Sweat ran down his cheek. The shooting pain in his leg, a constant reminder of the situation he was in. The footsteps echoed in the dark alley as he ran further into the dark abyss. As the echoes grew louder, he ran faster and the cycle of pain, loss of breath and tears continued. The pain reminded him of his tennis playing days. He used to play a good deal of tennis as a child and continued to play all through high school. Throughout the first few months of the coaching and matches, his thighs and calves would burn with the work-out. He now remembered how his mum would always say, "Honey..think happy thoughts...it
" Happy thoughts", Roger thought, "Think happy thoughts".
He began to think of all the good memories he had. The first memory that brought a smile to his face was the memory of the first time he met Claire. It was in the library. The air was filled with the most wondrous smell of old leather-back books and old ink. He was looking for the Oxford edition of a collection of Edgar Allen Poe's poems. As his fingers fan across the spines of various books, they met long thin fingers, eagerly in search of a particular leather-spine collection of literature as well. He remembered how the fingers didn't pull away like he expected. His eyes ran up the sleek arm, up her sleeves, her long neck and landed on her face. It was the most beautiful face he had ever seen. Her hair curved her cheek bones in the most perfect way. The light from a nearby window made the skin on her cheeks glisten like a clear pebble in the sun. He knew immediately that the woman in front of him would change his life forever. There were no bells or starlit sky, no electricity in his veins and no rain trickling down his face but there was intuition and that, he felt, was so much stronger.
From then on...what started of as a conversation over coffee about William Wordsworth and John Keats....unraveled into a wedding and two kids. He could still feel the adrenaline rush of wedding bells, the warm air with a hint of saltiness from the sea side wedding location in Hawaii. the sun was setting and their was a cool breeze that made the ribbons in the venue flutter. He could see Claire walking down the aisle wearing a beautiful satin off-shoulder white gown and carrying a bouquet of roses. she looked like an angel from above. It was one of the most happiest moments of his life.
The only memory that was equally sweet and happy was the day his twins Lara and Keisha were born. They had wanted to keep the gender a surprise and on the day of her delivery...he was worried and nervous. He knew of deliveries gone wrong and he prayed that his wife wouldn't be a victim too. it was a long delivery but all the anxiety disappeared when the nurse came out with two babies wrapped in a pink towel and said, " Mr. Carter, congratulations. The are both girls."
He had hopes. Lots of hopes. He hoped he would have the opportunity to play bad cop to his daughters boyfriends. He hoped to see both his daughter graduate. He hoped to walk them down the aisle at their weddings. He hoped to hold his grand children in his arms. By then, he hoped, maybe Claire and him could move from the city that they lived in to the suburbs. They could have a small cottage with a garden. He had pictured Claire's bent, old frail body overlooking a rose or vegetable patch while he whistled to the tunes of the Beatles. Hopes. That's all they were. Mere hopes that had now disappeared with all his other plans for the future.
Roger's smile turned into a frown as he kissed his future goodbye. The more he thought about the one little mistake he had done, he realized how much he was going to loose. For starters, he had a family, a house, parents who loved him to the moon and back and friends who he could trust. He even had a great job. Sure, it costed him late nights but it paid really well. But then it was those same long nights that was the start of the events that led to his destruction. Maybe, things would have been different if he could come home early every evening, in time to see his children and wife off to bed. Was it all his fault or could you blame her too. Maybe it was partially his fault. He couldn’t help the long nights. His boss, Mr. Thatcher always had something for him to do. The boss was another jerk. How could he look Roger in the eye every single day after all that he had done? How cruel could he be. He deserved what he got. Mr. Thatcher's mistake was assuming that Claire would never tell him. Thatcher depended solely on the fact that she would rather dance to his tunes than ruin their marriage. But he was wrong. She had preferred to tell him when things got bad rather than hide it all. In that split second of anger, he tripped over a rock and fell head long onto the gravel.
The footsteps grew louder and louder. Somebody pressed his back down and he felt the muzzle of a gun on the back of his neck. "Please God, protect my children and leave them in safe hands. And please forgive me for everything I have done." Roger thought.
A deep gruff voice said, " Roger Carter, you are under arrest for the murder of Peter Thatcher. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and may be used against you..."
"Oh Thatcher...you deserved every bit of what you got. If you hadn't slept with my wife and then been a dirty pervert and taken pictures to blackmail her with, you would have still been alive. May your filthy soul rot in hell."