Deceitful Marriage

Word count: 2634

Present Time:

Do it, Christy. You know you want to. Do it.

"NO!" the young woman named Christy yelled.

She darted her wide eyes around and ran out the front door of the church nearly tearing her beautiful dress. She was the maid of honor. There were a few minutes of silnce as everybody looked at everybody else.

"If nobody has anything else to say, I proclaim these two husband and wife. You may, of course, kiss the bride," the pastor said.

Much to the bride's dismay, the subject of interest at the reception wasn't on the wedding, but the incident that ruined it.

"Did you see her face?" one woman said.
"Yeah, I know. She was like a deer caught in headlights," another replied.
"Oh, that wasn't the best part of it. Did you see as she was running down the aisle out the door?" a third woman asked.
"She almost torn it to pieces!" an older woman said.

It was like that everywhere. Corners were filled with gossipers, who would, no doubt, be talking about this for the next few weeks. Gloria, sitting at the high table in the front, lowered her eyes. Even Jacob, her new husband, was talking about it to the best man.

"Man, did you see that girl? I always told Gloria there was something fishy about her," Jacob said.
"You can't change a rotten egg," the best man replied.

Jacob finally rounded on his wife and gave her a loving smile and planted a kiss on her forehead.

"It's okay, honey. Nobody will remember it. Everyone will be commenting on how gorgeous you looked up there," he said.

"No. It's not okay. I don't like the limelight all the time, but on my -er I mean- our wedding day, I'd like it to be just about us. Is that too much to ask for?" she asked.

"No. No, you're right," he said, grabbing his champagne glass, and stood up to make a toast. "Here, here." He clinked the fork on the glass several times before he caught everyone's attention. "I know what happened earlier seemed...unconventional, but that's who we are. We aren't 'normal' according to modern standards. I ask you, please, if you would look at my lovely bride and pay her some attention, too."

"Here, here!" yelled a hundred and two people in unison. They started clamoring over to her table where they wished her a good, happy, long life together. Even though it as what she thought she wanted, she was wasn't happy. Somehow she knew the incident was still on their minds, and they would resume their conversations after a brief moment of congratulations.

***

Meanwhile, Christy was sitting in her car painting. She never made any kind of outburst before. She knew she ruined her best friend's wedding; and there was no reprimand horrible enough to take it back. She swore softly to the voices. Knowing better than to make an appearance at the party, she shot her best friend and apology text.

"Sorry about earlier. Something popped in my mind. Don't know what I was thinking."

Ten minutes later, she pressed the receive new message on her screen, and started breathing faster.

"There is nothing to say now. You've ruined my day. Everybody is talking about it."

Christy felt her eyes welling up. The damage already hapened. It was up to her to try and rebuild the friendship before enemy walls started standing. She wrote:

"I can show up, apologize, and turn the focus back on you."

Not even two minutes later, a message came to her inbox.

"I never want to see you again."

It was a tone of finality. It was over. Their friendship no longer existed.

You're worth nothing. You're worth nothing. You're worth nothing. The voices chanted over and over. She hunched over grabbing her head and massaging her temples.

"It'll go away," she said aloud, but they didn't. They chanted louder and faster.

You're worth nothing!! You're worth nothing!!

There was a man rapping on her car window.

"Ma'am! Ma'am. Are you alright in there?" It was the pastor that married her former best friend.

"Yes, sir. I was just-," she said, but realized she didn't have any words that could describe what she was doing. Talking to herself? Too weird. Talking to imaginary voices in her head? Too crazy. They would admit her in the psychiatric ward immediately. That could never happen. "I was just singing and praying out loud. The Lord likes to hear it come out of peoples' mouths."

He gave her a disbelieving look, but said nothing about it. "Okay, make sure you're feeling okay," he said, putting the emphasis on the word 'feeling' that made her uncomfortable.

She backed out of the hidden driveway she scrambled in before and drove off to nowhere trying to get Gloria out of her head unsuccessfully.

Unfortunately, neither could the voices.

Three days later

Gloria hadn't forgotten about her wedding even though she was on a romantic cruise on the Mediterranean Sea. She knew she would be happy. Jacob knew she had wanted to come here since she was a little girl, and it's coming true right now.

"Honey, come out on deck. It's gorgeous out there," Jacob said with a noticeable bounce in his voice.

"No, no. I'm okay right here," Gloria said hoping she wasn't revealing her self-pity.

"Are you okay? You've always wanted to see his," he said and paused. "Did I pick a wrong place? Was there somewhere else you wanted to visit?"

"No, no. God, no. You've done a perfect job, honey. I'm just- I guess I'm just tired. I'm going to take a quick nap."

"Great. I'll join you. All that sightseeing really wears it out of you," he said and slid in the bed next to her.

Finally, she felt content with her life and realized that no matter what happened at their wedding, they were married now. It didn't change that. She smiled faintly and fell asleep in his arms.

***

Kill. Kill!

The voices intensified until Christy dropped on her knees in a fit of confusion and a pang of guilt.

'I ruined my best friend's wedding. I did,' she thought to herself.

Kill! Kill! repeated the voices with increased vigor.

She found herself in front of her former friend's house, and stopped without thinkng anything of it.

"Oh," she audibly said. "She's on her honeymoon."

Tires squealed as she tore from the driveway without looking back.

Three weeks later

"Honey, come in here. Please hurry," Gloria said.

"What is it? You sound distressed," her new husband said.

No explanation was needed when he saw the blood-soaked rag peeking out from under the bed. He winced and turned his face from the horrid sight, while the color drained from her face.

"But. But, what does it mean?" she asked.

"I don't know and I don't care. Just get that-that thing out of here."

***

Tonight. You must complete the act. Tonight.

'Am I really going to go through with this? Can I go through with this?' she questioned silently.

She had virtually no say in the matter, however. The voices, who controlled her every movement, had successfully taken over her body. It was evident the first time when she knew she saw that little boy in the street, but they told her to keep going; that it was meant to be that he was hit; he needed to learn his lesson. She accelerated and, without a backwards glance, kept driving full speed ahead. She was never caught.

The very next morning

"Honey, sorry I couldn't come home last night. My brother called me and he sounded nervous about something, so I stayed-" he cut short as he saw his wife's body on the floor by the bed. "Honey!" he said and rushed by her side, lifting her limp head long enough to know there wasn't any more life in her.

He quickly snatched his cell phone and dialed 9-1-1.

Twenty minutes later, homicide police, FBI, crime scene investigators, and an ambulance were all rushing through his door. Only the police greeted him and asked numerous questions.

"I'm sorry for your loss. You were recently married?" the first cop asked.

"Yes," he said and focused on a dirt spot on the carpet. 'She would be freaking out right now,' he thought.

"When did you last see her?" a second cop asked.

"Yesterday. Last night. Before I went to bed. I mean, my brother's house."

The cops exchanged glances. "Which was it?"

"Brother's house. He called last night around midnight. He was all stressed, so I stopped by. I spent the night scared he'd do something stupid. It looks like I stayed at the wrong house."

The cops said nothing for awhile, but finally broke the silence. "You'll need to come downtown with us. We still have more questions."

"Sure. Do you want me to drive there?" he asked.

"That won't be necessary. You'll just ride in the backseat of the squad car. My partner will take you out there now," the second cop said.

"Okay. Do I...take anything?"

"No, just yourself. Come on. I know this is difficult for you. Just follow me," the cop said, and he steered the man out the door and into the cop car where he was instructed to wait.

Police Headquarters- Downtown

"Sir, do you know anybody who would have done this?" a stranger cop asked him.

He sat in the cold seat of the interrogation room pondering the question. "No, ma'am. I can't think of a single person."

"There were strangulation marks around her neck. Is there something you'd like to tell us?"

"No. Heavens no. She hates the feeling of being suffocated."

"Okay. Sit tight. We rushed the lab results since the body was fresh. They should be delivered soon enough. With the print marks on her neck, we will be able to determine the killer once we run them through the database."

***

Christy burst through the front doors of the headquarters.

"I need to see someone. Quick. It's an emergency," she said.

"What's your emergency?" the clerk asked.

"I believe my best friend was murdered last night. Gloria Fieldman -er- I mean Gloria Waters. She was recently married."

"Yes, we have her husband in an interrogation room now," she informed her.

"No! What is he saying? I need to speak with someone! Now!" she yelled.

"Sorry, calm down, miss. I cannot give you that information even if I had it. I'll see to it that you speak with someone immediately. Agent Malone is taking care of the case for now. You may speak with him. In the mean time, I suggest you find yourself a comfy seat in the waiting office," she said pointing to an all-glass room.

"Miss?" an unfamiliar voice asked.

"Yes? Hi, are you Agent Malone?" Christy asked.

"Sure am. I'm kind of busy now with a case-"

"I'm here for that case. Homicide, right? Gloria Waters?"

"That's- that's the one. Come here."

"Yes, well I've been having these feelings that she shouldn't marry that man. I had dreams he was dangerous," she started.

"Continue," he said.

"Last night, I woke up with a start because I felt a sudden pain throughout my whole body. As if I was being strangled or stabbed. I ran to my best friend's house and there were government cars everywhere, so I came here. Now, I'm talking with you." She lowered her voice, "I feel that she has died. Is this true?"

"Yes, sadly. She was just pronounced dead two minutes ago," he said lowering his eyes to avoid her penetrating stare.

"I knew it," she said under her breath.

"What do you mean you knew?" he asked suddenly intrigued.

"I've been feeling things, dreaming things, prophetic dreams of things that will soon happen. I was too late to save her."

"Who did it?" he asked driving his point across.

"I can't say," she said tears forming.

"Who did it?" he repeated. "Tell me, or you'll be an accessory to the crime."

Christy looked at the mirrored glass, but only saw her reflection. She knew people were crowding the door, though.

***

"Do you know  woman by the name Christy Sanders?" a cop asked Gloria's husband.

"Erm, yes. Why? Did she do this?"

"No, well, we haven't ruled anything out. I hear that she's her best friend. Was she at the wedding?"

"Maid of honor. She ran out of the church screaming no. I haven't seen her since."

"Hm. Okay. That's all. Wait here until you're dismissed. A security guard will escort you out of the building."

***

Christy knew she had to tell them.

"He did it," she said.

'Who's he?" Agent Malone asked.

"Jacob Waters."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes," she said nodding.

***

Agent Malone walked outside leaving Christy in the room alone. Walking over to his desk, he passed by the other interrogation room where Jacob was sitting patiently. He memorized his chiseled-shaped face; round, green eyes; and lower-level hairline.

Making a quick stop, he ran the name 'Jacob Waters; through his computer finding nothing. Even if it were his prints, there wouldn't be a way to electronically determine it. They only had one witness, and she 'dreamt' it happening. Nothing that woul hold up in any court of law. They had no choice but to release him.

Twenty years later

Christy grew restless with her best friend's death that was now officially a cold case. Her lack of sleep led her to form deep, purple craters under her eyes. Her face was always caked with tears from all the sleepless nights crying.

Just like clockwork, she turned n the television to watch the evening news. A flash of lght, then she saw his face. She picked up her cell phone and dialed 9-1- and hung up. Instead, she drove herself to the police headquarters and felt a faint bead of sweat forming on her brow.

"May I speak with Agent Malone?" Christy asked the secretary in the front, who was different from twenty years ago

"He's with someone now, but I'll let him know yo're here. What is your name?" she asked.

"Christy. He'll know me."

A minute later, Agent Malone came huffing towards her.

"Yes?" he asked.

"He was arrested. He used his fake name, too."

"Who was arrested? What fake name?"

"Jacob Waters."

"What do you mean by 'fake name'?"

"Well, I've known him a little longer than most people. His birth name is Andrew Brierton. He ran in some trouble with the law a few years before his wife's death, and immediately switched his name. That's why you didn't find any records. It was as if he were only four years old," she said barely taking time to gasp for a breath through the mini-speech.

"Hold it. Actually, come with me. Sit here," he said.

Several hours passed by as he called for people only to turn them down saying he changed his mind. Finally, as though he found the pot of gold under the rainbow, he whispered in shock, "It was him."

***

Cops surrounded the outside of his jail cell, guns held steady in their hands waiting to pounce the perpetrator. A security guard was only visible to him, and he stood up immediately. Instead of being released, he was tackled to the floor by a hundred of the best cops on the force.

Agent Malone stood at the forefront of the men.

"You sick bastard," Agent Malone said and felt the overwhelming urge to spit on him.

"It was all in good fun. I put on a really good show for you; you have to admit. You were eating right out of my hand," Jacob said brimming with a smile as he was handcuffed and steered away.

 

The End

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