the dead of night

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
ethan and sophia have been together for thirteen years. high school sweethearts, head over heels for each other. on the night of their thirteenth anniversary dinner, sophia realizes that ethan's behavior is becoming increasingly erratic throughout the night.

Submitted: May 29, 2017

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Submitted: May 29, 2017

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My husband Ethan and I first started dating in our junior year of high school, we were always the talk of the school. Out of all the couples in Lincoln High School, Ethan and I were together the longest. Today we are celebrating thirteen years of marriage, and it feels like it was just yesterday. “Sophia! It’s almost time to go,” Ethan says. 
Not only did he buy me a three hundred dollar necklace today, but now he made reservations for a hotel and some fancy restaurant a couple of towns away from us. As soon as I zip up my dress and walk out the door, Ethan is standing there with his hand out, and a huge grin on his face.
“What’s that smile for?” he does not answer me, he just takes my hand and leads me out the door into the car that is already running, and the heat is blasting. 
“You are in for a great night,” Ethan said. I am so excited i can barely sit down but I don’t want to seem too eager, so instead I just say, “we’ll see about that.” 
About two hours later, we are in Montauk and on our way into the restaurant that Ethan chose. As soon as I walk in I am surprised by the most mouthwatering smell and gorgeous scenery. On the far end of the restaurant the wall is replaced by floor to ceiling glass, and outside there is a large fountain which seems to be twinkling in every direction, illuminating the restaurant creating a very classy and alluring mood. “Wow,” is all I can manage.
I look over to Ethan and expect him to be staring at the incredible view in front of us, but he is staring at me. Apparently we were standing there for awhile because now a lady who I’m assuming is the waitress walks over to us and says, “May I help you?” Ethan takes charge and informs her that he has made reservations under Johnson. 
As the night progressed, I noticed Ethan had a rather distant look in his eye that I’ve been seeing more and more. “Are you okay? You seem upset,” I said in between bites of chocolate cake.
Ethan looks up at me as if I just woke him up from a dream, his eyes wide and face pale. “Of course, I’m just thinking about the wonderful time we’re going to have tonight. You’re going to love the room I reserved for us, I guarantee it.” I decided I would leave it at that, Ethan hates people who pry. 
At around 11:00 we finally get to the hotel. As Ethan is checking us in, I decide to take a walk around the lobby. I could not stop my mind from drifting to Ethan’s behavior earlier in that night, he just seemed so distracted, not that it was new behavior. Lately while we are eating dinner, or just sitting down at the couch watching T.V. Ethan looks like he mentally leaves the room and goes somewhere far away. Finally we get to the room and the first thing I do when I get in is head straight for the shower, I needed to clear my head. 
By the time I get out of the shower Ethan is getting ready for bed, I need to talk to him before he does. As I approach him he has the faraway look again, “Ethan, can I speak to you?”. Once again he seems startled by my presence. “Yeah sure, what’s wrong honey?”. I am not really sure how to bring it up to him in a way that he will not take offense so I just say, “Lately I feel like you’re hiding something from me, I’m not saying you are hiding anything but I want you to know that you and i have no secrets. I want you to know that you can tell me anything.” Automatically his eyes glaze over, and he tells me he is tired and wants to go to sleep. I don’t argue, instead I climb in bed next to him and hope he talks to me.
“Ethan?” The sound of the door slamming, and frantic murmurs wakes me up and sends my heart into a fury. “Ethan?”  I look to the right of me and see that Ethan is not in the spot he was when I fell asleep. “Ethan is that you?”. No response. Even though I am jumping out of my skin, and feel paralyzed with fear I get up and start looking around the unfamiliar hotel room. The room sounds almost completely quiet if it was not for the murmurs coming from god-knows-where. I turn the corner and see a sliver of light peeking from the bottom of the bathroom door, my heart is going a mile a minute but i know i need to see who is in there. I open the bathroom door, and the image in front of me causes my knees to buckle and I fall to the floor with horrified screams escaping my throat. In the middle of the bathroom floor Ethan sits rocking back and forth with blood covering his hands, shirt, and pants. Blood is everywhere. Where did it come from? In the far corner of the bathroom there is a blood stained knife, that looks like it was just thrown in a fit of anger. I am still screaming however Ethan does not seem to even notice my existence, he still sits in the middle of the floor rocking, and murmuring to himself. 
I want so badly to yell some sense into Ethan but he is in auto pilot. As i sit in the hallway outside of the bathroom, Ethan starts undressing and putting his clothes in a pile by the bloody knife in the corner. His eyes have the same glazed over look they did earlier at the restaurant. This can not be happening, i need to find out what happened but no words will leave my throat, just erratic sobs. 
Finally I manage to get to my knees, but Ethan is just staring at himself in the mirror now with a blank expression on his face. “Ethan what happened! What did you do!”. I get no response instead he just keeps on murmuring to himself and staring at nothing, “Ethan we need to leave. Now.” I can no longer stand there and wait for him. I grab the pile of clothes in the corner and the bloody knife, and run for the bed. I grab the duffel bag we brought with us and stuff everything inside and zip it closed. As I run back to the bathroom to get Ethan I notice the door was open the entire time. I don’t care, I run to the bathroom, grab Ethan’s arm and race us to the car. 

Part II
Everybody always talks about the feeling of leaving your body, and subconsciously keep on living. That was the feeling I had as I grab the duffel bag filled with the bloody clothes and run into the house. Ethan is trailing behind me as I enter the house, as we enter Ethan just walks up the stairs and does not look back. I can not focus on him right now, I need to focus on getting rid of the clothes and bloody knife before somebody finds it. 
Grabbing the clothes from the duffel bag I throw everything into the sink and blast the hot water. I scrub until it feels as if my hands are going to fall off. My husband, what happened to him that would lead him to leave our hotel room and come back with a bloody knife, and blood stained clothing. At the restaurant he did seem to have a far off look, worse than usual matter of fact. Perhaps he left his wallet there and on the way back somebody tried to mug him? I suppose that could be possible. All I know is that nothing good came from this situation, but why was the knife used?
All night I got no sleep, I had to know what happened to Ethan. I switch on the TV and automatically the news comes on. My trembling just gets worse as a dead body fills the screen. No. This can not be happening. The body on the screen is the waitress from the restaurant, at least that is what the news presenter says. The news presenters are frantically telling the story like it is their own, perhaps it is, but the level of excitement radiating from their faces lights up the screen. 
“Here we are today at the Sunshine Restaurant in Montauk where there was a vicious stabbing of a young waitress named Julia Williams, 25 years old. Julia was last reported speaking to a man of which nobody could get a clear enough picture to give to a sketch artist.” The man continues speaking but I have completely stopped listening, I can not get the image out of my mind. That poor woman.
About two hours later Ethan finally wakes up and reaches to his right looking for me, as usual. I can not look at him, this whole situation is unbelievable. The man that I was planning on having children with, the man that I wake up to every morning, the man that I have been married to for thirteen years is a murderer. My husband murdered somebody, an innocent woman who was just doing her job. 
As Ethan starts moving around and getting ready for work, he seems un-phased and calm. “Morning babe.” Ethan says. Maybe last night was all a dream. 
As Ethan gets out of the bathroom I am still sitting on the couch horrified by what I just watched. Ethan must see that something is going on just by the look on my face, because he walks over to the couch and sits down next to me. My body suddenly goes rigid. 
“Are you okay Sophia?” He says. 
“Do you remember last night at all Ethan? Anything?”
“Of course how could I forget our lovely night together.”
I just smile, and get up to take a shower. By this point my mind is a black hole, every bad thought is being sucked in and no good ones are coming out. We were at that restaurant, that poor woman was our waitress last night. What happened? Did Ethan really kill her? What if he did kill her? I have so many questions and no answers. 
I can’t help but stare at the sink as I remember all of the blood that was washed out in here. I absolutely can not believe that I destroyed all of the evidence, what else was I to do? There is no way that any of this is going to come down on us, Ethan and I are happy, nobody can tear us apart. 
It was the summer of 2003, our honeymoon. Everything was perfect, everything was going as planned, and I never wanted to leave our sweet hotel in fiji. After a long day of water skiing and sight sightseeing, we finally settled into bed for the night. After about an hour of watching TV, Ethan turned to me and abruptly told me about how his mother, that I’ve always loved since the beginning, and he told me that she was extremely abusive and promiscuous. He told me about how he never knew his dad, and I could not believe anything that was coming out of his mouth.
I bolt upright in bed with sweat pouring down my face and a new realization practically smacking me in the face. Ethan’s mother was a brunette, and so was the waitress from last night. Ethan finally cracked, his mother walking around our house, attending our wedding, and acting like a real mother was way too much for him. If he just killed that woman because she was a brunette, then who knows what he is going to do to his mother next. I need to stop him, this can not happen again. 
I don’t even waste time getting dressed, I grab my purse and run to the door. As soon as i open the door I am halted by two armed police officers at my door with their badges out. 
“Mrs. Johnson, you’re under arrest for the murder of Julia Williams. Make this easy for yourself and put your hands behind your back.” The young looking officer says. 
As the young officer begins telling me my rights, I can not move, I can not speak, the only thing that I can do is cry. How did they possibly trace this back to us? I was so careful, so diligent. Apparently it was not good enough. The young officer finishes telling me my rights, grabs my now bound hands, and shoves me out the door where I find at least ten police cars parked in front of my house. The officer walks me over to one that is in the middle of all of them, shoves me in, and shuts the door. 
After school, I walked over to Ethan’s house with all of my books and the intention to study for midterms. Afterall it was junior year, and Ethan had not even looked at me in anyway other than best friend. As I made my way to his door, I heard yelling and crying coming from inside. I was so scared and confused that I did not even knock, I just ran over to the window that gave a perfect view into their living room. As I looked in, i saw Ethan standing over his mother yelling at her, as she cried. 
I must have blanked out in the interrogation room, because I was startled by a door slamming and the same young looking officer from before, and a new officer who was not wearing a uniform enter the room. “Sophia Johnson. Squeaky clean record, long happy marriage, graduated with honors in school… so why did you do it?” The police officer without a uniform asked with confusion.
I feel as if I am turning my head through sand, today cannot be real. I may not be a law major, but I know my basic rights, with that in mind I say the words every police officer hates hearing, “I want to call my lawyer.” 
The rest of the night went by in a blur. I vaguely remember them asking me a few more questions about Ethan, yesterday at the restaurant, and the hotel. After I told them that I didn’t know anything other than what I told them, they told me that I was lying. The young police officer told me about how we never checked out of the hotel, and how when they checked the room they found traces of blood in the fibers of the carpet outside of the bathroom in the hotel. They also told me that when they called Ethan to ask some questions, he named me. 
I stopped listening after that, everything they said when in one ear and out the other, I must have heard them wrong, I must have. My lawyer was trying to explain to me what is going to happen next, but I was barely able to function. We talked for hours about yesterday, we went over that entire day, combed through every single detail, until everything started blending together. 
My lawyer explained to me that I was definitely going to do some time because I was placed at the crime scene, and everything is adding up to me. Since I won’t talk there is nothing else he can do for me, and he suggests that I plead guilty. I know for a fact that I didn’t kill Julia Williams, but it is too late to say anything.
My trial went so fast. At the end of the trial as the jury just found me guilty of murder, and the judge sentenced me to twenty-five years in prison, I stood up from my seat crying my eyes out and turned around to the people behind me. Ethan was there, and he was crying too. He had already testified and told everybody about how I was acting very strange that night, and how it would be safest for everyone if I went away. 
I just stare at him and shake my head, he mouths to me that he loves me, and turns his back on me as the bailiff puts handcuffs on me, and guides me through the door where I will start my twenty-five years of regrets and misery.


© Copyright 2017 Bella Fiore. All rights reserved.

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