The Necessary Lie

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
Kevin's brother Robert had always looked after him, now it was his turn. He would never give away his brother's secret.

Submitted: April 29, 2014

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Submitted: April 29, 2014

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I stared down at my hands wringing in my lap. The cold winter had left them dry and cracked, bleeding under the slightest pressure. The small room with just one fluorescent light and no windows was making me feel claustrophobic.

“So, sir, can you please tell us where you were the night of the 14th? The night your wife disappeared?” The policeman looked up from the paper on the table as he spoke, fixing me with a stern look, leaning his elbows on the plain table which stood between us. I gulped in my dry throat as I tried to remember our story. Robert would not be happy if I got this wrong. I can’t let him down or give him away. He was just trying to protect me, just like he had all my life. He had never meant to hurt Christina.

“My brother and I went to the movies. When I came home my wife wasn’t there. I waited and waited but she never turned up,” I croaked. I had tried to put some strength behind my words, to make them more believable, but I had never been very confident. Robert was the strong one of the family. I must protect his secret now.

 

It had been a month since I had confided in my brother Robert about my wife’s infidelity. I knew what was happening. Although, it wasn’t as if she was trying to hide it. All the late nights “working”, coming home at two in the morning, reeking of cigarettes, alcohol and cheap after shave. She wouldn’t even come into our room any more, she just moved into the spare room without a word. She had become irritated with me lately. She kept telling me I had no back bone, that I didn’t even act like a man.

 

I did what I have done my whole life, I turned to Robert. When Christina failed to come home for the third night running he came round to the house with a bottle of whisky. He bellowed, throwing his arms in the air, spilling whisky with each gesture,

“You don’t have to put up with this, Kev! I say, as soon as she walks back through that door, you should confront her. Tell her what you really think. She is your wife and you won’t stand for it! I hate to see you like this, she’s sucked the life out of you, bro'.” He could always convince me of anything. He strode up and down the living room with his wide strides, imploring me with his blue eyes, eyes just like our father.

 

Robert had always protected me, even when we were kids. I was more of a “sit quietly and read” kind of child and that was not the best strategy to avoid bullies. Robert was always there, though. He has always been huge, much stronger than any of the others. He broke one kid’s arm once, just because he had picked on my glasses. Mum was so furious she grounded him for three months, which included no treats. I would always sneak my chocolate and sweets to him, though. He was the best big brother and my best friend. We would always be best friends.

 

That night I had taken Robert’s advice. He was right, I was strong and confident and I shouldn’t have to take this treatment from my wife. She walked in, half staggering, her blood-red lipstick smeared down her face, her bleached blonde hair coming loose from her intricate up do. She sneered at me standing there in front of her, one hand on her hip, the other on the wall to keep herself steady.

“What?” She said bluntly.

“I…Well, Christina…” I started, trying to put some authority into my voice and failing miserably,

“This must stop. I am your husband and I, well…”

Christina let out a short, derisive laugh.

“My husband?” she slurred, walking over to the drinks cabinet to pour herself another vodka, “You’re pathetic. A feeble excuse for a man. I only married you because my parent’s made me. I’m going to sleep with whoever I bloody want to, and you know that you are far too weak to do anything about it.”

 

She staggered up the stairs to the spare room, throwing her fur coat to the floor, as I stood, blankly staring at the wall. I knew she was right, and I hated her for it.

 

For the next two weeks I became obsessed. I stopped going to work. Every time Christina left the house I followed her. For hours I would sit outside a house that she had disappeared into, staring unblinkingly, until she emerged with some other bloke draped over her, shrieking out a high, fake laugh. She was flaunting her indiscretion all over the town. I couldn’t stand it, the heat rose in my face and my heart thudded in my ears with repressed rage. This would not be allowed to continue. Robert would put a stop to this.

 

Valentine's day. It was the perfect opportunity. She obviously did not plan on spending the evening with me. She crashed through the front door and headed straight for the stairs.

“CHRISTINA?” Shouted Robert.

She walked slowly and cautiously to the living room, pausing at the door. She cast a wary eye over the room. The table was made, a roast chicken was sitting in the centre, some deep red roses filled a crystal vase. She didn't even glance at Robert but gave me a a vicious glare.

“What are you playing at, Kevin? What kind of trick are you trying to play?”

She took careful paces towards me, her hands balled into fists. “I am not your little wife, I am not going to sit here and take any of this. You disgust me.”

As she walked past the table she grabbed the carving knife that sat by the chicken. She gripped it tight, her knuckles turning white. My hatred for her was so strong I made to lunge for her and the knife, but Robert got there first. As he has done all my life, Robert tried to save me. He wrestled with the knife in Christina's hands, forcing it back towards her torso. Christina's eyes grew wide with terror as she saw that she was the one who was now too weak, unable to stop the knife from plunging into her stomach. She fell to the floor, letting out a choked cry, and then lay still with glassy, unseeing eyes.

 

The rest disappeared in a blur. We dumped her body in a shallow grave and Robert came up with the story which would save us from prison.

 

After I gave my reply, the police officer looked at me with a frown.

“OK, just stay here for a moment please, sir.”

He left the room and I was left wringing my hands, panicking that they would arrest Robert. How could they possibly know I was lying? No. They couldn't know. Robert would surely be safe.

 

The door opened again and the police officer entered with a second person.

“Kevin, this is Dr Clark. He's a psychiatrist.”

Psychiatrist? Why would they possibly need to bring in a psychiatrist?

“Kevin? Hi, I've been brought in to have a little talk with you.” He spoke to me as if I were a child. He was calm and measured, and leaned towards me with a patronising smile, looking over the top of his reading glasses.

“Kevin, Officer Hanson here tells me you have told him you were with your brother on 14th February?”

“Yes,” I said tentatively, “we went to see a film.”

“Do you see your brother often?” He asked slowly.

“Yes, every day.”

“Kevin,” he said, then paused, “do you know why I was asked to see you today?”

“No, I've no idea. Is it anything to do with Robert?” I asked with a slight panic in my voice.

“Yes, Kevin,” his voice taking a stern, almost scared tone, “you see, your brother died fifteen years ago.”


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