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I walked into my room. The surface of my desk in the left corner of my room was hidden by the mountain of work and notes that I had piled up, just yesterday… back when I was a normal woman. I looked at my unmade bed with the sheets pulled all the way back. This was how I had left it this morning… back when I didn’t know a thing. My dresser was cluttered with possible outfit combinations for each day of the week, which I had carefully organized on Sunday… little did I know that I would be wearing these clothes to the hospital.
This couldn’t be happening. This morning that consisted of turning off alarm clocks and giving goodbye kisses felt so distant. I had to be dreaming. I was just really oversleeping. My happily ever after was still waiting for me, all that I had to do was wake up…
This was, indeed, a nightmare— but it was a living one. I got a horrible feeling in my gut. I wasn’t strong. Not at all. I knew that there were two possibilities. I knew that there was a chance. But I had this feeling that my life was about to change. I was sobbing. I curled up on the floor, right next to my bed. As I bawled, I watched my teardrops hit my bare legs, making splatters all over myself. They formed shapes before smudging and merging into puddles. I distractedly watched them form. I pounded my hand against my right leg, destroying all of the pretty shapes and puddles that my tears had created. They didn’t deserve to exist. None of these selfish, pretty faces deserved to exist. I struck my left leg, this time. I didn’t even feel any pain from the impact. I was too damaged inside. Life’s not what it’s cracked up to be. Nobody should waste time being happy if it all amounts to this. Life changes too quickly. But, then again, some people will never know pain like this. Some people will travel down their paths in life, free from fear. Free from heartbreak. Enjoying the ride. It wasn’t fair. It just wasn’t fair. I screamed and shot up. I listened to my ear-piercing shrieks. Shrieks so loud that I could not even hear my own thoughts. I kept screaming, my head empty and my yells loud. I felt faint… distant from the rest of the world. Then I heard a thought even louder than my screams. It told me to go. It told me that I had to go. I couldn’t keep being so oblivious. I couldn’t pretend he was here if he wasn’t. Love is dangerous. It can destroy you, but love is also worth it. I had to face reality. I had to go. I had to be the one to check. Me, and only me. Because whether I still am or whether I once was the love of his life, he will always be mine... no matter what.
The city is a crazy place at night, especially when you’ve had thoughts of death and crime buzzing through your head for the past several hours. I felt the wind blowing against my back. It gave me the chills. Sirens rang and taxis raced to their destinations. People drew portraits and sold jewelry. People smoked and sold drugs. People fought outside of bars. There were lights. Yellow lights. People sang. There was music. They were happy. But I didn’t know if I would ever be. The world kept spinning, even though mine was about to stop. It really wasn’t fair.
I walked through the streets, dazed. As I approached the New York City Hospital, I gulped. I couldn’t do this.
How could I?
Stop. I could. I knew I could.
I didn’t want to do this, but I had to do this. I could do this.
I kept walking, my head bowed down and my shoulders sagging. I couldn’t pretend. That was something I really couldn’t do.
There was someone waiting for me. A lady with a defining black bob-cut along her jawline and deep black eyes. She was wearing a black suit and matching pants. Her clipboard and aviator sunglasses resting on her head told me that she was not a doctor.
“Wow, you must be Jennifer. You’re such a fine young lady. I am so sorry,” she cooed, handing me a tissue.
“Thanks,” I said blandly. I didn’t want her sympathy.
I looked her over for a minute or so. She understood that I needed silence. She patiently waited, her eyes never leaving me. Perhaps she was inspecting me, as well.
Ultimately, she broke the silence,
“So, your husband’s case is an interesting one. I know you don’t want to go in the room, but it will help us move on in our investigation. If he’s not in that room, then there’s still a shot. The sooner we start looking, the better,” she lightly touched my hand.
“And if he’s not in there?” I asked, choking up.
“Then we can find out what happened to him. Crack this case,” she said, giving me a slight grin.
A selfish, pretty face. I couldn’t take it.
“Is that what this is about? Cracking a case?” I pulled away from her, bursting into tears like a baby. I was infuriated. I turned my back, threatening to leave.
“No, Jennifer. It’s about busting the idiot who may have hurt him! Okay? Get him in jail, maybe even killed. Do you hear me?” the lady yelled to my back.
I turned around. She was right. I may not have liked her manner, but not everyone in this world had to be as miserable as I was. I had to accept it, even if I didn’t like it. It wasn’t fair of me to expect anything else.
“I’m sorry if we started off on the wrong foot. I’m Detective Jones, and all I want to do is help,” she said, extending her arm to reveal an official FBI badge, her name printed on it.
“Okay, let’s just do this,” I replied meekly, avoiding eye contact with the detective.
“Alright, follow me,” Detective Jones replied respectfully.
She led me through a tiled hallway with high ceilings and baby yellow walls, my favorite color. A color that always reminded me of sunshine and happiness. It didn’t belong here.
Then, we reached the room. She opened the door. I walked in as directed, my mind racing and my head dizzy.
I couldn’t even take in the dark surroundings; I was too focused on the black stretcher covered with a tattered white sheet that lay in front of me. This was it. Life or death. Literally.
My hands were shaking wildly. My knees buckled. Tears streamed down my face, but I remained silent. My life depended on what lay beneath these rags. I slowly reached out and clutched onto the rough white sheet. I would remember this moment forever. Slowly, then all at once, I yanked back my arm.
I gasped. I saw a face. Then I saw a body. I saw pale skin and stunned, deep blue eyes. I saw blonde hair. I saw perfect lips and high cheekbones. I even remember seeing a dimple. I threw the sheet back onto the body and shook my head. I sobbed wildly. This man was beautiful. Too beautiful to be dead. It wasn’t fair.