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Justice Hurts

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A classic American detective

Other / Action
Age Rating:


‘Hi! I would like to talk to you,’ Carol looked tired.

‘Hi! Sure, no problems. What happened?’

“William, I tried to stay silent for a long time, but I can’t do it anymore. I’m tired.’

‘Err... Are you talking about your work?’

‘No. Please, listen to me, don’t interrupt. It’s hard for me, but I have to say that. I cannot go on. You’re at work all day in this damn job that eats away at you. I’m alone, totally alone. I talked to Ted and he agreed to let me go next week. I want to leave and go to my parents. I need to change something. I cannot take it anymore.’

‘It’s because of me?’

‘No! Although this is all complicated. It’s about us - you, me and Sofia. Four years have passed, and I just cannot clean her room.’

‘Do you want me to call the cleaning service?’ William suggested.

‘No, you don’t understand. It’s inside, here,’ Carol put her hand to her chest.

‘Maybe we need to think about a second child?’

‘No, no, nothing of the kind! I’m even afraid to think about it,’ a familiar expression flashed across her face. Her mother always pursed her lips when she spoke of their marriage — wrong, unreasonable, too fast, useless to anyone, and another thousand words to humiliate William and show Carol that she made a mistake. He did everything to prove the opposite to her! He rose to the rank of lieutenant and passed all the exams. These damn awards and medals...

‘Yes, I see…’ William was looking at her painfully familiar face, on which the agony of inner emotions froze, and for the first time for the last four years he felt the same pain as on the day of his daughter’s death.

‘Here... I already packed my things. I just need you to understand me,’ Carol said sighing.

‘I deliberately took a day off tomorrow so that we would go to...’ started William.

‘Stop!’ she clasped her fingers and held her hands to her chest. The sleeve of the blouse on her wrist tightened, and he saw a button come off but Carol didn’t notice anything. A small plastic circle attracted his gaze, preventing him from thinking. There was a complete void in his head.

‘Did you file for divorce?’ finally, he asked quietly. She nodded and lowered her head. Her thin shoulders trembled like willow branches in the wind by the river, and Carol, clutching her fingers, turned away to the window.

‘I asked the lawyer to solve all the issues for me. She has your phone number. I’ve signed all the documents. I don’t want to go to court. Let’s do everything quietly and decently?’ Carol whispered.

‘But you can’t...’ the elusive sense of reality deprived William of the ability to think and speak. Despair swept over his mind, and a lump formed in his throat.

‘Please don’t interrupt me. I ask for the only thing - let me go - and promise not to call at least for a year. I beg you!’

‘I wanted...’ he spread his hands in dismay, catching himself thinking that he had long been ready for such a turn of events. After the death of their daughter in a psychiatric hospital, an abyss came between them. He insisted on sending Sofia for compulsory treatment, although Carol was against it, and when the tragedy occurred, she was so silent that it was worse than any words. Yes, Carol considered him guilty of the death of their daughter, but Sofia was already eighteen years old. She came across her more than once smoking pot and dabbled in light chemical drugs. When she was expelled from college, he decided to send her there and never regretted it because bouts of her rage were later replaced by lapses in memory and hallucinations. Even on the day of her death, when they were informed that Sofia was hit by a car, when she tried to escape from the hospital at night... Even then, he believed that he had done the right thing. At home they would not have been able to deal with her addiction. This was true - they lost Sofia long before she became addicted to drugs. They just didn’t want to admit it and now... now it was too late. ‘Where will you go? To your mother?’ William asked hoarsely.

‘Yes. I’m gonna stay nearby with my friend. She agreed to let me stay me for the rest of the week,’ said Carol.

‘But this is your home. I’m not kicking you out of the house. You can stay. I’ll leave. I can spend the night in the department. It’s okay. Or in the car. Why do you need...’

‘Don’t! I can’t. For me it’s torture. I’ve already made the decision. I am really sorry, but it will be better for both of us. I’d better go. I’m starting to cry. This is bad. If anything, call my mother or better the lawyer.’

‘Yes, it’s better to deal with your lawyer,’ William shook his head, seeing that the awkwardness of the situation was beginning to weigh on his wife. Finally, Carol straightened upright, pursed her lips again and, trying not to look at him, passed by. Then the latch of the front door clicked softly, and everything was quiet.

William was left alone, all alone, in the small house, 22 Low Street where he and Carol dreamed of raising children and living a full life but now there were no children and now no wife. He went to the cabinet door and stood for a long time, in a state of complete dullness. It was real dullness, because his head was empty inside. There was no grief, no pain, despair or anger - merely nothing. He started looking for whiskey. The last time he drank it was four years ago... Now it seemed to be the only way to pass out and stop thinking about what happened in his life, dividing it in half - before and after today.

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