November 13th


At 12:00 am on Friday, November 13th 2009, a body was found lying in the parking lot of Ohio State Mental Center. There was shattered glass all around the body; the victim had jumped off the window.

“This is not the first time this has happened. One more mistake like that and we’ll all be sued,” said the head of the department to his staff. “The patient does it every year, replaying the whole events of that day then trying to jump. Study the patterns,” he yelled.

***

Martha opened her closet and sighed. She would wear black that day; for that was the day that her husband was going to die. It had been a year since her husband left her for a business trip. As a surgeon, Robert traveled a lot; but he had never stayed away this long. Whenever he called he told her that he was going to stay a little bit longer, and Martha couldn’t wait any more. Some of her friends told her he was certainly cheating; others suggested he might be married to someone else there. Martha used to shun their voices but she couldn’t do it anymore – there were too many signs. At first he used to talk to her every day, then his calls became colder and less frequent and finally he stopped calling. Martha knew something was wrong and she had to be sure once and for all.
She wore a black veil over her head and carried a black clutch that had nothing but her keys and a flask filled with scotch. Her friends, Marilyn and Marigold, were waiting for her in the lobby; they were wearing black too. The night was dark and it was pouring but Martha was determined to drive all the way to Philadelphia and face her husband without waiting another day. She started the engine of her car and breathed slowly.

“Relax,” said Marigold, “he probably is busy with work, just like he told you.”

“Oh, stop kidding yourselves you two,” Marilyn interrupted, “Robert is cheating and we all know it. If he isn’t doing it tonight he sure has done it at least once in the past thirty years.”

Martha was silent. As she drove away from Ohio she reminisced about the times she and Robert were young and in love. She thought of how he always used to hold her hand and tell her that he loved her, how they used to travel every year. She thought about their honeymoon, their first child, and tried to remember the moments when she felt lucky to be married to him.





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