BLINDED TRUTH

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I woke to a darkened room as my eyes met to an empty ceiling. The traffic lights from a nearby window temporarily brightened the room from each passing car.  “What happened” I asked myself while lying on the floor near the bed. I carefully got up, holding the side of the head as if I was trying to control the room from spinning.

After shaking the grogginess, my eyes adjusted to a disheveled room.  Clothes were spilled from the closet, leaving a trail of dysfunction to the dresser, the nightstand, and bed.  While tiptoeing over pile, I saw broken glass shattered into fine pieces as another passing car light created a minute shimmering reflection. “What the…” I gasped. 

I sat on the bed in befuddlement, trying to figure what could have caused this mess.  Then I stared at the cracks of the broken mirror on the dresser as another car headlight passed and I quickly saw my image.  My appearance seemed as if I let life defeat me.  The teal blouse I bought a few years ago still remained crisp, except for a few wrinkles.  Then another set of headlights drove pass, and I caught a glimpse of my eye makeup smudged with lingering black tears of mascara.  Something had happened in this room, but what?

With growing curiosity, I widen my eyes among the darkness to help conjure a memory to this mystery.  The darkened gloom obscured my vision, but I knew where everything stood—the simple paintings, the plasma television, and even the alarm clock, which surprisingly was not working. It was dark just like the room. The only thing felt tangible was a cute pink chain that sat around my wrist with dangling trinkets. I cracked a smile with a sudden memory. It was given to me by my six year old daughter, Renee. “I will wear this forever, sweetie” I remembered.

After thinking of my babygirl, I got up to feel my way through the murky room toward the hallway.  It was just as dark as my bedroom.  As a matter of fact, the whole house was in total darkness.  Unlike anything I’ve seen.  We always kept at least one light on downstairs, and another one upstairs. “Maybe the power is out” I wondered as I made my way to Renee’s door. I creped the door open to discover the first light I’ve seen since waking up.  It came from outdoors of a street light blaring through the blinds. The neighboring light echoed beautifully against Renee’s mahogany round face, sleeping peacefully without a care in the world. I couldn’t disturb her slumber, so I tiptoed back to the hallway and stood on top of the stairs to force a new memory. “Let’s see” I carefully thought, “I woke up next to the bed to a ransacked room.  Maybe I misplaced something that could be why the clothes are scattered everywhere”.  Yet, I couldn’t explain the broken mirror. 

To ease this odd situation, I marched to the door of my bedroom to get answers. My hand felt around the wall near the door frame to find the light switch—but before my fingers touched the outlet—I heard the door slamming shut downstairs. Then a face had instantly had came to pass.  The only person who could have come home at that hour was my husband, Jerry.

“Ashley” he shouted, “I’m home”.

Out of the seven years of our marriage, I’ve never been so happy to hear the sound of his voice. I ran down the stairs hoping to rush in his arms.  “Baby, you’re home” I cheered.

The mystery of the lights were finally solved, they were on shining on top of his low faded haircut.  Jerry sat inside the kitchen at our three seat dining table, resting his scruffy five-o’clock shadow against the palm of hand. He sighed as if his day were long and tiring. “Ashley” he called out again, “You hear me…I’m home”.

“Jerry, I’m here” I answered with a reliving smile.  I couldn’t help but to smile with glee as I noticed how handsome he looked. It seemed as if he never lost his bedazzling charm since the night we’ve met at an off-school college party. My husband set his eyes on being an Architect, and I was this young, ambitious nursing student. He said to this date that it was love at first sight—and I believe it.  I fell hard in love with him too. This man wasn’t the best looking one among the party-goers, but it was something about him that had put a spring in my heart.  He knew how to make me laugh when that night, I didn’t care to laugh. I remembered I had stacks of homework to study for my nursing exams, and attending to any party wasn’t on the schedule.  Though, thanks to a friend, she convinced me I needed to relax and be around other people. Even though she and I lost contact, I thank her for bringing this man into my life. I couldn’t imagine what life would be like without him.

Meanwhile as Jerry remained quiet at the table still wearing his gray hoodie jacket, I walked closer to see the sadness in his eyes.  It looked as though as he’d been crying. Yet a sudden feeling overtook me—something wasn’t right. The smile I had minutes ago, fell to into doubts. Still, the uncertainty since I woke beside my bed gnawed at the pit of my stomach. This helpless feeling needed to stop.

“Baby” I sighed while standing in front of table, “I don’t know what happened an hour ago, but whatever I did I’m sorry…at least I think I did something wrong. I’m not sure. I know I woke to a dark room next to our bed, and don’t have any knowledge of what happened before then”.  I sighed once more, and turned reaching toward the cabinet to grab a couple of cups to brew some coffee.  “Are you hungry” I continued.

Then suddenly Jerry leaned back in the chair to release a heaving a sigh. “Ashley, what are we going to do?”

His question quickly stopped my quest to enter the cabinet. I turned to him in shock to wonder why he would ask me such a random query. “Baby, what are you talking about?”

“How can you ask me something like that?” I asked him. “I mean, I know we had problems in the past, but we always got past them. Look, Jerry, I love you more than the day I said I do. If you feel we need more counseling, then I’m all for it, okay?”

Jerry eyes floated in my direction, and then wandered around the kitchen like he was trying to regain his thoughts. He knelled his face back inside of his palms and grunted, “I don’t know”, and quickly slamming them to the table and stormed upstairs.

I was speechless and didn’t know whether to follow him or stay put in the kitchen. The demeanor he had carried was unusual. The only time when he exhibited that much tension was after our heated fights.  Though it never became physical, our arguments got so heated that the police were called to the house a couple of times.

While standing in the kitchen to sort out our martial problems, Jerry voice echoed downstairs with a terrifying scream. “ASHLEY…OH MY GOD…ASHLEY” he cried.

I ran upstairs to our lighted bedroom to find him on the side of the bed where I woke an hour ago. He was on his knees crying hysterically with his hands covering his mouth. “ASHLEY” he tearfully muttered, “WHY…”

“Jerry, I’m here—what is it” I pondered.

For the first time, I went to the side of the bed where I woke in the darkness to discover a surreal sight. It was me, lying in my pool of blood with a gun clutching in my left hand. My eyes were frozen in stone silence as blood drooled from the side of my head from the opened temple wound, drenching onto my lovely teal blouse.

I felt as though as I woke to a nightmare. I’m witnessing my husband sobbing over my lifeless body, pleading for me wake up. “Oh Ashley, why” he screamed.

“Jerry, I’m here…I’m here!”

“Ashley, why did you have to go and kill yourself” he spoke to my corpse, “We could’ve worked it out”.

Then it hit me.  I remembered everything before I pulled that trigger to side of my skull. We were arguing in the bedroom about the usual—finances. I never thought we had a problem with money, but Jerry would say I was spending too much on unnecessary things. So we fought over it. Actually, I knew he was using money as an excuse of the real issue.

After he bitched of how I was draining our life savings, he blurted out he didn’t love me anymore and wanted a divorce.  It seemed to him our marriage was shit to him. I recall the same sinking feeling I had in my gut earlier.  Now I know how the room became a mess, it’s because I’ve thrown all of his clothes demanding him to get out. I yanked all of his best suits, belts, and sweaters. I even tossed the alarm clock toward his ass, breaking the mirror. “This is thanks I get, Jerry” I remembered angrily shouting, “You want a divorce after seven years of marriage. What it is…another woman?

“No” he replied.

“You’re bored?”

“No”

“Really, what is it?” I asked him.

He pierced his eyes without blinking and confirmed he didn’t love him anymore. “What’s the point of being in a marriage, if it’s no love?” he continued.

My world went from sixty to zero within seconds. Everything I thought I had didn’t exist anymore—a marriage, a good man by my side, and a great life. It became apparent according to Jerry that our marriage was lie as well. He left the room and not bothering to ask if I was okay. When the door to our bedroom closed it signified was our marriage over. 

Meanwhile, Jerry was sobbing over my dead body as he kept crying, “Why Ashley”. I was speechless, and all I could do was to stand there weeping at the scene. The disarrayed room and the broken glass all showed how much pain he’d afflicted on me. The more I watched him cry, the angrier I became. ‘Things can go just like that, Jerry’ I sarcastically muttered. Suddenly, I heard a soft voice speaking, “What’s going on?”

It was Renee and she stood groggy inside the doorframe rubbing her eyes. “Daddy, I had this strange dream” she said. While she proceeded to explain, I remained on the bed gazing at the blood oozing from my remains. “And momma was in it” I heard her continued.

All of the sudden, Jerry eyes grew wide with shock. “Oh my God, Renee!” he gasped.

He ran through the Renee’s image, straight to her bedroom. It had taken him no time to discover our daughter’s dead body. As I said earlier, Renee laid peacefully like a sleeping angel. She died in a respectful manner, unlike me. All it took was one pillow.

“Renee” screamed Jerry, “Oh my God, Ashley what have you done?”

“Momma, why is Daddy crying?” puzzled our daughter as she joined me on the bed. She had peered to my lifeless body, and then shrieking with fright, “What’s going on here?”

“Baby, momma had to do what had she had to. That’ll teach Daddy not leave me!”

“But Momma, does that mean…we’re…”

I looked to her and smile as if I hoped she understood what had taken place. “Yes, baby” I replied, “Yes we are”.

©2011, Imani Wisdom.


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