Monday, 6 August 2018

Short Story - Abandoned


I woke up in the dark, dismal room, I don’t know how long I had been sleeping for. Immediately I thought of everything that had happened throughout the last month and how I had ended up where I am now. 
Sliding off the hard bed onto the floor, I put my face into my hands and cried. I cried like I hadn't cried for a long time. "Pull yourself together!" I told myself after a few minutes. I needed to figure a way out of this place. Maybe I could talk my way out, I'd always been a good talker. Yes, that's what I'll do I'll charm my way out. 
Just then the heavy door opened, the man who took me from my home stood in the doorway. He's enormous and smells like stale smoke and coffee. He loomed there for what seemed like a lifetime before he said, 

 "So, are you ready to talk?"
All of my anger boiled up, I threw the tray with cold food and tea at him, 

"Talk, talk? You take me from my home, in the middle of the night for God knows what reason and lock me in this room and now you want to talk!" 

As he calmly turned around and closed the door, I thought "so much for charming my way out!" 

1. One Week Earlier 

I woke up to quiet, utter quiet. I rolled over and felt for him but he wasn’t there. I'm sure he didn’t have work today it's Sunday. Walking downstairs I tried to recall if he'd mentioned going out early. The last few days had been a bit of a blur. We were at a point in our relationship where we had hit a wall, he had been so distant lately. 
Then I remember finding the messages, another woman, he was telling her how he cared about her. How much I had been annoying him, being so needy and miserable. I thought this explanation sounded believable, if you didn’t know why. She seemed to buy it anyway. Gushing responses came back, "You deserve better" "She doesn’t realise how lucky she is." Blah, blah, blah. 
I was so angry but I buried it. I couldn’t lose him not now. My mother had only been dead a few weeks. A hit and run, killed instantly. "Needy" who wouldn’t be after something like that. 
I mentally shook myself, I need to focus better, but my mind wanders so easily these days. Letting the dog out, I click the kettle on. More tea, that’s all I've been drinking, well that and wine. More than is good for me, it helps me sleep. 
It wasn’t just the whole dead mum thing; my life has been strange for a while. Little things going missing, forgetting stuff, it's so unlike me. 
The dog started scratching at the door. As I open it, I see a note on the floor, "I'm sorry" 
So, he must have gone to her, I couldn’t believe it. I run upstairs two words swimming around my head "I'm sorry" 
Opening the wardrobe all his clothes gone. I feel like I'm drowning, so many thoughts running through my head. How could he just leave without even speaking to me? A little voice in my head, "you basically pushed him out the door, with your moods" 
No! I wasn’t going to start blaming myself for him being weak and not being able to cope with a woman in the throes of grief. 
He had gone to her because she was easy and uncomplicated. How that was going to work I didn’t know, he hadn't even met her according to him anyway. Yeah like I believe that! As I phoned around his friends and family, I got the same tone from each, pity mixed with a feeling they knew this would happen at some point. His mum was really nice to me, 

"Maybe he just needs some space, I'll call if I hear from him." 

She was always nice, even when she was looking down on me, it was always done nicely. I needed some air, grabbing Buster's lead I called him and he came running. He was always glad of a walk and I needed to clear my head. 
As I walk down my street, neighbours greet me with subdued hellos. I wonder do they know? Did they see him sloping off with his bags? 
I only made it to the end of the street, more precisely the off licence. Grabbing a few bottles of wine, I turned and headed back home. 

2. 
My mobile is ringing as I open the door, left on the kitchen table in my rush to get out. Grabbing it, hoping it was him, disappointment when I see the caller ID. I am not in the mood to talk, press the reject button and check the time. Bit too early for wine, but what the hell I've been dumped and abandoned. Grabbing a glass and plonking myself on the sofa I think, "Screw him, who needs him anyway? What a wimp!" 
That thought lasted about three glasses, then I grabbed my phone and began sending messages on everything he had an account on, begging and apologising. After a couple more, messages turn more aggressive calling him every name I can think of. One last one, before I pass out, 

"I'm sorry please come back." 

3. 
Waking up to Buster licking my face is not the most pleasant way to wake up. I grab my phone, memories of the messages coming back to me. He must have replied to at least one of my messages by now, but there was nothing. I couldn’t help noticing there were no messages or missed calls from people seeing how I am. Word must have spread by now, that disappointment piled on top of everything else I was feeling. 
So, it’s a new day I've decided I need to pull myself together as best I can. I was doing fine before I met him, I could do it again. Then there was a booming knock on the door. All my thoughts of being strong and not needing him gone, my hope goes through the roof, he was back, my messages worked. Opening the door with a smile, it dropped when I see it isn't him, but two police officers. 

"Miss Jones, we have come about your partner, may we come in?" 

Leading them into the living room, blushing with embarrassment at the empty wine bottles laying around. I quickly clear them away and invite them to take a seat.

"What's happened?  Is he ok?" 

I am starting to panic now, has he been ran over? Maybe he didn’t really leave me and this is all a massive misunderstanding. Then I feel guilty about being optimistic that he has been hurt instead of walking out on me. 

"I'm afraid we don't know, we were hoping you might be able to help?" The male officer smiles sadly at me. 

"We were called to a bag hidden in some bushes at the park. It had your partners phone, wallet and other belongings in it. We thought you could help us get it back to him." The female officer said abruptly.

What is going on? Getting up, I go to the kitchen and grab the note. Handing it to them I said, 

"I assumed he had left me. He's been talking to a woman online. I think he's with her."

"Why would he leave the bag then?"

"I don’t know, maybe he didn’t want any reminders of his life here." 


"OK, well we will go through his phone and see if we can find anything out." 

Asking them to let me know if they find anything out, I show them out. 

4. 
A few hours pass so quickly as I sit and think. The phone ringing startles me, it is his mum. As she cries asking me what is going on, I have no answers for her. 

"How could you tell the police he was having an affair? My boy would never do that!" 

She had no idea what her precious son could or could not do. I think it is best not to mention this fact though, instead I say, 

"Look Harriet, I don’t know what is going on. He was talking to a woman online, but I'm not getting in to all that now. I'm sure he will get in touch with you when he is ready, as you said he probably needs some space." 

"I hope that's all it is Sarah, I really do. Ring me if he gets in touch." 

As she hung up a thought occurred to me, maybe I should message the woman he was talking to. No wine involved this time, which is a shame, I could really do with a large glass. But it wouldn’t help at all at the moment. 
I made a cup of tea and sat at the kitchen table, switching the laptop on. While it loads up I grab some slightly stale biscuits. I can't remember the last time I've eaten. Crossing back across the kitchen I stroke Buster,

 "Let's see what we can find out eh, Buster?" 

5. 
It is a laptop we share but mostly used by Jack. His work is far more important than me online shopping or scrolling through Facebook. I open his Facebook account, luckily the password is saved, and went into his messages. 
I couldn’t believe it! Every single message I had read between him and this woman has disappeared. What has happened? He must have deleted them. I type her name into the search bar, it’s a common name, Louise Black, so lots of profiles pop up. However, not the one with the alluring picture I had seen. She must have deleted her profile, so she doesn’t get any messages off his crazy ex! What a piece of work! Takes my boyfriend, then is too scared to face up to it. I picture them now, laughing at me, at how miserable and desperate I am. 
I will give one more try at messaging him, no name calling, no accusations, just ask him to let someone know he is ok. Tell him his mum is worried, I hope he will at least contact her. As much as she annoys me, she loves him and is clearly worried. 

6. 
The next few days pass in a blur, mainly due to copious amounts of wine I have drank. I come downstairs on Saturday morning to find a letter by the door. Hand delivered, no stamp, " I know what you did!" 
Staring at it I don’t recognise the handwriting, I haven't done anything so I assume it’s a mistake. Maybe someone has got the wrong house. I leave it on the side table and go to feed Buster. As I wait for the kettle to boil I tell myself, 

" Time to sort my life out, now I am all alone." 

I spend the day tidying and sorting things out, he has left some bits behind, and all photos of me and him together. I can't bring myself to tear them up, so I put them in a rarely used drawer. 
Saturday evenings usually involve going out for a meal and either cinema or drinks with Jack, so I am at a bit of a loss as to what to do. I decide to order food and watch rubbish TV in my pyjamas. At around ten I decide to call it a night. As I climb into bed I am basically asleep before my head hits the pillow. 

7. 
The next thing I know, I hear banging and someone shouting my name. I sit upright trying to figure out what is going on. My bedroom door swings open and a policeman is saying I am under arrest. I can't take in what is happening, the room is spinning. I am handcuffed and led away crying and screaming,

"What is going on?!" 

8. 
So that’s how I ended up here, in this horribly isolating cell, waiting to find out what on earth they think I have done. I know the huge detective will be back soon so I need to calm myself down or I will just be left here longer. As if my thoughts have conjured him up, the door opens and he asks me if I am ready to talk. I just nod sadly, not trusting myself to speak just yet. 
As I’m led down a corridor, there are other heavy metal doors. I wonder who is behind the, murderers, burglars or confused people like me who haven’t got a clue what is going on? 
I’m taken to an interview room and offered a drink. I refuse, not believing I can keep anything down. My stomach is doing somersaults. As he says the words, I can’t believe what I am hearing: 

“No, no, no, you are lying!” 

“I’m afraid not Miss Jones, his body was discovered yesterday, and we have confirmed with DNA that it is Jack. We have reason to believe you are involved with what happened to him.” 

Then he began to go through the evidence they thought proved I was involved. The bag of his belongings I told them he had taken, the abusive message I sent which they believed I had sent to make people believe he had run off with another woman. And lastly, the ‘I’m sorry’ note that was typed not hand-written. There was no proof he had written it. I begged and pleaded with him, there was another woman! I had seen the messages and he had told me himself. 

“Miss Jones, at the moment we have no evidence of this other woman and only your word that this conversation took place. We have analysed Mr Draper’s phone, email and social media accounts and can find no trace of these messages. Or indeed, this mystery woman. Do you see our problem?” 

I couldn’t understand what was happening, for the past week I had been tormented thinking he had left me and all that time he was dead. 

“Now Miss Jones, I need to go over what happened last Saturday. The day before you claim you woke up and he had left you. 

9. The Previous Saturday 
So, I’ve decided today is the day I am going to confront Jack about what is going on. I don’t even know what to say, he has gone to the gym so I am sitting at the kitchen table waiting for him to return. A million thoughts are racing through my mind. Should I calmly ask him? Nope, not really my style. I’m more of a shout until I'm blue in the face kind of girl. I decide to get all the messages up on the laptop so there is no way he can deny it. As I’m nearly doing loading the messages up, he comes strolling into the kitchen. 

“What are you buying now?” with a smile that a couple of weeks ago would have melted me. 

Glaring at him I calmly say, “A replacement for me, but it looks like you’ve got that covered!” 

Then I lose it, throwing things and shouting until I am curled up in a ball, exhausted and crying. He puts a big arm around me and I let him. 

“How could you do this?”  

“I have only been talking to her online I swear! I haven't even met her. I just needed someone to talk to, you’ve been so weird lately, even before your mum died. Accusing me of moving things or taking things. I can’t move out of the house without you phoning me, saying you need me home because you can hear noises.” 

I can see his point, so much has happened. Like last week I came home from the shop and the back door was open. I am sure it was closed when I left. I keep misplacing things, pictures, clothes among other things. I put a lot of the recent stuff done to my grief and forgetting things because I was upset. But Jack was right this had all been happening before my mum died. We spent the next few hours going between talking and shouting. By the time it went dark I was exhausted and said to him, 

“I am going to bed, we will talk some more in the morning.” 

The last words he said to me were, “I do love you, you know that don’t you?” 

I didn’t answer, just turned and went upstairs. I would regret that action for a long time. 

10. Present Day 
“So that is the last time you seen him?” He looked like he didn’t believe a word I had just said. 

Yes, I promise that is the last time I seen him. You have to believe me! I could never hurt him.” 

“I am sorry Miss Jones, but I am going to have to inform you we are arresting you for the murder of Jack Draper.” 

“I didn’t do anything to him you have to find the person who killed him. You must be missing something.” 

All I received in reply was a look that told me I wasn’t going anyway for a long time. How had all this happened? I am not the type of person who gets arrested for murder.  

11. Louise Black 

Now obviously I couldn’t use my real name when I messaged Jack. But the name has grew on me now and I think I will keep it. He was so easy to reel in, I had become an expert on tempting men over the years to get what I want. He claimed that Sarah didn’t understand him, the relationship was over. I pandered to him, agreeing with everything he said and giving so much sympathy it made me feel slightly ill! But I needed to do this to get what I wanted, he was just collateral damage poor sod! 
I grew up in foster care, my birth mother couldn’t cope with me when I was a toddler apparently. Although two years later she had another child and seemed to have no problems then. I didn’t learn this until I was much older obviously. I think I could have forgave her if she hadn't gone on to have another daughter that she seemed to dote on. 
Sarah, the daughter she wanted. Sarah the one I would see talking and laughing with our mum without a care in world. Well maybe I would destroy their perfect little life, see how they liked it. Jack was just one part of it. I wanted Sarah to know what it felt like to have no-one, just like I did growing up.  
Killing my birth mother wasn’t part of the plan, I saw an opportunity and took it. It was like a sign, just as I was driving down the road, she happened to be crossing. I didn’t stop to help her, I just drove off and left her. Just like she had done to me. 
Afterwards I began messing with Sarah even more. I had learnt some tricks when I was a teenage, how to break into houses etc. I started off small, moving things and taking little items. I even took things for a couple of days and then put them back, so she would think she was losing it.  
Then that idiot had left the messages we had sent on his laptop. It was like he wanted Sarah to find them. So that’s when I decided he had to go. Kill two birds with one stone, she would get the blame and I could finally move on.  
I snuck in and got rid of all the messages, and deleted any history of Louise Black there was. He was sleeping on the sofa. He had obviously been drinking, he didn’t hear me come in and I gently placed a cushion over his face. He didn’t struggle, he must have been really drunk. I don’t even know how I found the strength to pull his body through the house and into my car. I was running on pure adrenalin, and the knowledge that this would seal Sarah’s fate. I typed the note, I didn’t want her panicking and calling the police too early. I still had some stuff to sort out. Like dumping his stuff in the park, he had helpfully already packed his bags, so she was losing him anyway. 
Everything has played right into my hands. My so called mother is dead, as is Jack and my perfect sister is locked up. I promise myself I am going to be happy from now on. But in the back of my mind I am thinking, 

“There are other people who have to pay for what they have done.” 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read, I have really enjoyed writing this and I cant wait to do some more. What did you think? 

I also want to say a massive thank you to Hannah from Safe Haven Anonymous Letters for doing the graphic design for me.
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3 comments

  1. I need more of this.... now!!!!
    You're really good at writing hun, I was hung up on every word, waiting for the next part. I genuinely think you could publish your own book of short stories. I like how the character evolved through this, I was on the edge of my seat!

    Jordanne || Thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellent so well written we need more. Compelling reading. U r a natural!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, Emma, this is amazing, so twisty and turny. Have you submitted it anywhere yet (magazines for example)? If not then you really should! I love the way the story progresses too, it reminds me a little of the film, Momento, where you start out with a scenario and you have to follow the film backwards to find out why. I can't believe this is your debut, it reads like you've been writing for ages. Loved it! xx

    Lisa | www.lisasnotebook.com

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