“You know, I really pinned you down as someone who wouldn’t make a big deal of things. Apparently I was wrong. All of this time you’ve been sneaking around and doing all this detective work. But you made a huge mistake.”
Harrison blinked several times. The light was blinding. The smell of mold was heavy in the air. The stony floor was cold and damp.
“But if you were any good at playing detective you’d have known that she never went to see Caleb. She came to see me.”
“Who the hell are you?”
“She could never love anyone else and she knew it. She just had to ‘try’ as she liked to say. So I let her. “ He shrugged and began to take a few steps. “I loved her, you know. And you just took her away like she meant nothing to no one.”
“She was having an affair. She apparently meant a lot to too many people.”
“Are you stupid? You can’t expect to be the only person in the world to love someone. She had family and friends.”
“Of course not, but I should expect to be the only person sleeping with her as her husband!” He was frustrated. This man was making him out to be a fool.
Both men were silent for a moment.
“You know she never loved you right?” Harrison flinched where he sat and tried his hardest not to make eye contact with his captor. “She only married you as an excuse to get away from me. She claimed that since she was married to another man, we could never see each other.” He gave a chuckle to himself. “The ideas she came up with sometimes…”
“I mean, you had to know, right? Didn’t you ever wonder why you never had any kids?”
Harrison’s eye twitched. He knew better than to respond to anymore questions. There was a whole life that Leah had that she wanted to keep private from him. She worked hard to keep him away from the drama of her past. Or was it just so she didn’t have to answer any of his questions? What if she really didn’t love him? But if she only married him to stay away from this lunatic, why was she going to see him all the time? He wasn’t sure he wanted to hear anything else; he wasn’t sure he wanted answers to all his questions.
“A lot going on in that pea brain of yours, huh? Well don’t worry. You’ll have plenty of time to think about all of this when you’re in prison.”
“Who are you?” he asked again through gritted teeth.
“If you really can’t get over it… My name is Gil. I am the only man that Leah ever loved. Now will you shut up about it? We have more important matters at hand.”
It all made sense now.
G wasn’t a code name for Harrison in the emails Leah and Caleb were writing to each other. It meant Gil. There was never a ton of detail about G in the emails, but enough negativity that Harrison just assumed it was about different fights that he and Leah had.
But what really hurt him was the fact that Leah was more comfortable talking to Caleb about these personal matters. Harrison never heard a single word about it. Was he that bad of a person that his own wife couldn’t tell him what was making her so unhappy? Had he selfishly taken her life away from the world?
“She was always worried she and I would end up having a kid together. Then she would really be stuck with me. Her words, not mine. And she just couldn’t have that. Leah had a lot of problems and you certainly didn’t make things any easier for her.”
Harrison contemplated all the problems he may have caused her. This man may have been right about a lot of things, but he was wrong about this. Leah had all these problems before they were even married. He knew that she had been married before, but she made it quite clear it was not a topic for conversation. And now he could see why. They must have gotten married when they were pretty young. Leah was only 26 when she married him, so it must have been her early twenties when she married this maniac. He couldn’t begin to imagine the specific reason that pushed her to get a divorce.
Even with all her issues, she was a beautiful, hardworking woman who was sleeping with another man. That’s still what it came down to. That’s what this was all about. That was why he had killed her. No one deserves to be cheated on, Harrison included.
“How do you feel about killing the wrong man, by the way?”
Harrison closed his eyes tight; he had completely forgotten about Caleb. There was no denying that- he had killed an entirely innocent human being. He began to quiver where he sat, thinking about the unnecessary pain he had caused Caleb’s wife, of all the crap he said about saving her and doing her a favor. It was all wrong. His mind kept going back to Leah, and the pain she was suffering silently this whole time.
“Now that she’s dead she probably thinks she’s finally escaped me. But no, Leah. There’s no escaping me. I’ll be joining you shortly, my love, and we can pick up right where we left off.”
“You’re going to kill yourself?” Harrison raised his eyebrows.
“The only way I’ll be able to see her again is when I find her in Hell. But you? You’ll be staying right here in this life, trapped in prison. She thought being with you would keep her away from me. So I’ll make sure you’re out of the picture long enough for her to forget all about you. I’ve already got it all figured out.” Gil walked over to a table on the other side of the room. Harrison couldn’t see what was on it, and he tried not to care. Obviously, he wasn’t going to kill him.
“In a short period of time, you will be killing me. When the cops arrive, you will be entirely to blame for my murder. After they take you into custody, they will have all the evidence they need to find you guilty of Leah and Caleb’s murders as well. Life sentence. And you seem to be pretty healthy, except maybe not mentally, seeing as how you had no trouble murdering three innocent people. But you’ll be in prison for a good long time.”
Harrison looked away from Gil and stared at the floor where he was tied up. Leah was corrupted by this man. What she might have seen in him, Harrison couldn’t, and would never, figure out. He had taken her and killed her out of his own pride. He didn’t even stop to think about what life would be like with her gone, until now. And Caleb was as innocent as ever. He was there for her more than he himself was, and apparently could have been. Leah had gone to him with all her problems. Maybe she was just looking out for Harrison. Keeping him out of her drama. But he was her husband. She should have felt it was safe to tell him anything. Well, maybe not, seeing as how he killed her with his own two hands since he thought it was the appropriate action at the time.
A noise distracted Harrison from his thoughts and he looked up to see Gil coming at him with a large blunt object. Gil had a terrifyingly strained smile upon his sweaty face.
“But that’s enough talk. I’ve got a date.”
Harrison emptied his lungs and closed his eyes.
The next couple of days were a blur, a cyclone of cop cars, evidence boxes, jail cells, and media reporters. Harrison did his best to ignore it all. None of it mattered. He pleaded guilty to everything because he hated being out in the public. The trial needed to be over with. He explained his reasoning behind the murders, and that he bad been wrong about their affair. Some stories leaked that he told of the affair to gain sympathy, which was not his intention. He just wanted everyone and everything to go away. The only thing that didn’t add up in his story was the murder of Gil. The police couldn’t connect Gil’s murder to Leah’s and Caleb’s, but they knew Harrison was guilty, plus he had confessed. He just couldn’t tell them how he did it, as he was not conscious when it happened. He didn’t tell them this, of course. That just would have dragged things out.
His heart had a gaping hole where Leah once lived. He was disgusted with himself. The hatred he had for himself when he saw Leah’s family sitting in the courtroom was beyond anything he had ever felt before. Did they know about Leah’s struggle? They couldn’t look at him throughout the trial and had nothing to say for or against him. It didn’t matter. They were never going to see him again.
He sat in his jail cell dwelling on all the things that could have been, might have been, should have been. He kept coming to the same conclusion: none of it mattered. There was no going back and undoing the terrors he committed.
The one thing his mind always came back to was Leah. She was in Hell. But somehow, he knew she was waiting for him.