Aphelion Issue 250, Volume 24
May 2020
 
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Living the Lie

by J. I. Charles



The Sosa family's living room was darker than any other along Barker Street. Elsewhere, even long after midnight, lights from various mechanical and electronic devices cast glowed green or crimson or blue like unblinking eyes -- modems, cable boxes, DVD players and video game systems.

Robert Sosa possessed these devices, but he had a compulsion to unplug everything around him before he went to sleep. Without those multicolored points of light, his living room seemed even darker, so dark that it would frighten most children and even some adults. But it didn't bother Robert. He rather enjoyed the blackness of it all.

Robert was fast asleep on the sofa of his black, crypt-like, living room. He had no dramatic reason for sleeping on his sofa rather than in his bed. He wasn't currently fighting with his wife of twelve years. The sofa itself wasn't more comfortable than his three thousand dollar orthopedic mattress -- in fact it wasn't comfortable at all. The only reason he and his wife had even bought the sofa was because Sarah just had to have it -- that was her way.

When they had met and fallen in love, material things hadn't mattered much to Sarah. Once Robert became successful, though, everything changed; she changed. The new six figure income seemed to change who his wife was and would forever be.

Their old sofa, the comfortable friend Robert had known for nine years, wasn't good enough for them anymore. Well, it wasn't good enough for her. Robert had rather enjoyed the groove his body eventually molded into the middle of his comfortable old friend over the long and happy years he and the sofa shared together.

Robert was asleep on that uncomfortable, just-for-show, sofa on that extremely dark night because he hated sneaking through the house on nights he came home late.

To reach his bed, he would have to climb the stairs, trying to avoid the creaking steps, counting each step he took so that he'd know just how far up he had progressed.

He could have turned on the light that lit the top and bottom of the staircase, but it would be impossible for him to turn it off again. He had to use the downstairs light switch. Every time he tried to use the upstairs switch, Robert broke out into a cold sweat and an incredibly painful ache seeped into his arms.

He hated walking through the hallway, passing the two doors that led to his children's rooms. The thought of making any noise and possibly waking them up absolutely broke his heart. Robert cherished his children's sleep, for it was only while they slept that they were at their most innocent. Awake, lately anyway, they were much like their mother.

Jason, his eldest, just had to have the coolest games and Jen, just twelve years old, already had to have the trendiest clothing. But at night, when they lay their heads down to sleep, they were his babies again. They were sweet and delicate and innocent to the core. Robert didn't know what they dreamed about, but he held it close to his heart that they were dreaming sweet, peaceful and wonderful things.

What Robert dreaded most, though, more than counting steps in the dark or waking his children, was the painful exercise of slipping into bed with Sarah. Oh, Robert loved his wife with a passion that most men could only pretend to have. She was his sun. His one sugar in a cup of coffee. His stuffing to a Thanksgiving turkey. Next to his children, Sarah was his entire world. She was beautiful to a fault and as strong as a mafia boss.

Robert had been propositioned by other women before, beautiful women, young and energetic, but they weren't and never would be Sarah. Robert turned those women down, much to their disgust, and would continue to do so until the day he died.

The reason he dreaded slipping into bed and snuggling into the warm mass that was his precious wife, was he was afraid of waking her as well.

Sarah would be grumpy and would have absolutely no problem letting Robert know that fact. No, it was easier to come home, grab a pillow and blanket out of the hall closet and battle out a night's sleep on his uncomfortable sofa.

A sudden shift in the air around Robert made his eyes spring wide open. He hadn't heard anything, well nothing except the ticking of the clock that hung over his fireplace, but he felt it sure enough. It was as if a thousand people had suddenly taken a deep breath all at once and heavily exhaled at exactly the same time.

Robert forgot about the dream he was having in an instant. He suddenly felt very afraid and alone, like a child watching a shadow dancing on the wall of his lonely bedroom as the wind howls furiously outside. Chills ran through his entire body and he was unable to release the tension in any of his muscles. He couldn't move at all. It was as if he were a snake that had its head cut off after it knew it was being attacked. His muscles were painfully tense.

A heavy breathing noise coming from the left side of Robert's sofa made him suddenly spring to his feet in panic to face the noise. In the arm chair directly in front of him sat a dark figure staring directly at him, silently. Though the darkness of the living room shrouded the figure, Robert knew it was a man and Robert knew the man's eyes were angry.

"It's about time you woke up," the man's deep, husky voice said.

Robert thought he sounded like a cross between James earl Jones and Dirty Harry. It was a voice Robert didn't recognize.

"I've tickled your nose, blown in your ear and even nibbled on your little toe. Nothing worked!" The voice sounded excited to the point of laughter.

Robert almost screamed out for help, but the fear that he would disturb the sleep of the people he loved gripped him. "Who, who are you?" Robert hissed, "What are you doing in my house?"

"Whoa, whoa there, champ, calm down. Just relax a second will you? There's no reason to be scared of me." The man sat up straight in the chair, "In fact, you and I go way back."

Suddenly the dark figure sprang forward with a viper like quickness that stunned Robert. The figure grabbed both of Robert's wrists and twisted them nearly to their breaking point.

Robert collapsed to his knees. An explosion of pain shot through his arms and travelled through his shoulders, up his neck and to his head.

"We have a few things to talk about, you and I, Rob. You've put it off too long now." The dark figure looked down at Robert with hurt in his eyes, "You've put me off for too long now."

"I don't know who you are, or what you're doing in my house. But I promise you, if you let me go, you can have whatever it is you want. I have money, in a safe upstairs --" The panic in Robert's voice made him feel like a teenager caught stealing all over again.

"I know what you have and I don't want your money."

Robert blinked his eyes wildly, swearing that his heart had suddenly stopped. "What do you mean, you know?"

"Like I said earlier, Rob, you and I go way back. If you'd actually stop to think about it, you'd know that."

Robert forgot about the pain in his wrists as he desperately tried to place the man's voice. If he could remember that, he might be able to match it with a face. "I can't even see your face. How am I supposed to know who you are?" Robert asked after failing to come up with anything, "And if you don't want money, what do you want?"

"I want to talk, Rob, about you," The figure suddenly let go of Robert's wrists and took a step back. Looking down at Robert, the figure suddenly became angry; angry that the man on his knees could fall so far from what he used to be. How it had happened was clear: Robert had become soft.

Robert let people into his heart and into his soul. His entire life was based on and now revolved around those people.

The man thought about Sarah. The fucking whore was using Robert for his money and using her tennis instructor for pleasure. The man thought about Jason and Jennifer. Though they were two years apart, they were both as devious as their mother, twisting their father's love and bending it to their will. They got whatever they wanted, and gave nothing in return; not even the respect that Robert deserved.

Robert was so much more than the people in his life gave him credit for. He had it all going for him in high school. He had played almost every sport, football, baseball, basketball and even tennis. He wrestled, swam and played golf. Robert was a genuine athlete, and he was good, naturally good at everything he did.

Robert had had many friends, sometimes more than he cared to have at any one point in his life. He had gone on to college, where he earned a degree in business. After working for General Electric for just a year, Robert had been promoted to Senior Vice President of Sales.

He had been charismatic, brave and strong. He had been the complete opposite of what he was now. There was nothing left of Robert's former self. The man he had become was on his knees trying everything in his power not to shit himself.

The thought infuriated the man.

"Stand up and get dressed, Rob, we're going for a ride," the dark figure commanded angrily. He wanted to beat the pathetic out of Rob.

"Please, just take whatever it is you want. I promise not to call the police. I can do that, I swear it, I can forget about this! I can just --"

Pain rushed through Robert's head and his jaws clenched tightly. It felt as if a million volts of everything bad had just been shot through his nervous system. It felt as if a nuclear bomb had just detonated right next to his ear. He clutched his head in pain as he collapsed to the floor, trying desperately to fight back the pain. He wanted to yell out. He wanted to scream. He wanted to call out for help. He wanted to die.

The pain, it was too much.

But he couldn't cry out, couldn't do more than whimper. The thought of waking the ones he loved overpowered the pain.

"So there's still some of you left after all. But unfortunately, stubbornness isn't a trait that either of us have time for right now. Your world is going to change, Robert, with or without your consent, and it's going to change before the sun rises." The man's voice sounded less angry now and more determined. "That means I have less than seven hours to get you prepared for that change. Now, you can choose to lie there like a pathetic child being whipped by his drunken father -- though if you do, I will beat you senseless -- or you can stand up now, get dressed, and come with me. Either way, Rob, I will do what I need to do."

The man stood back, staring at the pathetic shell of a man on his knees and began to smile. "Or -- I could just go wake your family. Maybe they could convince you to do what you need to do."

"No! No, please," Robert hissed.

The tears in Robert's eyes cleared after a few moments and his vision was no longer blurred. The pain was gone and he could feel his legs again. On his hands and knees, looking down at the ground, Robert began to come back to his senses. His heavy breathing began to return to a normal state. His heart still pounded at the walls of his chest, like a man buried alive and trying to punch his way out of his coffin, but he was beginning to focus again.

"Get up, Robert, and get dressed. I really don't want to have to tell you again," the shadowed figure commanded in a less than sympathetic voice.

Robert rose to his feet shakily. He was frightened beyond belief, but he knew that whoever this person was, standing directly in front of him, he wasn't joking around. Movies, books and stories that he had read all raced through his mind. If he did what this man wanted, would he be left alone? Probably not, but then again, those movies, books and stories were created for entertainment. This was the real world. Maybe this man would let Robert go.

Or, maybe this man, this dark figure, would just chop Robert into pieces. Either way, neither conclusion would come about unless Robert did what this man wanted.

Robert side stepped to the edge of the sofa he'd been asleep on. On the end table, perfectly folded and stacked, sat the clothes he had been wearing when he came home; a pair of blue windbreaker pants and a red hooded fleece. Robert began to get dressed.

Since his teenage years, Robert had always made it a point to stay fit. He had gone to the gym after work. He hated running, but the windbreaker pants were good for it. He wore a long sleeved grey shirt while working out, but he didn't put it on. Robert had always perspired profusely and putting it on now would just be borderline disgusting; the cloth was still damp and clammy to the touch. The fleece would serve its purpose.

"Grab your keys and let's go," the dark figure demanded.

"Where are we going?"

"For a drive. We need to talk in private."

Robert stood in his place for a moment, trying to decide if leaving his home with this stranger would be the smartest decision.

"Now!" the dark figured yelled.

The noise of the shout seemed to reverberate off of everything in the living room, every wall, every inch of every foot in the house.

Panicked, Robert pleaded with the dark figure. "Shhh! Please, please don't do that, please don't wake my family up," Robert begged, nearly on the edge of tears. He could hear nothing from upstairs. The doors to each room would be closed, so maybe his wife and children hadn't heard.

"Listen to me, Robert; because this is the last time I'm going to say it to you. Get your keys, and let's go. Or I'll beat you, bind your feet to your hands, and head upstairs alone. I'll leave you down here to listen to their screams. I'll leave you down here to wallow in your own guilt over what I'm doing to them. I promise you, Rob, if you don't do as I say, and do it now, waking your family up will be the last thing on your mind."

Robert grabbed the keys to his Ford Explorer, parked out front, off of the end table that sat next to his uncomfortable sofa.

"Okay. Okay!" Robert palmed his keys but just stood in his place for a moment longer.

"Well? Let's go. You don't think I'm just going to walk in front of you and let you try something stupid, do you?"

Robert reluctantly turned around. He gave this man his back. Part of him waited for something sharp to plunge into it, but after a few moments, he realized that if this man was going to kill him, it wouldn't be here in the living room of his white carpeted home.

As Robert crossed the threshold of his front door, he slowly looked over his shoulder at his unlit home. The thought that this might be the last time that he would see the comforting darkness that only his home could provide scared him, and he knew the dark figure following closely behind him could sense it. If he were to die tonight, he would do so without getting the chance to tell his family how much he loved them.

"Let's go, bud. There's no reason to get emotional now."

The dark figure gave Robert a little shove on the shoulder and Robert reluctantly allowed himself to be ushered towards his Explorer in the driveway. After only ten steps, Robert paused.

"Am I driving or are you?" Robert asked.

The dark figure let out a little guttural laugh that sounded almost forced. "I think you know the answer to that, Rob."

With a little sigh, Robert walked around the front of his Explorer to the driver side door. As he laid a hand on the door handle, he looked up one more time. The windows on the second floor led to two of the three bedrooms in the house. The far left window was his daughter's room and the window on the far right was his and his wife's. The look in his eyes said the words that his mouth didn't need to say.

I love you.

####

As Robert slid down into his seat, he noticed that the dark figure was already seated in the front passenger seat. With the street lights on, Robert could see a silhouette of the man's face, but he was wearing a hood, and all that was clearly visible was the nose, and that was nothing special.

Robert buckled himself in, a strange sense of mystery engulfing his thoughts. There was something incredibly familiar about the man, as if he were a dream of an old friend, but Robert just couldn't piece anything together.

Robert pushed the thought to the back of his mind and began a series of routines. He first checked the passenger side mirror, adjusting it slightly upward, then slightly outward, and then back to its normal position. He repeated the process with the driver side mirror as well as the rear view mirror. Up, out and back to its original position. Robert suddenly realized that his passenger was speaking to him.

"Robert, are you listening to me?" The man asked annoyed.

"Sorry, I kind of blanked out a sec." Robert felt foolish apologizing. What did he have to apologize for? He was the one that had been ambushed in his sleep and abducted from his home.

"I asked you what you were doing."

"I was just adjusting the mirrors," Robert said in a matter-of-fact tone.

"Why?"

"What do you mean why? Am I supposed to drive without mirrors?" Robert asked as he began the mirror process again.

"Stop!"

Robert jumped at the shout.

"Stop fucking around with your mirrors." The dark figure sounded annoyed, border line angry. "Let me ask you something, Rob, for argument sake. Does anyone but you drive this vehicle?"

Robert stared at the man, saying nothing. His body itched; sweat beads began to form on his forehead. He felt restless and uncomfortable. He began to look from the man to the mirrors, back to the man and to his mirrors again. Robert's face became distorted, almost as if he were in pain.

"I'm going to go out on a limb here, Rob. I'm going to go as far as saying that no one but you drives this vehicle. You are the only one that has ever sat in that driver seat. You are the only one who looks into those mirrors on a daily basis." The man slowly turned his head to face Robert.

In this light, his face would be exposed for the first time tonight. Robert would finally get a chance to see who this man was. But the hood shadowed the face. The only thing that was visible was the white of the man's teeth and eyes.

Glaring at Robert, the dark figure became angry. He could see the discomfort on Robert's face. He knew what the man that sat in the driver seat wanted, what he thought he absolutely needed to do. "Turn the key, Rob, and let's get on our way," the dark man said.

"But I need to check --" Robert was cut off by another invisible blow to the head. Immediately Robert screamed. The pain was so sudden and forceful, there was no chance to think about being discreet. It felt as if Roberts's brain was melting. It felt as if a war full of explosions, gunfire and screams was raging inside his head. It seemed as if minutes passed and then the minutes turned into hours and the hours to days and the days to years.

All at once the pain stopped. What seemed like a lifetime of pain and agony lasted only a few seconds. Robert sat with his chin tucked against his chest, spittle dripping from his lips and down his chin.

"Turn the key Robert. I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. Turn the key."

Robert's eyes were watery. Everything was blurred and he felt as if he were going to vomit all over himself. Though the dark man was now facing him full on. There was no shadow covering the man's face anymore, and Robert could see the man's skin. He wasn't pale, the way Robert imagined him to be, but surprisingly tanned.

But the tears that pooled up in his eyes kept Robert from seeing anything other than the color of the man's skin; identifying him would be impossible.

Before Robert could clear his eyes and refocus on the world around him, the man turned his head and faced the front of the vehicle. Robert had missed his chance for now. He had no choice; the mirrors would have to stay the way they were. Robert turned the key, and pulled out of the driveway.

####

For the first twenty minutes of the drive, the only conversation between the two men in the car came from the dark figure giving Robert directions. Robert became increasingly annoyed by this.

This man, this monster, broke into my home. He invaded my privacy. He threatened my family and for what, to talk? He has me in the car, why doesn't he talk? What's the point to all of this?

As if the dark man in Robert's passenger seat could read thoughts, he spoke up. "I asked you a question earlier. Do you remember?"

"The mirrors?" Robert asked.

The dark man turned his head to the right and looked out of the passenger side window.

It was time to begin the talk.

Robert could sense the man wanted an answer now even if he didn't say so. "No. Nobody else drives this car. Sarah has her Merc, and the kids aren't old enough yet."

"What about friends or designated drivers?"

"I don't drink."

"Ah, that's right. You used to, though, didn't you?"

"Yeah, in college I guess I did. What does that have to do with the mirrors?"

The dark man chuckled. "It has nothing to do with the mirrors, Rob, nothing at all, though it does have something to do with who you were and who you are now. But that's a different topic.

"If no one but you drives this vehicle, why do you feel the need to constantly adjust and re-adjust the mirrors?"

"I have to make sure they weren't accidentally moved while the car was parked," Robert replied automatically, almost without even thinking about it, as if he'd rehearsed the answer over and over in his head.

"Nope, try again," The dark man answered without turning his head.

"What do you mean, nope?"

"Rob, let's just say, I know everything there is to know about you. Let's just say I know what you're thinking. I know when you lie. I know when you think of lying. Let's just say there are no secrets between us."

Robert cut the man off before he could continue. "No secrets? How about the fact that I don't know who you are? Is that a secret? Or maybe what we're doing in my car at three in the morning? Is that a secret?" The anger in Robert's voice was the first sign of any emotion other than fear, since he'd been woken up.

"You adjust the mirrors for the same reason you can't turn the stairs light off from upstairs."

Robert immediately tensed up. How could he know about the light?

"I know about the light, Rob, because, as I've been saying all night, I know everything there is to know about you; everything.

"You got Heather Novera pregnant your junior year in high school, but you forced her to abort the baby. You slept with your statistics professor in college so that you would be guaranteed to pass the class. Every day you masturbate in the shower because you're too timid to touch your wife. I. Know. Everything."

"Then why are we here?" Robert shouted, "Why the fuck are we here?" Robert was crying now. His entire body trembled. He was never ashamed to cry, but here, in front of this man, it felt as if there was nothing more shameful.

"At the end of the bridge, take a left." The dark man said.

Robert pulled over to the shoulder of the road and slammed on his brakes. They were on the bridge leading out of town. He slammed the gear into park. "I'm not doing anything else until you tell me what the fuck this is all about!"

The dark man began to laugh. It was a deep and hideous laugh.

"I don't give a shit what you do to me, but I want answers. Who are you? What the fuck do you want?"

Robert had had enough of the dark man's game. All he wanted to do was get back to his uncomfortable sofa, in his dark, crypt-like living room.

"Get out of the car, Rob."

"No!"

"I don't want to hurt you anymore than I have to, Rob, now get out of the car."

"I don't give a fuck what you do to me anymore. You wanted to talk, now let's talk!"

"Now, Rob."

"I said no!"

"You may not care what I do to you, but you'll care about what I do to your family when I'm done with you." The dark man turned to face Robert as he said this. His words were cold and sincere. The lighting was off and again, the man's face was shadowed. Never-the-less, Robert knew he was smiling.

Robert just stared at the face that was silhouetted by the dark hood surrounding it. He wanted answers, but he believed this man when he said he would hurt his family; his beautiful wife and his two babies. It didn't seem like Robert had any other option. He opened his door and got out.

As Robert approached the chest high railing separating him from a never ending fall, he could hear the noise of the water seven hundred and fifty feet below. It sounded peaceful. There was a current, but nothing extreme. If this were day time, Robert believed he'd be able to look over the bride and see children playing and splashing around.

Robert looked back at his car over his shoulder, expecting to see the dark man, but the car was empty. Robert's head involuntarily snapped forward as he heard the voice.

"Robert, I came to you tonight for one reason; to change your life. I told you that when we first met tonight, that it was going to change, didn't I? That I was going to try to prepare you for it? But I can see now that preparing you would be pointless. You are who you are now and there is nothing that neither I, nor you can do about it. You had the potential to be something great." The dark man looked down at the dashboard of the vehicle, sadness creeping over his face like ice frosting over a window, slow but gradual.

The dark man was sitting on the edge of the railing, staring down at the water.

One push and it could all be over, but Robert wanted answers.

"I have a life! A wonderful life! I have a wife and children, a career and people that love me. What the fuck do you have?" Robert was shaking with fury now, border lining rage.

"You live a lie, Robert. You spend your entire day lying to yourself. Nobody loves you. You don't even love you."

"That's not true," Robert whispered.

Just one push was all it would take.

"It is, and you know it is. The way I see it, Rob, the only way I see it changing, is to end the lie."

"No," Robert whispered again.

"Yes. It has to end, Robert, end the lie. Jump over this edge and free yourself from the lie."

Robert laughed. It was the first time he could remember laughing like this way, uncontrolled and completely spontaneous. "I'm not going to just kill myself because you say to. Even if I did decide to kill myself, I would do it for myself, no one else."

Robert walked to the railing where the dark figure sat. Could he push the man and send him to his death? No, he couldn't and he knew he couldn't. Without even realizing it, Robert began to climb the rail and came to rest next to his tormentor.

"You will, Rob. You're going to do it, or I'll do it for you. But if you make me do it, your family is next. Do it yourself and they live. You have until the count of five. Five."

Robert couldn't believe what he had just heard. In the back of his mind, he had always known that he wouldn't live to see his family again. But five seconds? Five seconds to decide to kill himself? He never thought it would end like this.

"Four."

He would never see his children again. He would never see his wife. What hurt him the most was the idea that they would think he had abandoned them. They would think that he loved them so little, that he would just leave them without saying a word about it.

"Three."

Robert began to cry softly as he stared down at the black surface so far below him. There was no use pleading with this man. This dark figure, this hideous man, had known all along how the night would end. He had planned it. He said it, 'or you can stand now. Get dressed, and come with me. Either way, I will do what I need to do.'

Except the dark man isn't going to do it. He is going to make me do it.

"Two."

"I love you, Sarah. I love you so much. I'm sorry that I won't be able to tell you that again."

If I don't do it myself, he'll kill me anyway, and then my family. I have no choice, do I?

"Be a good girl, Jen." Robert's eyes were tightly shut, drawing the images of his family in his mind. "Take care of your mother and sister, Jason; you're the one they'll look to now."

"One."

Robert closed his eyes as he let go of the world and jumped. The fall seemed endless. He had seen everything he had ever done throughout his life, in the blackness of his mind. He was standing on stage during his high school graduation, giving his valedictorian speech.

He was standing up at the podium as he accepted his college degree.

He was kissing Sarah after they were named husband and wife.

He was holding his two children after long hours of labor.

There were laughs, there were tears and there were days of pure bliss. Suddenly everything stopped, and all thoughts were gone.

####

The dark figure stood at the top of the bridge looking down. A part of him was with Robert as he fell. He wanted things to turn out so much differently, but Robert had proved to him that nothing would change unless the change was forced. As Robert slammed into the dark water, he felt that part of himself die. He felt Robert die. Sadness filled the dark man, but not just sadness. Hope and a new sense of purpose fuelled his heart now. Robert wouldn't change himself for the better. But the lie was dead now. The only thing to do now was to head back to the house and make Robert's family understand what they had lost. Make them truly understand, and it wouldn't be pleasant for any one. But he owed it to Robert.

The hooded man turned away and got into the Explorer. After briefly taking one last look at the spot that had Robert jumped from, he put the vehicle into drive, and sped off into the night.

####

"Tell me again what you saw, Mr. Banks." Flashing police lights filled the early morning darkness.

The police officer to arrive was Officer Peter Samsus. The call had come in at 4:21 a.m. A man had seen someone on the bridge and didn't know if anything shady was happening or not.

"I was out running. I'm a fighter, well an amateur fighter anyway, and I'm in training for a fight. I got to the bridge and I noticed a SUV parked off to the shoulder so I slowed down to a walk and then eventually stopped. I didn't know what was going on. I thought it could be a drug deal or something you know? So I kind of kept myself hidden. When I got a full view of the SUV, I saw a man standing on the ledge of the bridge. He was just talking to himself. I could hear him arguing but there was no one else there with him. I didn't know if he was on the phone or anything, but he didn't sound happy. I couldn't hear exactly what he was saying."

"And you saw nobody else on the bridge at the time?"

"No, sir, it was just him. He was just looking down at the water arguing with himself... Well, it seemed like he was arguing with himself."

"Did you see him drop anything? Or throw anything over the edge?"

"No, sir. If he did, it was before I got here."

"Could you see what he was wearing at all, anything that may have stood out to you?"

"The light was pretty off, but he was wearing dark pants of some sort and it looked like maybe a red hooded jacket."

"Okay. And then he just drove off?"

"Yes, sir, after about two minutes, he just turned around, pulled the hood of his jacket over his head, and just got into his vehicle and drove off. That was when I called the police. Since I didn't see him arrive, I didn't know if he had thrown anything over the edge you know? Like a body or anything."

"Okay. Well we appreciate the call Mr. Banks. Do you mind if we contact you again in the future if we have any further questions?"

"No, sir, but I'm not sure what else I can tell you that I haven't already said."

"No problem, Mr. Banks. The bridge is going to be closed off for a little while longer so you'll have to run back the way you came. Try to have a good day Mr. Banks and again we appreciate your cooperation."

Reggie turned around and headed back home. He'd only run three miles but he'd just have to make it up tomorrow. As he trotted to a full run, Reggie began to wonder if the man had gone to the bridge to kill himself. How close had he come to watching a person end his life?

The End


© 2012 J. I. Charles

Bio: This is Jordan Charles's first published story.

E-mail: J. I. Charles

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