sherry for a pulse.
“Mom I am going to have a baby,” she heard Sherry’s voice resounding in her head
“Oh my, I am so happy, my baby is going to have a baby,” she had said hugging her and squeezing her
“I hope I can be half the mother you were,” Sherry had said as she had hugged Ingrid tighter.
Ingrid cried and the tears rolled down her face as police officers entered Sherry’s house, one of them was speaking to her but she couldn’t hear what he was saying. She just saw him in front of her talking. Then his image became blurry and a blue green haze created itself before Ingrid’s eyes and she saw her Sherry’s image dancing with a baby in her arms, and laughing. Then Ingrid saw Sherry as a little girl dancing in their small one bedroom house, “Mom, come dance with me,” little Sherry said, “Mommmmm, please come dance with me,” Sherry urged again, waving and calling to her. The images danced before Ingrid as she sat there and watched them fussing over the dead body, she heard one of the officers say they were waiting on forensics and she felt as though she was in a dream, at some point everything went black and she lost consciousness.
When Homicide Detective Natasha Banks stepped on to a crime scene she was always composed and relaxed. Nothing surprised her; after all she was seven years old when her mother drowned her two month old sister in the bathtub to keep her from crying. Natasha didn’t think any crime scene of the already dead was going to have a greater impact on her than the first one she witnessed. However, when she crossed the nicely trimmed backyard of the Hales’ residence she didn’t phantom what awaited her beyond the glass door. She brushed off the disgusted looks on the attending ranks’ faces as the reaction of amateurs; and then, she stood in what she had to term her worst crime scene.
Blood was spewed everywhere in what was once a beautiful kitchen, had Natasha been the homey type she would have appreciated a kitchen as immaculately kept and beautifully designed as Sherry Hales’ own was. But tonight, the blood stained cupboards and blood filled tiles on the floor with the body of Sherry Hales propped against the cupboard with more than fifteen stab wounds and slashes about her body had made the kitchen macabre. Three knives were strewn about the floor, two broken and one dropped close to the body.
“This person is an animal,” Natasha said aloud, surprising herself.
Natasha never pronounced on criminals or victims that early in an investigation and she never expressed her personal feelings towards them either. It was something she trained herself to do the moment she knew she was joining the Homicide Department, a mostly male populated section of the police force. Natasha didn’t wear pants suits just because they were comfortable, she needed to be taken seriously as a detective and so she had set certain rules and guidelines for her conduct. But tonight she couldn’t adhere to them.
“Detective?” the voice interrupted Natasha’s thoughts as she turned and faced one of the uniformed police officers.
“Over there on the patio chair is the victim’s mother, she just regained consciousness, she was the one who called 911 and the one who…well…the one whose steps you see in the blood. We found her sitting opposite the victim in a daze and then she lost consciousness, we believe she is the victim’s mother. She lives in the house directly behind this one” he pointed to the heavily built woman sitting with her head in her hands, “, we were able to gather those information from one of the neighbours since she was unconscious” he pointed to the people who had gathered behind the police tape.
Natasha waved him off and walked over to the woman, her body was stained with blood and she was staring at her hands as tears trickled down her face.
“Good night mam,” Natasha greeted her as she took a seat in front of her. The woman looked up with sad red eyes. Natasha admired the strength of a mother who actually cared. She could see that the woman in front of her wanted to break down but fought to be stronger than that, and Natasha saw the battle that took place inside, it was all in her eyes.
“Can you talk?” she asked the woman
“Yeaaaaa. . . “ Ingrid said as she trailed off into tears
“What can you tell me about what happened here?” Natasha tried to ask the question without seeming insensitive. She thought to herself that she probably should give this grieving mother some time to cope, but she knew she couldn’t do that. She needed to ask her questions when it was all still fresh in her mind, maybe she would recall something that would be critical to the case.
The woman stifled and wiped her eyes with her big blood stained hands before she began, “My daughter and her husband were having a discussion tonight concerning something important, so she sent her daughter to stay with me, but then little Amarie got fidgety and headed home. A little while after I heard a car door slam and a vehicle drive off so I suspected it was Ryan, my son-in-law, so I give him a few minutes to be around the corner or so and then I was coming over to find out….oh….to find out . . . oh God, I shouldn’t have waited….oh God, my baby girl” she broke into tears and Natasha leaned forward and held her – it was a professional habit.
When the woman had calmed down, Natasha asked, “So where is the little girl – Amarie?”
“I didn’t see her, I think she left with her father, oh God, do you think she saw when he did this?” Ingrid asked.
“He? Do you think your son in law did that?” Natasha asked.
“I don’t know what to think,” Ingrid answered.
“Were they having problems?” Natasha asked.
“Yes they were having many problems, she was going to leave him.”
Natasha looked back at the glass door and allowed the woman’s words to sink it, she now had her first suspect. She called a female officer over to take Ingrid to her house after informing her she would be over in a while to continue talking.
Natasha knew Ingrid needed to leave the scene, because the body would be rolled out in a bit, and it would be very emotional for her. Natasha walked back to the scene slowly trying to imagine what had happened. She saw a photograph on the wall with three people, the victim, a small child and a man. She walked up to it and looked into his eyes, was he a killer?
Natasha turned and watched at the scene as she envisioned what probably took place – they quarrelled, he begged her to stay, she said no she was leaving, he grabbed her and threw her against the cupboard, she slapped him, he got upset and slapped her back, she said it was over, he said he was never letting her go, the emotions and the anger built up, he reached for the knife and stabbed her in the chest one – two – three times, it broke, he took another one and stabbed her all over, the stabs fueling the anger, the anger driving the stabs, the other knife broke, now he is possessed he takes the other one and stabs her a couple times more before her frail helpless body falls to the ground. He panics, he doesn’t know what to do, he turns and sees his daughter heading to the door and he runs out, grabs her and is off. He is probably on his way to Cayenne by now. Ruthless!