Authors: Viveca Benoir
At home, she had left a note on the table in the living room, stating everything very clearly.
I have left you. I want a divorce.
I have taken the kids too.
You will hear from my lawyers shortly.
I will take you for every penny you have.
You fucking bastard!’
At work Devia beamed. She was delighted to have received the telephone call from Crystal.
She had gone straight into her boss’s office and said that she had received a call from Crystal.
She told him that Crystal had earlier called to say she was ill.
But Devia said she had made enquiries and in fact she was taking a job with the competitors.
Merv was furious.
He bellowed and shouted at Devia.
Devia was in turn, delighted by his response.
“Get out of my office.
I’m going to call her now.”
“Yes Sir.” She said demurely. She smiled as she left his office.
Devia heard Merv’s angry voice on the phone to Crystal, even from her desk.
“You are fired!
Don’t you expect to come back here ever again, and don’t you expect any references from me.” She heard him slam the phone down.
Merv shouted to Devia from his office.
“Pack her things from her desk.
I want them dropped off at her house.
Can you do it?”
“Yes Sir.” Devia said with a self-gratifying smirk.
Devia pictured Crystal’s distraught face with tears running down her cheeks, and she laughed as she packed up her things from her desk.
She also packed up her own things. She no longer needed this job. When she left tonight, she would focus on Julian. Both Merv and Crystal had served their purpose now.
Now she would go in for the kill.
She wanted her new job which was right by Julian’s side.
That of loving wife and lover.
He would need consoling and she would be the best person for the job. Crystal wouldn’t want him back, not now.
She called him from the office telephone number.
“Hello?” He sounded confused.
“Hello Julian? It’s Devia.” She said sweetly. “I’m sorry to bother you, but I can’t seem to reach your wife.”
“She hasn’t been to work for a few days and I am worried about her.
Do you know when she is coming in?”
“No. I don’t.
Have you spoken to her?” Julian had been caught off guard and she knew it.
“No, I’m sorry Julian, I hate to trouble you, but I am very worried.
I tried to speak with her earlier, but she was crying too much on the phone.
I couldn’t understand what she was saying.”
She sounded sincerely concerned.
“I’m leaving work now and will be home in about ten minutes.
I’ll ask her to call you.”
“Thank you Julian, much appreciated. Talk to you soon.”
Devia picked up her handbag and left the office, got in her car and started to drive over to Julian’s.
She wanted to be there to watch the rowing that would happen when he got home.
She arrived and parked up the street from the house, which was all in darkness. Devia was trying to think why there were no lights.
Maybe she had missed them and they had all gone out. Just as she thought this, Julian drove up. She bent over in her car as the car lights flashed past her.
She watched him pull up in his drive and get out.
Even he was perplexed.
He let himself in.
Devia leaned forward for a better look through the windshield as the lights went on and she tried to watch his movements through the lit windows of the living room. She saw him running from room to room and lights going on all over the house.
Then she saw him on the phone.
He looked distraught. Begging, pleading, screaming, and begging again.
Then he sat down his head in his hands, his body hunched over.
Devia knew it was time for her to spring into action.
She got out of the car and ran up to the door and rang the doorbell.
He jumped up and ran to the door and flung the door open, expecting to see his wife and kids.
The disappointment was all over his face when he saw it was Devia.
“I’m sorry Julian, but Crystal asked me to come over.
Do you know why she wants to see me?
Is she ok?”
“She’s not here.”
“What do you mean she is not here?
She just asked me to come over.
I got here as soon as I could.”
“I don’t know, she said she’s left.”
“What do you mean she has left?
“I don’t know.”
“I will call her, can I use your phone?
The battery has gone on mine.”
Julian pointed at the house phone. Devia smiled as she walked towards the house phone.
When Crystal heard her voice on the house phone she would go ballistic with rage. She would assume the worst, which was exactly what Devia wanted.
She dialed Crystals mobile.
As soon as the phone was answered, she said in her sweetest syrupy voice.
“Crystal dear, it’s Devia here.
Come home. I am with Julian. Whatever is the matter, we can sort out.” Julian nodded, at her kind words, her gentle attempt to help him with his marriage.
Although, he still didn’t know what was going on.
He heard Crystal screaming and ranting at the other end.
She was swearing in front of the children. She was sobbing and screaming. “Where are you dear?” Devia continued, “We are waiting, together, at home for you to come back with the children.”
Julian heard Crystal screaming that she would never come back.
He heard her call Devia a bitch. He heard the children crying in fear.
Talk to Julian. He wants to speak with you.” She held the phone out to him.
Julian took the phone from Devia. The moment he said hello Crystal started screaming at him in anger.
“You fucking bastard!
I hate you!
I will never forgive you.”
He opened his mouth to say something, but before he could speak, he heard the sudden frantic sounds of car horns honking.
Crystal was screaming in fear, the kids were screaming, then the sound of metal crunching. This was followed by the undeniable sound of a massive explosion and the line went dead.
He looked at the phone in his hand.
He immediately hung up and redialed her number. Nothing.
It rang until eventually it went straight to Crystal’s voicemail.
He left a frantic message begging her to call him.
He started to pace the floor frantically.
Devia smiled. This was her cue to be supportive and confused. She got up and went into the kitchen and poured him a drink.
She knew from Crystal he liked JD and coke. She made him a double and sat him down.
He was so stressed that he did as she told him.
He was distraught, and in pieces, and so malleable for her. He drank the first drink without thinking.
She touched his face, running her hand along his brow. He hardly noticed. He just kept phoning her number, leaving several more frantic messages.
She sat next to him and put her arm around him and said soothing, gentle words.
He didn’t hear a thing. She could see him thinking.
What had happened? What could he do? He was at a loss.
She smiled behind him, and held onto him.
She revelled in the fact he was awake and not drugged. She was holding him, openly.
She was in his house, his wife and kids had left and he was all hers now.
Ripe for the picking.
She smiled again.
An hour had passed, before the doorbell rang. Devia answered. At the door a local patrolman stood, his face sombre.
He asked for Julian, and she turned to show him in.
Julian jumped up the moment he saw him.
“What is it?
Where are they?
Are they ok?” Julian asked.
Take a seat.”
“I need you to sit down, before I talk to you.”
“Sir, please, just sit down.”
Julian sat down.
“At 19.45 this evening sir.
A vehicle registered to this address to a Mrs Julian Mansell was involved in an incident.
The vehicle drove through red lights, at a T junction and into the side of an eighteen wheeler truck. It burst into flames upon impact. There were three passengers in the vehicle.
One adult female.
Two children. One was a girl and one boy.
They were all fatally injured.”
“What?!” He asked incredulously.
“They were all fatally injured.”
“That means they are ok, no?
“No sir, it was a fatal accident.
I need you to come with me sir… to identify the bodies.”
I don’t get this.” Julian was in a panic. “I don’t understand.
Are we going to the hospital?
Are they ok?”
ok?” The patrolman touched his arm and Julian flinched.
The moment the man touched his arm Julian completely lost control.
The words ‘fatally injured’ finally sank in.
“Arrrrghhhhhhh.” Julian wailed.
He ran around the room and started smashing up anything he could get his hands on, glass was shattering everywhere as lamps were pushed over, and glass objects were thrown.
Sofa cushions flew through the air.
“Sir?” The patrolman tried to subdue him.
He called for help from his colleague who had waited on the porch, by the door.
Together, they caught him and held him still, as he sobbed uncontrollably, and loudly.
Devia smiled inwardly.
This was going better than she had expected.
Crystal and the kids were now dead.
No lengthy divorce then.
He was now a single man.
She went and hugged Julian as he was held tightly by the policemen.
She smiled sympathetically and told him she would help him, she would be there for him.
He never heard a word.
He had no fight in him.
He had just died inside.
His life had ended.
Her life was just beginning. She was so happy that she wanted to dance around the room and clap her hands in glee.
The ride to the local morgue was a blur.
He was sat in the back of a police car.
Devia had somehow managed to come with him.
He wasn’t quite sure how she did that. He didn’t really care.
She was there, and as much as she grated on him she seemed to be genuinely supportive.
He felt grateful that he wasn’t alone.
He walked into the building, through a few doors, and then there they were, in the morgue, a room with three corpses on tables.
All covered with white sheets.
The room was brightly lit, a florescent light in the far corner flickered and buzzed annoyingly. The room smelled of formaldehyde, disinfectant, and a sweet
fleshy smell he didn’t recognise.
The coroner stepped forward and stood by the largest of the corpses and Julian went to stand by him.
He didn’t know what he would see.
They lifted the sheet slowly and Julian stepped back, a look of utter horror on his face.
His wife’s beautiful face had been burnt to a blackened charred mess.
Her long blonde hair had been singed from her head. She was now bald as a baby.
Her eyeballs were black and exposed in their sockets. She had no eyelids and she looked as though she were staring at him.
They had tried to shut her mouth, but he could see it had been open when they had hit the other vehicle, her gums were all blackened and her teeth roots exposed. ‘
She had been screaming her hate to him.’
His mind taunted.
On her lower body, parts of her body were exposed, red and bloody.
He looked at her silicon breast implants, which were also blackened and charred around parts of them. ‘
Typical that they had survived the car crash and the explosion.’
He thought in his grief.
‘They turned out as money well spent... ‘They could use that in their advertisements. Have your breasts done,’
his mind said,
‘they are fire proof, explosion proof.’
He suddenly laughed
. ‘They outlived her.’
His mind added sombrely.
Devia started to laugh, a hysterical happy laugh.
It was really true. Crystal and the kids were dead.
Julian was finally hers.
She had loved Julian since high school and now, finally, he would be hers. She would prove to him that she had what it took to make him happy. She remembered where she was and quickly changed it into sobbing sounds. Her hand went over her mouth to hide her smile.
For those in the morgue, they had seen every reaction to the death of a loved one and so were not surprised by her reaction.
They put it down to her shock.
Julian was walking backwards, away from the first gurney with his wife’s body. He backed into another table with a smaller corpse on. He turned around and pulled the sheet back and gasped as he saw his son on the gurney.
He leaned down and hugged him. He picked him up in his arms and held him close to him. He sobbed uncontrollably. Standing there with his son in his arms enveloped in his sweet smell that was now masked with the acrid overlying evidence of charred flesh.
He gently laid him down and then went over to the remaining table.
He tore the sheet back and grabbed his daughter and hugged her too.
His tears for her, blending with the tears he had cried for his son and wife.
He laid her gently back down and sank to the floor where he had been standing.
He sat there, on the floor, sobbing and now broken. His life was over.
Everything he had ever loved, everyone he had loved, were now dead.
He had no reason to carry on.
The coroner went to the tables and pulled the sheets back over the bodies.
He asked for someone to bring him a wheel chair for Julian to sit in so that they could take him from the room.
He was unable to stand and walk. However, he didn’t want to leave.
To get him to leave the hospital, the doctor sedated him, even though Julian insisted he didn’t need or want anything. His wild eyed look suggested otherwise to the policeman and the doctor.
After he was sedated, he was wheeled out in the wheelchair, verbally rambling and under duress.
He was a shell of a man. His soul had gone; he had died when they died. Their last words to each other had been of anger.
He still didn’t know what had been wrong with her. In a matter of only a few weeks, they had gone from the idyllic family to a possible divorce.
He had lost everything that was important in his life. It was just him, totally bereaved. Alone.
What the hell was happening to him?
To his life?