Final Mission

wwi

“It’s the Cold War in Russia 1952. Sergei Kasparov, a double-agent for the Russia, is about to retire when he’s given one final mission: he’s been asked to find the assassination of a double-agent for the Kremlin. Sergei is highly trusted, and he’s given to understand that this mission is need-to-know only between him and very few superior officers. But as he falls deeper into the folds of the Iron Curtain, he found out that his superior was the murderer!”

***

c3pdxyewmaaqebv

“Drink?” Sergei Kasparov shook his head moodily. General Petrovich poured himself his second stiff Vodka while Sergei watched without comment. As warmth floated through him, he felt himself beginning to relax.
“Nikolai Yeltsin?”
General nodded. “Yes”. He was a double-agent for the Kremlin. He was found dead in the kitchen. It seemed that the killer knew him well”.

Silence.

” A gun…”
“What gun?”
“He’s been shot right in the head! We have found the bullet at the crime scene”.

Fifty-five years old and breathtakingly vain, with thick, dyed brown hair and sharp eyes, Perov Alkhimovich had been in the service as a Russian agent for twenty-five years. He came in and showed Nikolai’s dead body. “He was fatally blasting him in the head and chest”, he said tersely.
Sergei took the pictures of Nikolai’s body. The blood spurted on the kitchen walls. His eyes were open. He took a deep breath and said: “I need to check the forensic expert about the bullet and it won’t take long to find the killer!”
He put locked the briefcase and said with a heavy heart, “I trust you, Sergei. You found the evidence and I give you the authority to kill the murderer!”

***

By afternoon, Sergei became aware that he had company. Whenever he left from one place to another, he was followed. He stepped across the hall, took out his key and opened the door. He was standing and looked around his office. I was just about to leave in a few days. I think I should take this as my final mission and will be free afterward. It‘s just a few days. I am sure!

Three days later….

He got a call from the forensic expert to get the result. The bullet had identified that the killer used Makarov 9x18mm gun. Police had checked that the gun was registered by Perov Alkhimovich. Sergei felt like a thunderstorm in the light day. His hands were trembling. He could not believe what he had just heard.
“Are you sure about this?” he looked at the detective… and said “I am so sorry, sir. I did not mean that. I mean…He sighed and said, “Thank you!”
“If anything I can assist you with, please just come over here”
“Thank you!”

 

Sergei Kasparov sat on the bench, staring into space. “I trust you, Sergei. You found the evidence and I give you the authority to kill the murderer!”

***

Perov sat up, instantly wide awake.

The house is on fire. Why didn’t the alarm go off?

The door was beginning to buckle from the intense heat. He hurried to the window, choking on the smoke. He tried to force the window open, but it was jammed shut. The smoke was getting thicker, and it was becoming more difficult to breathe. There was no escape. Burning embers started dropping from the ceiling. A wall collapsed and a sheet of flames engulfed him. He screamed. His hair and pajamas were on fire. Blindly, he threw himself at the close window on the second floor and crashed through it, his blazing body hurtling to the ground.

bb

Sergei looked at the house burnt down. Sorry, Perov. I’ve just followed your instruction. Kill the murderer when you found the evidence. Your Makarov killed Nikolai. That’s the evidence!

***

She walked through the busy, winding streets, and turned left at Arbat Street. It was filled with smart stores. She started to cross the street. Her legs were trembling. She felt as though she were on the edge of a precipice, about to fall into an unknown, terrifying abyss.

Sizy Kasparov, with a slim, provocative figure, exotic look, high cheekbones, and soft, honey-colored hair, which she wore long and elegantly simple. She was a journalist, beautiful and had an IQ of 160, and nature had taken care of the rest.
“I believe everything would have been so much simpler if you had believed that Perov Alkhimovich did not intend to reveal our “little secret”, Nikolai smiled and kissed her lips.
“I hope what you have said was true. Besides, I was bringing this up for the sake of your “under cover’ as a double agent” Sizy said.
“No need to worry, sweetheart. Perov is the best man that I could trust. We’ve been with a partner for such a long time. He saved me once from World War II in 1940. I was shot in my shoulder and leg. I could not move. And Perov threw his Makarov to kill the enemy who was approaching me with his gun. And without any doubt, I shot him dead right in the head!” he said and pointed the finger at his head.
Sizy was looking at him and said “Good to hear. So we are safe, right?”

***

mosselprom

Sizy left the hotel which she spent the night with Nikolai and walked down Tverskaya Ulitsa Street toward the City Telephone Exchange. She was not sure whether the hotel phone was being bugged, but she did not want to risk the chance. Sizy walked into the entry and looked around. Two dozen telephone booths lined the walls, each one numbered. Shelves were filled with telephone directories from all over the world. In the center of the room was a desk where four clerks were taking orders for calls to be placed. People were lined up waiting to be put through.
Sizy Kasparov approached one of the women behind the desk “Good evening,” she said.
“Can I help you?”
“I’d like to place an overseas call.”
“Sure! Would you give me the country and the number, please?”
Sizy hesitated. “Sure.” She handed a piece of paper to the woman. ‘I’d like to make the call collect.”
“Your name?”
“Mukhaiyo Durchenko”
“Very well, Ms. Durchenko. I will call you when it comes through.”Thank you”. Sizy was waiting and a minute later…
“Ms. Durchenko…Ms. Mukhaiyo Durchenko…”The name was repeated twice before Sizy Kasparov realized it was for her. She rose and hurried over to the desk.
“Your party is accepting the call. Booth five, please.”
“Thank you!” Sizy walked into booth five and closed the door.
“Hello.”
“Sizy, is that you?”
“Yes, how are you, Jake?”
“To tell you the truth, we’re a little concerned, Sizy.”
There was a silence. And Sizy said, “and what is that?”
“We wouldn’t anything to happen to you”
“Nothing is going to happen to me.”
“But just be careful. You have been watching”

Silence again.

Sizy looked a bit nervous and said “Don’t you worry, Jake. I’ll be fine! I have the source. They are planning to deploy their people and get the president down and I-I…” The line was dead.
“Hello..hello..?” Shit!”Sizy wiped her forehead and her hands were trembling. She stepped out from the booth and walked out and left the City Telephone.

***

Jake McIntyre. He is a double-agent for the CIA working in New York. I could not believe that my girl, Sizy, has been betraying me! Could not believe that she is a spy and working for the CIA? I have to terminate her!

Nikolai drove homeward. His head throbbed. Pain burned behind his eyes. He grabbed the cell phone and pressed the buttons. “Hi, my darling Sizy, I have been thinking about you and hope, all is well?”
“Oh, Nikolai and yes, babe, I am very well”. She sounded suspicious. Nikolai never calls me from his cell phone. Does he know with whom did I make a contact with?
“Is there something wrong or do you want to talk about something with me, Nik?”
“No, actually. I’ve just got a cookery book from my sister and would like to try to cook tonight and will be delighted if you can join me tonight?
Nikolai does not have a sister. “Sounds great, and yes, I would love to!”
“Good, I’ll pick you up in an hour?”
“Can’t wait!”

The next morning…

Sizy and Nikolai drank coffee in the kitchen and ate sliced oranges and whole wheat toast spread with Dundee marmalade.
“You were talking in your sleep,”Nikolai said.
“Bull. I never talk in my sleep”, Sizy said.
“Last night you did”
“OK. What did I say?”
“Big apple”
“That was all?” well, I never remember dreams”, she sipped coffee and looked at him over the rim of her cup. She looked nervous and smiled.
Nikolai said,” you sounded very far away. Detached. Out of reach.
“People are always out of reach when they’re asleep and dreaming. They’re always strangers in strange places, “she put her cup down and picked up a slice of orange and held it to her lips. She is beautiful and intelligent! I could not kill her. She is my life. But she is a dangerous woman to our country. What did I do to her? Why did she betray me and the country?
“Sweetheart, is everything alright?”
“Yeah. You wait here; I just need to get something…”

Five minutes later…

Sizy was standing in front of Nikolai’s bedroom. She was watching him putting his Makarov in the drawer and a piece of paper. Her heart was pounding. She decided to get back to the kitchen and grabbed a glass of water. She heard his step behind her. Nikolai hugged her from behind and kissed her. “I love you, baby. And I have…”
“I have a surprise for you”, Sizy kissed his mouth passionately. Nikolai held her hands and said “you have? And show me”
She kissed his lips and unbuttoned his pants. Nikolai groaned. Without hesitation, she took his gun from the back of his waistband quickly.
“I am sorry, babe, it’s over!” she shot him right in the head.
The blood spurted all over the kitchen. Nikolai fell down. A pool of blood on the floor. The phone was ringing. Sizy looked at the caller’s name and picked it up. “Done!” a mission accomplished. My mission has finished, father!”
Sergei Kasparov smiled and said “good job!”

makarov

Sizy took the gun and wiped all the things that she thought could be the lead to the murderer. She looked at Nikolai’s body one more time and walked through the busy, winding streets, and turned left at Arbat Street. It was filled with smart stores. She started to cross the street. Her legs were trembling. She felt as though she were on the edge of a precipice, about to fall into an unknown, terrifying abyss.

She read the piece of paper one more time that she took from Nikolai’s drawer: “Nikolai, you have to kill your fiancée Sizy Kasparov and the father- SERGEI KASPAROV. They betrayed our country. Finish them!” – GP. Gregory Petrovich. Son of a bitch. I knew it. And we’ll kill you General! You killed my mother and brothers!

old

“You think that you can finish Kasparov’s family, Greg? You are not smart enough to play a game with me. My final mission will finish very soon and thank you for making it easier” – Sergei.

General Gregory Petrovich held the piece of paper which he found on the desk. He was sitting and looking out of the window with his face grew red with anger. He cried in a very gruff voice, “sukin syn, son of a bitch!!!” Yes, I will finish you all, Kasparov. He took Tokarev pistol 7.62 x 25mm from the bottom drawer and slammed the drawer shut. All of sudden, the sound of explosions echoed in his office, General Petrovich bounced out of the window, paper floated away as it burned. His dead body was destroyed and scattered on the ground.

burn

Finally, my final mission has finished. Sergei and Sizy watched the explosion from a distance and drove away out of town.

***

“Alex Dupont, Moscow 1997”

mos

I must hurry before it’s too late. The painting really intrigued me. Alex Dupont. Who the hell is he? Anyway, I have to get it before I feel regret for the entire life. Karen Russell, at twenty-seven, was lovely looking, with a slim figure, shiny brown hair and a warm. She had just moved and worked for the US government in Russia and loved to collect the famous paintings. Karen was walking very hard on the thick soft snow. It seemed to her that the entire city was wrapped in a mantle of pure white snow and the icy December wind herded the Christmas shoppers toward the comfort of their homes. I wish I could park my car just in front of the Dom Naschokina, so I do not need to walk like this.

Five minutes later…

3

Thank God, finally! Karen reached the house of Nashokin. The old mansion was a beautifully designed house with tall ceilings, lovely skylights, a handsome and unique decoration staircase, and antique hardwood floors. The oak door was open. It was already filled with a lot of people. A dozen valuable paintings were hanging on the walls nicely. And Karen was heading toward the painting that she has been dreaming since a couple of days. She was not interested in others as she used to be. She just loved that painting. There you are! Thank God, it’s still here. Karen loosens the scarf which was wrapped around the neck. And she kept looking at the painting and smiling alone. Amazing! Alex Dupont. How could he paint it so real? It looks absolutely real!
An early thirty wildly attractive, tall and lean, good looking with boyish looks and easy was approaching and asking Karen “Mogu li ya pomoch’vam, Miss?
Karen was surprised. Her cheeks were blushing. She did not expect someone caught her whilst she was smiling alone.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Oh, Izvini”. My apology thought that you are from here”
Karen looked at him and smiled “it’s OK”.
“Vam eto nravitsya? I mean, do you like it?
“Oh yes, I do. I love that”, she said. “And I…
“Let me introduce myself”, he extended his hand. “I am Alex Dupont, the painter”, Alex said and smiled.
“I am Karen Russell, just call me Karen. I am a kind of paintings collector, well, I love them” she said. “Two days ago I came here to have a look around and interested to buy that one”, she pointed her finger at the big painting in the corner. “But then, I passed this hall and stopped by to look at your painting closer. It’s exotic and I love that!”
“Spasiba.,Thank you! I am honored to get the kind of words from someone like you who really knows the taste of the master arts”, Alex smiled shyly.
“Well, Mr. Dupont…”
“Just Alex…”
“Alex, hmm…how much would you sell that for me?” sorry for being straightforward”, she asked and smiled.
***
Karen was sitting on the long soft white sofa in her living room and staring at the painting that she had just bought. Two beautiful young women and naked transformed into a butterfly and a mermaid. The mermaid was in the crystal pool, hugged and kissed the butterfly. They were in love. Alex added the beautiful flowers around and made the painting became more excited and exotic. This is my first time I love a painting from the unknown painter. And Alex? He had intelligent blue eyes. Geez, I cannot stop thinking about him. Am I now fallen in love with a man? Alex was so real and wonderful.
The telephone rang. Alex. Karen hanged up the phone. Right! Café Pushkin. Love it!

***
“Dinner was so delicious; this is my first time I ate Russian dishes” Karen said and smiled. “The broth? I love that and the meat with fresh steamed vegetables was cooked exactly the way I liked it,” she wiped her mouth with the red napkin. “And I did not expect that I could finish all!” she smiled and seemed embarrassed.
He looked across the table at her and said “moi aussie!” “I love the foods here. You know, I am French and been here for 10 years now. “And the mostly exactly what I love is the cocktail. That was just great!’, he tossed his glass to her. She tossed it back and smiled and asked, “and why…”Karen leaned across the table and said, “never mind”…
Alex smiled. “Vse normal’no”.I know what you would like to ask. Well, I am personally liking the Russian artists. To me, they are just different. One day, I went to visit The Tretyakov Gallery and it was amazing. And one gentleman approached me. He showed me his great art collections. And you know what? I was feeling so lucky. His name was Yuri Kuper. He was one of the greatest artists in Russia. We had a long conversation and finally he offered me to come by his studio and willing to teach me further about the arts. Ever since, I decided to live in Moscow. It was just a wonderful experience to me”
“That’s really great, Alex. You are a talented artist!”
“Merci, mademoiselle Karen”
“Avec plaisir!” she blinked and smiled.
Alex reached Karen’s hand and kissed it. His hand was so soft. Oh God, my heart was pondering. What is wrong with me? Alex was so beautiful and his eyes were just like a magic to me.
“Karen, would you mind if I take you to my studio? I will show you my collections and it’s just a walking distance from here.
“I would love to”, she smiled excitedly.

***
Because it was early December, Moscow and like other cities in Russia was preparing for the holiday season. The streets of the capital were decorated with Christmas lights and wreaths of holly and on almost every corner on the street Santa Clauses stood, tolling their bells for coins and children were running around them laughing and enjoying that moment, the Christmas spirit. The sidewalks were crowded with shoppers braving the icy winds.

Ten minutes later…

Alex’s studio was on Tverskaya Street, in a quiet residential section. A beautiful and clean, modest brick, white building with gorgeous garden and a small fountain were so attractively designed. Alex opened the door for her. Bookshelves lined the walls and a fireplace with a deep hearth already had wood laid for a fire. One large leather sofa was placed in the corner. The walls painted in white and Marlene Dietrich portrait hanging there; and the furnishing less masculine. The smell of lavender air freshener made them feel relaxed. Alex led her to the back of the house and what looked like his studio.

4

Alex grabbed Karen’s hand gently. “Would you like to have a look around?”
Karen was amazed and said “This is awesome! You have great paintings and portraits! And you would be a great painter, one day, well, you are!!!”
Alex took her closer and touched the curve of her face with tender. He kissed her lips softly. Karen did not protest it. She felt the earth below her melt away and all time stopped for that moment. “Gosh, he is a really good kisser and I enjoyed it!”
He drifted down onto her neck. The wonderful silky neck of a woman is to a joy to kiss and nibble. He moved down to her body, kissing every inch of her skin. Karen seemed to love it. Goodness sake, I love the way he touches and kisses me. Karen pulled him up and kissed his lips passionately. She took off his jacket and unbuttoned the shirt. Her mouth was open, she was staring at beautiful breasts. And Alex sealed it with a kiss.

couple love

“Alex…y-you are…?”
“Yes, Karen. I am a woman I mne nravitsya, vy tak mnogo.
***
I like you too, Alex. Now I got it! I became what I am now is not my choice. I just follow my heart to be with someone who made me happy. Feelings! Karen looked at a beautiful and peaceful face who was sleeping next to her. No matter how hard you try to be looked alike a man, you are still a woman, nurturing and compassionate. Alexa Dupont. That was your real name.

MockBa, Dec 1997. Karen Russell.

painter

***END***

#Moscow#LGBT#Painting#Arts#CafePushkin#Portraits#happylgbtfeb.

“Wish him would just drop dead!”

“I really wanna kill him!!!”
“Really and how?”
“What you mean, how?”
Jess looked at Stella and worried “look at you, babe, you are thin and he is big! Your fingers do not even strong enough to strangle him if you want to do that way!”
” I’ll catch him. Chop and fry him…just like a chicken nugget!!!” Stella was staring at Jess and said “Let’s see, babe?”

***

cannes-film-festival

Marco de Silva was in the mid thirty, and he was a talented actor. He had one big mall in the State and one was in Dubai. Three Spanish restaurants in the North America, two were in London and three were in Barcelona and Catalunya. He was originally from Spain and his family migrated to Rhode Island when he was five years old. Marco was charming and rich, sophisticated and urbane. He was wildly attractive to the opposite sex. With his athletic build, thick dark hair and intensely masculine aura, Marco could have had any woman he wanted. He met Stella McBride in the Festival Film at the Cannes for the first time. His heart was thumping when their eyes looked deeply that night on the red carpet leading toward the gorgeous Scandinavian building. How lucky David Schmidt is, damn it! I have to get her. She is mine!
Stella was an International model. She was in the mid twenty, young and tall with a slender figure and had bright beautiful blue eyes. She was wearing simple cream silk dress and her shining chestnut hair cascaded around her shoulders like poured molasses. She smiled at him and Marco smiled back at her. “Hi, Stella McBride, I am Marco. You look so gorgeous; you are different than the one that I saw in the magazines.”
“I know you, Marco de Silva”, Stella smiled and said “you also look so different than the one that I saw you in the movie” …oh by the way, this is my fiancé, David Schmidt.”
Marco extended his hand “hi, David, yes, I know about you. You are the most talented architecture in town. Nice to meet you!”
David shook Marco’s hand and smiled “Thank you, Marco; it’s an honor to meet you here. I hope, you will get one of those awards!”
“Thanks”. And well, it’s my great pleasure to meet you both, and I hope you enjoy this honorable and the most precious night, and… see you around!”

***

couple love

A month later….
A delicious scent of ham, seafood and apple baked wafted through from the kitchen.
“Hmm…what a delicious dish you cook, sweetheart?” Marco wrapped his arms around her from behind, pressing his body against her back.
“Oh, honey, please stop it, I am cooking,” Stella was giggling when Marco was licking her ear.
“You are the most beautiful woman that I have ever known in my life, don’t you know that?”
Stella smiled and released his arms and pulled out the apple pie from the oven and place it on the table “Voila!”This apple pie is for our dessert, look! Does it look so good?”…“And this is Pulpo a la Gallega and Rabo de Toro, your favorite dishes!” She blinked her eyes and smiled.
“Wow, what on earth do you know how to cook these?”, he kissed her lips warmly.
“I’ve learned from the expert!” she smiled and kissed him back.
“Te ves guapa!”, he kissed her lips again. “Te amo”, Stella.
“Yo también te amo”. They stared each other and kissed passionately. Marco’s hand cupped her breast and unbuttoned the blouse. He sat her on the edge of the kitchen table and took off her blue jeans. She was a half naked now. Stella moaned when he entered her. They made love.
“Oh geez, the foods are getting cold now!” she jumped off the table and grabbed her underwear.
“It’s alright, sweetheart, as long as your heart is not cold, that does not matter to me”, he kissed her again before he pulled up his pants.

***
“Jess, look at this! Isn’t it beautiful?”, Stella showed a blinking glass like a crystal around her finger.
“Gosh!” is it a diamond?” Jess looked at it surprisingly.
“What you think? You think it’s only a glass?”, Stella gave her a big smile.
“Gorgeous!” You deserved it, my friend…oh Stella, I am happy for you”, Jess kissed her cheek and hugged her.
“Thank you, Jess. You are my very best friend and I am very happy to have you. I love you!”
“Love you too”
Jess looked at her friend for a moment and said ”Stella?”
“Yes?”
“You think it’s just too early to accept his propose, sorry…I mean…you have been with him for like six months, right? And you know…that he is…
“I know!” Stella snapped her. “Sorry, Jess…yes, I know about Marc, he is a kind of people think like a-a womanizer, right?” But I don’t care what people say about him…I mean, he is so good to me, loving and caring person. He is always there for me, you know…Remember when David tried to kill me?”
“Do you think that David really wanted to kill you?”
“Well, you know, tell me if I am wrong. K? What was the reason that David grabbed the scalpel from his pocket and pointed at me?”
“But the time David did that, Marco was showing up, right?”
“Look, babe! Whatever the reason, what David did by caring the scalpel was not a good idea and it’s a crime, O.K?” and Jess, please, do not talk about it anymore. I made the right decision by leaving David, not for Marc but he is a psycho! “
“O.K, Stella. I am sorry. And I just want you to be happy and whenever you need me, someday, somehow, you know how to reach me, right?”
Stella nodded and hugged her, “thank you”.

***

Church-Wedding-Photography-Sunshine-Coast-8

Two month later….
He looked so nervous. He turned around and looked back the crowd people in the church. He looked at the father Gregory Mitch was standing next to him.
“Relax, my son. You looked so nervous”, Gregory looked at him with genuine pity. How terrible it must be to be so much in love.
“You think, she is coming, father?”
“Just believe that she is coming, son” Gregory tried to calm him down.
“No, I know she is not coming. She’s changed her mind”, Marc was feeling sick in his stomach.
“Just relax, and keep praying, okay?”
“Marco nodded. And he looked at the crowd. Most of them that people that he knew. Celebrities. And Jess, and …David Schmidt. Hang on, why David is here? Did Stella invite him? And a few journalists standing behind in the corner. He tried to smile, but he knew that his heart and stomach were now in the sinking feeling. God, please, send her to me. I love her so much.
The worry lines deepened on Marco de silva’s face. He looked at the watch. The invitation. They also looked so worried. Marco did not want to get the humiliation in front of them. He wiped the sweat on his forehead. Looked at the father and whispered “What about if she is not…”
He stopped, unfinished sentence. There, silhouetted in the church doorway, stood Stella McBride. The sunlight blazing behind her looked almost like a halo, as if she was an angel sent from heaven. Marco’s heart soared. Stella’s slender figure was shown off to perfection in a white silk dress, and her hair was tight up …. Stella was changeable beauty, which accounted for part of her success in the modeling.
“Hi, sweetheart, Marco de Silva, I am sorry, I am late”
“Don’t apologize, darling.. You are far too beautiful for that”, said Marco.
And they looked at each other’s eyes and smiled.
Father Gregory Mitch interrupted grumpily, looking at his watch. “I think we can start now?”
He had a baptism to perform in an hour. He wished these “tiresome” couple would get a move on. The explosive made Father Gregory deeply uncomfortable. As if he were committing a sin just by standing next to them. They exchanged the ring. And Marco kissed her passionately on the mouth.
Father Gregory coughed loudly “Please, Mr. Marco de Silva. Restrain yourself! Se encuentran en la casa de Dios. This is a place of worship. You are not yet married.”
“Sorry” Marco grinned and looking at her. And Stella smiled at him.

***

wood

A week after the wedding…

¡Mírate! Happy, eh? cómo es su luna de miel, amigo?
Marco ignored Thomas who was teasing him about the honeymoon. “You got the price?” Dónde está el mío?

“Take it easy, buddy!”..Hey, do you love her? Tell us the truth, Senor Marco!”
“Does it make a difference, if I do and I don’t?”
“Hey, you know the deal, eh…’
“Hey, Brett, remind him about the deal! I think he must have forgotten. Look at him! Looks like a sex machine!!!” Thomas laughed out loud.
Brett. That was his name. He was tall and big. He had a snake tattoo in a colorful jungle setting.
“Well, sex machine, I-
“No, it’s okay, I know about the deal. I am not supposed to love her, right? And you know what? I don’t!” If you don’t trust me, you will see….I’ll divorce her tomorrow!
“Well, well…well…, of course I trust you. You are my man! Now, take that money and enjoy your life, Marc!

Fifteen minutes later…

“Jess, can you come to my place, please?”
“What’s wrong with you, Dave? Are you alright?”
David was sweating. His lips were trembling. “David?”
He went quiet, his labored breathing the only audible noise. He swallowed hard and said “yes, I am..No! Well… I-I don’t know, just come over here, it’s important. It-It’s about Marc. I saw him in the bar and I followed him”,
“What? D-did…
“Jess, p-please… I-I can’t explain here…come now!”
“O-okay…I’ll be right there in a minute”

***
“Oh Lord, I-I can’t believe it!”, Jess’s lips were trembling, tears welling into her eyes.
“I feel sorry for Stella. Jess, I love her so much, you know that, right?” he held her shoulder. And she nodded and said” I’ll tell her”
“Don’t! It’s not a good idea…Just wait, Okay?”

The next day, in the evening time….

“I really wanna kill him!!!”
“Really and how?”
“What you mean, how?”
Jess looked at Stella and worried “look at you, babe, you are thin and he is big! Your fingers do not even strong enough to strangle him if you want to do that way!”
” I’ll catch him. Chop and fry him…just like a chicken nugget!!!” Stella was staring at Jess and said “Let’s see, babe?”
Jess’s mind was not even there. She was thinking about something else, wondered who the hell was it telling Stella about Marco? Did David tell her? He promised that he won’t tell her. I had to pretend that I know nothing! Poor, Stella.
“Calm down, Stella. What on earth, did Marc do to you?”
“What?! You asked me to calm down?” How could I calm down when I caught my fucking husband having sex with two women at once in our master bed? H-he is so disgusting. H-he has lipstick smeared all over his face and neck. A-and…” Her heart was thumping hard enough to press against her ribs. Tears streamed down on her cheeks. Her hands were shaking.
Jess shut her mouth with both hands. She stood up frozen for a minute and hold Stella’s shoulder. “I-I am so sorry for what happened. I-I could not believe what I’ve heard and what Marc-“
“I really wanna kill him. I should have listened to you before I got married”, she cried loudly. Her body was shaking.
Jess hugged her and said “I am sorry too, Stella. And I am here for you.

***

stock

At seven o’clock in the morning…

Stella was grabbing the remote T.V with the coffee on her hand. She turned it on and watched the news. “The body parts were found scattered on the street in the Beverly Hill area. And ten minutes later, the LAPD found a head, which was belong to the famous and talented actor “Marco de Silva”. It was hanging in the clothes line at the backyard.”
“Oh my God!”, Stella’s mouth opened. She sat on the white sofa and her eyes were staring at the TV screen. Marco. She bit her lips. Her hands were trembling. And she grabbed the phone. Her mouth worked. “J-jess…?”
“I knew, Stella. I am watching now”
Again, her voice trailed off and her tone was clipped. “W-who did this?’ w-who killed my husband?”

There was a silence.

Jess was trying hard to manage her emotion and asked “d-did you kill him?”
“N-no, I-I did not…yes, I wish him in the hell!
“Tell me the truth, Stella. It’s okay. He hurt you so much and he deserved it. He deserved to die!”
“N-no..I did not kill my husband”

Five hours later….

The LAPD finally has caught the murder of Marco de Silva. One witness saw him entering Mr. De Silva’s house in the Beverly Hills and the police also found his fingerprints on the wineglass and Mr. De Silva’s jacket. The bloody shoe prints found crisscrossing the white carpeting up and down the long hall. David Schmidt. He was one of famous architectures in the world. And he was an ex fiancé of Stella McBride. A very famous model who is married to Marco de Silva.

“Bastard!”, Stella’s face was tightening and she bit her lips. “How could you kill him? I know that you were still angry with me! You are just fucking jealous, Schmidt!!!!”, Stella threw her glass to the TV screen.
“Hey..Hey…calm down! Calm down! , Jess tried to grab her.
“You remember when he was trying to kill me?” with a scalpel? Now you know what I said is right!
“Stella, calm down, okay?” David is a good man. It must be a mistaken.
“What?!! W-what did you just say?” a good man? Why, Jess? Why?”She could not control herself and screamed. “Why did you always “defense” him? Why, Jess?

Silence.

“D-do you like David?” Are you fallen in love with him?” tell me the truth, Jess. I’ll be fine.

Silence.

Stella pressed her lips and bit her teeth. “You are my best friend, right?” so please tell me the truth? Have you fallen in love with him?…

Silence again.

Stella threw the standing lamp toward the wall and screamed “tell me what’s going on between you and David!Tell me the truth!!!!”

Jess’s hands were shaking, couldn’t get her words out. Took about five minutes for her to calm down enough to get the story out. Tears brimmed in her eyes. She finally said “he did not kill your husband. David did not kill him, but I did!”

killer

“W-what?”…what did you just say?”, Stella stared at her.

“David loves you so much, Stella. He’s bought everything to you and planned to marry you. He is a very good man. He knew about Marco. And he does not want you to get hurt by marrying Marco de Silva. Marco was married with a Spanish woman a long time before he was famous. He had three kids back home in Catalunya. And he was married with three rich women secretly. He is a womanizer. He spent a lot of money for drugs and women. He bought everything for a woman he liked. He did it in the entire of his life and did not realize that he had no money anymore to buy drugs. He is very addictive. The drug’s seller lent him the drugs. But then he did not realize that he had to pay it back. No money. He sold everything he had. Brett, the “Boss” made a deal with him. He has to marry with rich women, but no love involved. Three times marriage secretly and with you openly. He married with you just to get your money. That time, David saw him in the bar. And he followed him afterwards. Marc met Brett and the gang. David heard everything and he called me. I wanted to tell you about it but David said no. He knew that you were not going to believe it. David did not try to kill you with a scalpel. He tried to warn Marc as when he saw him showing up, right?
David did not kill Marco, Stella, he loves you so much. You got to remember this”

Stella wiped her tears and sat next to Jess. “W-why did you kill him?”
“I love you, Stella. You are my family. I do not have anyone in my life only you! And I will not let anyone hurt you. I just want you to be happy. That’s all that matter!”
Stella hugged her and whispered “What are you going to do now?”
“I will surrender tomorrow”
“No! Please, Jess. Please don’t do that!
“I have to, Stella”
“No. Please. The police did not find your fingerprint. They’ve caught David already. You stay here, okay?”
“David is not guilty. And I want you to be with him. Love him. Marry him, Stella”

Silence.

“if I marry him, would you stay here with me? And no surrender, you promise?”
“Yes, I promise. No surrender”
They kissed their cheeks and hugged, “Thank you, Jess.. I love you too…”

By seven in the next morning…

Stella woke up and looked at the watch. It’s seven o’clock. She was walking towards the guest room in the downstairs. “Jess?”, she knocked on the door. “Jess, what would you like me to cook for the breakfast?”

No response.

Stella opened the door. She saw Jess still lying on her bed. And she smiled and said “you sleep like a baby”.
She looked around and saw a bottle of whiskey and an empty small jar with some of tablets scattered on the table. And she found a piece of paper.

“Dear my best lovely friend “Stella”,

I keep my promise to you that I will not surrender. You have learned from your past. Your mistake. David is a loving and caring person. I knew that deep down inside that you still love him. One thing that you should know that I always want you to be happy and that makes me happy too. I am going now, Stella. I cannot leave with a guilty. David is free now. You deserve the best, because you are my family!

Take care,

Love and kisses,

Jessie McLaughlin

dark

***

The Great Bear Lake

bear1

 “Honey, so you think you know where we are going to?”

“Yes, of course! Why did you ask me that?”

“No, because I’ve just noticed that we take the same road twice, don’t you think?”

“Really?” Let’s get back to the main road,” John held her hand.

“It would be tiresome a drive back to the main road, don’t you think? We’d better call Hans to lead us to the lodge, right?” She looked tired and hopeless.

John stopped the car,” Hans, who?”

Hans. The guy from the travel agent. The one who is taking care of our tour here. John nodded and kissed her cheeks. “Your cheeks are so cold and yes, I’ll call him to come over here?”

She nodded and said “thank you, darling”. And she kissed his lips.

Thirty minutes later…

“So, Mr. and Mrs. Palmer, this is your lodge,” Hans opened the door widely. “Please, have a look”, he smiled warmly.

The lodge was quite big for only two people.  It had a large living room with natural colours around and the fireplace fitted in the middle between the two wooden chairs. A long black sofa along with the glass round table was placed neatly and nicely. And a small path heading toward the kitchen and one bedroom next to it.

“Wow! This is fantastic,” John grabbed Abigail’s left hand. “Where is the master bedroom?” he blinked her and smile.

She smiled back at him and held his arm tightly. John put her head on his shoulder.

“O.K., let me take you to the second floor”, He led them to the master bed.

“Wow, can’t believe this, sweetheart. It’s amazing! And look at the mirror up on the ceiling,” he pointed out at the mirror which was above facing the bed.

“Yes, darling, it’s amazing!”She threw herself sitting on the bed. “Is it waterbed?”

“Yes, it is, but if you don’t like it, you can convert it to the regular bed”

“Oh, that’s cool!

***

“John, could you please close the window, I am kind of freezing here”

“No, you are not!” John was walking toward the bed while Abigail was lying there naked. “Oh Geez, you are so beautiful”. He kissed her lips and backed her toward the bed and she fell backwards onto the mattress. She gasped as he fell on top of her. He started to rub her stomach and kissed her lips gently. She kissed him back passionately. “Your body was so warm”, he whispered in her ear. She took off his Polo shirt and unbuttoned his blue jeans. And it showed his body shape and muscle. John was getting hot and wrapped her small body in his big arms. “You do not need a fireplace to warm you, my darling?”He kissed moved along her long neck and slowly down her chest. He cupped her breasts and lifted them to meet his open mouth. She moaned as he sucked each nipple in turn. The sounds which escaped her lips excited him even more and he bit down on her flesh. They kissed passionately. And they made love.

“You are wonderful”, he kissed her lips softly. “And you are amazing!” she hugged and kissed him. They looked at each other’s eyes in love and smiled. “Let’s sleep. Tomorrow, we will have a new adventure”…

***

Fishing Trip

John was an engineer working at the oil company in San Francisco for 7 years. He met Abigail in Venice. When they attended the conference.  Abigail was a secretary to the CEO in Silicon Valley. She had just left her cheating fiancée at that time. And John was a single and never married. Abigail was his second girlfriend. After two years in the relationship, they finally decided to tie the knot. And their marriage had been for 6 months now. And they chose to come to The Great Bear Lake for their second honeymoon.

They took the 7 days holidays in the North Canada, was just to have some qualities time and far away from the crowd. And November was the great weather to enjoy fishing and hunting experience in the lake. During this winter, the lake covered with ice and the blue sky was like crystal clear. It was an extraordinary view.

The blue mountains were behind the lake looked so incredibly stunning with the birds flying over it. People believed there were bears on the hills, but no any victims so far.

“Hey, look what I’ve got?”John brought 2 big trout still hanging on the inducement. Hans put the bait on the boat and smiled “see, I told you. It’s very easy to catch trout here. And I believe, your wife will catch the trout as well soon! He looked at Abigail and smiled, “You think so?”

“Well, I hope so, and I will catch a bigger one soon! She threw her fishing pole into the lake and smiled.

Ten minutes later…

trout

“Hey…hey…look! My bait was moving!”Abigail was smiling happily. John, look! I got the trout!

“Really?” he smiled and kept watching his bait.

Hans was approaching her and took over the fishing tool. “Let me take it, it’s a bit hard, is it?”

She nodded and glanced at John, who seemed more interested in his bait. “Hey, Ma’am, look at this!”He took a big trout off of the bait. And she smiled “wow! It is really big, isn’t it?!

“Hey, honey, look what I got?” she held the trout with two hands. John put the bait on the boat and approached her. “Wow! It is your lucky day! I have never seen the big trout like this before. Let’s cook it for our dinner tonight?” and I think we’d better go now as the sun started to go down. It’s almost dark!”…

***

 Deer Hunting

“Morning gorgeous, what a lovely day. Look!”Abigail opened the curtain and the sun came straight through the window and shone on, making the bedroom shiny. “Come closer, love?” his beautiful blue eyes staring at her warmly. “No, love, you got to be ready, because we are going to have another more adventure today. Deer hunting! It’s going to be more exciting, isn’t it?!” she stroked his blonde hair teasing him. He looked over her as she was staring at him, the look of her love in her eyes. His heart skipped as he looked back into her beautiful big brown eyes. He rose from the bed and grabbed her to the bed by her soft shapely waist and pulled her closer to him, then hugged her really, really tight and began to kiss her passionately, parting her lips gently with his tongue. She then kissed him tightly on her lips. Their tongue danced together. And he charged her, sliding his hand under her dress. She moaned when his hard on against her.

couple

“I cannot let you go and I don’t know what my life would be if I have to live without you” he whispered in her ear. “Really?” she whispered back in his ear. John did not expect to hear what she said. He got up and held him with his elbow and looking down on her. “Why did you say that, sweetheart?” he caressed her soft brown hair gently, then kissed her forehead. “Do you love me?”

“Yes, of course, I do. Why did you ask me that question?” she cupped her hand on his cheek.

“No…I mean…mm… Well, forget it. Let’s get dressed!”

“No, wait! What is it, John?”

He looked at her eyes deeply. “Look, Ab, I would like to ask you, but you got to promise that you would not get upset with me, okay?”

She frowned and said “I promise, I would not get upset with you.

“Do you like Hans?”

“Hans?” The tour guide?”

“Yeah”

“Are you joking?” she smiled and shook her head.

“No. I am serious”

“Look, John. I do not know why you’re asking me this, but it seems you are being ridiculous and unreasonable”

Silence.

“Are you jealous?”

“Ab, I’ve caught you very close with him on the boat yesterday. You were so overwhelming when you got a massive trout. And I don’t know you realized or not, but you held his hand!”

“But John….you-

“Wait! Last night, when we were having dinner. You sat very close to him instead of me. You seemed very happy near him. And you let him cut the trout on your plate and pouring wine in your glass. Am I jealous? I am not! But you made me feel like I am useless. I am nothing!” he sat next to her on the edge of the bed.

She grabbed the blanket and sat next to him. “I was being ignored”

He turned his head and looked at her eyes “What did I do?”

“I was very happy when I got the fish and expecting you to look what I got and at least say something. But you did not.  You were throwing the bait and kept watching it instead. And last night, I was hoping that you the one who “served” me for the dinner, not him”, she looked at his eyes deeply.

“Oh, babe, I am so sorry. I am sorry for ignoring you. I am so selfish!” he hugged her tightly. “I don’t like him. He might think that you like him”

“It won’t happen and never will!” she kissed him gently.

He kissed her back “let’s go for hunting, Hans is waiting, I guess!”

***

“You’re guys all set?”Hans give them a big smile and a glance at Abigail. And John had noticed it. “So, what are we going to hunt, today?” John asked.

“Well, we are going to hunt deer, and once we get it, we will cook it for our dinner tonight”

“Wow! Sounds great, love it! But do you think is it legal hunting deer around here?”She asked.

“Yeah, as long as we do not trespass the posted sign”.

“What do you mean by that? I mean can I be arrested for trespassing if I didn’t see any Posted signs?” John asked.
“Yes. Your hunting license does not give you the right to trespass on private property. It is your responsibility to find out who the landowner is and ask their permission whether the property is posted or not.

“If a property is not posted, does that mean I can hunt there?”She was curious.

”All property is owned by somebody. Just because there is no sign does not necessarily mean you can hunt there. To be legally posted, the law requires it to be posted with signs and checked once a year by the person posting it. Perhaps the signs were torn down or fallen off due to deterioration a month before you arrive to hunt. Legally, it may still be posted. “So, If I shoot a deer and it runs onto posted property, do I have the legal right to go on the property to retrieve it?” she asked.

“Well, you think you can get one, sweetheart?” John smiled and kissed her cold cheek.
“No. Seek out the landowner, explain the situation, and ask permission. If the landowner refuses, you will not be able to enter the property. The DEC cannot compel a landowner to grant access. Well, let’s move!”

Thirty minutes later….

d1

“Psstt! I think I’ve heard something!”

“Be careful, honey, maybe it’s not a deer, it’s a bear!” she looked worried.

“A bear is not going to eat me, you know?” he blinked his eyes.

“Slowly. Look! It’s a deer!” Hans pointed out the deer.

John started to aim the deer which was eating the grass. It was about 30 yards. It looked up to find the voice for a second, and then continued eating. Bang. Bang. He shot twice and the deer fell down.

“I got it! I got it!”’

“Ya, you got it! Let me have a look!” Hans stood up and said “you guys wait here, okay? I am going to take it here”

“Well, we are going to have deer barbeque, sweetheart!” John hugged and kissed Abigail.

“Yeah, and I did not know that you are a good hunter, babe!” she kissed him deeply and started to unbuttoned his jeans.

“Wait. I think I need to go for pee”

“Well, Okay, I am waiting here”

“Be a good girl, K?” he smiled and whispered “I love you. I love you more than you think”, He kissed and left.

“I love you too!” she smiled and looked him heading toward the bush.

Fifteen minutes later….

She looked at the watch. She looked worried. Where is he? John? Where are you? Please, do not play with me. Honey? It is not the right time to play “hide and seek!” Hans? Where the hell are they?

Silence.

wood

It was getting dark and the wind was blowing hard. She was met with a gust of savage cold air. Her skin broke out in a shiver of goose bumps as the cold and shock struck. She began to feel cold. Her wide eyes strained to pierce the darkness and darted wildly from side to side. She was alert. John, where the hell are you? Please do not leave me here. I am scared. I have to keep walking before it’s really dark. I don’t have a torch with me. Only the mobile phone. She checked on the mobile. No signal. Shit! Only one bar left of the battery. She kept walking and walking, trying to remember the way to go back to the lodge. She realized that there was no way to find him. Her mind kept thinking about him. Maybe he was already in the lodge and preparing the deer barbeque….or…oh God, please, help find my way home.  She did not want to think a bad happen to him. She was checking the mobile again. And it was blinking now. The battery was almost dead. Shit! She started to shiver. It was aching cold that gnawed her bones, starting at her toes and fingers, and moving up into her chest and throat. Run. I have to run. She ran and ran. And all of sudden, “damn it!” she stumbled and fell down. She used her mobile phone to light up around wondering what made her stumble. “Oh, it’s only a log!” Wait! I think I saw something else behind the log. She was creeping in the dark to check. “Oh, God!” she closed her mouth. She clenched her teeth so hard, her jaw was trembling. Her stomach tightened and she held it. She wanted to vomit. She got up, feeling numb with cold and chilled to the core of fear. She wiped the tears and shuddered. She shivered more violently. She sobbed. She could hardly breathe, could hardly stand, her heart nearly bursting through her chest. I have to run. And she kept running. Her mind kept thinking about what she saw. Who’s that body? Was it John? Hans? She could not recognize it. The air was icy and prickly. And the tension was great. She was sweating and drenched in sweat. She looked at the small light. “Thank God! That’s the lodge”. She reached the door. It was unlocked. She crossed the dining room and reached for the phone in the kitchen. “Hello?” No answer.

“Oh, you are back!”

She gasped. Her lips trembled and in a choking voice, she asked “w-what are you doing here?”

“I am looking for you”

“What did you do with my husband?”

“Me?” I do not know. I was not with him”.

She was looking at him with an angry looked. “You killed him!” How could you do that?” she grabbed a metal candlestick holder from the coffee table and put it on his neck. “I am going to kill you!”

“Wait! I did not kill your husband”

“And where the hell were you?” You disappeared after checking the dead deer!”

“Abigail, please put it down”, his voice was hoarse with nerves. “Let me explain what happened, okay?”He tried to calm her down. “Please, just put this thing down”

“No! You killed my husband; you are a son of a bitch!”

He was frightened to be killed and made him nervous “Yes, I-I…

“Bastard! I knew you killed him!!!” She hit his nose with a metal candlestick holder. He fell down. “P-please…I-I”. She kept hitting and stabbed the neck. Blood spurted from his jugular vein, splattering her face. He held his neck, with blood squirting through his fingers.  His body squirmed, his legs kicked, and his arms flailed as if he was struggling. He was dead. But she kicked him to make sure that he was dead.

victim

She heard a car approaching the lodge. It came from the main road, stopped, a door slammed. Curious, she peeked out the window.”Shit! Police!” She got panic. She looked at Hans’s dead body. Okay, cool down. You are not a killer. You just did a self-defense. Relax. She heard the door knock. She opened it.

“Good evening, Ma’am”, I am inspector Xavier Girard. He showed the badge and tucked it back into his pocket. And here is inspector Ava Landry. I got the report from Hans Beauchamp about your husband, John Palmer. “Oh, what happened?” she pressed her lips. “Hans found him struggling with a bear. It attacked and dragged him 30 feet away and was bitten fatally in the leg and arm and clawed in the stomach. “A-and what happened next? D-did Hans leave him,… just like that?” her voice was trembled and tears welled up in her eyes.”No, he shot the bear and he…he shot your husband.”

“Oh, God! But w-why did he shoot him?”She almost collapsed. He held her shoulder. “Your husband was still alive when Hans came. He was in pain badly. He did not want you to see his condition and asked Hans to shoot him”.

“Oh no…!”She sat slumped in a chair. And she remembered what she saw in the wood. She saw some part of the body. It was John with the open wound. She sobbed.

Xavier knelt down and hugged her.”I am so sorry for what happened” and if you do not mind, we would like to excuse to meet Mr. Beauchamp in his house”

“No, please!”… Don’t leave me.

“Mrs. Palmer, if you are afraid, Inspector Ava will accompany you for a while”. She looked at her and nodded.

“Good. O.K. I got to go now,” he nodded at Ava and left. Abigail heard that the car had gone into the main road.

“Mrs. Palmer, could I use your bathroom, please?”

“No! I-I.. mean, yes, please. That’s in the corner of the dining room”

“Thanks!” she smiled.

“Wait!”

“Yes, Mrs. Palmer, are you alright? You look so pale. Let me get you a drink”

Abigail saw the gun tucked into her waist. “Please, just hug me”. She hugged her. With the fast moving, Abigail took her gun from its holster and shot her own head. The blood sprayed on the curtain behind her. She fell back and blood pools under her. Ava stood frozen and looked down on her. Abigail Palmer was dead.

shot

***

 

 

 

The Triangle Murders

Angel and I have a chance to be a part of the Arts & Design event in Dublin, Ireland. We are so exciting, knowing this would be an amazing exhibition we experience in our career. And all of a sudden, an unexpected thing happens. Two victims of the brutal murders left the Garda Síochána in a puzzle. And who is going to be the next victim?

***

My first day in Dublin, Ireland.

I woke up early as I was so exciting about the event that I was involved with. Dublin, Ireland. That was one of my city dreams that I would love to visit as it reminded me to Enya -the Irish singer that I fell in love with the songs and the voice. Well, I had never been here before and when I knew that I would handle the Arts and Design event, I was so exciting and yet, the venue would be in the Tiger Dublin Fringe which was the nicest place in the world for the exhibition, at least for me.

The distance between the Arlington and the TDF was quite near, we could take a bus or walk so we decided to take a walk, enjoying the ancient beautiful bricks along the way to the place. The weather was so gorgeous, the sun was starting to show up shyly from the cloud and the psychedelic breeze keeping the mind and soul clear like a bright and shine of the crystal clear. We crossed the Ha’penny bridge heading towards the Sycamore street.

I travelled with Angel. And we stayed in one big suite with two bedrooms. She was a project director. She was at the same age as me, mid thirty. She had an exotic skin with black shiny hair and slim figure. We were both a great team. We travelled a lot for the events. Only Africa countries that we had never done. And one day, I would travel to Tanzania to arrange the oil and gas conference and exhibition.

“Hey, An, do you fancy to sip a cup of coffee or a glass of hot chocolate with marshmallows?”

“Hm..sounds very tempting, J”, she smiled and showing her beautiful dimple.

“Cool! Look at the cafe with mahogany and stained glass there?”, I pointed the cafe which I found very interesting.

“Which one?… Oh, you mean the cafe with white and pink umbrellas on the top?”

I nodded and smiled.

“Why not?, it looks so lovely!”

 

Ten minutes later…

Can you believe that we have a chance to participate in the TDF this year? And you know what? The most I am excited is the Art Live that we join in”

“Yeah, I can’t believe that we’re actually really involved. You did a great job, Janet! I couldn’t believe you got the right ‘channel’ on the right time!”

“Yeah, I guess” I put some marshmallows on the top of my hot chocolate. I loved marshmallows.

“By the way, I’ve heard about Spiegeltent, have you?”

“Apparently, no. What’s that?”

“It’s actually an entertainment venue using a tent, a large tent, constructed in wood and canvas and decorated with mirrors and stained glass and sometimes detailed in velvet and brocade. And this year the Tiger Dublin Fringe will be showing Scotch and Soda, Booka Brass Band and many more interesting art live showing there!”

“Sounds great! And what’s Scotch and Soda, you said?”

“It’s a circus!” And I want to watch that!”, I smiled at her.

“Yeah, please do. And you know what? I am just interested in going to the Phoenix park and Dublin zoo”, Angel smiled and sipping her Moccachino.

I look at the watch and it’s already 08:30.

“Shall we?”, I stood up and left the tip on the small wooden tray.

We were heading towards the TDF place, Sycamore Building. We were enjoying our walk on the path with a lot of tall old buildings and as if this city brought us to live in the ancient century. The big screens showed about the festival along the way to the place. It’s just so amazing. The place was decorated with the highest quality arts and design and just spectacular view in the night, with the colours played from the big Harpha -at least to me, that looked like a harpha- on the bridge and on the middle of the river. And the lights were just reflected the beautiful colours from the water.  And the event was just three more days.

TDF

****

The Second day, 09:00 p.m.

“What on earth is going on?”, I asked, wondering why a lot of people stood outside of the The Ark pointing out at something.

“I do not know. Let’s move closer”, Angel stepped forward without waiting for my response.

“Wait, An”, I run catching her.

And when we’re close enough to see what happened…

“Oh Lord! How could it happen?”I closed my mouth with my hand. I felt terrified. I looked at Angel and her eyes were staring with her mouth open in dismay. She was frozen in horror.

“Bastaird. dúnmharú. “, she murmured.

“Sorry, what you’ve just said?”

“Murder, J. It’s a murder.”

“How did you know that? It seems a suicide. He hung on the ropes”

“Okay, come closer!”, Angel grabbed my hand.

It scared the crap out of me. She was very brave and curious person; besides, she was from a military family background and knew how to protect herself and others. An Garda Síochána-It’s the national police service of Ireland-. Two officers were trying to bring him down. The others were busy installing the police line and asking people to backward from the crime scene. A male body. His body was hanging on the edge of the gabled roof and the blood was streaming from his wound. The eyes were staring.

I saw her came closer, she was obviously curious.

5 minutes later… “Let’s go, J, let’s get back to the hotel”. I looked at her face. She said nothing and looked pale. And I did not even bother to ask.

kl

“The man’s eyes widened as if he had seen a ghost. He wore only a long pants and_”

“You mean, the one who was committed suicide?”

“He didn’t commit suicide, J. He was murdered! I looked at his open wound on his stomach and saw a silver chain dangling out of his belly. At first, I thought it was his entrails, but it’s smaller and I came closer and found out that it was a chain. Looked like a silver chain necklace”

” But why? I mean, you think someone put it there?”

“Yeah, he was killed and the jerk put the chain and…you know, a kind of puzzle for the Garda Síochána to figure it out!”

I nodded and said “bit puzzling and worried that it will affect our event at TDF as the crime scene was close by”

“I hope no!”

***

The Third day, 06:00 a.m.

Breaking News. The BBC mentioned about the body hanging on The Ark’s roof last night. Detective John O’Connor revealed that was a murder. And the victim’s name was Iden de Bláca. He was 65 years old. They also mentioned that they have found a silver necklace and written on it ” Tiocfaidh ár lá”.

“What does it mean?”, I asked curiously.

“Shhh! Sorry, I’ll tell you later” She spoke softly. John O’Connor was handsome. He had green beautiful eyes and athletic body. He answered to every question about the murder patiently. He also mentioned about the literary handwriting on the chest. The murder wrote it using a sharp nail. It’s written : dúnmharú.

“Bloody hell!”,She grabbed the TV remote and changed the channel.

“What is it?’

“Told you, it was a murder. And a murder itself, pointing out at the innocent people “murder”! Isn’t it funny, you think?”

I nodded.

“Oh, sorry, what did you ask me earlier?”

“Never mind,I forgot”, I smiled.

nail

It’s 07:30 a.m.

We walked heading towards The Tiger Dublin Fringe. Our mind went somewhere, I knew. I was thinking about how well and smooth the event was going to be. But I knew that Angel kept thinking about the murder.

All of a sudden , I have heard the sirens and I thought it was only an ambulance. I stopped. I looked at her and she looked back at me. The sirens were getting stronger and closer. They stopped in front of us. We were looking at each other. She grabbed my hand and running towards the crowd. Another body. It’s in the National Photographic Archive. The body hung in front of a huge photo of Belfast Barricades, September 1969. Angel came closer as usual. She saw the Garda Síochána bringing down the body. Another male victim. One of the officers took the necklace from the open wound. Human guts hanging out. Blood everywhere. And the other officer was busy taking the pictures of the body.

A minute later, detective John O’Connor approached Dr. Byrne Donaghue (the medical examiner). “Sir, look at this”, Dr. Byrne showed him a silver Phoenix necklace and put it in a plastic. Detective John took it from him and observed. Tiocfaidh ár lá. Our day will come. He was silent. He returned it to Dr. Byrne. “We’ve got the same murderer! Is the scratch on his chest written ” dúnmharú?” He pointed to the chest. Dr. Byrne bent down the knee and checked it carefully. He used the magnifying glass to read it clearly as it was small font. “Yes, sir, it’s written ‘ dúnmharú’. Who is the murderer? I mean, If the killer wrote dúnmharú or murder, what does he mean by that? He is a murderer anyway!”

“Well, that’s our homework, doctor, we have to find out!”

“Yes, absolutely. And I am honestly speaking that I feel sorry for this young man. And I guess , his age is like… mid twenty!”…

***

The fourth day. The exhibition was underway at 10:00 a.m.

My Alarm’s ringing. It’s 08:00 a.m. I turned it off with my eyes were still closed. I was tempted to continue my dream. And all of a sudden, I jumped out of bed. “Gosh, this is the time. I think, I set up my alarm at 06:00 a.m. I might have been sleeping well as I was so exhausted preparing our event. And the exhibition started today at 10:00 a.m. I must hurry!” I walked to the bathroom and took a quick shower.

Ten minutes later…

I dressed already and wondering that I did not hear any noise from Angel’s room. Where the hell is she? She might get there earlier. I couldn’t believe that she didn’t even bother to wake me up.

I walked alone along the path towards the Tiger Dublin Fringe. It wasn’t fun at all. Just to made sure that I would be there right on time. My mind kept thinking of her. Wondering why she left me?

d

Exactly at 10:00 a.m. The event started and it was opened officially by the Prime Minister. Suddenly, someone was screaming and pointing at something. “Look, up there!” People looked at something was hanging. “Oh, mo Thiarna, God!”. The Garda Síochána ran and called the other officers through their walkie talkie. People ran here and there. Panicked. Scared.They brought the Prime Minister to the safe place. I got panicked, no idea what I was supposed to do.

“It’s a female!”, one visitor screamed. “Deus! Her stomach wide open and … Look at that, there is something in her stomach! A chain!” the other visitor yelled.

I didn’t even dare to look at it, but I felt like someone stopped me. I was doubting. I turned and walked closer to the hanging body.

“Gabh mo leithsceal!  Ma’am, excuse me! Please don’t come closer”, one officer warned me. And I ignored him. I kept going. I saw two officers trying to bring her down. When I came closer to the victim; I gasped and my mouth fell open. I nearly jumped out of my skin. Oh my God, please tell me, this is only a dream. Angel! I recognized her pants. She wore a long maroon corduroy and only bra!.. The killer had taken off the blouse. A runnel of blood dripped from an open wound onto the ground. Her intestines were hanging out. It was a terrifying view and made people who saw her wanted to vomit.

“Ma’am, please, I warn you one more time”

I Stopped. I wanted to scream and protest, why did this hell happen to her? I was angry. My lips pressed tight and trembling. Tears were streaming down my cheeks and my voice cracked. “Sir, I-I know this woman. S-she is my friend.”

The officer looked at me and said “are you sure?”

I nodded. And he asked me “where are you from, ma’am?”

“I am from Australia.”

***

p

Detective John sighed,” I don’t think it is a coincidence. One accepts that the coincidences happen from time to time, but here, there is a clear connection. dúnmharú. “Tiocfaidh ar la”. And look!” He pulled the chair closer to the desk and showed the victim’s name. The first name was Iden de Bláca, the second was Ronan Ó Máille. And the third…Hmm…it’s a female and Australian and the name was Angel O’Briain.

“So you mean, IRA?” detective Alma McCartney said and her eyes narrowed.

“I guess so but how could it possibly happen with this Australian woman_”

“I know the answer, detective O’Connor!”

Detective John looked at me and said “Pardon me, who are you?”

“Sorry sir, it’s Janet. She is a friend of the third victim”, Officer Ian introduced me to him.

“Oh, I am detective John. Have a seat, please”, John shook her hand.

“Please, tell me what you know and what purpose are you and your friend coming to Dublin?” , John took two glasses from the cupboard and poured himself, Jack Daniels ” would you like one?”

“No, thanks . Just water, please”

A minute later, I started to tell detective John.

“We came here to organize our event at the Tiger Dublin Fringe. We join in Art Live for Arts and Design. This is our first trip to Dublin…well..at least for me. The second day, we’re here, we had heard about the first victim at The Ark, Temple bar, and the second at The National Photographic Archive and_”Tears welled up in my eyes. I was sobbing. John held my shoulder. “Take a deep breath, sweetheart”

“A-After we knew about the brutal murders, Angel was so restless. She kept thinking about what happened. I asked to keep moving forward with our event an_”Detective Alma handed over the Kleenex and I blew my nose.

“An-and until yesterday, I found her hanging, blood in her stomach, the silver chain, handwriting on her chest with a sharp nail_.

“And what happened next?”, Detective Alma asked curiously.

“I kept crying and decided to come back to the hotel. I sat on my bed. I checked on her bedroom.

And I-…” I handed over a piece of paper which was written by Angel. “She wrote this!”

a

My dearest friend, Janet”

 I write this just in case if something happens to me, so you solve the puzzle. IRA. That’s the victims. 1. Iden de Bláca. He was an Irish veteran. He was involved with “Bloody Friday in 1972”. He was the one who put the bombs in a car caused 9 people dead. 2. Ronan Ó Máille. He was 22. He was a son of Brody O’Maille. The father was IRA as well. 3. Guess who? The third one would be ME! I am an Australian. My family migrated to Australia when I was a little. My father’s name was  Garrett O’Briain. He was the IRA. He was the operational commander of the operation. When I was in the high school,he told me the story about Bloody Friday. He felt guilty and no intention for the IRA to kill 9 innocent people and many more injured. He described me the situation at that time. A human being lying on the street, the clothes had been blown off and he could see parts of human anatomy. Arms. Legs. A head stuck to the wall. That was really horrible. Terrible things to see ever! And now, I know who is going to be the next.. dúnmharú Means Murder. To him/her, we are a murderer. Iden, Ronan’s father and my father. He killed Ronan and…I believe, the killer is looking for me now, because our father were dead already! Janet, you asked me “ Tiocfaidh ar la “, means Our day will come”, that’s IRA slogan.

 Janet, I am so sorry if I did not tell you the truth, I just do not want to scare you. 

 Take care, and move forward with  our events!

 With Love,

 Angel O’ Briain

 ***

Two weeks later

“Janet Dexter?”

“Yes, speaking and who is this?”

“Sorry, I am detective John. We’ve caught the murderer. The name is Farrell Quinlan. His mother and younger brother were the victims of the Bloody Friday incident. He did all these by himself!

“Good! Let the punishment fit the crime. He deserves the worse!” I said angrily.

There was a silence.

“Hallo? You still there, detective?”

He cleared his throat and said “he was dead! Shooting himself by his own gun”.

m

I was silent. Had nothing to say.

 ***

 ***Don’t take it on yourself to repay a wrong. Trust the Lord and he will make it right. And life is just too short. “Homo proponit, sed Deus disponit – A man proposes, but God disposes”.

 I miss our conversation at our favorite coffee shop and you said you would like to go to the Dublin Zoo. It’s only a memory now, Angel O’Briain***

c

“May Irish angels rest their wings, right beside your door”- Irish Blessing.

***

 

 

 

 

After Chloe Benoît

After the tragic car crashed happened to Winter Monroe’s best friend almost three months now, she decided to move on, though it was really hard for her handling this such a huge  and heavy burden on her shoulder alone.  Only Chloe, her best friend who really understood, cared and loved her.  She was the love of her life and yet, it was too late for her to put an emerald and diamond ring on her sweet finger.  She was feeling depressed and utterly stressed. She had been struggling to get out of her manic depression but could not. She had been trying to drown in work and still did not work well. She kept missing her best friend, especially on the weekend that she always spent her quality time with her.  The Victoria Park, King’s Park, Subiaco and Fremantle. Those places that she always took her for taking a walk, coffee and dinner. She could not sweep those memories away, she wanted to give up the life, but she always remembered what Chloe told her to keep moving forward and pursue her dreams.

A week later, she decided to take a Yoga class. She used to do it, but then she stopped as it was too boring for her to do so.  Maybe it’s boring for me, but I think it will be good for my soul and mind at this moment. She took a Hatha yoga class eventually. I hope I am getting better, so I would be ready to start my life all over again and ready to build the future with my future partner.

yoga

***

“Nice bike!”

“Oh, thanks!. How are you?” Winter parked her bike in the bicycle’s parking lot. She rented a beautiful and cozy apartment in the Subiaco area which was only 5 minutes to The Yoga Spark at Collin Street. She sold her small and gorgeous house that she spent most of the time with Chloe. It was just too painful for her to see every place and corner she was with her.

“You look great, Win!”

“You too, thanks!” She smiled.

Jesse Blanc was a Yoga teacher. She was in her mid-forty, beautiful with bright blue eyes and had a superb slender body.  She was married, but no kids. She had been a Yoga teacher for twelve years. Everybody liked her as she was friendly, a caring and loving person.

“So, you are ready for today?”

“Yeah, I guess… I just cannot_

“You are still thinking about her, aren’t you?” Jesse asked and worried about her. “You know, Winter, I can understand what you feel to lose someone that you’d been loved for 15 years. I was in that situation before. When I was very young, I decided to marry James, my husband. After three years of our marriage, we finally had a baby. It was the greatest moment that we were both excited. Our son, Jack, was adorable and the most beautiful baby I had ever seen in my life. But then…”she paused.

“Then what?” Winter touched her shoulder and looked at her eyes deeply.

“Terrible thing happened. Jack died when he was three years old”,

“Oh, I am so sorry. What happened?”

“He got hit by a drunk driver. The driver avoided the pedestrian and swerved to the path whilst my son was walking there. And he was dead instantly”, her tone was muffled by distance and grief. “Oh, I am so sorry to hear that. I believe your son is in a better place now”, Winter hugged her.

Jesse wiped the tears in the corner of her eyes and said “Thank you. And let’s go to the class!”

***

cycling

It had been a month; Winter finally enjoyed the Yoga class. She was getting better and relaxed a bit now. Winter liked Jesse and she thought that she could be her close friend. She kept the distance as she did not want to let her feelings fall into her as she knew that Jesse was a married woman.  However, sometimes, they cycled together to Perth city and dropped by for a coffee.

“Are you okay?”Jesse asked.

“Yes, I_I am okay”, Winter said.

“Well, you don’t look O.K. What’s the matter? You tired?” she sounded concerned.

“Um… It’s Friday, isn’t it?

Jesse nodded and asked “what is it with Friday?”

“I always feel nervous every Friday, its weekend. And you know…?” her eyes glazed and tears were rolling down on her cheeks. “I miss Chloe. I miss her pretty crazy. We used to spend every weekend together as I travelled a lot for the business purposes. And she was so excited waiting for me because she knew that I always surprised her and sometimes….Winter wiped the tears and smiled…”sometimes we did a crazy thing”.

Jesse rubbed Winter’s hair and said “I could feel what you feel. Time is a great healer! Listen, I was planning to have “barbie” tonight in my home. Would you like to come? Or would you prefer to have a cup of coffee at Brew Ha?

“Is your husband there? Well, please, don’t get me wrong, I mean, I actually just wanted to be alone or with someone like you. I mean, you care about me so much. And I really appreciated. And thank you for that, Jess!”

“Well, you know that you are so sweet and sometimes, funny! And I love seeing you smiling and laughing, but when the joy has gone from your face, I feel sad” she said softly.

“By the way, James is in London for the business…So_

“I’d love to come!”

At 07:00 p.m.

Winter drove her car heading towards Jesse’s house in Wembley. And it took only ten minutes to get there. She stopped in front of the big and beautiful white house. She read the address again. I think this is the right address. And this is her house. She got off the car and walked slowly to the gate and rang the bell. She wore blue jeans and a white shirt and the pearl black string choker around the neck. She was small, charming and attractive. She could see through the window that Jesse was running towards the door.

“Hi, gorgeous, thanks for coming!” she kissed her cheek.

“My pleasure and thanks for inviting me, Jess!” she smiled.

Jesse wore tight Khaki dress showing off her beautiful body, and she looked so feminine and sexy.

Shortly after, dinner was ready. The weather was so amazing and it was a really good feeling to have barbeque outside with the gorgeous scenery in her patio area. They sat in the dining area with the round white table and two chairs placed nicely. The Jazz music reverberated and added to the romantic atmosphere. Winter poured herself and Jesse a glass of Rose wine. They looked at each other and smiled.

“C’est délicieux. Marveilleux diner. Je le vis. Merci beaucoup!” Winter said and tossed her glass against Jesse’s.

“Mon grand plaisir, mon doux ami!” She smiled and blinked her eyes.

“Hey, how could you speak Francais?” Winter was surprised and smiled.

“My father is French. He’s originally from Marseille”.

“Marseille?” Wow, that was in coincidence. When I was seventeen, my family moved to Marseille. We lived there for one year”, Winter told her excitedly. I liked the city and the weather was just fine, as it’s not that hot and not that cold”.

“Yes, absolutely!” Jesse smiled and stood. She took her hand and asked for the dance.

“Would you like to dance with me, ma douce amie?”

Winter smiled and looked so nervous and brutally honest “um…I_I can’t dance and I don’t like dancing.”

“I’ll teach you and I am sure, you will like it. Dance slow Jazz, that’s what I call it. Listen to the music and just try to follow the rhythm. “Okay, put your right hand on my left hip side and your left hand on my hand, hold it up.”

“Like this?” Winter asked. Jesse nodded and smiled.

images (35)

Shortly after, it seemed that both of them enjoy the evening night. Winter pulled Jesse a bit closer. A hug stance. And she kissed her lips. And all of a sudden, Jesse pushed her away.

Winter was confused and felt guilty “I am sorry… I_I did not mean to_ “She stepped back and said “Sorry, I did not mean to screw up the dinner. Sorry…” She left and walked towards her car. She drove home fast, but her mind kept thinking about what had just happened. What did I do? Fool! Did I kiss her because I kept thinking of Chloe? I guess not.  She sighed. I like her and I thought that she likes me. Hang on. Why did she do this to me? I mean, a beautiful dinner, beautiful Jazz music and…asked me for the dance? I do not understand this. Tears were welling up in her eyes. She took Norah Jones CD and turned it on “Come away with me”…this is for you, Chloe. I miss you. I wish you were here with me now!

15

 ***

The next Friday in the ladies locker…

Winter saw Jesse putting the bag in the locker. She tied her hair up with a blue satin band and looked beautiful as always. She approached her. “Hi, Jesse”

“Hi Winter”, she responded without looking at her. “Jesse, look, I apologise for what happened on Friday night…I-I like you and I thought that you like me too. I am so sorry”

Jesse did not respond. She closed the locker and said “Let’s go to the class”. She left. Winter stood confused. What is it? She walked towards her locker and her mind kept thinking about Jesse.

“Excuse me!”

Winter turned around to find out where the voice came from. And she saw a girl walking towards her. “Hi, my name is Emily. And I am a new here”, She extended her hand and Winter shook it.

“Oh, I am Winter. Are you going to join Hatha Class?” she asked.

“Yes. Do you know where exactly the place is? I mean the class? Which floor?”

“Come with me. We are in the same class”

***

Emily was from Melbourne and she had just moved to Perth. She worked at a five star hotel as a Director of Sales and Marketing. She was intelligent and cute, dressed in a pink tank and blue jeans, her blonde hair twisted and secured with a dragonfly clip at the nape of her neck. She was younger than Winter. It seemed that they were both very close now. She invited her sometimes for having lunch at the hotel she worked and asked her to arrange some events. And it was the really professional relationship they had been trying to build for three weeks now.

And one day, Emily called her to come to her apartment for the tasks that she thought that she needed Winter’s help. Her General Manager asked her to re-brand the company and she got stuck as was not sure what she was doing. She had a problem with the confidence and always got nervous when she got a big job. She thought about Winter as she knew that she had more experiences than her. And she knew that she was brilliant, had thousands of ideas. That’s what Emily adored her. On the other hand, Winter always felt that she was just a spontaneous person. She never thought that her ideas would make people mesmerize and like them. Sometimes, she just said what was crossed her mind.

“Wow! That’s a brilliant idea. I could not believe that you think so fast about what we are supposed to do for the re-branding?”

“Well, me neither. The idea just came across my mind suddenly”, she said and smiled.

“Thanks anyway!”She grabbed her hand and led her to the balcony.

“I’ll show you something. It’s a beautiful view up here, isn’t it? You know what? A day I arrived in Perth, I knew that I will fall in love with this city. It’s so quiet. People are so nice. And I feel like I have a life here”

“Yeah, I love Perth too. The most beautiful city that I have ever known…well, at least for me!”, she smiled.

“Win, may I ask you something?”

“Sure! Ask me whatever you want to know about me”

“D-did you choose to be a lesbian?”She asked hesitantly.

Winter smiled and said “I chose to be with the person I’m with. And I think everybody has the right to choose their partners”

Emily smiled and moved closer to her. And she hugged her from behind.

“Hmm, Emily, what are you doing?”Winter turned her body.

Emily put her hands on her shoulder and kissed her lips.

Winter kissed her back and said “W-why did you kiss me? I thought that you have a_

“I really like you and I want to feel you”, she kissed her cheeks.

Winter looked at her eyes and touched her cheek. She kissed her lips gently and asked “Are you sure you want to do this?”

“I-I have never had sex with a woman…but I…um…I want to feel it with you” her face blushed  and she took Winter’s hands and placed them on her breasts and said “I like you so much, Win. Winter kissed her lips again and moving down to her neck. She unbuttoned Emily’s blouse and caressed her beautiful breasts and licked her nipples. She paused and whispered in her ear “I can hear your heart beating hard!” she smiled. Emily looked nervous and managed to smile back.  Winter kept moving and Emily moaned and they were both getting hot. “Show me your bedroom, sweetheart”…

Winter laid her on her bed. She kept kissing and rubbing her breasts. She was on the top of Emily’s body and she kissed and caressed her entire body gently. Emily was aroused and said “f*** me!”

***

“Thank you for last night, it was my first great experience having sex with a woman”, Emily kissed her cheek.

“I am happy if you like it, Em. I was worried that I could not satisfy you as you_”

“I felt so different, I mean, having sex with a man and a woman? You know what I mean?”, she kissed her lips. Jesse came to the locker and saw they were both kissing. She cleared her throat and said “Sorry to interrupt. Winter, can I talk to you, please?”

Winter looked at Emily and Jesse and said “Yes, of course!”. Do you want to talk now? Here? or_

“Not here”, Jesse said firmly.

Winter seemed to understand. “Em, would you mind leaving us, please? And I’ll give you a call later, okay?”

She nodded and kissed her lips before she left.

“So, are you going to talk to me here or somewhere else?”

“Let’s go to the King’s park”

“No, I don’t want to go there…um…Would you mind if I take you to my apartment? Sorry, I feel like I do not want to go somewhere, and I just want to go back to my home. I am really tired”

“Okay”

Shortly ten minutes after…

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Jesse stood there stunned.  Winter’s apartment was amazing, light and bright, beautiful and quiet, leafy location and had a small garden with stunning mature exotic plants. “Let’s come inside and I’ll show you how amazing Perth city to have a look at from my balcony. C’est magnifique! “She said matter-of-factly.

“I could not agree more”, Jesse smiled.

“Okay, have a seat, please?”. They sat on the large black sofas in the living room facing to the big screen with a round aquarium table in the middle. The smells of lavender fragrance throughout the room made whoever sitting there feeling so comfortable and relax.

Jesse cleared the throat and said “ I_I apologise for being rude to you last time”

“Well, Jess, I’ve forgotten already and I_”

“Please, let me explain… I have been thinking a lot about myself. I mean, I was being dishonest to myself and you. When the first time, I saw you, I feel like you’re different. You’re unique to me and that’s why I like you. I_I fell in love with you. But…I ignored the feelings. I lied to myself. And it made me so frustrated. I am married and there is nothing that I can do about it. I invited you for the dinner last time as I really wanted to get to know you better. And when you kissed me. She paused. I-I’ve never felt the kiss like you did to me with anyone else before, including James. But I pushed you away. I was scared. And I couldn’t get you out of my head ever since. The more I tried to forget about you, the more I feel tortured my heart”, she looked at her desperately.

Winter moved closer and said “Jess, I like you too. You are a caring and loving person. You’ll always be there for me. But I have to lock up my feelings to you because I knew that you are a married woman. And I do not want to get hurt, Jess. I’ve had enough”.

“Not anymore”

“What do you mean, not anymore?”

“I am not a married woman anymore. I am divorced”, she said firmly.

“I am so sorry to hear that, but why did you divorce him? I mean, you have been married for 20 years, right?”

“There is no love between us anymore since our son died. We blamed each other. James always travelled and came home late. And we have been pretending to be a happy couple ever since. Life is too short. And I came to realise that I do not want to waste my time living in a cage without a love. And he agreed with the divorce. And I am free now”, she touched Winter’s face and cupped her hand on her cheek. Winter took her hand off and kissed it. She touched her cheek and kissed her lips very gently. Oh my, her lips are so tender, so tentative and so full. And she looked at Jesse’s face as if she was curious and waiting for her new experience and needing to be shown how much pleasure can be found in two women coming together. And Jesse felt relaxed and kissed her lips back. They kissed their lips passionately. Winter laid her on the sofa and her hand started to explore her body, unbuttoned her blouse and unzipped her pants. She stunned looking down at Jesse’s naked slim figure. Winter took her clothes off and kissed her neck and moved down to her body, kissing every inch of skin she crossed. Jesse started to wriggle beneath her. Winter kissed her ear and whispered “I love your smell, sweet and musky”. Jess smiled and said “I feel so good with you”.

They had made love on the sofa. Winter cuddled her from behind and said “you’re so wonderful and thank you for loving me”.

Jesse turned her body and took Winter’s hand and placed it on her breast. “I love you. I love you just the way you are!” she kissed her lips and smiled.

10

“It hurts to let go, but sometimes it hurts more to hold on”… Chloe, I cannot forget you, never will! You were a part of who I am now. You are in a better place. I hope, I will be happy with my life sooner or later, like I was with you, and can pursue my dreams. Thank you, my darling, BUT I still miss you anyway! xoxo          

                      

https://youtu.be/BqqPgA-yuuc

rose for CB

Powerless

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Twenty years ago, he was a political journalist. He had reported in a country’s war zone, Afghanistan, and had interviewed many world leaders as well. While reporting on a non-embedded basis from Afghanistan in 2001, he was injured in a friendly fire incident when a U.N. warplane bombed the convoy of UNAMA and Kurdish forces he was with. The attacked caused him was left deaf in one ear and his friend was killed.

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He had freely admitted to using hallucinogenic drugs offered to him by locals in various jungles of the world. However, in the next two years, he resigned and decided to be a businessman. He built his own business. Media Empire. His effort in a business was brilliant and made him the most successful businessman in Australia. He owned three magazines, three major film studios, a home-video company, a cable provider, a major broadcast network and the nation’s largest newspaper chain and one hundred talk radio stations. The relationship that he built with the government made him move forward to being a politician. That was exactly what he really wanted to be.

Long after, he eventually entered politics and winning the election and became opposition leader and leader of the Labor Party.

Ben Roger, that was the name. He was forty-five years old, strikingly handsome with brown unruly hair, green eyes, and an athletic body build. He drove home to Dalkeith, a little too quickly from Harvest Terrace, as he always did, in the Holden black that was his favorite toy. He lived with the wife and two kids. They built their beautiful house together when their kids were still very young.

Paula Higgins. She was a young business woman in Western Australia. She was twenty-eight years old with slim, provocative figure, exotic look, bold and had 150 of the IQ, and nature had taken care of the rest. But she found her look a disadvantage. Men were constantly propositioned her or proposing, but few of them bothered to try to really get to know her. She was a CEO of one of the second largest software company in this country and had done a remarkable job. People would agree that she was one of the best lobbyists of some companies as well. She was a very careful person when it came to the right decision, thoughtful and had been incisive in her assessments, and bold and courageous in her plans. She took no undue chances; her long- and short-term goals for the company had been brilliant and right on the mark. Within months, the company’s stock had soared and continued to climb ever since, despite the tough economy in Australia at this moment.

“Are you sure, we are going to win the deal?” Marc Maxwell asked.

“Yes, Marc. We’re nearly there!” Paula convinced him.

“How long will it take?”

“Give me another two weeks, and I can ensure, everything would be just fine?” she smiled.

Marc nodded and said firmly, “I have no doubt, Paula, but this time, just be careful, because it is going to be a huge result plus it will involve the government.

“I will, sir”, she said confidently.

Marc Maxwell was a chairman of the company and in his late fifties. He was intelligent and sharp. He had been running Austradic Software Company for fifteen years. He was respected by his peers and employees.

***

“I have no objection”, Ben responded in a low, chill tone, as the other member parliament entered the room, and he rested a hand on his shoulder.

“Yes, we cannot rely on public funding, we need to start lobbying the corporations for our political funding,” John Mackie said. He was other members in parliament.

Ben’s mobile phone rang. Standing, he glanced at the number on his caller ID and wondered whose area code was and then he knew it.

“Pardon me, I need to take this call”, He stood up and walking towards the door.

Answering, he said quietly, “this is a surprise”

“I have been thinking about you a lot”

“And I you”, swiftly he gathered his thoughts. “Where are you?”

“Rottnest Island. I’ve rented a place here until next week,” she paused and then added. “I was wondering how you’d like the guest house”…

He hesitated, mentally scanning his calendar as he tried to assess the risks and the rewards of speeding a celibate weekend woman.

In a tentative voice, she said, “I know you’re busy…”

“Abruptly”, he decided. “Too late to head me off. Just tell me how to get there?”

Her laugh conveyed relief, as though she had feared rejection.

***

The place she had rented in Rottnest Island was an eccentric rambling structure that seemed to have been constructed at different times in clashes architectural styles. He found her lounging on a balcony facing the gorgeous beach.

“Oh, Mr. Prime Minister, how are you?” she teased and hugged him.

“Not yet, but will be”, he kissed her cheeks.

“It has been a long time, Ben. And I actually had no idea that all of a sudden, you have crossed my mind”, she released the hug and smiled.

“You know that I will prepare myself very well for the campaigns, the next election, grab the public funding et cetera, et cetera, but I am hoping to get a big amount from the corporate.

“So, what is your plan?” she leaned against the railing, gazing across the sea.

“I am thinking of doing some kind of advertising as a public funded political campaign,” he said.

“Such as?”

“Well, promoting major projects such as Elizabeth Quay, the new Perth Stadium and St. John Hospital and using the taxpayer,” he said dubiously.

“Hmm…do you think, it will be inviting the critic?”

“Maybe so”, he said.

Darkness began to envelop them. The moment passed, their silence seeming more intimate than before. Behind them, Ben noticed, a half moon had materialized above the sea. “If you were running for prime minister,” she finally said,” would you have come?”

In the darkness, he could hardly read her expression. “I do not know,” he said. “You know, that I cannot actually do this.”

“Well, at least that’s honest,” she responded. They fell silent again. When he reached for her hand, she did not try to remove it. Her skin felt warm to the touch. He cupped her face in his hands and whispered, “I miss you”. Then he touched her lips with his fingertip before covering her lips with a wild kiss. She kissed him back passionately and lost her control. He pulled, kissed her neck and unbuttoned her dress and unhooked her bra. Her nakedness sent a surge of delight through him, and kissed her all over, making marvelous shivers cover her. He came down her body with warm kisses and she moaned. She was wild with passion and her breast felt warm and firm against his chest. They finally made love.

***

Two months later…

“So, I am personally very positive that you will be the next Prime Minister, Ben! “Thank God. We got $ 55 Million from the corporate and $ 20 Million is public funding. And the most corporate who donated to us is Austradic! Wow, that’s unusual”, John Mackie said.

“Yeah, we are just lucky, John. So we are now confident to move forward!” Ben smiled and said to himself “thank you, Paula Higgins”

***

Approaching the Election Day, The Australian newspaper’s headline mentioned that today is black Sunday. Stock markets in the entire Australia crashed. There were some speculations. The news mentioned there was related between one of the second largest software corporations and the government, for contributing of the election’s funding.

“Mr. Roger, you have visitors, sir”, the secretary buzzed him on the intercom. “Where are they from?” Ben frowned.

“They said they are from the CCC, sir?”

Ben was silence.  And he finally said “send them in”

They entered the sophisticated large room with contemporary design, architecture polished with shiny gray colours in most of the furniture. The bookshelves placed behind his desk and two black modern sofas with one glass round table placed tidily in the corner. It was a really comfortable office to stay and focus.

“Morning, Mr. Ben Roger. Let us introduce ourselves. I am Jake Thorpe and my partner, Sarah Watson. We are from CCC -Corruption and Crime Commissions.

“Have a seat”. Ben sat relaxed on the cozy sofa and said “So, what is all about?”

“Mr. Roger, we believe that you have heard the news about the stock market crashed?” Jake asked.

“Yes, of course… he frowned and said “So, what is the connection between that news and me?”

Jake moved closer to Ben and said “We have a report suspected serious misconduct by the government itself. Due to our respect, Mr. Ben Roger, after the investigation, we’ve found out that you steal public funding for the election campaign and the business deal that you’ve made with Austradic caused the stock market crash and major cooperates collapse and it caused major losses to the states”

“Who reported this, I mean…”his voice was trembling. Then he managed to get himself under control.

“Mr. Roger, the members of the parliament reported this to us and we revealed that you had a “secret mobile phone” with Paula Higgins. And we also knew that you have an affair with her and used the public funding for your own personal travel expenses to Rottnest Island and other places”, Sarah said.

“So, what’s next?” he choked, struggling to keep his voice firm, without waiting for the answer.

***

Ben Roger was finally charged seven years. He found guilty by stealing public funding for the political campaign and used $ 125.000, for his travel expenses deliberately.

palu

A year later…

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“Ben, I am so sorry for what happened. It was my fault. I’ve destroyed your life!” Paula looked at him in the eyes.

“It wasn’t your fault,” he said. “I was just being stupid, not carefully for what I did. I feel sorry for myself and my family, my wife, and my kids. They should have been proud of me being chosen to be the next prime minister…and now…I end up here”, his words came out as a sob.

“And how have you been, Paula?” It has been a long time”…

She cleared her throat and said “I-I have been doing good, thanks”. And sorry, I did not visit you immediately as you know, a thousand press were outside and the public accused you for what happened”

“Yes, it’s better not coming here, otherwise, they will think that you are the one who have caused me this and I would not like if they hate you for the entire years!

“Ben, it wasn’t my intention to cause you this and embarrass you_”she was sobbing.

Silence. Ben cleared his throat and said “Paula, I-I always adore you. I was thinking back how great and sweet we were when we’re still in the university. You have always supported me. Back in 2001, when our car was attacked in Afghanistan, my friend was dead…I realized that I was the only who survived. And I was thinking that I was lucky. I was thinking that I would spend the rest of my life with you. But then_

“Sorry…I was thinking that you were dead!” her eyes welled up with tears. “I was so frustrated and totally depressed. I missed you a lot. I couldn’t help myself…until I met George, my husband. He lifted up my life. I knew that he has been trying hard to heal me from my depression. And a few years later, I got better and got the best job that I’ve ever had in my life in Austradic. “And Ben…” she wiped her tears. “You were always on my mind. I never forget our togetherness, never will!”

Ben sighed and said “thank you, and I’ll let you know that you were always on my mind too”

Her tears were rolling down the cheeks. “I wish I could turn back the time. She looked at the watch and said, “Ben I think I have to go now, and I promise that I will visit you again next week”

Ben nodded and looked desperate, “take care, Paula”

“You too”

The next morning, all the news in Australia’s headline reported that Ben Roger was found dead by hanging himself in the cell. And the state prosecutor’s office said they are investigating the death.

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Paula dropped a glass of water on the floor. Shocked. Sad. Sorry. She was trembling and her tears were streaming down the cheeks. She could not believe what she had just heard. Ben, why did you do this? You said that you love me and I promise that I will visit you next week…

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves, the process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility”- Eleanor Roosevelt.

***END***

Revenge

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Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. That was the world’s most beautiful city. The cidade maravilhosa (marvelous city) roles in life, with the beach, football, samba and Carnival the principal diversions. The statue of Christ the Redeemer on the summit of Corcovado (hunchback) mountain and Sugarloaf with its historic cable car, were above all this fun and frivolity was Rio’s ever-present landmarks.  The weather in August was so gorgeous. Rio was an awe-inspiring city where impossibly steep granite mountains rise from the ocean between glorious stretches of golden sand. In the late afternoon, whilst most people felt the psychedelic breeze…; the birds were perched on every roof and seemed to be watching the girl walking slowly below.

Jane Harrison, nineteen years old, made her way down a shadowy side street to find a safe or rest place; and she felt so obscurely. She had on a denim jacket with a short patterned skirt. She was white with long legs in black style boots and her blonde hair was wet of the sweating. This is real, and I am scared. Am I in the middle of nowhere? She paused to catch her breath at the sparsely trafficked intersection. She squeezed her eyes shut and uttered a long, hopeless cry of confusion and despair. I need to go to the hospital, but how can I get there? I have nothing left. She kept walking and it was already dark. She was trembling and feeling painful. She rubbed her thighs and could feel the blood streaming down between two legs, and it fell in large drops onto the asphalt.  Tears flowed from her eyes and she was so bloody scared. Why did this happen to me? I have just been here for three days. I remembered nothing! When she turned the corner, she instantly recognised the white brick building wedged. It was written in a blueprint: “Galdino Campos Clinic”.

In just one more step, she collapsed.

The next two hours, Jane opened her eyes. She saw a dark-haired woman wearing a white medical coat with a stethoscope around her neck. Dr. Conrad, as she read her name tag. She approached and smiled at her.

“How’re you doing?”, Dr. Conrad asked warmly.

“W-what happened to me, doctor?” Jane‘s voice in fear.

“They found you collapsed in front of the glass door and bleeding on the floor”, Dr. Conrad pointed to a woman and a pretty young girl.

Jane looked at the woman who was wearing a white blouse and blue dark skirt. She looked well educated and had a warm smile and the girl who was standing next to her. They looked alike. Jane was trying to get up from the bed and said…“Oh thank you, Mrs_

“No-no, it’s okay, just lay down and take a rest”, the woman said.

“I am Gabriela Fay and this is my daughter, Alessandra”, she extended her hand and Jane shook it.

“I took my daughter here to check her health. She is thirteen and having what they call “Yeast Infection”, Gabriela said. “And I am Jane, by the way… so, h-how could that happen?” Jane asked curiously.

“What happened to her was that she took antibiotic, strep throat, and that antibiotics can kill “good” bacteria that also live in the body and normally keep the growth of Candida in vagina in check. So that’s what she got”, Dr. Conrad explained.

Jane, we are happy that you are fine and I believe you are in the good hands. We are leaving now, so if you need anything, here is my number. Oh, by the way, where’re you from?

“I am from Illinois”

“Americano?” Alessandra asked curiously.

“Yeah, I am American”

“You travel alone?”

“I was with my friend, but I do not know where she is now?” she looked sad.

“Well, we want you to take a rest and like what I said, anything, just call me, Okay? And you take care, young lady”, she held Jane’s hand and left.

“Thank you very much for your help!” They left and she saw them talking with Dr. Conrad before they disappeared.

Shortly after, Dr. Conrad sat next to her.

“Jane, do you remember what happened to you?” she asked.

Jane tried to remember and all of a sudden, she said, and looked terrified “Oh God, I was raped, doctor?”

Dr. Conrad nodded and said “yes”

The tears were streaming down the cheeks. She looked hopeless and angry. Dr. Conrad hugged her and said “you need to report this to the police… and contact your family”

“My family did not know that I am in Brasil. I told them that I was going to Thailand for the holiday”, she was sobbing and finally said “This is my fault! My fault! I lied to my parents! I am screwed!”

***

A week later, at 10:00 a.m., the sun was shining, the sound of the sea, relaxing mind and soul, beautiful mosaic sidewalks spoiling the eyes, Copacabana beach boasted much more than powdery sands. Jane walked on the beach thinking what had happened to her friend, Rebecca. She was confused and afraid to go back home and told her parents about what had happened to her. She kept walking and sobbing. She didn’t care that people turned their head looking at her, frowned. The well-known bossa nova song, The Girl from Ipanema, had drawn the tourists including her. She stopped for a moment. Her eyes wide opened. She looked in a horror. Three men were dancing with barefoot on the sand following the rhythm of the music.

“Pedro, Thiago, come on! Move your belly, ha ha!” a big guy with dark skin and curly hair grabbed their hands to dance together.

“Ariba! Vamos! I love this, João!”Pedro laughed out loud.

“Hey, bro, makes them crazy, hah!” João, the big guy said loudly to Thiago who looked youngest amongst them.

Jane jerked away and closed her eyes. “They!” she tried to remember what had happened that night. I remembered now, they raped me on the bus. We had a party and I got drunk. I asked Rebecca to go with me, but she refused as I saw her dancing with a good looking Latino on the dance floor. And I decided to go back to the hotel. No taxi. And oh, geez, they put the gun to the driver’s head and let them rape me and threw me out of a moving bus. Oh God!!! Why didn’t you just let me die!! She kept running towards the hotel and crying. She pushed the elevator’s button and pressed the third floor where she stayed. She put the room key in the slot and opened it. She went to the bathroom and looking at the mirror. Sobbing. She heard the voice in her head. You are brutally gang-raped and you have to do something about it. Don’t give up! B-but what can I do? Am I alone? I am afraid if I should call the police? I hate it! Her voice trembled, her face filled with anguish and her eyes filled with a horror. She closed her eyes in fear and shook her head. No! I do not know what I can do!! Stop it!!!

***

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The following night, she was waiting for a bus to take her to the Pharmacy. She needed a painkiller as she had a massive    headache. A migraine came crashing through her brain so hard she could barely keep her balance. She didn’t even notice the bus passed and stopped ten meters where she was standing. She tried to reach, but then she saw one body was thrown out of the bus. And another one. She stunned. She waited until the bus leaving. She walked slowly towards the bodies. One bodymoved and tried to get up. Jane helped her and ..”Oh!” her mouth fell open. “Mrs. Gabriela!” Oh, you are bleeding…!

“H-how is Alessandra?”

Jane stood up and looked at another body which was five meters from her. She ran towards her. She knelt down and turned the body. “Oh gosh, Alessandra!” She looked at her sweet face and small body. She did not move. She shook it and held her wrist and checked her pulse, but nothing. Jane’s face looked pale when her eyes moved down and saw Alessandra wore nothing and some blood on her inner thighs. She pressed her lips and the tears were rolling down her cheeks. She was raped! Bastard! She took off the jacket and covered it up.

“Jane, di-did you see my angel, Alessandra?” Gabriela spoke loudly.

Jane wiped the tears away and walked towards Gabriela. She managed to look strong. She bit her lips and said…” um…I am so sorry Mrs. Gabriela, Alessandra could not make it”

“O quê? W-what you mean, she could not make it? Make it what?” She said impatiently and still lying down on the road with her bleeding face and the blouse were torn, so Jane could see her breasts.

She hugged Gabriela and said sadly… “she is dead!”

“Oh my angel!” she burst into tears and released the hug. “Listen, Jane”, her voice trembling. “We-we’ve been raped by two young men and one boy, who is the same age as Alessandra. João, Pedro and Thiago, the small boy. She sighed “they are brothers”…

“D-do you know them?” she asked curiously.

Gabriela nodded and said, “They are my neighbour. Their family was rich but then when João, the oldest, was still seventeen, their father had committed suicide because his business collapsed. They got bankrupt. The mother had gone crazy and sent to the mental hospital and left these three brothers alone. No one reports their action to the police. We do not want to involve with the police. And the crime is out of control here…

“O-oh, Christ!” Gabriela put her hand on her open wound and trying to sit, but she was too weak. And Jane put her head on her laps.

“I-I hit one of them with my bag, but then Pedro stabbed my stomach. I-I want you to come to my house and get my collections. P-please, do it for us, Jane…I_

“No, no-no, please, please Mrs. Gabriela, hold it, please”, Jane put her hand on Gabriela’s wound and said “I will take you to the hospital!” And she looked back at Alessandra and whispered…” and Alessandra…

“Mrs. Gabriela… Mrs…” she shook her body, checked the pulse but nothing. She looked panicked as it meant that she had to call the Police. Okay, take a deep breath, Jane. Call the police and no mention your name, just tell the location and that’s it! The voice again.

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***

You are brutally gang-raped and you have to do something about it. Don’t give up! Kill them. Kill them!!! Jane woke up sweating. She had a bad dream again. And it was always the same. This time was a nightmare. She looked at the watch and it was 06.00 a.m., she kept thinking the last words, what Gabriela said “Come to my house and get my collections”. She opened the bed drawer and took Gabriela’s business card. She’s archaeology. She turned on the TV and the headline news popped up…“Two bodies were found dead in the street after being raped”, Gabriela and Alessandra Fay. The mother and the daughter who was thirteen years old”. And the police made a statement: “These two victims were raped and thrown out of the bus. We are still searching the rapists; there are three men, two adults and one boy –according to the bus driver. The incident highlights security concerns in Rio as we also found one body last week in Copacabana district. And the U.S. Embassy confirmed that the victim was a U.S citizen. She was nineteen years old and_

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”Oh, Jesus! Rebecca! Where the hell is she?” All of a sudden, Jane remembered her friend, Rebecca, who travelled together.  And the last time she saw her dancing with a Latino man. She opened the safety deposit box and took out the laptop. She started to search about the victim last week. And shortly after. “Oh, My God, they revealed the name. It was Rebecca Stuart. They found the body 10 kilometers from Ipanema beach”. She was trembling and her head spinning around and she heard the voices again. Get the rapists and kill them all!!! But, how? Am I truly alone now?

***

It’s a quarter to two in the morning now. Jane was wearing a black jacket and boots. She had been waiting for the three brothers coming home. Am I ready for this? I felt like I was being… watched! Suddenly she heard the voices again inside her head – deep and powerful. Get the rapist and kill them all! And you are not alone! You are going to finish this game!!!

Jane saw two men and one boy under the moonlight and heading towards their house which was just two blocks from where she was hiding. She checked everything she brought to make sure that she was really ready; ready to attack the rapists and ready to die. She ducked towards them and waited outside until they were already in.

It was a small and dingy with red and yellow colours house. The door was ajar, could not be closed as no hinges. Jane went to the other side of the house. She was trembling and her heartbeat quickened. She was scared. She was tempted to just go home and sleep. But the voices? It kept disturbing in her head.  And she promised to Gabriela to kill them. The tears were rolling down her cheeks. She was sweating and her hand was shaky.

“Thiago! Venha ela! Where is Pedro?”, João asked and holding the money in the plastic bag.

“He said he was going to buy some beers”, Thiago said.

Jane peeked through the window and saw a man and a boy. The tall, big and curly dark hair must be João and that the boy… He was thin and had brown curly hair. He looked so young. Only the two of them. Good. I have to kill them. Please, God, give me your strength.

“What the hell? Who you?” João  was surprised and staring at her brown eyes.

“You raped me on the bus and my friend, and she is dead!” Jane spoke with her strength and almost did not recognise her own voice.

“You know what?” He said and blowing his cigarette smoke. You’d better go home to your country. You are not going to kill me, eh?” He laughed out loud and kept counting the money.

Go on, Jane. Shoo, run along. Bugger off and kill them!!! Jane stepped a little bit closer, took out the Caltrop from her jacket…”Hey!!!”

He looked at her. And in a quick movement, she threw it straight to his face.

He screamed and closed his face with both his hands. The blood was rushing on his forehead and nose. “What the fuck you doing, bitch?!” He roared at her and trying to reach her. He searched for a weapon that he could use, but nothing. He took off his belt and hit her with it. She screamed and touched her cheek. She jerked away. She saw Thiago hiding under the table. She didn’t waste her time and dragged him out.

“You move, he’s dead!” Jane warned him.

“No, no, no, please? OK, what you want? Money? I give you. How much?” he begged her.

“I do not need your fucking money! I just need to kill you, bastard! And Look, this is for Alessandra!” she slashed Thiago’s neck with a Chakram.

“NOOOOOOOO!!!!”, You’re bitch!!!” he held Thiago’s body. He was sobbing and rubbing his little brother’s hair. “Thiago, please do not die!” He did not move and he laid him down gently on the floor and stood up, ready to attack her. But Jane was ready for the next move. She held another two Caltrops. She threw them, one by one. He didn’t have a chance to escape. They tucked into his chest and stomach. The blood soaked his clothes. He collapsed.

Jane approached him to take all the Caltrops from the body. And one big hand held her shoulder. As she turned, she got hit very hard. She fell down. She felt dizzy and her sight was blurring.

“You killed my two brothers, bitch!” Pedro said. He was tall with brown long hair. He had a tattoo on his arms. His eyes wide opened and yelled “WHY???!!! He hit her face again. Blood was coming out from her nose. And hit and hit again. Where are they? The voices? Jane lied on the floor, blood was all over the face and her heart was thumping. “P-please, don’t kill me” she said nervously. She was bloody frightened. I have to survive for Rebecca, Gabriela, Alessandra and myself. She was trembled and gulp down grief. God, please,help me.

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Pedro unzipped his pants and was roughly pulling her legs closer to him. He spat in her face and said angrily “you can’t go anywhere, bitch! And I am gonna kill ya!

She clenched her teeth and pressed her eyes shut. Her heart was still pounding so hard, she thought she might pass out, but she didn’t want him to know this. Her hand was trembling; with the strength  she had left and said “You’re miserable fucking shit and messy fucker!!!”. She swung the Chakram on his neck. His eyes bulged and the tongue stuck out. Thick blood was gushing from his neck and streaming between his fingers. His body fell down on her chest.

She was frightened and pushed him to the other side with a quick movement. She stood up and making sure that he was dead.  Her heart was still pounding, but she felt relieved. Thank you, God. She waited for the voices, but it was quiet. No more voices. She looked around and glanced at the watch. It was almost dawn. I must hurry! She took three Caltrops off of the João’s face and body. And she cleaned them as well as the Chakram. I need to return these to Mrs. Gabriela’s house. These historical weapons belong to her.

***

Illinois. What a great place. And after all, I’ve done; Thank God, I am alive. I am thinking that, why I became a rape victim? Most people say because women’s clothes. So if they blame women as the rape victim because their clothes were provocative, they must also blame the wealthy people that were robbed because what they shows were provocative. What about Gabriela? Alessandra? Or a man rapes a man ..NO sense.. Rape is not just a woman’s issue. It’s about men who stop behaving like human beings & start behaving like animals. Jane closed her diary book and began to sleep.

***END***

 

Witness a Crime

“Shit! I think we have to push this bloody stupid car!”

“Just try again, turn the key, and push the clutch in and gas a little bit, I guess”

“I did many times, sweetheart! But see? Still, this shit does not want to move, even for an inch! I had no idea what happened, I have checked everything before we left Shimla, right?”Ok, I got an idea, would you mind sitting on the wheel whilst I am pushing this car? Would you, Stacy?” Michael looked so hopeless.

“Ok, but tell me, when should I push the gas, because I never drive manual car, you know?” Stacy looked so worried.

“No problem!”

The night should be an absolute delight in the winter season in New Delhi as an air of euphoria floats about in the air. The warm smell of roasted peanuts was one of the best smells in this town. The birds flew from one tree to another as perhaps they looked for the warmest place to stay. And the fogs were getting down and they were already feeling the chill creep into their bones. Michael looked at the watch; it was already 02:00 a.m. His eyelids got heavy and were tempted to sleep in the car.

“Baby, I am freezing, freezing cold!  Can we just stay in the car until morning? It would be easier to ask someone to help us or we can call a mechanic to fix up the car?” her voice trembling in a chill.

“Just a minute, I think I can fix it up,” he said calmly.

All of a sudden, in the silent night, there was a black Mercedes stopped in front of a modest brick and beautiful house which was just the opposite Michael’s car. Three men with the mask got off the car and walking towards the house.  I am so curious. What on earth is happening? He ducked himself towards them.

Michael…Michael, what’s going on?”She whispered.

“Shh…” he signaled her to stay in the car.

They opened the gate by the remote control. What the hell? He followed them inside. He decided to wait in the bush and thinking what would happen next.

Twenty minutes later…

“Oh Lord!!! Forgive me for what I saw!” he was shocked and jerked away.

And unfortunately, one of them heard the voice and directing the flashlight into the bush.

“Get the boy, quick!!!”One of them asked their friend to run after him.

Michael kept running and avoiding his car because he knew that his girlfriend was inside and he did not want her to be caught as well. Stacy heard people running and she peered out of the window’s car.

“Oh God, please save him”

The man shot him with an air rifle. Michael fell down and crawled to reach a safe place. But no safe place. He got caught.

“So you got him, Rahul?”

“Yes, boss, I got him!”

“Good, bring him to our car, I was wondering what he was doing around here?” the boss said.

They blindfolded him and walked towards their car that had been waiting.

“Wait, you guys go ahead, I need to check on something”, Rahul said.

Rahul walked towards the car. He wiped the dew on the window with his elbow. He saw Stacy inside. She looked terrified and staring at him.

 ***

The next morning, Sanjay, a gardener of Mr. Deepu Jayarathan found him hanging dead from the balcony. He was trembling and ran inside to wake up the family.

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The wife and their two teen daughters hugged each other and cried. Their father was one of Lok Sabha members and would be appointed to be a Chairman [Committee on Subordinate Legislation].

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In the past few weeks, he was involved with an important discussion about Tobacco VS Cancer. The discussion was really hard as one of the other members disagreed and looked disappointed and said “there is no evidence that tobacco causes cancer. He had argued that no Indian study had ever shown a link between cancer and the use of tobacco, and had asked the government to put on hold the increase in the size of pictorial warnings on tobacco products instead.

Mr. Deepu was in his late forty and had grey hair, dark eyes and a warm smile. He was intelligent and humble.  And he was one of the very successful in Parliament and earning the reputation that got the things done.

“I appreciate your opinion, Mr. Rakesh Ziyaudeen, however, if we were asked whether there is any link between tobacco and cancer, I would absolutely say yes, there is”, he said calmly.

He clicked on his laptop keyboard which was connected to the projector screen. All the members of parliament looked up and started to listen.

“According to Cancer Research in The UK that experts agree that tobacco is the single biggest avoidable cause of cancer in the world.  And smoking does not only cause cancer. It also causes tens of thousands of deaths each year in the UK from other conditions, including heart and lung problems.  And in the US, tobacco use is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths; this equal about 480.000 early deaths each year”

“Well, that was only in the UK and USA, right?” I do not think WHO agreed with that”, Mr. Rakesh cut in rudely.

“The WHO estimates that each year tobacco causes about 6 million deaths and in the 20th century, tobacco is estimated to have caused 100 million deaths!” Mr. Deepu said.

He clicked on the slide and said “So, ladies and gentlemen, the bottom line is tobacco has very bad effects on human health. Research has focused primarily on cigarette tobacco smoking. Tobacco is the single greatest cause of preventable death globally. And of course, the last but not the least, that smoking can damage many parts of the body!” he closed the slide and flipped the laptop. All the members applauded and they looked satisfied with all the explanation from the chairman to be.

“And one more thing Mr. Rakesh, I think we have to increase in the size of pictorial warnings on tobacco products.

 

Twenty minutes later, the Indian Police arrived with two medical examiners walked behind. They installed the police line at the crime scene. Detective Joseph asked two officers to take the body down. They brought him inside and laid him on the floor. The two medical examiners started to investigate with great care. They must distinguish between hanging and asphyxiation caused by other means such as manual strangulation and smothering.

Shortly after, one of the examiners said, “It has been ruled as a suicide!”

Detective Joseph approached and said “explain to me…”

Ian, the examiner explained that he found neck mark, “Look, sir! The marks run diagonally across the neck, but… it would be a horizontal mark if it is manual strangulations of a hanging, however, we need to bring the body first so that we can investigate further more…”

 ***

Stacy woke up. She looked around, but nothing she could see, it was really dark. Bad smell and humid. She could not remember anything. The last thing she saw was the Indian guy, staring at her through the window’s car. “Oh Lord, what is happening to me? And where is Michael?” she suddenly remembered what had happened the night before.

She reached her pocket and took a green St. Pio Rosary beads. Wrapping them around her fingers. She bowed her head and began to pray.

Stacy and Michael were on their holiday to visit India and Nepal. They were a young couple from England who had passions to explore South Asia before they got married. Michael was twenty-two, strikingly handsome, with brown hair and an athletic build. And Stacy was twenty, slim with soft-honey colored hair. They looked like a perfect couple that most of their friends thought they could not live apart at any second.

Ten minutes later, the door suddenly swung open and two men stepped inside and turned on the light. It was a small light, but was enough to see around. She was startled to see Michael, who had been bound and gagged. He looked at her. He wanted to whisper to her “be strong, babe” and hold her for a moment. But he could say nothing. He shuddered to think what would happen to her.

“Hey, Rahul, get the boy out of here!” A tall man with black curly hair asked his friend.

“And bring him to the boss!” Rahul nodded and said, no problems, Jack!”  He lifted Michael to stand up and brought him out. Stacy ran to him, but Jack, the black curly hair, held her tightly. Tears were rolling down her cheeks. She said, “Michael, I love you!”

Michael looked at her with tears in his eyes and nodded. And then they all left.

***

The following day, when news of Mr. Deepu Jayarathan, a member of Lok Sabha leaked out, the press went wild, and there were ten times as many reporters outside the prospective chairman’s home. This was big news and they wanted the story.

The Times of India afternoon newspaper wrote in the headline “Mr. Deepu Jayarathan was found hanging dead from his balcony”…

Shortly after noon, all the radios and televisions did not stop talking about the unclear reason. Why did Mr. Deepu Jayarathan kill himself? Some people doubt his death was ruled a suicide. It was really a trending topic in the entire India, at this moment.

Even in the Parliament itself, some people assumed there might have any connection between the last meetings which was tobacco VS cancer. Rakesh Ziyaudeen. He was the only one who disagreed and denied the government policy.

***

It had been five days now that Stacy lived in the small dark and smelly. She kept thinking about Michael. Did they kill him? Oh babe, just hang in there. We will get married soon. Tears welled up in her eyes. All of a sudden, the door opened, someone was pushed over and fell.

“Okay, kid, you got the last chance to see your lover. And I’ll come back in five minutes!” Jack reminded Michael. “Michael!” Stacy stood up and turned on the light. She was shocked looking at his face. His eyes got bruised and swollen. Blood in his nose and mouth. “Oh Lord, who did this to you?” she asked tearfully and hugged him.

“Stacy, I have no time to explain. They will come back in five minutes”, Michael was trembling.

“There was something important that I would like you to follow what I say, okay? That night, I followed them to that house, remember?” I saw them killing one of the Parliament members, Deepu…something; I couldn’t catch his name clearly. I recorded for what happened and I kept my mobile here, in this small room. “Look! A big stone there?” He pointed and she nodded.

Behind that stone, there’s a small hole. And what I would like you to do, just try to run away from here and get the mobile with you. Can you do that? He touched her cheeks and kissed her.

Her tears kept rolling down her cheeks and she said “w-what are they going to do Michael?”

“I do not know, maybe they will kill me!” he managed to look strong. “Listen, babe, you got to be strong and please do as I say, okay? They will be coming in a minute. And Stacy, I love you…, I love you with all my heart. And I am so sorry that I did not listen to you to just stay in the car,” he said sadly.

“I love you too Michael, I am sure that we can be together!” she hugged and kissed him deeply as if she did not want to let him go.

The door opened. Jack and Rahul poked him to move out. Stacy was frozen. Oh, Michael, I love you. I will do what you want me to do. She was thinking hard how to get out of this place. She went to the small bathroom. She looked at the window and smiled wryly. I think I can get out of here.

***

It was thirty minutes before one o’clock in the morning. She could manage to get out through the bathroom’s window and saw one man standing and smoking; and the other one was lying on the grass drinking. Stacy ducked and tried not to make a noise. She walked towards the gate. Damn. It is locked. She looked around to find another way out. She walked towards the fence. Good. It is not that high and I can reach that. A minute later. Thank God, I am finally out of the hell. She ran down the path leading out into the street. She kept running and her mind was in Michael’s.

“There! Go and get that bitch!!!”, Jack pointed to her.

“Idiot! Why don’t we just kill her?” Rahul looked furious.

“Not yet! Let’s go!!!

Stacy looked at the back and her eyes wide with shock. She was in fear for a few moments. She broke into a run-tears rolling down her cheeks as her heart pounded in her chest, feeling as if it was going to explode as she panted for breath,  as she kept running at full speed down the street but no idea where she was heading to. Wait, I think I knew where am I going to? I recognise this road. She stayed in the Samrat hotel in Chanakyapuri area which was near from where she was now, in Vasant Vihar. She looked around to find a taxi, but nothing.

“Come on, Rahul, faster and get the girl!”

“Wait, I am out of the breath!” he stopped and held his chest.

“Ah, come on! We cannot lose her; otherwise the boss is going to kill us! “Jack held him to stand up.

Stacy was exhausted but kept running. She was trying desperately hard not to panic. I have to survive. I do not want to die. It’s for Michael. She ran towards a small and narrow path leading to the park. And Rahul and Jack kept running and following her. She saw the stone bench near the bushes and decided to hide under the bench. She thought it would be safe for a moment. She was shivering to the bone and trying to manage her breath. She could see the hotel building from there.

“Where the hell is she?”

“I saw her running here”, Rahul said.

“Let’s search!” Jack said.

She waited until they moved further. She did not hear the footsteps and the talking between them. She came out and kept running towards the hotel.

“There!! That’s the girl! Go.Go.Go!!!! Come on Rahul, get her!

Stacy got a dreadful shock and thought that they were far from her hiding. She wanted to give up. Then she remembered what Michael told her. Be strong! She ran and thinking about Michael. She did not see the log lying across the street and she stumbled. She held her knees in pain. A big hand grabbed her from behind. She was terrified as if she looked at a ghost.

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“Geez, finally we got you, young lady!” Jack laughed out loud. You gave us a hard time, you know?”

“You almost kill me! I have asthma, bitch!” Rahul gasped and yelled at her.

“Hey, why do you keep running, Stacy?” Jack asked.

“H-how you know my name?” Stacy asked with hesitance in her voice almost not wanting to know the answer.

“Well, I asked your dead boyfriend!” Jack laughed.

“W-what did you say?” her voice was trembling and tears welled up. Michael is dead?

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“You do not want to know, eh, well Jack, I think we should move on, bring the girl to our boss!”

“Great, but wait, I want to pee, watch her, will you?” Jack asked.

Stacy could not stop crying but she did not want to let them kill her too. She grabbed the log quickly and hit Rahul’s head whilst he was managing her breath. He collapsed. She made sure that he did not move and ran as fast as she could. She did not dare to look back again. Her mind was turning around and trying to remember which way to reach the hotel.

And only a few steps, she would step into Samrat hotel. Her sight was blurring. She was sweating. She saw a man standing in front of her and grabbed her. She collapsed.

 

The next morning, in Delhi Police, headquarters, Stacy was talking with Detective Joseph. He brought her to his office. The room was quite large with the nature colours.  The sacred symbol of the Lord Ganesh statue standing upright between two beautiful crème sofas. The fragrance of Sandalwood was spreading throughout the room. Several awards and medals placed neatly in the glass cabinet. She felt comfortable and safe. Joseph had been a detective for fifteen years. He was tall, dark hair and good looking.

“Have a seat, Miss Hamilton”.

“Stacy…sir, just call me Stacy. Um… How did you know my name?

“Kumar, the hotel’s security saw you looked confused and suddenly you collapsed. And he brought you to the hotel and apparently you were one of their guests. He called here… and fortunately I picked up the phone directly. Now, Stacy, please tell me what happened?” Joseph asked, looking concerned.

 

After twenty minutes, she handed over the mobile phone which Michael recorded the incident.

“Thank you, Stacy. And I will ask the officers to take you to the hotel and watch you there until we finish the investigation. Would that be fine for you?” he asked politely.

“Okay, but please make sure, the officers are there”

Joseph hugged and said warmly “Yes, of course, we won’t let them harm you. You are in the right hand”.

She nodded and said “Thank you”

Detective Joseph took Michael’s mobile phone and brought to the investigation room and transferred it to the computer. “Come here, quick!” he signaled his partner, Detective Jasmine, to come along with him. “Look at this recorded from Stacy”.

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That was a fifty-second recorded. They were sitting and looking at the computer screen.

“Run it again,” Jasmine said reasonably. “And bring it up the sound.”

Detective Joseph replayed the fifty-second recorded.

“Shit, shit, shit!” it was Deepu Jayarathan!. He was killed! Jasmine said loudly.

“You know this guy, Jasmine?” Joseph pointed to the big man with a knitted black ski mask covering his face.

“Zoom in, please?”…

And after a while.”I had no idea; I could not see his face!” Jasmine looked disappointed.

“Wait, he took it off”, Joseph pointed to the screen.

Jasmine came closer and said “I knew this guy! He is Boris Yakov. He is a son of Vladimir Yakov, a very successful businessman in India. And one of his largest businesses at this moment is a cigarette. A new product named is “VY Gold”.

“I got it!” Joseph pulled out the chair and sat in front of Jasmine.

“After Deepu Jayarathan died, we had heard that there was a speculation that he might have been killed. And they had mentioned one of other Lok Sabha members involved. We investigated some people who had a meeting with Deepu Jayarathan. They said there was a hot discussion with regards to tobacco VS cancer. Raskan Ziyaudeen was a man who argued and disagreed about Deepu’s decision to move forward with the government policy to increase the size of pictorial warnings on tobacco products. We brought him here to investigate as we assumed he was behind Deepu’s death. And now, I got it! Deepu Jayarathan was killed by Vladimir Yakov who tried to stop government policy as he knew that he would be the next chairman in Lok Sabha. Yakov might have a thought; the policy would ruin his cigarette business”

“Problem solved!” Jasmine stood up and smiled.

“No! Not yet! We have to catch him! Let’s go!

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 ***

Two weeks later, Stacy walked towards Michael’s grave. She sat on the side, looking at the tombstones written RIP “Michael Bradford”, 1993-2015. She wiped the tears and started to pray. She was thinking how lovely her relationship with him. She was excited imagining, how happy her life would be? Now, all had gone. She was alone. That’s the last word; he wanted her to do “Be Strong”!

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There are things in live we don’t want to happen, but have to accept; things we don’t want to know, but have to learn, and people we can’t live without, but have to let go!” Goodbye, my love…

***END***

Chloe Benoît

Winter and Chloe has been a best friend for fifteen years and they decided to be a lover. They fell passionately in love. Though, sometimes they fight, it does not threaten their relationship. They’re attached to each other. Is their love going to be forever as they wish…Or…?

****

That night was so wonderful, fresh air cooling their mind and soul. The full moon shining on the city of Perth added an amazing atmosphere around. Winter and Chloe were holding hands together walking towards the King’s park. The park & Botanic Garden gave a great bird’s eye view of Perth; with the river growing city and expanses of greater Perth all in view. They spent around four hours walking around these extensive gardens atop the hill overlooking the city and could have enjoyed it even longer had they not had protested legs. They took the Federation Walkway and adored the spectacular views over the river as well as the treetop experience. They decided to relax a bit and sat on the bench. It was a romantic scene.

“Are you feeling cold, babe?”, Winter took off her jacket and wrapped Chloe’s shoulders.

“Thanks”, I think we did not expect that we will have windy tonight”, she said shaking.

“Yeah, but it’s good, isn’t it”, she blinked her eyes.

Winter sat closer and hugged her, “feeling better now?”

“Much better, thanks”, she kissed her and said “your cheeks were so cold, babe” she cupped her hands on Winter’s cheeks.

“That’s alright, hon, but my heart is warm, well, let’s make them all warm”, she smiled naughtily when she said that. Chloe nodded and smiled at her.

They hugged and pressed their lips and the tongue danced together under the moonlight. Winter kissed her long neck and went down to the breasts. She took off the jacket, folded and put it on the bench as a pillow. She unbuttoned Chloe’s blouse and unhooked the bra. Her hands rubbed her beautiful skin and touched her spot gently. Chloe moaned and she ran her hands up Winter’s back and took her shirt off so aggressively. They were half naked now. And shortly after, they had made love on the bench, in the night, in the cool air.

“We’d better hurry, darling, otherwise we’ll be caught by the security”, Chloe stood up and trying to find her blouse in the night.

“Yeah, that is not gonna be a sweet story if we are both in a jail, right?” She chuckled and helping Chloe hooked the bra.

Ten minutes later, they were already on the street and heading towards Winter’s car.

“So, are you going to stay with me or should I take you home”, Winter asked.

“I’d prefer to stay with you tonight”

“Cool, let’s go home, babe!”

“Wait!” Winter, there is something that I would like to tell you,” she held her hands and said “one day, if I leave you forever, you have to move on, pursue your dream. And just remember, I will take your love with me”.

Winter frowned and smiled “Why did you say that?” No, you are not going to leave me, baby. We will be together forever in love!” she kissed her and drove home fast.

Winter and Chloe had been best friends for fifteen years and they had decided to be a lover for the last five years. They were really sweet and romantic, and sometimes it made people get jealous especially heterosexual couple. Winter was small, charming and very attractive. She was actually introvert and had been struggling enough to meet a lot of people for arranging and attending some events. And the problem that she had been hiding was that she had been suffering from moderate manic depression. Only Chloe knew her better. She really understood what her partner had been through a life. She loved and cared about her so much more than herself, and very supportive. Chloe was younger than her and a jealous person. She thought most men and women liked Winter as she was charismatic and it made her pissed off and acted unreasonable sometimes. Chloe no matter what, had beautiful green eyes, shoulder-length brown hair and soft skin. And she was slender, very pretty and cute. She liked wearing blue jeans and a cardigan. And she was a fashion designer. And they both loved art.

Thirty minutes later, they had arrived home and straight up to the bedroom.

“So you are going to throw the party tomorrow night?” Chloe asked and taking her clothes off and grabbing a towel from the wardrobe.

“Yea, and I would love you to come, please?”

“Absolutely, love, I will be there for you”, Chloe kissed her lips and walking towards the shower.

And shortly after, Winter joined her.

***

On that morning, when Chloe was ready to leave the Winter’s house, she had caught that her partner was being seduced by one of her neighbors who brought her breakfast.  She knew the name was Cindy. She watched Winter had refused and thanked her for the breakfast. But then, Cindy pushed her in the corner and kissed her lips. Chloe saw that Winter kissed her back. Jealous seemed to burn. Chloe came out and yelling at Cindy to get out of the house.  They both were shocked.

“Cindy, thanks for the breakfast and please just leave us”, Winter said.

“No problem and it was lovely seeing you, Winter”, she smiled and winked.

Winter saw an angry looked on Chloe’s face, and apologised. And as usual, Chloe could not accept that.

“Chloe, please, I am so sorry…she was trying to seduce me and I refused”, she was trying to explain with a hope that Chloe will forgive her.

“I saw you refused, but I saw you kissing her!”, she yelled at her.

“I did not kiss her like the way I kissed you and that was only a light kiss as my express gratitude for the breakfast she sent for us!”

“Lying, you are a fucking liar!!!” she screamed and acting uncontrollably. She threw her mobile to Winter’s face. Winter was shocked and held her nose. Blood spouted through her fingers and flowing down to the lips. She winced in pain. Chloe panicked.

“I-I am so sorry…I-I didn’t mean to hurt you,”

“Just call the ambulance, please, I think you broke my nose”…

***

It was 09:00 am exactly as the alarm woke Winter up. She turned off the clock and felt so dizzy. She spent a great night with her girlfriends celebrating her success of the Interior Design event that she had arranged. She turned on the TV and clicked on the MTV channel. She listened to Wiz Khalifa’s song -See you again. And all of a sudden… I missed Paul Walker and I was wondering why? I did not even know him in person? Freak! She started to think how was the feeling going to be for losing the loved one? She could not imagine and she did not even want to think about it.

There was beep beep sound under the pillow and she reached her mobile phone. It’s Chloe. It had been a week that they have not met each other since the incident.

“Hey…what’s up”, she greeted reluctantly.

“I am okay, and how are you?” and is…is your nose getting better?

“Yes, it is”.

“Um.. I am so sorry that I hurt and let you down, and I am so sorry that I did not attend to your party”, Chloe said sadly.

“It’s okay. I’d postponed the party, and it was last night actually..”

“Oh..I did not know that,” she said with a disappointed. Winter, please, listen to me…I was jealous of Cindy. I was furious at that time when I saw you kissing her and I decided not to come to your party because I thought that you were still angry with me”.

There was a silence.

“Have you had fun?”

“Yea..okay, we’ve had fun”, Winter said shortly.

“Glad to hear it!”…Um, can I come to your place?

Silence again.

“Look. I sincerely apologise for what happened and I am so sorry. I’m fucked up! I screwed up everything! Winter….?”

“Yea”

“I-I miss you. Please, forgive me and I really want to see you”

Winter was still silent. She closed her eyes and finally said “Chloe, I miss you too but…I_”

“But what?” Chloe asked impatiently.

Winter swallowed hard and her voice’s cracked “Chloe, I do not know if we can go on with this relationship. We were great when we were still best friends and when we decided to have this relationship, I feel like you’ve changed. You seem very jealous and uncontrollable behavior. You know that I have been suffering from manic depression and sometimes I could not handle it without you. And if you continue acting like this, I’d better dead! I miss Chloe that I knew before.”

“So, you want to break up?” she was sobbing, tears welling into her eyes.

“No! Of course not! I love you and I need you. But I am just tired of your jealousy issue”.

Chloe wiped her tears and said “I’ve caught you many times flirting with other girls, how could that possibly you say that I shouldn’t be jealous?”

“They are all my clients or will be, I have to be nice to them, Chloe, for the sake of my business. And it is for you too”

“Yes, but you should’ve not slept with them, right?”

“I did not sleep with them”

“Yes! You slept with Cindy!”

There was a long pause.

And Winter finally said, “yes, I did. I’ve slept with Cindy when I knew that you were hanging out with Peter, your ex-boyfriend”

“Are you jealous?”

“No!! I am not jealous. I am just…um….yea, I think I am jealous” she whispered.

There was another long pause.

“Look, sweetheart. Let’s bury the hatchet. What I need now is to see you. I miss you desperately. I want you…. Please, let me come to your place and we can fix things up. That night at King’s Park was really a magic for me. You were wonderful and I want to spend the rest of my life with you…I love you”

“I love you, Chloe…more than you think and I miss you…”Bury the hatchet, eh?”

“Thank you, love, I will be there in thirty minutes!” she smiled happily.

Winter got up from the bed and taking a quick shower. She went to the shop to buy fillet snappers, prawns, some vegetables and a bottle of Chardonnay. She would make a barbeque for the lunch at her patio. That was what they both loved to do.

It had been an hour, Chloe did not show up. She had never come late. Winter was tempted to call to make sure if she was alright, but she ignored that feeling. She was hoping that she dropped by the shop to buy some fruits or she got stuck on the road and forgot to let her know that she would be late. But then, Winter had known her partner for a long time, and yet, she ignored what she felt about her for a moment until the phone rang.

***

Forty-five minutes later at St. John Hospital. Winter walked down to the aisle to see Dr. Morris. She saw two nurses pushed the patient in the wheelchair and holding the infusion hurried to the elevator. An old couple was crying and holding together sitting on the long white bench. And one doctor with the glasses was standing and talking on his mobile in front of his waiting room. She kept thinking about what had just happened to Chloe. She then looked at a young man bleeding in his head and stomach, and she heard that he was just being shot. It was terrifying view. She stood in front of the elevator and she saw a doctor approaching her.

“Hi, I am Doctor Morris and you must be…”

“I am Winter, Winter Monroe…I have got a_”

“Yes, I called you. I got your number from Ms. Benoit’s last call” and I think she tried to call you a few hours ago”

“Oh..and how is…how is…s-she?” she asked with a trembling voice.

Dr. Morris exhaled and held her shoulders “I am so sorry, Ms. Chloe Benoit had just passed away”

Winter’s tears were streaming down the cheeks, her body was shaking and she almost fell down and Dr. Morris held and hugged her immediately “I am so sorry once again to let you know this. And I would like to ask if you are going to be alright to see her in the mortuary?”

Winter choked and nodded.

Dr. Morris guided her to the mortuary and opened the door. Winter felt terrified. She saw so many metal boxes and thinking that one of them in the box was Chloe. A bright fashion designer that she had loved for fifteen years.

Dr. Morris pulled out the box. Winter stood freezing. Her face looked pale. She wiped the tears. She was utterly shocked that this beautiful face looked so collapsed. Chloe’s body was destroyed by the car crash. Her lips were trembling. She said nothing. She looked around and all was dark. She fell down and closed her eyes.

***

It’s been a long day without you, my friend,

And I’ll tell you about it when I see you again

We’ve come a long way from where we began

Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again, When I see you again….”

 I hope so. She listened to that song again and tears kept falling down her cheeks. She felt her life was empty now. She felt she had no future anymore. She could understand that was the hardest emotionally people felt when they lost the loved one.

Chloe Benoit,

It must be very hard for me to handle this now. You’re my best friend and my lover.  And yes, sometimes we had problems and sometimes we fought. Sometimes we laughed and cried. You knew everything about me and I knew everything about you. And even though we had defects, we loved each other. Now, you’ve gone. You are in a better place now. I do not know what I do without you. I feel like I want to be with you, Chloe. But I remember the thing you said to me, that night at King’s park “That one day, if I leave you forever, you have to move on, pursue your dream. And just remember, I will take your love with me”.

Now, I got it, Chloe. I should move on…but I dunno, I dunno if I could handle this. I am alone now struggling with my depression and facing this wild world out there! It’s just really hard! I am very lucky to have you. You’re the only one who really understood me, knew what’s in my head. Life is just too short. I felt like it was just yesterday I met you. I wish I shouldn’t have made you angry. I wish I could have given you a better life. I wish I could turn back the clock…

Chloe, I love you and I miss you. Thank you for lighting up my life and bringing out the best in me.

With so much Love,

Winter Monroe

PS: “I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me” – Roy Croft.

 *In loving memory Charlotte*   https://youtu.be/RgKAFK5djSk

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