Marian Wood: A Bad Day and the Fates of a Closed Road


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A Bad Day and the Fates of a Closed Road

Marian Wood

A Bad Day

With a bad day behind me, I need to get home. Hearing Alfie’s angry voice, I need little Billie. Life has gotten to me, why do bad things have to happen? My dad always said that “just two things are certain in life — death and taxes,” quoting Benjamin Franklin in 1789.

Why can’t we keep our loved ones forever? Losing special people truly hurts. Watching the young woman crying, I know I’m in the right profession, but where Surgeon Carl can fix people. Myself, nurse Beth, can’t. I made her a warm mug of tea and consoled her. I tried to answer her questions, but some questions don’t have a fair answer. I’m used to seeing death in Accident and Emergency, and today should have been no different. However, here something wasn’t right, a perfectly nice couple in a nearly new car that for some reason the brakes failed.

Just driving down a closed road would have been stupid. The police have questioned the young widow and I listened to some of it. Feeling a shiver like a spider crawling over me, with no enemies things didn’t add up. I’m a nurse, should I really be investigating a murder? Maybe I’ve read too many crime thrillers but this can’t be right.

Home

With these thoughts racing around my head, I pull into my drive. I could now hear Alfie, clearly, Billie had upset him again. Pulling my comfortable woolly jumper around me, I put my hands back on the steering wheel and count to ten. Tempted to reverse back off the drive, I wonder for the umpteenth time why I married him. If I hadn’t been pregnant with Billie, standing him up at the church would have been wise, but my child needed her dad, so mum advised me to marry him. Had she known how violent he got I’m sure she would have said run. As I sat wishing him dead rather than the young man today, I wondered how easy it was to damage his brakes. Shaking my head, I know this is crazy thinking. I need to go indoors for Billie’s sake.

Grabbing my bags, I slam the car door and stumble up the path. Noticing the weeds growing, this was time. I don’t need Alfie, he’s a bully and, like a weed, undesirable.

A week later

Ringing the bell, I know I’m crossing a line. I’m not the police, I’m a concerned nurse. I’m now going to be the friend. I want to know what happened. As the attractive blonde opened the door, the butterflies started in my stomach.

“Hi Alice, I’m nurse Beth from the hospital. I’m here just to talk with you and check you are alright.”

“Errr, you’d better come in.”

After chatting for an hour, I learnt that Alice’s uncle had hated now-dead Terry. Complications of family and loyalty had prevented her from telling the police. As she started crying it was obvious that this needed pursuing further. Cutting someone’s brakes seemed extreme but this seemed a logical explanation. Holding her right hand, I tried to reassure her. Her uncle needed to be punished, he had killed an innocent man.

Billie

As my life has turned a corner, threatening phone calls have now started. Alice has become a friend after she finally spoke to the police. I haven’t seen Alfie since the night I asked him to leave, but his temper is foul. Ignoring the ringing phone again, I hold Billie close to me. Knowing things are wrong, she’s crying and I have to sort this.

Hearing the doorbell, I scooped Billie into my arms. Relieved to see Alice, I greeted her with a hug.

“Beth, what’s happened?”

“It’s all the phone calls, the threats, what do I do?”

“Talk to the police again, they can help.”

Sitting down, I sat Billie next to me. In her pretty face, I could see her father. This couldn’t go on.

Later that evening

I’ve always wanted to be a nurse, it’s my vocation. Helping and making people better is what I do. Wishing people dead is not me. I’ve always believed that everyone can be helped, they just need to have the tools to help themselves. Analysing my time with Alfie, I have pulled it to pieces, blaming myself when he has lashed out. They say what goes around, comes around, so why was it me rocking backwards and forwards in tears? With Billie in bed, I have opened a bottle of red. Considering using my large tea mug rather than a tiny wine glass, I jumped as the doorbell rang. I wasn’t expecting visitors. Wiping my face I answered the door.

“Hello.”

“Hello, I’m Detective Inspector Charles and this is Inspector Lacey, can we come in?”

This didn’t make sense. Alice’s uncle is in the police cells.

“Beth, we have some difficult news, how well do you know Alice Hughes?”

“We became friends when her partner Terry was killed.”

“Tonight, we found your husband Alfie, there’s no easy way to tell you this. It appears he had been drinking and he drove onto a closed road.”

“Sorry officer, what does this have to do with me?”

Alfie

“I’m sorry, but your husband was found dead and he had this letter with him.” DI Charles passed it to me. Shocked by what I read I started crying again. This couldn’t be right, I was going to kill her (not literally of course).

Here it was, a letter of confession, here in black and white. Alfie’s moods had gotten worse over the last few months and this was possibly why. He had been having an affair with Alice Hughes and when she refused to leave Terry, he had killed him. The police were sure that the guilt had gotten too much for him and he had gotten drunk and drove with the intention of ending it all, he had certainly managed that.

I’m not sure if this is fair karma. I have wished him dead so many times. He deserves to be locked in a prison cell, he has escaped being sentenced for murder.

Being angry isn’t good, I could feel my eyes stinging now. How dare he cheat on me? Hearing Billie on the stairs I have to pull myself together.

Showing the police to the door, I reflect on my life. I have a job and a daughter I love. I am sorry for Alice’s uncle who I have helped imprison, I need to apologise to him. Do I forgive Alice? No, not yet, if she hadn’t cheated then Terry and Alfie would still be alive; and the violence we have experienced these last few months might not have happened.

Walking upstairs to find Billie, she’s my concern now. Tomorrow, I pick myself up and rebuild. No more threatening phone calls, no Alfie and no Alice, it’s time to move on.

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Please visit Marian on her blog: https://justmuddlingthroughlife.co.uk/

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