A Cup Of Coffee

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about a strange concurrence of circumstances.

Submitted: August 15, 2012

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Submitted: August 15, 2012

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‘Hello, this is me, honey. I have to leave on an urgent business trip.  Please get me  some spare clothes  for  about a week.  I will be home soon so don’t lock  the door. Kiss you’.

‘Alright. I will  do it don’t worry.  Are you going alone or with someone else?’

‘Alone. I can't talk now. See you soon.’

Lucy started to  pack up her husband’s clothes. She was doing it  very slowly,to the touch,  that’s why  Edward  called her in advance. She had  poor eyesight  and was almost blind.  A few  years ago,  while looking for  a book on a bookshelf she  climbed stairs, buther foot  slipped suddenly from  the stair stepand she  fell to  the floor.  The height of the fall was not serious,  but she  hit  her head  heavily.  The doctor  congratulated her  on  staying alive,  as for  her eyesight  it was possible to restore it by means of surgery. 

  The operation was delayed.  After the fall  she  started to  suffer  from hypertension and thus was  constantly on clonidine. She was afraid  to undergo surgeryand doctors didn’t insist  as  operating  on a  hypertensive patient wasalways  risky.

 Lusy  was going through a course of  medical treatment  for  hypertension and was feeling fine.  Edward helped her  in everything,but  when he was away  one of theirneighbors would  stay with Lucy until Edward’s return.  She wasn’t wearing glasses as they  weren’t of  much help. With glasses or without them  she still saw  thingsvaguely.For that reason  Edward asked her  not to lock  the door,  otherwise  his business trip could have been delayed for quite a long time.

Lucy  collected all his  belongings  necessary for the trip and was waiting for Edward to come. She made a cup of coffee for him. He loved her coffee very much. With a cup of coffee in her hands  she walked  into the sitting room. She felt at once that there was  somebody  in the room.

‘Are you home already, honey?  I have packed your things up like you asked me to do and made a cup of your favorite coffee.’

Lucy came closer to him and  handed him the cup.

‘Drink it, honey. Call me as soon as you get there.’

‘I , I….’

He tried to say something, but he dropped the cup and fell to the floor.

‘What’s the matter with you, Edward?’

Lucy couldn’t  understand what  had happened. He was lying on the floor, he was dead. She was confused and didn’t know what to do. There was no one around except for her and her husband. They lived in an inner neighborhood and their only neighbor who often  came around  was  away for a few days visiting her daughter. Lucy was absolutely alone there.  She couldn’t  dial an emergency number, nor  could she find her glasses. Then shefinally  ordereda doctor. The doctor said that Edward died of  a heart attack.

‘But my husband had never had heart problems.’

 

The doctor started to explain  to her in detail  what  a heart attack was.  Of  course Lucy wasn’t  able to understand anything.  She was thinking about  her life without Edward.

In a few days,  everything was over.  His  body was cremated according to his will.  Despite the great loss,  Lucy’s eyesight improved  a little and hypertension seemed tobother herless.

‘The doctors were right. My eyesight  is coming back.I wish Edward were here with me. He would be so  happy.’

The tears ran  down her  cheeks. Suddenly,  she felt a sharp pain in her head.  She decided to take a painkiller .  She stretched out her hand mechanically  toward  a  coffee cup in which,  on Edward’s advice  she was keeping  clonidine  easily on hand. Lucy was looking for the cup but couldn’t find it.  It was always in its proper place.

‘It’s impossible! Oh, God what have I done!Did I kill him? I poured  coffee into  the  cup  with a  least  thirty  clonidine pills  in it. What have I done!’

 Lucy wanted to go to the police station  to tell them  everything, but she  was scared.  What if theywould  not believe her  and concluded  that she did it on purpose.How  could  she prove her  innocence?

After hours of torment, she figured  that going to the police station and telling them about it would be a pretty  stupid thing to do.

‘This is going to be our secret, honey.’
The doctor in charge of the case advised Lucyto  take a holiday. She really needed some rest after the pain she had  gone  through. But instead of going on holiday she decided to relocate from the place where everything reminded her of  Edward. Her  eyesight was almost restored to normal and the  hypertension was over.
Lucy packed up  quickly.  She  thoughtof going travelling and finding a small house  somewhere at the same time.  She wanted to go to herneighbor to tell her about her  decision, when suddenly,  there was a knock at the door. Lucy  went to  the door.

‘This must  be her. I am coming.’

‘Is that you?’
Edward was standing right in front of  her.

 ‘I am  home , honey.  It took too long to come back home. What’s wrong  with yourphone? I called you a few times. I am sorry I couldn’t call you  often,I was  very busy. Every  time  I called you,the number was not in service.

‘Are you alright, Lucy? Can you see me?’

She could see him perfectly,but she was unable to understand what was going on.

“But you died, Edward.  Your body was cremated.’’

‘’What are you talking about? Why should I have died? As you see,  I am  alive, healthy, but very tired. I will take a shower now. Hope we  have something delicious for dinner.  I am sorry, I didn’t have time to comesay goodbye before I left andtake  the clothes you prepared for me. I missed you so much.’

He reached out to  Lucy to embrace her.

‘Wait I have to tell you something.’

‘What is it? Be quick I am starving.’

Lucy told him everything. He didn’t  take in at once what had happened.  But when he finally realized the situation it came as a  terrible shock to him.

‘Lucy who was that wretched man you killed?  How can I prove now that it’s me?  Oh, God what have you done?!’

Lucy tried to explain to him that in principle nothing  dreadful happened to him. Though, he was staring at his wife  and there was nothing in his eyes, but terror .

Lucy kept on telling him that he would have tomove to another city, get  new papers and that  she would  provide  him with  his own money  the owner of which she had already become. As soon as he settled  down  she would come to his place.  She was filled with optimism and enthusiasm. However,  there was something that  seemed to  discomfort her.  ‘Who was the man she killed? Are the police searching  for him?’  Edward in his deeply depressed state of mind started to  get  rather paranoid at the same time would humbly follow his wife’s advice.  As for Lucy,  she felt quite  elated.

‘The doctors were right. You recovered your vision. This is the only one thing that makes me  happy.’

In a few days  she saw him off  at  the airport.  She figured  that it would be safer if he left the country  with his new papers. At the airport she passed him off as her brother  who lost his documents while travelling.

‘I will come to your place  as soon as I am done  selling  the house.  Don’t get bored without me. It’s the  beginning of  our  new life.’

‘But who was the  man  in our house?’

‘I have no idea. I couldn’t see anything then. Maybe it was a thief for you asked me not to shut the door and so I did.’

‘Maybe,  you are right.’

In a few days, Lucy finished dealing with the sale of the house, the lot, and the car, and started to get ready for her departure."

Everything went  off  just as she  had planned  and was quite convincing:the falling from the stairs, the head injury, the sudden decline of her eyesight, and exhausting hypertension. She deceived the doctors by using atropine eyedrops every day in both  eyes.. . She really couldn't see anything. There was no fall from the stairs, no injury and no hypertension at all. Who will charge  an almost blind woman withunintended murder?  But who was the man she killed?  Are they searching for him?

 

Of course, Lucy wasn’t going to Edward’s place. She didn’t need him anymore she got from him what she wanted so much. As a young, beautiful, healthy, and free and what was most important a rich woman she was going to start a new life. The only one thing she took from her previous life was her husband’s money, who had become her ex-husband by that time.

She looked around the house to make sure she didn’t forget anything. She saw  the cremation urn.

‘I don’t need the urn. Butthe ashes? Well, that’s  perfect fertilizer for flowers.’

She took the urn and spilled  the ashes  over the flowers. With  a happy smile on her face she came up to her  new and shiny car  and got inside. She looked amazingly beautiful  in it.

‘Just a minute, please. I am investigatingthe disappearance of an advertising firm worker. We have a recording of his  conversation in which he tells his friend thathe had been offered a cup of coffee at once  for the first time  in his practice by a charming blonde. As it was found out later  he visited two houses  that day. One of them belonged to an aged couple and the second one to you.  He had marked the addresses. I have to arrest you.’

 

‘Damned atropine’. Was her only thought.


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