Divorcing a Dead Man – First Chapter

August 10th, 2011


The moment I opened my eyes, my head began to pound and I became aware something had gone terribly wrong. The air smelled of stale cigarettes and as I strained my neck to look around, I realized I was in a motel room but had no idea how I had gotten there. My first thought was that I had to get out of this place, but when I tried to sit up, I couldn’t and found I was pinned down in a spread eagle position, flat on my back. My wrists and ankles were bound to the bed. The filthy bed sheets made my stomach turn and that’s when I realized I was wearing nothing but a black lace bra and matching boy shorts.
I looked at the nightstand and saw a phone. Even if I could have reached it and make a call, I had no clue where I was or how I had gotten there. I closed my eyes and tried to remember anything that would have brought me to this place, but my head throbbed so hard I couldn’t think clearly.
From out of nowhere I realized who was responsible for this and that he was probably still in the room.
“Hello?” No answer. No footsteps. Nothing. Silence.
I noticed the sun shining through an opening in the draperies. And then I saw him. A single beam of sunlight spotlighted my estranged husband, Tony, lying face up on the floor. His eyes open, his body motionless, and it didn’t appear he was breathing. Clutched in his right hand was a scalpel and as I looked up, I noticed more surgical knives on the dresser. They were laid out haphazardly next to a cooler of partially melted ice.
I decided not to wait around to see if Tony was dead. I stretched my left arm as far as I could, managed to reach the phone cord, and pulled until the phone and receiver were next to my hand. I awkwardly dialed 911 and pushed the receiver toward my ear.
“Willow Creek, 911. What’s your emergency?” a voice asked.
“I’ve been kidnapped,” I said. “I need to talk to Detective Hayes immediately.”
The operator lowered her heavily-accented voice and spoke softly. “What’s your name dear?”
“My name is Cassandra Martin. I was in Lucky Shots when I was taken. Brian was at the bar when it happened.”
The operator gasped. “Oh thank God you’re alive. The whole county is looking for you. Where in the world are you?”
“I’m not sure. I think I’m in a motel room somewhere.”
“Hold on. I’ll trace the call while I put you through to Detective Hayes. Officers will be on their way as soon as I have your location nailed down.”
There was a moment of silence and clicking while the emergency operator patched me through to Brian’s cell.
I knew he would recognize my voice. “Brian, don’t let anyone know it’s me. Is Edward with you?”
“Y-yes.” He spoke slowly and deliberately.
“Your operator is tracing this call. Please come get me, but don’t tell Edward. I don’t want him to see me like this.”
I could hear Edward’s voice on the other end asking if it was news about me. When I heard the first word leave his mouth, tears began to run down my cheeks. I heard Brian tell Edward there might be a lead and told him to stay put in case someone called the house. Then I heard the door close behind him.
“Are you alright?” Brian asked. “We were all beginning to think …” He let his voice drift off and failed to complete the sentence even though we both knew how it should end. Everyone had begun to believe I might be dead.
“I know. I’m half-naked and tied to a disgusting bed in a filthy motel room. I don’t know exactly where I am or how I got here but my head feels like it’s about to explode.”
“Okay, the emergency operator just texted me your location. You’re in Bay Grove at the Ocean Breezes Motel. I’ll be there in ten minutes.”
“Brian, you’re gonna need some help. I think Tony’s dead.”
I hung up the phone and lay there, waiting to hear the sound of sirens and trying to remain calm, wondering how my life had gone from bliss to total insanity. Somewhere along the way I had lost control of everything. And after a moment, I remembered exactly how it all began to unravel. It was the same way most major events in my life began, with a phone call. Actually, this time, it was a series of phone calls.

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