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Friday, April 24, 2015

DECEPTIVE APPEARANCES




She was startled awake in the unfamiliar room.  What was that noise?  She sucked in air and held her breath. 

She couldn’t be sure, because she’d been sleeping so soundly, but the noise sounded like it was in her room. It must have come from the hotel corridor.  Afraid to turn on the light, she patted the night stand, searching for her phone.   She recalled her friend’s warning.  “Always secure the chain on your hotel door.”  Alarmed, she realized she had forgotten the chain. 

What was that rustling noise?  Her heart raced, as she remembered her cell phone was charging in the bathroom.   

She traced the buttons on the hotel phone and prayed that she was pressing  zero.  She held her breath.  No response.

She sensed movement in the corner of the room.  She could hear her heart pounding. 

She forced herself to breathe and slowly turned her head.  

Someone was in the corner!  If he had a gun, she knew she’d never make it to the door before being shot.  She had no valuables, no expensive jewels, and very little money.  Would he kill her? 

When her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she realized he was removing his shirt. Was that alcohol she smelled? She meekly asked, “Who’s there?” Her voice quivered.

A deep voice answered.  “I was trying not to wake you.  Damn key wouldn’t work, but a bell boy told me I’d had a few too many at the bar and unlocked the door for me.  I bumped into the table and knocked the lamp over. 

Stunned, she asked what she didn’t want answered.  “What --  what do you want?”

He staggered toward the bed.  “If I can have anything I want, I’m sure you know what that is.” She heard the sneer in his voice.

Her heart racing, the words rushed out.  “I…I…I have a little money in my purse, and some jewelry in a pouch on the inside of my suitcase.  There’s a credit card in my wallet.   I haven’t seen your face. I can’t identify you. Please, take everything.  Just leave me alone.”

He moved toward the door and searched the wall until he found the switch. In the glare of the overhead light, they stared at each other.  “Who are you”, he shouted, “and where is my wife?” 

She sat up and said, “I don’t know anything about your wife.  Who are…”.  She slumped onto the bed.

He grimaced and collapsed.

The room was silent.

The next morning, after the bodies were discovered, autopsies were ordered.  Results revealed that both had suffered heart attacks.

His wife spent the remainder of her life cursing her husband for his unfaithfulness.

 

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