A Deafening Silence

+++The silence woke her. An untouched pillow stared back at her. She shot up and the magazine on her chest tumbled onto the bed. When Jennifer saw the time flashing on the clock on her night stand, she quickly reached for her cell phone.

+++“The number you have dialed does not exist,” a voice replied.

+++Jennifer’s straight face was substituted with a frown. She wondered where her husband could be because his meetings never went past nine o’clock. Jennifer whispered to herself, “Jen, calm down. You always worry too much,” as she pressed the dial button again. Once again a voice reminded her that the number did not exist. She knew she worried too much, but this time it felt different.

 

+++In a rush, Jennifer pulled up the hand-brake. She looked at the brightly lit windows of George’s office for a brief moment before getting out of her car. As she entered the lobby, the friendly security guard greeted her with a nod of the head, and then continued reading his magazine. She smiled back and mumbled; “Top notch security.” She briskly walked straight to George’s office and opened the door. A deserted office, with only a table and a chair, stared back at her.

+++“Excuse me, sir? Do you possibly know whether George Williams has moved to a new office?”

+++“George, who?” the security guard replied.

+++“George Williams. He is one of  the lawyers working here. I believe they had a late meeting with a client.”

+++“Sorry, ma’am. I’m new here. Only been workin’ here for a week now and don’t know everybody yet. But I know about the meetin’. They left about an hour ago and I heard one of them saying something about drinks at his place”.

+++“Okay, thanks,” she said unenthusiastically, while phoning her husband again without any success.

+++When Jennifer arrived back at her home, she phoned the police to report her husband missing, only to find out that she had to wait 24 hours before they were able to file a missing person’s report. Her heart sank with frustration and concern.

 

+++The following morning, the hustle and bustle of the police station was drowned with Jennifer’s thoughts. She could only think about her husband and where he could be. She can’t imagine her life without him. George is the best thing that had ever happened to her. Something heavy started pressing down on her chest, while she experienced a strange, yet familiar, feeling. It soon felt like her lungs were grabbing for oxygen. Get a grip, she thought to herself.

+++“Jennifer?” a friendly voice asked.

+++“Yes?” she replied out of breath, while she spun around to see who it was.

+++“Are you okay?”

+++Jennifer looked confused and asked; “Do I know you?”

+++“It’s me; Detective Jenkins. Are you okay? You look pale,” Rose replied.

+++Tears started to well up in Jennifer’s eyes, as her body filled with pain and hurt when she realised what had happened, and how she knew detective Jenkins.

+++“I thought George…” she said and her whimpering voice disappeared quickly, as she started to cry.

+++Rose hugged her and said; “I’m so sorry, Jennifer. I promise you we are trying everything to track down the men who killed him”.

+++“It’s my fault,” Jennifer said slowly and pulled herself away from Rose. “If it wasn’t for me, he…” and she started pacing frantically with her hands in her hair. “It’s just… I wanted to be alone. I was furious at him!” she added.

+++Rose tried to comfort her once again and with a calm voice she said; “ There is no way anyone could’ve known he would walk straight into a robbery”.

+++Jennifer’s facial expression turned blank, while the tears continued to stream down her face. She closed her eyes and slowly bowed her head. “It’s all my fault,” she whispered.

 

© Ilka Steyn, 2016. All rights reserved.

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