Ron knew pain. His journal – not Kate, his wife – understood his pain. His children were too young to understand why Mommy and Daddy argued over bills; they were not quite old enough to read between the lines. The issue at hand were never bills, never payments, never family, and never the lack of communication between Ron and Kate, the mother of two of those kids. She was supposed to be his final – third, if that detail is important to you – partner in life. In sickness and in health they had agreed to stand by each other. Well, both did practice saying the vows in the mirror before they tied the knot.Their acting chops came in handy because tears flowed among the guests like nobody’s business.
Before they were married, Ron was as pleasant as the sunshine on a cold day; her words. When he’d smile and run his fingers through her hair, she’d forget that life had not been fair to her. It was he who should have won the “person-fucked-most-by-life” award. Not her. Nope, she had a daddy’s-little-princess view of fairness.
9 years after their ’till death do us apart’ performance, one fine Sunday morning, the TV spread the news of a man who shot himself in the garage. They found four more bodies in the house he lived in. “Too young for this,” the neighbor’s agreed.
“She’s a lucky girl, Ms. Jackson,” the doctor’s voice was warm and caring. The clamor at the hospital has faded because the TV news, playing on mute across the waiting room, has moved on to a celebrity scandal news. One surviving child from a murder-suicide story has already been milked and fed before the week ended. Facts about the story will have to remain unclear. Facts, these days on TV, are rumors with hashtags trending the topics. Welcome to TV News Opera.
One reporter, however, went old school and called with tough questions for the surviving girl’s grandmother:
“When did you speak to your son last, Ms. Jackson?”
“About a month ago.”
“What did he say? Anything strike as unusual about the conversation?”
“Nothing unusual. We were just catching up.”
“Are you sure? Nothing at all seemed odd to you? Did he mention he was having problems with his wife/job etc?”
“No, I’m afraid. We hadn’t kept in touch a while and…”
“Please try and remember, Ms. Jackson, he must have said something that might have struck as…”
“I’m sorry, can we talk another time? I have a headache…”
“I’m just trying to help tell your son’s side of the story. He seems to have no history of violence or mental illness so…”
“I really can’t talk right now…”
“…You’re not helping us tell the truth here, Ms. Jackson. Your son brutally murdered 3 innocent people and it would’ve been 4 if… ”
She sits down at a chair next to the phone. The hang up was much softer than the one after Moira‘s last conversation with Ron, her only child.