Those Who Die (Newman Willis)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A Those Who Die story

Submitted: June 02, 2010

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 02, 2010



Death. A more informal way of greeting a reader. Especially a reader such as yourself. Someone who isn't used to something of a topic so broad, so unnatural, so scary. A more formal way that I would greet you is "Hello" or "How are you". And your formal response would be "I am great thank you". It seems as though it (it meaning Death. Come now, good reader, you didn't forget why we are here did you?) creeps along the passageways of our brains, clogs in the centers of our throats, follows us to our cars in the middle of the night, until we have no choice but to gather up the courage and face it. Look it straight in the eye. Now, I realize that this is a topic that many have decided to conquer in the past times.

I, however, will try to capture your attention for only one-hundred pages. I will explain the lives of five people who have nothing in common, no age similarity, not location, or race. I must warn you, now, before you slip into the worlds of these people and experience the adventure of the last three days of their lives, that they will die. Each and every one of them.

(If you have a low tolerance for pain and death, than I highly suggest that you put this down now. This is sad.)

Their Deaths are not unusual, for they are not unusual people. In fact they are people just like you reader, and the person sitting next to you ( for, if no one is sitting next to you, then the next person that walks by you.) In fact these tales are so true in fiction that I wouldn't be surprised if these exact events happened to you….


Let us being our story with Newman Willis. Newman wasn't like other men, no, Newman was a lawyer. Newman was a good lawyer. In fact, Mr. Willis, was so good at being a lawyer he was his own lawyer for his divorce case. Newman had impeccable debating skills. Whenever he would walk into a court room, each and every person, as if on impulse, would shrink back into their seats and try to avoid his hard gaze. He didn't need money sharks and some handsome rookie from the Bronx trying to take his money. If anything Newman needed someone who could fight, someone with skill, someone with a cunning sense of humor, and someone who could win the hearts of the jury in the first fifteen-minutes. And that's what he had, himself.
And it takes just himself to be the lawyer his ex-wife's murder case. Newman could remember the first day he got the call from Samantha, his ex-wife.
"You what?" he yelled, nearly knocking over the cup of coffee he had on his desk.
"You needn't be so loud Newman, I believe you heard me." he heard her say.
When Newman met Samantha Pennal she was sexy, tall, long blond hair, and had mile high legs that made every male turn his head in her direction. But it wasn't her looks that drew Newman to her, it was her quick sense of humor and silliness. She would go driving with him in his red jeep and spend the night by the river with him. She would have sex with him in the back seat until the sun came up. She would let her hair down and let it blow in the breeze, and put her legs up on the dashboard. Sam would always say, "I like you very much Newman Willis, too bad you're too good for me."
But notice I said, she was, this way. Now she was bratty, whiny, bitchy, and bossy all the time. All she said was, "Do you mind picking up your shit New?! Jesus, must I do everything?" She didn't laugh at his jokes anymore, she didn't kiss him goodnight, and they hadn't had sex in five years. Newman and Samantha went from a happily married couple, to irritated strangers standing beside each other on the subway.
That's why when Newman got the call that his ex-wife, his charming buttercup, got arrested for murdering her friend, he wasn't surprised.
"Would you mind saying it again Sam…" he asked her wryly. Her heard her sigh and a faint rustling in the background.
"Okay, hold on a damned minute you over bearing broat! I'm trying to talk to my lawyer you asshole!" she yelled. Newman rolled his eyes and tapped a pen impatiently on his notepad.
"New?" she said.
"Yeah I'm still here….now explain this again Sam. And please for the love of God lose the theatrics!"
"Don't yell at me Newman Willis! I cannot take this right now!" she whined. Newman closed his eyes, and counted backwards form ten.
10 "Okay, I was at home cooking dinner and these two police officers come to the door"
9 8….7…..6… "So I stopped what I was doing said 'What can I do for you officers?' and they just barged inside of the house! They had no right!"
5…4…3… "All those assholes did was give me some sheet of paper -"
2…1...He interrupted her, "They gave you a sheet of paper, Sam?" he asked.
"Yes, Newman they did." she said irritably.
"Did they happen to identify the paper as a warrant?" he asked slowly. She didn't answer for a few seconds.
"I wasn't done Newman! God! This is why we got a divorce! You never let me talk!" she whined. Newman rubbed the side of the pen on the side of his finger, hard.
"Anyway they came in there and said 'Are you Samantha Pennal?' and I said yeah, and they started talking about 'the right the remain silent'. As if I was going to remain silent!"
"Did you 'remain silent'?" he asked. He closed his eyes and hope to god she was going to say 'Yes Newman I did, why would I talk if I didn't have a lawyer Newman! You silly bean!'
"No. I most certainly did not."
Newman groaned and ran his hand down his face.
That day still haunted him becausenow, he was late for court. Now he had to pretend to defend his wife and wait to see if Samantha Pennal, Ms. whiny, Ms. bitchy, Ms. I'll-do-anything-to-get-my-way-even-if-that-mean-stabbing-someone-in-the-chest- fourteen-times…was capable of murder.
In the court room, Newman was adifferent man. His facial expression changed from the typical wry and tired look to ahard and a don't-fuck-with-me-look. When he entered the court room and saw his wife (excuse me ex-wife)glaring at him, he triedhis best to keep his deliberate expression of hardness set on his handsome face.
When he sat down Sam sent him a hard glance. She had on a black suite with a pearl necklace and had on white six-inch-heels with a blue lining on the edges. Her face was made up, but Newman was sitting close enough as to wear he could see the eye liner and gold eye shadow on her eyelids. Her hair was down and over her shoulders, falling over her breasts and to the tips of her pockets in her shirt. She looked beautiful, and Newman almost fell in love with her all over again.
"You look nice?" he whispered while sitting down. Sam nodded and said, "Don't I look good everyday?"
"Yes Sam." he said wryly and opened his case.
"Look we have ten minutes to win this case. I have to be at the spa at 2:30." she said checking her nails. Newman desperately wanted to grab his hair and yank it out.
"The time depends on how cooperative you are."
"I'm not going to be cooperative if I don't have to, I'm going to answer the questions I want to answer."
"No you will answer every question. "
" I'm trying to win this case. " she whispered, and she set her jaw, ready for an argument.
"That's my job."
"The hell it's not."
"The hell it is. Your job is to not look guilty. So, shut up, close your legs and get ready to use your best acting skills, you're going to need it." he said as the persecutor
called Samantha to the stand.
He handed her a tissue. "Take this. Work up some tears. The jury needs to feel sorry for you." She nodded and went to take the oath.
Newman sighed and took out his pen while the prosecutor started to ask question.
" Mrs.Wil-"
"That's Ms. Pennal. I got divorced a month ago." she whispered while dabbing her eyes.
"Okay. Ms. Willis…what happened on June twenty-fourth?"
"I was at home and Rachel came over. We were working on our diets for-"
"Is this before or after you were divorced from you husband?"
Newman shot up, and it starts.
"Objection. Question is irrelevant."
"Granted. Ms. Hunter please stop melding in the personal life of this women. Stick with the case." Ms. Hunter nodded and looked toward Samantha again.
"Ms. Pennal. What happened that night?"
"As I was saying, we were discussing our diets. And how we were going to work out everyday. Rachel really didn't need to work out, because she was already so damned skinny." she said between clenched teeth.
"And then the power went out. We drank about six glasses of wine each so were a little tipsy."
"Did you drink the six glasses of wine before or after you discussed your diet plans?"
"…After" she said while dabbing her eyes. Newman hid a smile behind a cough. Samantha Pennal, was the biggest liar, but the she was the best actress he had ever known.
"So, you and Rachel were…drunk as you say. What happened after that?"
"Well…" Sam mused. Newman could practically see her thinking of a lie in her head. He shook his head ruefully.
"I told her that we should go on and make dinner. The lights were out so I couldn't see where anything was andI grabbed the knife. To chop the veggies you know."
"Where was the knife?"
"On the counter…"
"And you were standing where?"
" Near the counter."
"You said the lights were out, how could you tell that what you grabbed was a knife?" Samantha shifted in the chair. Don't hesitate, Sam. Stay one step ahead of them.
"I felt around and felt the knife in my hands." she whispered. Newman nodded his approval, and Ms. Hunter continued.
"What happened after that?"
"Well, after a few minutes, we stopped laughing and I heard Rachel sit down in the chair. Then after a few minutes of silenc I heard a window break."
"What window was it?"
Samantha rolled her eyes, "I can't remember. I think it was the one in the front."
"Okay, so after you heard the window crash, what did Rachel do?"
"Well, I heard her get up and run toward the noise. I said 'Rachel come back!', but she didn't listen to me. After awhile I couldn't hear her anymore, so I decided to go looking for her."
"During this time could you tell where the burglar was?"
"Okay after you went looking for her, what happened?"
"Well, I was just about to walk up the stairs when I heard someone behind me. I was so scared I thought the person was still in the house, so I lashed out with the knife."
"You still had the knife in your hand?"
"Yes I think I have made that perfectly clear." Samantha said rolling her eyes again.
"So, you lashed out, fourteen-times, with a knife. Didn't you, at one point, realize who it was you were stabbing?"
Newman saw Samantha shift in her seat. She reached up to scratch her hair, causing a long strand of blonde hair to fall from place.
"Answer the question Ms. Pennal." the judge said sharply.
"I am, dammit. No, I didn't realize…"
"Is there a possibility that, the person you stabbed could have been Rachel Murphy?"
Now I must tell you this reader, the following questions happened in such rapid order, that Newman, and the jury had a hard time following. Even I had a hard time keeping up with the rapid fire of question and answer.
"Why not?"
"Because… Rachel wasn't near me."
"How could you tell if she was near you, the lights were out remember?"
"Yes, perfectly thank you. No Rachel wasn't near me." Newman saw the bead ofsweat forming at her delicately plucked brow. Don't lose it Sam, keep your composure.
"Ms. Pennal, is there a possibility that, the person you stabbed, was Rachel Murphy?" Ms. Hunter asked again.
Sam shifted, sniffed, and stuck her nose in the air. It was one thing to tell Samantha Pennal, that she had made a mistake. But to tell her she was wrong, was a whole
different story. Samantha Pennal, did not like to be told she was wrong.
"No, it most certainly wasn't."
"One more question."
"By all means ask it."
" Did you stab Rachel, or kill her? Was it jealousy Ms. Pennal becauseMrs. Murphy was skinner than you?"
There was silence in the court. Sam wrung the tissue in between her hands and glared at the wall ahead of her. Her chest was rising up and down in rapid motions. If the
room wasn't silence, Newman could have laughed from the situation.
"I stabbed her." Sam said. She glanced toward Newman, and he gave her a by-all-means-go-on-and-tell-the-whole-thing look.
"I stabbed her, only because she was such a bitch. She knew she wasn't suppose to lose more weight than me!"
Ms. Hunter had a satisfied grin on her face. This must be her first win. Newman was surprised she didn't break out into a happy dance. Newman almost burst into obnoxious laughter when he heard his wife's confession. It was so stupid. How could a twenty-nin year old act so childish?
"Why is that Ms. Pennal?"
"Because! She knew I liked the gym instructor! She knew! We both saw him at La Fitness. I said 'Wow Rach, I could make some pretty babies with him.' and she said 'Go for it Sam'. And then three weeks after that I find her looking like a fucking coke bottle, and she was flirting with him! It was disgusting! She was all over him."
"All over who Ms. Pennal?"
"That gym instructor! I was suppose to have him! When she came over my house bragging about the sex they both had! I had to do it! I was suppose to have him!" she yelled and broke down in sobs. She wasn't crying for her friend, but she was crying because she didn't get what she wanted, which didn't surprise Newman.
"No more questions." Ms. Hunter said. Sam got up from the stand and walked stiffly back to her seat next to Newman.
The judge sighed and said,
"Well we might as well get this over with. Do you have anything to say Mr. Willis?"
Newman shook his head and started to put all the paper back in the briefcase. He glanced at Sam, if looks could kill, then he would be smothered in fire.
"Your verdict jury?" the judge said wryly.
"We find Ms. Pennal guilty of third degree murder."
Sam's back stiffened and a officer began to walk over and take her away.
"Why didn't you do what I said, dammit Sam I swear…"
"You weren't exactly on my side New, you knew I killed her."
"Yes, but I'm your lawyer. It doesn't matter if I know you're guilty or not. I still have to defend you."
"It's too late…good bye Newman."
The officer put handcuffs on her wrists.
"You should know….i was still in love with you." she said before she disappeared behind the big brown door.
You should know that the time for Newman to die, is coming. But first lets see the last hours of his life. Are you ready, reader? Good.
Newman did in fact know that his wife murdered Rachel Murphy, but he just didn't want to face it. He walked silently out of the court room ignoring all of the reporters about 'his wife being taken away to jail'.
He didn't care. No take that back, he did in fact care, but he was just so damned tired. He walked slowly to his convertible, and stared up at the sky. Great incoming rain clouds. He breathed in deep, but had a hard time taking in all the air. His eyes flew open and he gasped for air. His chest started to rise and fall.
What am I doing?
His knees started to shake and he had to grasp the door handle for support. He grabbed his tie and tried to undo the perfect but tight knot that was now crushing his wind pipe. Sweat was starting to run down his face.
"Are you okay Mr. Willis?" a voice said from behind him. He whirled around and saw Mrs. Hunter standing behind him. He internally cursed himself. He must have looked a wreck.
"Yes, I ah…Good job today" he managed to choke out. She nodded and looked him up and down, chewing on the inside of her look. There was one thing about Ms. Hunter, she wasn't stunning, not like Samantha. She had average auburn hair, average green eyes.
"Thank you. It was an honor …debating against you I guess…"
'Yes, thank you. How did the Murphy's find you?"
"They….um….connections" she said quietly. Newman managed to get the car door open with a hard yank, he bones felt weak with exhaustion.
"Did you know that she killed her?" her heard her ask.
Newman sighed and turned to put his briefcase in the car.
"Yes, I did actually." he said from inside the car.
"Then why not make her confess the first time? That would have been much easier." Newman surprised both of them by smiling.
"You're going to make a good lawyer Mrs. Hunter." he said.
"Thank you…" she said. She was staring at him in such a peculiar way. Almost as if she could see right through him.
"Do you need a drink Mr. Willis?" Newman cleared his throat and wiped the remaining sweat off of his brow.
"Um…ah…I'm not-"
"There's a place that I know, they make the best beer."
"Ever heard of Local Café?" she asked. Newman smiled and his breathing started to come in even in-takes. He could see the normal side of Ms. Hunter, the side that was outside of the courtroom. For some strange reason, that comforted him even more.
"No. Is it far?"
"No it's about two blocks." she said. Newman hesitated, but locked his door and said: "Sure."
Newman and Ms. Hunter walked for about fifteen minutes. There was silence, it was the type of silence that made you wish you hada radio, or atoddler, so they could talk and talk and talk. You would smile a little, but you weren't totally listening.
"So, how long have you been a lawyer?' he heard Ms. Hunter ask.
"About three years now." he said glancing at her. She nodded her head and looked ahead. The sidewalk was winding and dark, but Newman wasn't nervous. He was relived, in fact. He didn't want to go home and deal with another case. He desperately needed a break, his job was killing him.
"Was today your first win?" he blurted out. Ms. Hunter whipped her head in his direction, probably surprised about his outburst. She blinked and tucked a piece of her auburn hair behind her ear.
"No. I've won ever case actually." she whispered. Newman looked at her in surprise and he rubbed the back of his neck, a habit he did when he felt uncomfortable.
He heard her laugh, "I know what your thinking. Why was I smiling like an idiot when she confessed? Well I knew that she did it in the first place. I just…. Wanted to win against ' the greatest lawyer of the twenty-first century'" she said while looking at her feet.
"Why would you want to win against me? I'm just like any lawyer Mrs. Hunter."
"No, you're not. Do you honestly not know the impact you have on people? When you walk into a court room, every lawyer you're up against knows they're going to lose. You have this way of winning the case, before it even starts. You're a lengend Mr. Willis." she said. Her eyes sparkled with passion as she spoke.
"Well, congratulations." he said. He looked up and saw a tiny building ahead of them. A sigh flashed OPEN in big bright neon colors. It had a sigh above the door that read Local Café. He saw the classic red, white, and black, checkerboard seats through the window.
"Mr. Willis, are you coming?"
He jerked his head back and Mrs. Hunter was staring at him and holding the door open. His cheeks flushed as he noticed he was just standing at the entrance of the café.
"Um…yes. Thank you."
When the door opened a bell chimed and he followed Mrs. Hunter to a booth.
"What can I get for you?" a velvety voice said next to him. Newman looked up and there stood the most gorgeous girl he had ever seen. She looked to be about twenty-six. She had a brown/black afro on top of her head. Her eyes were a deep brown color. The lights above them shined on her deep brown skin.
"I'll have the Suds." Mrs. Hunter said.
"Okay, what about you?" the girl said. He noticed she didn't have a name tag on.
"Um..what ever she's having."
The girl clicked her tongue, smiled, and turned to go get their drinks.
I know what you're thinking, what was the girl's name? I never knew her name, as many times I had been to the Local Café I never learned her name. For right now let's call her the girl. This, however, will not put a damper in our story. It is now coming to the last two hours of Newman's life. I am sorry to tell you this, but as I have warned you in the beginning this is a sad place for you, reader to be in. Therefore this is a sad ending for you Mr. Willis.
Newman and Mrs. Hunter sat, in silence, for about thirty minutes. The only sound was the radio, and the girl humming to the song playing.
"I'm afraid I have to go Mr. Willis." said Mrs. Hunter. Newman looked up and nodded.
"Thank you. For the drink I mean." he said.
"No problem. Do you have any cases you need to work on?" she asked while putting the money on the table.
"Yes, but I'm just going to take a break." he said. She nodded, waved, and walked out into the night. Newman sat there for a while, taking random sips of his beer.
"So, you're a lawyer?" someone said. Newman jumped and looked around. The girl was at the back of the café, smiling at him, holding a mop.
"Y-yes." he said. Why the hell couldn't he form his words. She was a waitress for god's sake! Not a hot stripper.
"That's cool." she said while sitting down. She studide him for a second before turning to her side and putting her feet up.
"Did you just have a case or something?"
Newman cocked an eyebrow at her. "How do you know?" he asked. The girl laughed a little and relaxed more in her seat. She pulled out a cigar from her apron pocket and said:
"Lawyers come in here all the time. They bring their lawyer friends and talk about criminals and such. But, they all have these looks on their faces, ya know? It's like they look eighty, when they're really thirty. You have that same wry look right now. Are you tired or something?"
Newman blinked and sat back, he folded his arms across his chest.
"Yeah I am, actually." he said. He saw a slight flicker of disappointment.
"Well, then I'll go get your check." she said while getting up. Newman's arm shot out to grab her upper arm gently.
"No! I mean, you can stay and talk…if you want…" he said. The girl sat back down in the same position she was in before.
"So, you care to tell me your life story…."
"Newman. Newman Willis."
"Newman. I wanna hear it. Everything." Newman smiled at the southern twang in her voice.
"It's a long story."
She shrugged and took off her Converse.
"We got nothing but time."
Newman told her everything from: his parents dying when he was young. To, his foster parents, to his time at Harvard.
"Why'd you decided to become a lawyer?" she asked. By that time Newman took off his tie and relaxed in his chair.
" I don't know actually. It seemed like the right thing to do at the moment."
"Ah, come on Newman, everyone knows why they do something. Otherwise, there's not point in doing it." she said while smirking at him. This girl, Newman decided, was very wise.
"I guess…it was the only thing I was good at."
"Debating?" she asked wiping the bridge of her nose.
"Yeah. I could never lose. And I loved that." he said hesistatly. The girl was looking at him with a mixture of amusement and shock.
"You love to win? Doesn'tit get old? Winning all the time? I mean don't you want to lose once in a while and " she asked. She shifted in her seat towhere she was leaning forward.
"No. No, it doesn't." he whispered. He could smell her now, a mixture of lilac and feminine sweat.
"Well, enough about me. What about you? What's your life story?" he said suddenly, taking a gulp of his beer and resting back against the booth. She shook her head and suddenly lost the shine in her eyes.
"There's really nothing to tell."
"Here I'll help you. Were you always a waitress?"
"No, I'm a student at NYU." she said. Newman nodded his head impressively.
"So, why are you a waitress." he asked. She raised her head and smiled.
"I'm trying to earn money so I can leave…" she whispered , looking him in the eye. Newman suddenly felt a slight pain in his chest.
"Where are you going?"
"Atlanta. I-I can't stand it here."
"Everyone loves New York!" he said cheerfully. She tossed her head back and laughed. When she finally settled down she fiddled with a piece of a napkin.
"Well, not this girl. I'm not happy here." she said. Newman had the slightest idea that she was about to share something that she doesn't share with a lot of people.
"I hate every morning, you hear everything. No matter where you are. I hate the sounds, the people. My mom died here a year ago, she was the best women I ever knew. She was a therapist, she always cared for others, but I could tell that she was tired and wry on the inside. I asked the doctor what killed her, he said just pure exhaustion. It was the city that killed her. I know it was." shesaid. Newman started at her face as she spoke the last few words.
"I just wanna be happy." she said glaring at the napkin. To Newman's surprise he reached out his hand and placed it over hers. She looked up, her eyes flashing.
"You don't have to run away to do that." he said.
She smiled humorlessly and said, "Yes I do. Don't you wish you could just go away?"
Newman stared at her face and saw something he never knew could exists in a person. Pure, desire. A desire for life, for love, for happiness. Suddenly he broke into a light sweat, how could she know him so well? How could she know him better than he did, or his wife (excuse me ex-wife)They practically shared their whole lives stories, they didn't even know each other. That's the moment, the exact moment Newman knew he would regret, but in the back of his head he knew he would come to enjoy, that he fell in love with her.
They stood across from each other at the entrance of the Local Café.
"Thanks." the girl said suddenly.
"For what?" He asked glancing at her.
"Listening…No one does that anymore it seems." she laughed. He saw her take out her earmuffs, trying to get them over her afro.
"Here let me do it." he said, laughing, and taking the earmuffs from her. He slid them over her beautiful brown hair perfectly. His fingers gently traced the outside of her ear. He heard her breath getting faster.
"I-I have to go…pack." she whispered. Newman again felt the pain in his chest.
"You're leaving tomorrow?"
Newman stepped away from her, and stuck out his hand.
"It was…nice talking to you…" he said. She looked at his hand and took it. They shook hands, but when she tried to turn away he didn't let go.
"Newman…." she said. Her voice was apologetic, almost like a goodbye.
"Sorry, bye." he said, he let go of her hand and watched her walk away into the alley. He felt this undying urge to go after her, to confess everything he had inside of him, but something held him back. An invisible force, what was it? Guilt? Love? He had always heard if you love someone that means letting them go, bullshit! He was just saving her form spending the rest of her life with a lawyer who was obsessed with winning.
As he turned to step out onto the street, he cocked his head to the right and saw big white lights to inches from his face. Time seemed to go in slow motion, when the car tried to stop in front of him, to when it hit his chest, stopping his heart immediately. BANG! His head hit the windshield of the sixteen-wheeler. BANG! BANG! His head and his legs hit the convertible, and his bloody and mangled body slid slowly off the hood onto the pavement. Time seemed to go right back into place when he closed his eyes, a finale tribute to the end of his life.
I know it's a terrible story. I'm sorry I had to kill him, his time had come. It's really sad though, he never learned her name, neither did I in fact. As I have warned in many ways, this is hardly over. We still havefour more stories to go. If you want to stop reading now I would advise you to put this book back on the bookshelf where you got it, (gently!) Are you ready? Okay here we go…


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