Misinformation

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story about betrayal, extrotion and misery.

Submitted: April 25, 2011

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Submitted: April 25, 2011

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Misinformation
 
“Abbigail will be here soon. Better get ready.”
It was less than a whisper, but Allen had a way of projecting when no one wanted to be heard. An even deeper silence followed as he took several long steps into the make-shift kitchen, a tarp sliding past him concealing him from view. A chilled breeze swept through the unfinished dining room and into the den making Thomas shiver and rethink his attire. A simple grey t-shirt was hardly enough for the brisk Colorado February. Allen came back through the hanging tarp with a drink in one hand and his phone in the other.
He threw the phone at Thomas, “It’s Tyler.”
Thomas caught it, fiddled with the crowbar in his good hand and raised the phone to his ear, wincing slightly from a broken rib. “She’s coming,” he said with clenched teeth.
“Indeed. She’ll be there within the minute. Are you ready?” Trey Tyler’s voice was calm, calculated.
“I could never be ready for this, but I’m prepared.” He drew a weary breath, his confidence sagging with his shoulders. “She did this? You’re sure? Beyond doubt?” He sounded almost hopeful.
Tyler sighed, “She did. I’m sorry.” Thomas could tell by his tone that Tyler’s sorrow was genuine and it sobered him. “Allen can do it. You need not be involved.”
Allen had come closer; he was within an arm’s reach. He caught Thomas’ eye with a gleam of cold steel and a click of the hammer. “No,” Thomas breathed. “It has to be me.”
He never heard Tyler’s reply. Abbigail had come through the old red door, stumbling on the broken bricks and fell to her knees. Thomas did not move to help her; he only dropped the phone and slid the crowbar behind his back. Allen had hid the gun silently as she fell. Tear tracks were down her cheeks, clashing with her bright emerald eyes. Snow fell softly through the open door resting on Abbigail’s back as she sat and wept. Not a sound from the world outside, only her stiff sobs.
After a time she looked up at Thomas’ stare. A single tear had fallen down to his beard. “I’m so sorry,” she sobbed. “Forgive me!” she choked through renewed sobs.
“What’s the point?” The acid in his voice bit the air as he shifted his weight to favor his good side, the crowbar in his hand coming level with his leg.
“You’re right.” She sniffled and looked up at him again. “I don’t blame you for doing this. I would do the same, knowing what you know.” She wiped at her eyes with a dirty hand.
“I know you would. Thank you for not trying to deny it.”
“What’s there to deny?” Allen’s voice startled her and she flinched. She tried to stand but fell to the side into more brick.
“Allen!” she cried, tears streaming down her cheeks. “Please!” she screamed.
“Not tonight, child.” His cold whisper made her stop crying.
She reached into her purse and Thomas stepped forward raising the crowbar. “Don’t,” he choked, and wailed, “Why? How could you do this?” He fell to his knees. Allen put a hand on his shoulder and aimed the gun at her chest.
She stood, visibly shaking, and drew an envelope from her purse, dropping it to the ground. She didn’t speak.
Allen motioned to the paper with his gun, “What’s this?”
“Confession.”
“Knew you would need one prepared?”
“I knew Tom would want one.”
“So you knew I would do this?” Thomas said without looking at her. “That you would do this to me?”
“I guessed you wouldn’t forgive me. I had no choice.”
“Everyone has a choice!” he snapped. He grabbed Allen’s arm to help him stand. “Everyone.”
“You’ll see,” she whispered and bowed her head.
The crowbar slipped from Thomas’ fingers, falling heavily on the wood floor. She flinched at the sound and looked up to see Thomas’ anguished face twisted with rage and Allen’s gun inches from her heart. Without a word he pulled the trigger, the night’s silence shattered by the steel’s thunder. Abbigail staggered backwards but kept her balance as shock washed over her face. All too soon the clip was empty, and Thomas was uselessly pulling the trigger at a pile of what used to be his wife. Tears streamed silently as Thomas handed the smoking pistol to Allen.
They both bent to recover the empty shells and crowbar. Allen drained his glass and picked up a bottle of bleach, emptying the gallon over the body. The two men swept the room taking everything they came with and went toward the front door. Thomas switched off the lights, gave his wife one final look and walked out to meet Allen. As they walked to the curb Thomas stopped and looked back.
He sighed and turned to Allen, “I wish I could’ve saved the door.” Allen nodded and turned to the car. As they both sat down a small fire started in the kitchen, spreading quickly as they drove away from the house they had once planned to build.
 
 
Allen drove them back to Denver. He had chosen to play “Clair de Lune” because the snow was softly falling and nothing else seemed more poetic. Neither spoke until the song had ended. Allen broke the silence.
“You did the right thing, little brother.” Thomas nodded and looked out the window. “Do you want to get a drink?”
“Just take me home.” His voice was tight, tired.
“Should you be alone?”
“Probably not. But I’m gonna be.” Silence again. The street light and melted snow formed speckled shadows that played over Thomas’ face as he leaned his forehead against the cold window. Several minutes passed and Allen drove on.
“Did I?” Thomas suddenly asked.
Allen looked over to see Thomas’ eyes closed tight. “Did you? What?”
Thomas sighed. “The right thing.” He turned to Allen. “I’m not saying I regret it, but was it right?” His voice was hard.
“I’m not sure I see what you’re getting at.”
“You know, like, would God understand?”
“I never knew you to be religious.” He half chuckled, “But, yes, I think He would.”
“Mmm.” Thomas took out his phone and flipped it open to a blank screen. “I don’t remember turning this off.”
“Yeah, right after we got to the house. Tyler told you to.”
Thomas rubbed his face with his hands. “Tyler,” he scoffed. It came out muffled. “You think he already knows?”
“More than likely.” Allen glanced quickly at Thomas rubbing his eyes, then reached inside his coat and produced a white but dirty envelope and dropped it in Thomas’ lap.
Thomas gazed down on the envelope. “What?” Confused, he looked from Allen to the envelope again. Realization hit him hard in the chest and his eyes welled up with tears. “Take it back.” He didn’t touch it.
“I have no need for it.”
“I don’t want it. Take it back.” His voice was pained.
“She left it for you.” Allen’s voice was soft.
“I don’t care. Burn it, shred it, just get it away from me.” He pushed it to the floor and rolled his window down; the cold air came rushing in making Allen gasp. Silence fell between them again. Neither spoke until they came to a stop in front of a dark, brick house. They sat quietly as the car idled.
“Thank you for being there tonight.” Thomas’ voice was coarse and quiet.
“I wouldn’t have let you face that alone, little brother.” Allen put a hand on Thomas’ shoulder, a comforting gesture. “Get some rest. I’ll call you in the morning.”
“Cheers.” He opened the door, the light making them both wince slightly. “Thank Tyler for me as well.” He got out.
Allen leaned toward the open door, “I will. Rest.”
“Thanks.” He shut the door and Allen drove away.
Thomas stood in the cold dark, looking up to the cloud covered sky for several minutes as the snow silently fell. A single tear fell down his cheek as he grasped the letter held tightly in his fist. His dead wife’s final words to him, crumpled and stained with her own blood.
 
 
Thomas woke with a start. No real noise had woken him, it was in his dreams. Abbigail knelt in front of him weeping, asking him to save her. He woke when the gun in his hand went off. Thomas sat up panting, covered in sweat and shaking. The late morning light poured into his living room, he couldn’t remember falling asleep on the couch. Abbi’s cries had shaken him, but he held back the need to sob and scream.
The phone rang and broke him from his trance. He picked up the receiver out of reflex.
“Thomas Hahn.” His voice was slightly muffled.
“It’s Tyler.” He cleared his throat. “How are you, son?”
“Hello, sir.” Thomas stumbled into his kitchen and filled a glass of water.
“Did I wake you?”
“Nearly.” He took a long drink. “Abbi did.”
“Now, son. She’s gone.” Tyler’s voice was gentle but reproachful.
“It was just a dream, sir.”
“I see.” There was an awkward moment of silence where Thomas could hear Tyler’s chair squeaking as he changed positions. “Has Allen called you?”
“I don’t actually know. I haven’t checked.” He felt numb while looking for his cell phone, heavy and slow like a fog had taken control of his body. He found the phone in his bedroom on top of a pile of dirty clothes. His father had called and did not leave a message, but there was nothing from Allen. Thomas made a mental note to call his father back later. “Nothing, sir.”
“Are you able to come in? We need to talk.”
“When do you need me? I’d like a shower first.” He emptied his water.
“When you can. No rush. I’m sure you’ve got a lot on your plate; losing two loved ones in one year is rough. I just need an official record.”
“Not a problem. I’ll let myself in when I get there.”
“Sounds fine. Are you sure you’re alright?”
“I’ll have to be.” He started gathering clean clothes. “I’ll see you in a bit, sir.”
“Yes.” Tyler hung up his end, and Thomas threw the receiver onto the couch.
Thomas took off his shirt to examine his bruised and taped rib in a mirror and got into a long, warm shower. After, he changed the bandages around his rib before dressing, but paused in front of a picture of him and his wife taken the summer before. They were smiling while the sun washed down upon them and the beach behind. He remembered the day and smiled, lightly brushing a finger over his wife’s face. He could remember being happy for the first time after his sons death.
As fast as the memory had come it was crushed. Thomas maliciously realized that the day was a fraud. “They had you already,” he whispered, stroking the pictures face again as tears silently fell. “You betrayed me. You betrayed us.” He shouted and slammed a fist into the glass, shards falling to his feet with a few drops of his blood.
Thomas didn’t bother cleaning the blood; he knew he wouldn’t be in this house much longer. There were too many memories that needed to be left behind. He needed a fresh start. Plans formed in his mind faster than he could filter them, but they were all the same in one regard. Thomas would be leaving, and soon.
 
 
Trey Tyler owned a series of office buildings off the mall in Downtown Denver. Every business was legitimate and brought in a fair amount of profit to anyone’s standards. Most of their employees had no idea who Tyler was or what he was really funding. They were merely shadows in a world of drugs, prostitution and killing. No one could touch him though; Tyler had major and mostly secretive dealings with the United States government. They gave him the leeway to go places and do things that official protocols prohibited given that he would turn over evidence of anything questioning national security. The government first started dealing with him after he turned in 30 major players that were planning a bombing of NORAD. According to official documents they were almost too late. Ever since the government had turned a blind eye to Tyler’s activities as long as they did not attract too much attention. Tyler prided himself in his Patriotism and his “clean” business. He only took what he was owed and never did anything without just reasons. Thomas worked for him as a Patriot and nothing more.
Thomas waited outside one of Tyler’s various credit unions. He just sat and watched the people pass. Thomas spent a lot of time throughout his life observing people much like this day. Twenty minutes had passes before he entered the bank. One of the guards recognized him and motioned toward a hallway to the right with a sign for the stairs hanging above. He deliberately took every step up two flights simply to waste a little time. Tyler had always made Thomas slightly nervous.
On the third floor, Thomas came to an office with two large suited men standing on either side of the door. He knew one of them. “Aiden,” he nodded and turned to the stranger, offering his hand. “Alright, mate? Thomas.”
The man shook Thomas’ hand but did not offer his name.
“I’m not your mate,” the stranger grunted making Aiden shake his head.
“Okay.” Thomas chuckled. “Not from ‘round here?”
“Brooklyn.” He smugly dusted his flawless lapel. “You?”
“London,” Thomas replied with a smile and turned to Aiden.
“You don’t sound like a Brit.” The stranger sounded slightly embarrassed.
“Well, mate, I’m American but I was born in London. Spent some time there at University as well.”
Aiden shook Thomas’ hand. “First day,” he murmured as the new guy looked at his shoes like a reprimanded child.
“Ah, cheers.” Thomas patted the new suits bicep and let himself into the office.
“Mr. Hahn?” Aiden put a hand on Thomas’ shoulder as he passed, “I’m sorry, sir.” Thomas nodded, exchanged a sullen look with Aiden and walked on.
Tyler’s office was like something from another era. Large paintings filled the walls, along with tapestries, statues and a floor to ceiling mirror. A large desk stood toward the back wall between two windows with two old and soft looking chairs placed in front of it. Old gas lamps hung from crystal chandeliers giving the effect of dusk combined with heavy curtains hung mostly closed on four windows. Tyler was not in the main room but could be heard laughing and talking behind one of the curtains. Thomas cleared his throat to grab Tyler’s attention.
Tyler’s head popped around a fold of fabric and nodded at Thomas, his glasses glinting briefly from the afternoon sun. Thomas sat in one of the chairs facing the desk and crossed his legs right as Tyler emerged from behind the curtain. Thomas promptly stood, wincing slightly from the quick motions.
“Do, please, sit. Don’t want to agitate the injury.” Tyler shook hands with Thomas after he sat down again.
“Thanks, sir.” Thomas eased into the back of the chair and sighed with relief.
“Not at all. I’ve got to keep my lieutenants in good health. I’ll have someone look at it later for you.” Tyler gave him a broad fatherly smile and sat down behind the desk. “Drink?”
“I could kill for a coffee, actually.”
“Right. Derek,” Tyler yelled toward the door. Seconds later the new guard opened the door and wedged his considerable frame in halfway.
“Yes, sir?”
“Could you bring us a coffee and an aspirin?”
“Right away, sir.” Derek departed quickly.
“I’ve got him on slave duty for now. Nice enough boy. First day.” Tyler rolled his eyes and sighed. He regarded Thomas. “Did you meet him?”
“Briefly. Didn’t get a name from him though.” Thomas crossed his legs and took a sharp breath.
“Well, that’s Derek the monkey. Would you like for someone to look at your side before we start?” Tyler looked a little worried as Thomas shifted to find a better position.
“No I’m alright. I’d like to get this over with first if it’s all the same?” Sitting there made him anxious. Tyler was a perfectionist and would want a full report of all that had happened. Thomas was not looking forward to actually saying all that had happened. He liked to keep thing bottled up inside.
“It’s fine.”
 Derek came back into the office with a soft knock and a tray in one hand. He set the tray on the desk between Tyler and Thomas, nodded and walked toward the door. “Derek,” Tyler called to the retreating guard, “No interruptions please.”
“Yes, sir.” Derek left, silently closing the door behind him.
 
 
“Shall we?” Thomas sat up in his chair and took out his cell phone. After turning it off he placed it on the desk and took the coffee and aspirin.
Tyler stood and retrieved a small digital recorder from an end table next to one of the windows. He switched it on and stood it on the desk between the two as Thomas finished his coffee. Tyler cleared his throat, “Trey Tyler interviewing Thomas Hahn, 17th of February 2014 regarding events that transpired over the last year. Now,” Tyler took off his glasses and placed them on the side of his desk, “tell me what happened.”
“I killed my wife.” Thomas answered bluntly. Tyler gave him a sour look. “Sorry, sir. That question was a bit too vague for me.”
“Explain the events that culminated in Abbigail’s death. Started, preferably, from when you first suspected her.”
“Okay, I first suspected her in August of last year when we were planning a trip back to London for the World Cup. Going over expenses I found a few entries in her account that I couldn’t explain and that she brushed aside when I asked her. With one of these she told me that she had gone to Chicago to see her sister a month before but her account showed expenses for a diner in Tampa. She said her card number must have been stolen and that I could call her sister if I wanted to verify her side. That shut me up because her sister never liked me and I didn’t want to talk to her.”
“And you didn’t follow up further with that?”
“Nope. She always told me how bad of a liar she was and I knew she couldn’t act, but something just didn’t seem quite right. I guess I was just too naive and trusting at the time.” Thomas sighed and stood up to stretch his legs.
After Thomas had paced across the desk twice Tyler turned to him, “What happened next?”
“We started getting phone calls later than usual and any time she would answer she would leave the room, talk briefly and say it was a wrong number. I answered a couple times and whoever it was would hang up. We get wrong numbers just as much as anyone else, but they talked to her and hung up on me. That same uneasy feeling came back every time. I caught her side of the conversation a few times and it sounded innocent but forced. That’s when I asked Aiden to check our phone lines.”
“This was, I believe, around the same time we started getting some buzzing around Cuba. Correct?”
“Yes, sir. Aiden also came back showing that the calls were coming from a dry cleaner in Cape Coral, Florida. This was around Christmas and my father’s surgery and everything was too hectic to try and get straight in my mind so I set it aside. She didn’t show any signs of being under duress, you said so yourself.”
“Yes, at the Christmas party she seemed right as rain. Jovial even. That’s how I had always known her to be. Do, continue.” Tyler leaned back in his chair and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Let’s see.” Thomas sat back down and ruffled his hair. “Early January, that’s when we got the defense contract to keep an eye on Anton De Vos, the Belgian missile expert. I told Abbi about him and she just seemed to shut down. She barely spoke to me the rest of that night and the next day she woke up early and left a note saying she had gone to her mother’s in Pueblo. When I called her mother’s no one picked up. She didn’t answer her cell either and the ID chip on her car had been disabled. She was a smart girl, but I didn’t think she knew how to do that, let alone know where to find the chip. That’s when I called you and ordered a sat scan for her car and it was found in a parking lot off Colfax and Federal. Then we started a background check and found out what she had been up to. The bombing was three days later.”
Tyler opened a drawer of his desk and produced a manila folder stamped with red ink as classified. He opened it, put on his glasses and read, “Citing case 7136412, Abbigail Hahn, formerly Abbigail Stanton, known conspirator of Anton De Vos; responsible for the deaths of 641 Americans with the bombing of Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando. De Vos has known dealings with the Cuban government and has several federal and international warrants for his capture. It is unclear how he made it into our country and efforts are being made to bring his conspirators to justice.” Tyler closed the folder and slid it to the side. “They caught him trying to board a cruise ship headed for the Keys. His Testimony is the only solid proof that Abbigail was involved.”
Thomas sat forward, put his elbows on his knees and stared into his folded hand for a silent minute. Tyler put the folder in front of him again as a side door to the office opened and Allen came in. He was wearing the same clothes as the night before and he had not had time to shave. He closed the door behind him and went to the empty chair next to Thomas.
“You’re late.” Tyler pointed vaguely at Allen as he sat and pushed the envelope across the desk to him. Thomas was still staring into his hands.
“Sorry.” Allen took the folder and opened it. “Had to take care of some business.” He gave Tyler a meaningful look then turned to the folder. “How far have you gotten?”
Tyler removed his glasses, “The bombing.”
Thomas suddenly sniffled and buried his face in his hands. “De Vos,” he spat. “The monster.” His words came out thick.
Allen patted Thomas’ back, “We’ve got him. He’ll pay for this.”
“That can’t undo what’s been done.”
“Nothing we do can.” Tyler stood up and crossed the room to an end table to fix a drink. He took a bottle and poured three glasses. He brought them back to his desk and passes them out.
Allen took his and raised the glass. He didn’t say a word but the others followed, silently raised their glasses and drank.
Tyler leaned against the desk in front of the two brothers. He regarded Thomas, “Feeling better, my boy?”
“I’m fine. Thanks for the drink.” Thomas half chuckled. “That helped a lot.”
“Ready to proceed?” He gave his fatherly smile.
“What’s next?” Allen put the folder back on the desk and sat back.
“After the bombing.” Thomas replied and sat back as well.
“After the bombing,” Allen sighed, “And after we caught De Vos is when we started looking for Abbi. We knew that she wasn’t anywhere in the state and we assumed she would know how we could track her so we had to think outside the box. After a few days we found video of her entering a bank in Jacksonville. It was a complete accident that we found her, but we sent a few guys there to try and round her up. De Vos had told us about her involvement finding contacts within the theme parks as well as the suppliers for the explosives.”
“It turns out that she used a few of our contacts using me as a reference.” Thomas looked angry but composed. “How she convinced them is beyond me. Those guys are pyros but patriots nonetheless.”
“No we’ve cleared them of any malicious intent.” Tyler went back to his chair behind the desk.
“Well, we found her,” Allen continued, “in a bar outside Jacksonville. The agents we sent grabbed her and headed back but she was being followed. They caught up with them right inside the Colorado border and all parties we killed. Abbi was stuck in the trunk and I’m not entirely sure how she got out. We tracked her heading back to Denver, but we didn’t know why she was heading into the hot zone. We didn’t send anyone to get her so as not to spook her or anyone that might still have been following her. Thomas rightfully assumed she would either go to her parents or the house in Evergreen we were building.”
“She used to go there to be alone on the nights I was working.” Thomas reminisced. “She said it was peaceful and felt more like home.” He closed his eyes and sat back.
“So you went there to confront her?” Tyler asked Thomas but Allen answered.
“Yes, sir. But someone was already there. Abbi must have told someone where she was going because there were three of De Vos’ men waiting for us.” Allen looked toward Thomas for support, but did not receive any. He pressed on. “Thomas knew something was up because that old red door was ajar so he was ready. He took out two before the third knocked him down. I didn’t have much time to react before Thomas was on the ground, but I got the guy as he ran at me. The bastard got Thomas’ rib so I dragged the bodies into the back and we waited for Abbi.”
“I’m guessing this is when you called me?” Tyler sat up and Allen nodded. “We had found that Abbigail had been working for De Vos for over a year and had made quiet an impact on the planning for the bombing. If she had not gotten involved they would not have been ready so soon.”
“Yes, sir.” Thomas looked at Allen then at Tyler. “We torched the house and the bodies with it. And the rest you know.” He looked drained, like he had not eaten or slept for days.
“Yes, I think that’s a good enough place to end. Anything further and we can pick it up later.” All three men stood. “Thank you gentlemen.” Tyler turned off the recorder and came around the desk to shake Allen’s hand. Thomas extended his hand but Tyler hugged him instead. “You did a great job for your country, my boy.”
“Thank you, sir.” Thomas released Tyler and hugged his brother. “Thank you, brother. I couldn’t have done this without you.”
“Like I said before, it was nothing you wouldn’t have done for me.”
Tyler grabbed the folder off his desk and put an arm around Thomas’ shoulder. “Now, let’s have some one look at that rib.”
 
 
Thomas went back home after nightfall to an empty house. He could barely call it home anymore; he had always thought of his home being filled with a family. He started to pack almost immediately. Most of his things he would leave behind with a note for Allen to do what he pleased with what was left. He had packed only a small suitcase when his father called.
Thomas took several steadying breaths before answering. “Hi, dad.” His voice was higher than usual in an attempt to mask his discomfort. “Sorry I didn’t ring you back earlier.”
“It’s not a problem, son.” Thomas’ father had a resonant voice but was not loud, much like Allen’s. He could hear that he was smiling. “I just haven’t heard from you in a while and was curious how you were holding up after what happened in Florida.”
“It’s better now,” Thomas said through gritted teeth. “Everything has been cleaned up and we got the people involved.”
“Good. You make those bastards pay. Women and children.” Thomas’ father scoffed. “The nerve of some cultures.”
“Preaching to the choir.” Thomas continued to pack.
“How’s Abbigail?”
Thomas stopped in his tracks and slid onto his bed. His heart was pumping and tears were close behind. It took all his resolve to answer in a choked whisper, “She’s fine. Sends her love.”
“Good to hear!” His smile could be heard again as he softly chuckled, “You two need to come up here soon. Mother misses you terribly. She was so worried about you after the bombings. We’d come to you, but the doctor said no long car rides for six months after my surgery.”
Thomas felt numb and barely heard what his father was saying. “No, we will.” His cheerful tone surprised himself even as tears fell, “We’ll come soon.” His father chuckled again. “Look, dad, I-I’ve got to go. I’ve got some things to take care of tonight.”
“No worries. I know how busy you must be. Kiss Abbigail for your mother and me.”
“I will. Goodbye.”
“Take care, son.”
His father had almost hung up before Thomas caught him, “Dad?”
“Yes, son?” his father pleasantly replied.
“I love you.” Thomas stifled a silent sob.
“I love you too.” His father’s warmth could almost be felt through the phone.
“Goodbye.” Thomas’ voice broke at the end and he suddenly hung up before he could hear his father say goodbye for the last time. He fell on his bed and wept bitterly. The guilt of leaving his father and mother behind was almost as heartbreaking as his wife’s betrayal. Thomas lay on his bed thinking and feeling nothing but pain.
Something on his end table caught his eye. The stained letter his wife had written him was leaning against a picture of her, but Thomas knew he had left the letter on the kitchen counter. He looked around his bedroom and realized that not everything was as he had left it. He quickly scanned the house and found several such occurrences, but nothing had been taken and there was no sign of forced entry. Thomas suddenly recognized that suitcase that he was using to pack was Allen’s. He remembered Allen telling Tyler that he was late for the debriefing because he was taking care of some business. Allen had always taken care of his little brother and would often help in subtle ways. He knew that Thomas would want to leave and he wasn’t going to try and stop him. Love for his brother brought a few tears back but they sobered him into a finer resolve to leave as soon as possible.
“Thank you, brother,” Thomas whispered as he finished packing.
The letter kept distracting him. Allen had felt that it needed to be read, even though Thomas wanted it to be destroyed. He quickly decided that reading the letter would be the last thing he would do in this house. He finished packing and retrieved his gun from a hiding place on the inside of his bedroom closet. He placed the gun on the full suitcase and sat next to it as he opened the blood stained envelope with shaking hand. After a deep breath, he opened it and read:
 
My dearest love Thomas,
I can’t begin to express how sorry I am. I never meant for any of this to happen. I’m sure you don’t believe me, but given the facts that you have I wouldn’t believe me either. So much has gone wrong within the last year that you don’t know about, so I’m going to tell you everything. I only hope that you can find a way to believe me because everything I’m about to tell you is true.
First, I won’t deny that I was involved and partially responsible for Orlando. By now I know that you have Anton in custody and he has told you about my involvement. But what he won’t tell you is that he was extorting me. He found out about your ties to Tyler and his dealings with the government. He knew that you were able to get things he would never have a ready access to and that I could use the same leverage. He also knew that if he were to carry out his plans without me that Tyler would be tipped onto him before he had a chance to act. He found me and threatened your life and the lives of our families in exchange for my help. We already lost our son; loosing you would have been more than I could handle and I loved you too much to have let anything like that happen.
Second, Anton didn’t tell me his true plans until a week before the bombing. I would have found a way to stop him if I had known. You know how much I love this country. That’s why I loved you so much. My faith has never wavered but I couldn’t let him hurt you. It’s not an excuse, but Anton promised that my involvement would be kept a secret to everyone but him. No one was ever supposed to know. Never trust a rat. Thinking back, it might have been easier to let him kill me and get it over with, that way he would’ve had to have done things on his own and you could have stopped him. What a fool I was.
I never really believed why Anton was doing what he did. He wasn’t religious, he was a scientist. He always talked about how he hated middle eastern terrorists because they let their faulty religions cloud what they were fighting for. I suppose his reasons were political, ‘Americans are too greedy,’ he always said. ‘What better way to show this than making an example out of theme parks full of gluttons and wasters.’
Though nothing I can do or say can undo what has been done, I hope that you can find a way to forgive me if I live through the night…
I know you’re too smart to not know where I’m going. The house in Evergreen will probably never be finished now. It’s a shame; Allen had such great ideas for it. Tell him that I’m sorry and that I love him more than he can know.
I’m so sorry. I love you with all my heart.
 
Your ever faithful wife,
Abbi
 
The letter fell to the floor at Thomas’ feet while he sobbed loudly. The guilt he felt for not trusting his only love was tearing him in two. Nothing he had ever felt could compared to the anguish cascading through him now. There was no solace and now, knowing what he knew, there was nowhere to run and hide from his actions.
“I’m sorry!” he screamed to the heavens and fell to his knees. “Forgive me!”
He knelt and wept for a long time. All he wanted was to hold his wife one last time. Only her arms could comfort him, only her touch. He thought of her lifeless body on the floor of their future house and of her bright green eyes going cold and empty. Numbness and utter despair took hold of him. There was no turning back.
He left the letter at his feet for Allen to find. ‘Hopefully,’ he thought, ‘he’ll bring her name back to its rightful place.’ With that thought he stood strong.
The last thing that Thomas Hahn felt was the taste of cold steel against the roof of his mouth. He never even heard the shot.
 
The End
 
 
By: Andrew Willey
 


© Copyright 2019 Andrew Willey. All rights reserved.

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