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Prepare to face your doom
The Day That Destroyed Us Both: Part 5 (Short Story)
I say nothing in response; I feel no reason to say anything, maybe I should’ve said “Thanks,” but then he would probably say something back. This would make the awkward situation more awkward because he would then pause and respond, “Your welcome,” or something because he wouldn’t really know if he should be thanked for mentioning a tender topic and making the car ride awkward in the first place. Surely making a situation awkward is nothing worthy of praise, because anyone can do it, and no one appreciates it.

I approach the Police Department once again, but this time I wasn’t as reluctant, I didn’t tell myself not to go, I simply didn’t think about it. This almost made me forget why I was coming back, but of course it was because Hougon wanted me to come back in. I enter the building, back into that blinding, white waiting room. I look around, no one’s in there, so I look to the three doors, and approach the one on the very left. I knock on the door, and it is quickly opened.

Hougon smiles as he swings the door open, as if he saw me enter and was just standing there, like a stalker, waiting for me to knock. “I’m so glad you’re feeling better and could make it Tristan,” He tells me; his half-a** attempt at acting like he cared probably couldn’t even fool his own mother.

“Yeah,” I reply, “being sick is always a pain in the a**, right?” I then look into his office to the chair I should be sitting in, and then look to him, to the chair and back to him. This was an attempt to let him know to get out of the doorway and let me in. I’d rather our conversation be in the room than in the doorway.

Hougon looks at me oddly, as if there was something wrong with me, “Are you alright Tristan?”

He takes a step towards me and I quickly take a step away. “No, not at all,” I tell him giving him a suspicious glance. I use my hand to gesture to go in, as if it were my office and I were inviting him in. This of course conveyed the message.
Hougon then takes a few steps into the room, a hand on the door, and gestures for me to take a step inside. I step inside and take a seat in front of his desk.

“Alright Tristan,” Hougon begins as he closes the door, and locks it, before moving to his desk and taking his seat. “As we discussed last time, we found the suicide note, and we sent it to a handwriting analyst. We haven’t gotten any word from him yet, but that’s not what I wanted to talk about.” Hougon then leans back in his chair, putting his legs up, his shoes resting on his desk. He reaches to his file cabinet, opens a drawer and pulls out a manila folder, and sets it on the desk. His hands rest on his lap and he goes on, “I was looking over the old evidence from your husband’s suicide after the suicide note was found, and I came across an interesting fact. Your fingerprints were on the gun. Now, I know you said that you took it out of his hands when he died, but when I looked back over the prints, and their locations on the gun…Your prints were the only ones that even “faced” the correct way. Yours were the only ones that were even on the trigger. Now, I’m not accusing you of killing your own husband. I’m just pointing these facts out. Do you have an explanation?”

My heart races, “What?” I look at him, I fell the blood drain from my face. “I have to admit…After I took the gun from him…I really…I…I wanted to kill myself….I really did….I did have my finger on the trigger…but I couldn’t pull the trigger…I couldn’t….” I tell him, tears welling up in my eyes. Did I just lie to him? No…I did….I did aim it at myself…I did…Why didn’t I pull that goddamn trigger? Why didn’t I put myself out of my misery? Why didn’t I?

Hougon nods, “I understand. Though this will have to all be re-examined. I believe you, it’s just the previous detectives didn’t do a very thorough investigation. They kind of just left it as it was.” Hougon then stands, his hands on his desk, as he looks at me coldly, “Though…It will be hard to find much evidence now since you sold all of your possessions, and the old house is being renovated, but I will try my best. I will either determine it to be suicide or I will find out another truth. I promise that the truth will prevail.” Hougon’s expression softens as he stares at me for a moment, “You will know the truth Tristan…I promise.”

I begin to feel a little uncomfortable, and I stand. “Thank you detective,” I say politely as I keep my eyes on his every move. There was something untrustworthy about how he was talking, about the look in his eyes, more untrustworthy than usual, of course. “Well, is that all you needed to ask, detective?” I ask him as I take a step back, around my chair towards the door.

“Yes, that’s all I needed to ask you,” Hougon tells me as he takes a step to the side of his desk, and then a step forward. He had this smirk on his face, one of a teenage boy when he first gets his hands on porn.

I glare at him, as he gets closer. He stands so close to me that I can feel his body heat. He lifts his left arm, and reaches over to the door and unlocks it, and opens it. He then gestures for me to leave. I nod as I make my way out of the door, and then begin to walk away.

As I’m walking away he calls out, “Oh, Tristan…I suggest you start locking your door. I mean, a woman alone should really be more careful.”

I lift a hand and give him a thumb up as I continue walking away, not looking back or saying anything in return. “Well there goes a chunk of my life to the scum of the earth…At least he’s handsome…Maybe I could date a cop…No…Especially not one that suspects me of murder…” I think to myself. If I plan on moving on, I do have to take other men into consideration, right? Right?

As I walk to the edge of the sidewalk I look down at my feet. I don’t want to go back home. There’s no one there, there’s nothing there. I have many places I could go, but most places I don’t want to go to. I don’t want to go anywhere anymore. I just want to stay. Stay in one place, and lay there. Lay there until I die. Lay there until it’s all over. I look up. Left and right, down the street, and I spot a taxi, and wave my hand and the cab pulls over, and I enter the car.

The taxi driver looks back at me with this smile, a sincere smile, as if his life was going very well. “Hello. Where to?” he asks with his Boston accent. He had medium-length blonde hair, and bright blue eyes. He was probably in his mid-twenties to mid-thirties. He was good-looking.

“Umm, “The Overview Apartments”,” I tell him as I get comfortable in the back seat.

He smiles as he nods and turns back around and pulls out into the lane.

Before he can start any small talk I decide to ask him, “What makes you so damn happy?”

He glances at me via the rearview mirror, and his smile just widens. “Well, my child was just born about 30 minutes ago. I’m a father now. The greatest role any man could have.”

I look at him, and ask, “Then why aren’t you at the hospital with your wife?”

“Well, you see, we’re a little short on money. So, I can’t afford to take too long of a break from driving,” He told me, but his smile was still plastered on his face.

“You’re happy about that? You’re not pissed that you missed the kid’s birth?” I asked him.

“Well, I would’ve liked to see it happen, but, you see…I’m just happy to be a father…and as a father I have to take care of my wife and my baby. I have two lives on my shoulder now, and you can call me selfish for not going to make sure she was going to be alright through it all, but I’d call it selfish for me to take a break off of work to go watch. I’ve got to earn even more money now that the family’s got a new addition. I don’t mind too much, though I do wish I could’ve seen my baby girl’s first moment in this world…it’s alright…” He tells me as he just looks ahead at the road, the smile weakened a little.

I sigh and then tell him, “Sorry. Shouldn’t bring you down like that. I know I’m an a**…right? I’m happy for you.” I look at him through the rearview mirror.

He looks up at me through the rearview mirror, “Thanks. Don’t be sorry. Maybe I should be a little pissed, but I just can’t be mad at a time like this. I’m too damn happy.” His smile then brightened, since I guess he thought he was clever using the same phrase I did.

I smirk at his smile, I was happy for the driver. I really was. I was happy for his wife too, she made him happy. She brought his joy. I only wish I could’ve done the same thing for him.

He always wanted a kid but after four miscarriages…we gave up. No…I gave up. I just couldn’t take it anymore. Who could? He would always get excited and always say, “This one’s gonna make it. This one’s my little fighter. He’s gonna make it.” When they didn’t, a little piece of him would die. A piece of him would be totally annihilated. Torn out, shredded, burned and devoured by a shattered dream. As it ate him from the inside, it killed me too. It hurt me to see him so miserable. I could never do it for him. I could never bring him that one thing he wanted so dearly. I could never bring him the happiness he truly desired, and I hate myself for that. I hate myself for giving up. Maybe we should’ve kept trying, maybe the next would’ve made it, but I didn’t want to risk it. I didn’t want to see him so broken again. I didn’t want that pain again.

A tear rolled down my cheek, and the driver looked to me and asked, “You alright back there?” I quickly make eye contact with him and wipe away the tear.

“Oh…yeah, it’s just…I’m so happy for you,” I tell him, as I nod.

He smiled, “Aww, really, thanks. Sorry to make you cry, miss.”

“To tell you the truth…I’m actually a little jealous of you,” I tell him with a soft smile.

“Oh? Why’s that?” He asks me.

“To have a child…It must be a wonderful thing…” I replied, not wanting to go on about how having a spouse was wonderful as well.

He smiles and laughs a little, “It really is.”

I smile as my gaze turns back out the window as the taxi pulls up in front of my apartment complex. Back to this place…Back to where I don’t want to be. I pull out about eight twenties, and hand it to him. “Keep the change.”

As he takes the cash and looks at it he quickly says, “Thanks miss!”

I turn and smile at him, “Good luck with the baby.” I then exit the taxi and wave the driver good-bye. The cab exits view and I sigh. I turn towards the building and enter the building and walk to the elevator. I press the “Up” button, and wait for the elevator to arrive. As I wait, I look around; my attention is then caught by a figure in the window of the door to the stairway, looking out at me. In a flash it’s gone. I pause, “There I go…imagining things again.” I then turn my attention to the elevator door as it slides open, and a woman and child exit. I enter the elevator and press the “3”.

As the elevator arrives at the third floor I step out into the hallway, and begin a slow, reluctant trek down the hall. Just looking down the hall makes me feel uneasy and a little dizzy. It feels like it’s twisting into a spiral. I put a hand to my forehead and slowly make my way to my room, my other hand towards the wall, just in case I need to support myself.

I arrive at my door and enter my apartment; as I enter, I turn and lock my door. Just like Hougon said. Though I didn’t lock it because he told me to, but because I was a little concerned with him barging into my house, after he was acting fishy at his office. Sure I wanted to catch him screwing with my life, but now I was a little worried about him screwing in a different way.

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