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.
“I bet the woman Robert’s with now is much younger than you,” Marilyn interrupted Martha’s thoughts.
For a moment Martha was blinded by the flood of images rushing in her mind of her husband lying in bed with another woman. She rehearsed every possible scenario of her faceoff and before she could ponder on the idea that it was all in her head she realized that she had arrived. The rain was heavier than before as it approached midnight, and the street was dark except for one old street lamp. Martha felt the roaring wind trying to push her back to her car; her friends, on the other hand, were pushing her forward.
“It wouldn’t hurt to know,” Marigold suggested. “It’s your apartment too. You have every right to be here.”
“Yea,” added Marilyn. “Besides, wouldn’t be fun to catch him in the act and give him and that bitch of his what they both deserve.”
Martha was agitated. She got out of her car and with a blink of an eye found herself on the other side of the street – her clothes were wet. The stairway wasn’t an easy ride for Martha; each step seemed to take forever. As she got closer she could almost smell Robert’s cigarettes and his mistress’s perfume. She could feel her face getting red as the blood pumped through her veins.
Martha could barely see in front of her but she knew she had arrived once she heard Robert’s voice. She couldn’t make out what he was saying but she knew that it meant he wasn’t alone. She wanted to back down, go back to her house and forget about this whole evening, take a long bath and pretend nothing had happened but she couldn’t; someone made sure she didn’t.
“Don’t chicken out,” said Marilyn.
“You were not supposed to follow me here,” Martha’s voice was shaking.
“I’m here to make sure you do what you planned,” Marilyn insisted. “If you don’t go in there you are going to spend the rest of your life wondering.” Martha was silent. “There’s no better time for revenge than right here right now.”
“We’re not talking about revenge yet,” Marigold appeared. “There may not be anything to revenge for in the first place.”
“Oh, get your head out of it will you,” Marilyn mocked. She came close to Martha’s ear and whispered: “You know you want to go in there and show him that you’re no fool,”
Martha looked at her in the pitch darkness and she could see her clearly. “They’re in there enjoying each other, making fun of the stupid wife who believed her husband is away all this time for some surgeries. Well, the joke’s on them now.”
Martha tipped around the apartment like she would a haunted graveyard. She could hear Robert and his mistress so loudly as if they were in her own head. Martha got closer to the bedroom; her heart started racing. She was more scared than she thought. Sweat was dripping from her forehead, she was never this nervous. Walking to the other end of the hallway, and peaking from the cracked door, she saw them. There she was, a long-legged blond, curling in bed only covering her bottom with a white sheet, running her fingers up and down Robert’s back as he sat on the edge of the bed smoking a cigarette.
“He only smokes when he drinks,” she thought. There were no drinks on the counter, “Or after sex.”
There was a flower bouquet on a small table across the room; Martha couldn’t remember the last time Robert bought her a single rose. She was choking now, she couldn’t breathe; she had to step away. She rushed into the kitchen and leaned over the sink; she was sick to her stomach, sobbing uncontrollably when a hand was pressed to her mouth.
“Hush,” Marilyn calmed her down. “Everything will be alright,” she whispered as she opened a drawer and directed Martha’s hand to the knife. “Death is a small price to pay for the pain he caused you.”
Martha forced herself go back to that room – seeing that view once was disgusting enough. The distance seemed shorter to her the second time around; her thoughts were wandering faster too. She heard water running; Robert was in the shower, the woman was lying in bed, she was falling asleep. With every step Martha took her hatred toward the woman grew. She held the knife like she would a hand saving her from falling off a cliff. She raised it as her tears mixed with her sweat. It was now or never. Martha shut her eyes and swung the knife. It hit the woman right between the shoulder blades. She let out a faint cry, opening her eyes, not able to understand what happened. She was dying, but Martha’s thirst wasn’t quenched. She mounted the woman’s body and struck her again, and again, and again… she stabbed her over twenty times then stopped. The water in the shower was turned off; it was Robert’s turn now.
At 12:00 am on Friday November 13th, 1998 a body was found on Reed St. Philadelphia. There was glass shattered all around the body; the victim had jumped off a window.
At 12:18 am a man came home from work to find that the street he lived in was turned into a crime scene. He noticed a body being pulled from the ground into an ambulance and looked at the building it fell from. His bedroom window was smashed. He rushed to the ambulance to look at the victim; he recognized the body.
“Sir,” said an officer. “I’m going to ask you to step away, please.”
“That’s my wife,” said Robert Tishman. “That’s my wife,” he yelled.
Saturday November 14Th Ohio News Daily Newspaper: “Martha Tishman, a local Ohio resident and wife of Dr. Robert Tishman, was found in a sensitive state on Reed St. Philadelphia at 12:15 am by local police. Reports say that Martha tried to commit suicide after following her husband to their apartment in Philadelphia, where he stays occasionally for business. Police reports say that Martha vandalized a mattress and punched a bathroom mirror before she jumped off the bedroom window. Her husband was in shock when he found her moments after the police had arrived.
Security cameras from a store across the street confirm the husband leaving at early morning and not coming back until exactly 12:18 am. They also capture Martha as she arrived at the location, having what seemed to be a heated argument in her car. She was spotted crossing the street in a seemingly drunk state, entering the building and falling from it exactly 25 minutes later. No one was spotted entering the building after her or leaving it until the police’s arrival. The victim is now under intensive care at Philadelphia Central Hospital and will be admitted at Ohio State Mental Center for observation and assessment upon her physical recovery.”
About Me: I’m a Lebanese-Ukrainian aspiring writer. I speaks five languages and – given my roots – lived most of my young-adult life traveling some Middle Eastern and former Soviet Union countries and learning about their culture.
I first discovered my love for writing when I was seven. I’m currently working on a BA, a diploma in creative writing, and a novel.
My hobbies include traveling, lying on the beach with a good book or good company, and playing piano. I hope, one day, to become a bestselling author and travel the world.