Looking through the pale glass window reinforced by wire squares David saw the detective lifting back the stiff white sheet. Overhead the clock was ticking marking forever this moment in time. It was blazing altogether too fast until the sheet was lifted just below the chin of the lifeless figure. Then it broke and stopped. This was no anonymous form laying there shattered and devoid of life, this was his wife, mother of his two daughters. David wilted and covered his eyes with his hands to protect them from the horror laying on that cold slab. Tock, tock, tock, laughed the clock an affront to David’s ears. Having made positive ID the detective mercifully pulled back the concealing cloth. It was a hit and run most likely from a drunk driver. Witnesses on scene saw Becky jogging crossing the intersection on green when a red and white Blazer hit the median. The driver then skipped over the curb and kept going, running the red light slamming into the victim. It was all over before the paramedics had time to arrive. Becky never carried identification when she went on a run but she always carried her phone. The police found it during the investigation, and that was how they contacted David to make the ID. After, having received the call from the precinct David prayed, yes prayed with all his might that Becky had lent the phone to someone else. It was a lifeline if not a grisly even horrific one. What a horrible bargain to make with god, to promise to reform to be a better Christian do everything if He will just take anyone else but not her. But, now that covenant was shatter and the finality of that was attested to by the dead lifeless form of his wife.
David walked in it seemed almost a parallel world, it had to be, just a short 5 hours ago his wife was still alive and the world was sane. He moved as a specter through the streets passing but leaving no trail. The cold wet weather blurred the street lights making them run like melted wax down the pathways and byways. All the colors ran together forming a crazy fun house of gloom. The light fog engulfed him covering his past, and hiding his future. David opened the door to his silent house and stumbled through the dark. It was his intention to go to bed to sleep the terror away. However, all his strength had left him and he simply fell onto the couch.
David had called the Barkers from the station, Mary was still in shock at the death of Becky. She and her husband Glen had been good friends with them for years, her daughter was the same age as Becky’s youngest. The had even went on family vacations together. Mary’s unsmiling face turned to an outright frown as she gazed on Becky’s forlorn children. Her husband had talked David into letting them watch the children for awhile. Both of them now sat in the living room watching without seeing the TV. The littlest one held a doll like a religious token. Her eyes were empty and void of vitality. The elder one by 5 years hugged her sister in a motherly fashion. It was as if the weight and responsibility of a dead mother was already crushing down on her. Mary finished boxing up the meal she intended to bring over to David. She was sure he would be in no mood to cook for himself. She and Glen had agreed it would be best if she was to go and check in on him. A cold draft spilt into the kitchen as she opened the backdoor to go to the car. Mary tightened her coat about her and bending her head to protect it from the light rain walked into the restless night.
The drive was not long as the two families lived in the same community. On some days when the weather was fairer it was not uncommon for the children to walk between the two houses. The house looked dreary and vacant, there was not one light on to give a sign of the living. The houses to the left and right by comparison looked like carnivals alive and dancing with illumination and sounds. Mary parked and bracing for the cold opened her car door. She followed the well manicured walkway to the front door. The lighted doorbell was easy to find and soon the house rang with the sound of the bell. Once, twice, three times she pressed and still no answer. Mary was about give up and leave when on impulse she tried the door, it opened. Everything was wrong, it was like the house was a black hole sucking up everything that was good and somewhere in there was David surrounded by all that gloom. Mary called out to David to let him know she was coming in. She reached for the hall switch and soon the entryway was a bastion of light. She found a small table and put down her packages. She was about to remove her coat when she noticed the air inside was a cold as the out side. David she called one more time. A small fear like a cold gust of wind finding skin bloomed in her. Surely, David would not have! But, until she found him her nerves would not be silent. The living room was dark and Mary waited till her eyes could adjust to find the light switch. Da the first part of David’s name had spilled out of her mouth before she bit down on the last vid. On the couch she saw was a vaguely human form. Fumbling in the Dark she found the switch to one of the end lamps on either side of the couch. Breathing out a sigh of relief Mary saw David sleeping fully clothed but unharmed.
Bending down Mary brushed a lock of hair from David’s face he stirred fitfully but did not awaken. If David was gaining any peace from his sleep his torn features did not show it. It was her intention to move him to his bed and to feed him there if he wished it. Grabbing him gently by the arm she pulled. David’s eyes slid open ever so slightly, and she called his name. He responded by opening his eyes more forcefully. Becky he said, that was all that needed to be said. That one word expressed all the grief all the pain and lost hope and joy. I know Mary responded holding his hand and squeezing it. Tears small like doves floated down his cheeks. She pulled his hand and this time David responded pulling himself up off the coach. She guided him gently upstairs. There was two bedrooms upstairs the master and a guest bedroom Mary felt that maybe tonight it would be best if he slept in the guest room. In any case it did not seem to matter as he made no objection when she helped in into the guest room. On the far wall at the foot of the bed she noticed a gas fireplace. Placing David on the bed she went to light the fire. With a soft hissing sound the fireplace filled with gas and then with a loud thump it lit filling the small room with light and a cozy heat source. Looking back over her shoulder she saw David had made no attempt to get undressed or even to pull the covers around him. He lay there silent and unmoving.
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