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Murder of Love (part 2)

By , Fontana, CA
Chapter 3




It almost seems comical to say that Victor's struggles continued to grow as Brad and Marina's love continued to blossom. It was even more amazing that Victor managed to keep his emotions bottled up inside for almost six years, until it finally came time for Brad and Marina to marry.




It was a beautiful morning. There wasn't a single patch of brown grass or a sight of a stray animal lingering outside the church. As the bride and groom began to grow jittery with excitement, the best man began to grow jittery with insanity. Victor had spent weeks perfecting this before-mentioned plan of action, and now it was finally time to put it to motion.




When Victor came down to breakfast, he saw a table full of cheery people. Hana was completely ready, where as her brother, Jun, wore hole-filled socks and an old concert tee. Marina looked beautiful with her makeup and her half done hair. Brad was in need of a tie adjustment, and all together they made quite a spectacle.




The breakfast went just as planned: full of laughs, love, and to his knowledge - sabotage. By now he was a pro at faking his expressions, so it was easy for Victor to forge his astonishment when Marina began to feel dizzy. Though Brad was extremely worried, Marina waved it off, blaming the pre-wedding jitters.



They went on with the preparations, and the bride made it ahead of time at the church. Everyone was in place, the adorable flower girls coveted the velvet carpet with white rose petals, and the bride, escorted by her proud father, gradually made her way along the isle. Brad couldn't help but sport his pearly whites, as he yearned to make his elegant treasure absolutely his, in the face of God. Marina couldn't meet Brad's welcoming stare, not only because she herself was overwhelmed by happiness, but because a dull pain was slithering from her spine to the back of her head. Despite the enticing melody of the orchestra's 'Pachelbel Canon' singing in the church, a faint buzz was pounding at the very core of her brain. It was a sensation that was unlike a gory wound. It was as though she'd rather bleed profusely than feel this indescribable agony.



"I'm speechless unto how beautiful you look," was Brad's soft croon. His voice and touch gave her a slight jolt, surpassing the low drumming noise at the back of her mind. "Marina, are you alright?"

"Yes…of course…a bit nervous, that's all," she gave his hand a light squeeze for assurance and went on with the ceremony.

"Do you, Brad Johnson, take Marina Mariano to be your wife?" The minister recited with a powerful tone.

"Absolutely," he stated with no hesitation.

"And do you, Marina Mariano, take Brad Johnson to your husband?" He then turned to her, but by this time, she didn't notice this at all. The soft prattle of pain she felt earlier, was now a full-fledged ache that throbbed throughout her entire system.

"Marina? Do you accept Brad Johnson to…" The minister's potent sound was nothing but a muffled whisper, now.

"I…I…" and before she could breathe the last word of her consent, she collapse under Brad's tight hold.

"Marina?!" Brad lifted her veil, revealing a sickeningly pale face, "Someone call the doctor immediately!"




The rest of the morning was all a blur. Images of Marina being lifted onto a gurney just before the two betrothed could be declared into a lifetime of unity grazed through Brad's unwilling mind. He reflected on delaying the wedding, and all the grievous faces that were plastered over his loved one's faces. All he could do was pray as he sat in the hospital room, holding his sleeping Marina's hand. She was slowly slipping away; her heart battle with the unknown poison that had entered her bloodstream.




Two long, appalling months had passed. Marina was struggling to stay alive, while the talented doctors from all over the area gathered to find an antidote against this unfamiliar poison. They had never seen this type of poison before, and just when they came close to finding the cure, Marina's heart pulsed no more. The damage had engulfed her arteries, even with the various procedures the professionals had taken. From the 27th of May to this day, medical scientists still haven't found the absolute elixir to the toxin Marina had been drugged with.




It had been a solemn morning. Brad could hardly keep himself going while carrying the burden of a broken heart upon his shoulders. Though no one knew it, this morning was none the easier for Victor, who had accidentally murdered his best friend's dream girl. All the while, Victor had to play the part of a caring friend, but in the back of his mind he knew it wouldn't last. He had to continue to play along, to make the most of not being caught, and he did so for ten long years. Through these ten years, Victor had kept Brad's trust, and this scraped his heart with unimaginable guilt and pain.







Chapter 4





"Can I come in?", Victor is staring down at his broken down friend.


"Thank you so much!", Brad says through tears,"Thank you for reminding me of my past. Thank you for being there for me, even through Marina's death."


"Oh, uh... that's what friends are for, but I didn't send those pictures."


"You didn't? Huh. Oh well. Come look with me. Wasn't she beautiful?", Brad was looking directly into Victor's eyes. Victor wasn't looking back.


" She was the most beautiful girl in the whole world. You were lucky to have her.", says Victor, with a tone of sadness in his voice.


"Look at these ones, Victor!", Brad says with a strangely saddened excitement in his voice, "These are the wedding photos! That could have been the best day of my life. Look, there's me and Marina. Look at Jun! That tux was way too big for him. Oh, look, it's Hana and Alison. Bet you never thought you'd be engaged to her in ten years. Just think, we could have been cousin- in -laws."


" You know we'll always be brothers at heart, even if you're not married to Alison's cousin." Victor said, though his eyes were still downcast.


Brad continues to study the photographs.


"Hey, you're not in these ones. Why wouldn't my best man be in the wedding photos? Where were ya'?"


"Um, you really don't want to know. It's no big deal, really."




As Brad and Victor continued through the pictures, the images began to be more and more gruesome. Brad couldn't believe his eyes when he saw photos of his beloved's last moments on this earth. He could only trace this back to one person: Hana. Hana always had a camera in her hand. She documented the beautiful moments as well as the painful ones. Hana was there when Marina had accepted his hand. Hana had been there when Marina was getting ready for the wedding. Hana had been there when Marina ate breakfast before the reception, and when she began to feel dizzy. Hana had been there when the wedding was delayed, and was there through those two months before the wedding had to be delayed- forever.




Brad's mind was racing, and ideas began to pop intio his head that had never been there before. Brad dropped the pictures, this time picking up the large and torn envelope. Inside he found a neatly folded, though slightly blurred letter. He instantly recognised the writing as belonging to Hana, a long time friend and now gourmet chef at the medical school, along with being a part time photographer. As Brad read the tear-stained letter, Victor began to sweat. He kept his distance from Brad, eyes downcast all the while.







Brad,






Marina was my best friend, my kindred spirit. I, if anyone, knew that you belonged with her. Through these past ten years, you've been through enough pain and toil to last a lifetime. All this time, Victor has stood by you, and it tears me up inside. There's a lot you don't know about that morning when Marina began her dizzy bouts. I know this is a tough subject for you, as it is with me, but I can't take it any longer. As you know, today would have been your ten year wedding anniversary. For me, it is the anniversary of the day I lost trust in one of my dearest friends. You must understand that Victor is a complicated man, and that his reasons are unknown to me, I know it was him.






I'm sure you know what I mean. After all, he did have all the rescources. Professor Rye had complete trust in him, and I think that has lead to a fatal mistake. I believe that Victor poisoned Marina. I believe that he murdered her. I just can't take this pain anymore. I thought that at least by now, he would have broken down and been haunted by Marina's memory. But, it's obvious he isn't. He's even gone so far as to stay close to you, and to engage himself to Marina's closest cousin. He's gone too far.





Victor is a murderer. Bottom line. He poisoned that blueberry syrup with the "powdered sugar". That was no powdered sugar. He was a talented chemist. I believe he altered the poison's traits to taste just like sugar. Please trust me, and use your best judgement in this situation.



Always, Hana






As Brad puts the letter down on his oak desk, Victor slowly looks up to his fellow colleague. Brad can no longer look into Victor's eyes, but uses everything he has to resist his urge to throw a punch. Looking at his friend, Victor knows all too clearly what the letter must have exposed. He grew frantic and stuttered fragments of his side of the story, but then he paused, and with a grave voice said:


"It was an accident. I'm so sorry," he tried his best to contain the tears.


"I only wanted to sedate her, to cause some amnesia-anything to stop this pain in my heart from growing anymore. I was foolish, I know that deep down I knew, but the pain of seeing the girl I loved with my best friend-", Victor paused to regain some composure, "It was just too much to take."


"Victor, I trusted you. How could you? How is it that you managed to lie to me for ten years, then go so far as to engage yourself to her cousin!?"


"That's why I got involved with Alison; she reminded me so much of her-"


"Alison's just a replacement to you?!" Slowly but steadily, Brad's rage was increasing.


"No! I admit that in the beginning those were my real intentions, but after some time I've grown to really love her," his mind was spinning, his blood was pumping, and for that one moment, it seemed as though all of Victor's hateful deeds came crashing down on him.


"I-I can't believe that you would actually have the heart to do all that..." Brad was so furious that he was gradually becoming dazed at the sudden discovery of Marina's murder.


"Please understand! I was young and inconsiderate!" Though he knew that there was no escape, and nothing he could do would erase the fact that he was a murderer, he still wanted - at the very least - have Brad forgive him. However impossible that may be, he just wanted to hear his best friend say those three words that will put him to the utmost satisfaction. "Forgive me, I beg you!"


Brad's mind was vehemently trying to process what he had learned. Several years have passed since his beloved's death, and never had it crossed his mind that the man who stood next to him the entire time was the cause of all his grieving. He had so many questions as to why she was taken away from him so early, right before she was able to say 'I do' even, and now his questions were answered. It all made sense; the gaping holes that was burned into his mind were filled, and with this new knowledge, he finally realized that everything from start to finish revolved around Victor.


"Brad, I'm so sorry! I promise you that you will never see me again, just please forgive me!" He took a firm hold of his friend's shoulders and shook them desperately.


"How...How can I?" Brad whose eyes had been so immersed on the tiled floor now pierced through his bewildered friend's eyes, with a hint of pity. With that, Victor's flood of words were chocked back into his throat, his eyes now filling with defeated tears.




Before they could do or say anything else, the high-pitch blare of police cars became greatly evident. A moment ago, the faint sound of a alarmed vehicles could be heard, but it was all lost in the panic conversation. It didn't take them too long to realize that someone had "conveniently" called for the police, but they just stood there, paralyzed and glaring at each other's face - even the sound of the mens' heavy footsteps along the hallway didn't irk any movement from them. They simply stood their ground, the silence between them expressing much more than any verbal language. The locked classroom door was directly kicked open, and though the policemen found the two doing nothing more than exchanging meaningful looks, two of them each took a hold of the professors and distanced them away, then escorting them outside seperately. Once Victor finally managed to pry his vision away from Brad's painful expression, he couldn't find the will to turn back and have a last look at the result of his irrational malice.




Victor Smith was only imprisoned for 12 months and 26 days. His life-time punishment was interrupted due to an act of suicide, on the 27th of May. In the end, Victor only ruined his own life; He had murdered the only girl he loved, he had destroyed the friendship he had with Brad, and that betrayed friend of his could never find it in his heart to forgive him.


Marina and Victor now lay side by side at Saint Josephine's burial ground, which Brad and Hana especially visit around the anniversary of a birthday, a wedding, and a funeral.





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amtpinkpandaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 20, 2010 at 10:43 am

I liked this part too!

It did a good job of wrapping it up.

It is a little starnge,though, that hana wouldnt go to the hospital and reveal that victor "might be able to help"

or tell brad sooner.....

overall, very nice!

 
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