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Shock 'n' Roll
Mrs. Cynthia Lyme sat on the large leather sofa in her spacious Los Angeles mansion staring in shocked disbelief at her 72” plasma television. She didn’t normally watch TMZ, but the copious amount of wine over dinner had persuaded her otherwise. Some people drink red wine with chicken Marsala to bring out the flavor, but Cynthia drank to dull her painful loneliness. So deep was her shock that she could only catch snippets of the report.
“…this breaking news, John Lyme was found dead in his New York City hotel room this morning… alleged drug overdose… fans all across the country hysterical with grief… the rest of the Twisted Lyme Band are calling off the rest of their tour…”
So. The rock star lifestyle of Mrs. Lyme’s husband finally caught up with him. All the partying, the drugs, the heavy drinking, the months away on tour… finished, in a New York City hotel room. Cynthia could hardly catch her breath. She walked across the room, opened the sweeping French doors, and walked out onto the balcony.
The cool evening air breezed around her as she stared into the distance and contemplated her newfound freedom. She knew, of course, that she should be sad. Devastated. What girl in America wouldn’t want to be married to John Lyme, rock star, poet, and artist?
And yet, Cynthia couldn’t contain her relief. No more waiting around at home while her husband toured major cities, no more wondering whether he’d remember to call when he said he would, no more worrying about the drugs and the booze. No more painstaking attempts to make all the appropriate appearances at public events with him. No more fake-smiling for the cameras and ferocious bickering in the limousine. Her sister, Patti, had been saying for years that she should leave John, but Cynthia just couldn’t bring herself to do that. Her life was luxurious and stable, if not always happy. And she did love John, sometimes.
After the initial shock, she couldn’t say she was exactly surprised at this turn of events. It was just like John not to know when to say when. Her future without him stretched out before her, unencumbered and free. With her inheritance money, she’d finally be able to travel Europe. John was never fond of traveling, saying it was too much like being on tour. Thinking about her new life, Cynthia had never felt so independent.
A few minutes later, the telephone rang. Cynthia glided over to the phone and said hello.
“Cyn, so glad I caught you! You wouldn’t believe what the ruddy media has been saying about me, dear, it’s absolutely ridiculous. Just calling to let you know that the band is going on tour for another six weeks. We’re being extended to Europe! Isn’t that exciting?”
Cynthia dropped the phone. This was too much. She felt dizzy from a toxic combination of shock, guilt, the wine from dinner, and disappointment of the deepest kind. Head swimming, she fell back onto the couch. She needed something to take the edge off. She eyed the liquor cabinet in the corner of the room and convinced herself that she would know when to say when…
The next day, John Lyme turned on the television in his London, England hotel room.
“Cynthia Lyme was found dead in her Los Angeles home… authorities can confirm alcohol poisoning as a result of reckless binge drinking.”