The writing Challenge is Starting Over. In this week’s writing challenge, we’re asking you to write a short piece of creative writing (fiction/poetry/prose poetry/freeform mindjazz/whatever floats your boat) on the theme of Starting Over.
I am going to try this, it is a fiction story about a wife that has to start over after her husband died.
Amber was a petite woman with brown hair. She was 30 years old and happily married to Jim. Jim was a Sergent with the police department. He was a big man and a little overweight. He was very smart and loved to work on computers and write programs. He was the Sgt of the evidence vault. He was writing programs to enter the evidence so it was easy to look up. He smoked but he was not supposed to, so he hid the fact that he smoked. Amber met him at work and they became friends. They were on a bowling league and went bowling twice a week. Jim was a great bowler, he almost always got a strike when he bowled. Amber was really bad at bowling. She always put the ball in the gutter. She didn’t see why Jim wanted her to go bowling with him and be on his team. She would pick up the bowling ball and really concentrate hard at throwing the big heavy ball down the middle of the lane, then swing her arm back and throw the ball and it would go down the side, usually ending up in the gutter or knock down one pin. Jim would go up to her and tell her how to aim the ball and throw the ball, but it never helped. One day Jim gave her a diamond ring and asked Amber to marry him. She thought about it and thought it would be a nice life being married to him. He was fun and nice and they had a nice time together. They got married at a little wedding chapel in Vegas and went out to dinner after the wedding. They were married for six months and things went pretty great. She would ask him about work and he said “Don’t ask me about work, I don’t want to talk about it.” Amber thought that was strange, but didn’t push him on it. One night before Thanksgiving, Amber was working the swing shift. She kept trying to call Jim, but he didn’t answer the phone. She went home and Jim was not there. Amber was worried because Jim did not answer the phone and he always had the phone with him. She called everyone she knew but nobody had heard from him. She paced the floor, worried that she had not heard from him.
At 1:oo AM there was a knock on the door. Two detectives came into her house. Amber knew something was wrong. “What are you here for, do you know where Jim is?” The detectives were grim, “We have some bad news for you, Jim is dead, he drove his truck out in the desert and shot himself in the head.”
Amber could not believe it, “Are you sure? Why would he do that?” She had no clue that he wanted to die. They said that he was on suspension and was told to not come in for work. “He told me he was working, he didn’t tell me he was suspended”., she said. The two detectives said they would call her the next day and they left. In an instant, her world had changed. She was alone and in shock and heart-broken.
“Jim is dead, I can’t believe it. Why would he do that?” She racked her brain, he seemed happy, he had sat out new stuff to put on him computer that night. He had ordered a new muffler for his expensive motor home just the other day. He didn’t act like a guy that planned on never being around.
The next day some detectives came to the house and told Amber that Jim was being investigated for gambling a lot of money while he was on duty. They were getting the records from the casino to see how much money he spent on gambling. It was in the thousands. The next day a couple of detectives came back and told Amber they would take her to a funeral home to plan the funeral. Jim’s parents wanted to come to. They all went to make the plans for the funeral and telling Amber what they wanted. Amber just sat there, numb, not wanting to think about a funeral, not wanting to even believe that Jim was dead. He wasn’t dead yesterday. It was hard to believe that he even killed himself. She started thinking it must have been a mistake, that someone else shot him and they just didn’t want to find out. The funeral was a blur, Amber went but it just seemed like a nightmare. She just didn’t think he even deserved a funeral, he chose to be dead, he didn’t inform her of his plans and now this was all on her. She had to face the aftermath. When the funeral was over Amber asked his parents if they were going to pay half, since they were the one who planned most of it. Their response was “Well no, that is all on you, we won’t pay you a dime.” Amber was upset that they wanted to plan the funeral, but they didn’t want to help pay for it.
Internal Affairs came to her house the next day with a search warrant. Amber was not even allowed in her house. They were in her house for hours. They took the computer and other things. They gave Amber a pink copy of a list of what they took. They said they would give it back, but they never did. The story was now on the news and in the papers and TV reporters were camped outside of her house, trying to talk to her. Amber did not talk to them, she didn’t want to be a part of this circus. The Internal Affairs detectives told Amber that Jim had taken over $300,000 from evidence pouches and would try to replace the money if it were to go to court. They wanted to give Amber a lie detector test. She had nothing to hide, she didn’t believe that Jim took the money, he never had any money that she knew of. She went to the police department to have the lie detector test. They had her sit at a desk and put these wires on her. A man sat with this machine with needles and would ask her a question. “Did you know that Jim took money from work?” She would answer “No.”, then she would watch the ink go on the paper. He kept asking questions and then go back to the same question. She just answered and would picture calm, sitting on a beach, pushing her toes into the sand, watching the waves go out to sea and then hit the shore. Soon the lie detector test was over. They told her she passed. She went back home, to the empty house. The sadness was around her, like a heavy weight on her heart. I guess he killed himself to keep from going to jail, to have to answer to what he did. She just kept wondering “Why, why didn’t you even say goodbye, why didn’t you even explain or call”, but the answer never came. She just lived, day to day with the sadness, while the world went about their business, while she was just “starting over”, just making it day to day, hoping the pain would go away someday.
(To join in and write your starting over story go to the Daily post here.)