--I never wanted to hurt anyone. It was not my intention to rip everyone's world apart with just one glance. His face, his beautiful face was ripped and torn, her eyes… oh her light blue loving eyes laid scattered in pieces….
Start from the beginning, start from the beginning.
I never ever wanted to hurt anyone.
I was bored. Bored. Bored. I was bored with life, school, everything everything! I hated getting up in the morning and I hated eating, and I hated sleeping. I threw objects against the wall and ripped apart paper to keep from completely losing it. Losing it was my greatest fear, that I would wake up and the world would not make sense. It was a special breed of madness I wanted to escape from only to be found dependent on it.
I was a writer, and I wrote my madness on paper. The same paper I ripped and threw and burned. It was my journal, the ash was. The ash that I used to hold in my hands and see that that was what I used to be. I was so empty; I was that ash blended into the ground, I was that grey in-between of fire and rebirth.
They won't rise again. They won't be the phoenix I am was were and will be.
When he took my hand I saw the light.
Start from the beginning, start from the beginning.
Geoffrey was a kindly man. He was so handsome! Good at secrets and what we shared was a secret. A secret pact. His eyes held secrets and love. He shared what was inside with me, something he couldn't do with her for whatever reasons were his own. He was beautiful that Geoffrey. Perfect chiseled face, and brilliant eyes. Smiling made him my age. He had quite a sense of humor. We laughed a lot. When I first met him I could tell he had not smiled in a long time. He looked tired. Tired of living, tired of teaching, tired of learning, tired of being. Geoffrey had a gorgeous wife. Why would he ever want to be with someone like me? I'm plain, plain old Jane with plain eyes and a plain body. He said I had a brilliant mind. That words were playthings and I could use them to make anything I wanted. I can be anyone he said, I could be anything. When he took my hand I saw the light and the fire was started by the flick of a lighter. Whoosh! That fire so big.
Geoffrey James was so warm. He was tall and I would fit into his arms. We danced at the dinner clubs we went to. The classical music would fit the rhythm and we danced. He took my hand and brought me to life. I was no longer in limbo. I was no longer dead, dying, or waiting for death. I was no longer a part of the ashes. I was a baby bird. I saved my writings, I stopped burning them. They were not a part of the air; they were a part of me. They are in a notebook on my dresser. So pretty were my poems, so pretty with prose. I wrote about him. I know he existed and I felt him. When we made love it was perfect. It was pure fire rushing through my veins.
He always told me his wife was cold. She was never warm like me, she was never happy like me. Maybe they would be a happier people if they got more sunlight. I was never happy when I met him, I made sure he understood that he was the one aspect of life that made me rise. He turned away. He did not want me to depend on him. I told him that I didn't. I know he told me Jane, you are a beautiful brilliant girl, why aren't you living? I'm allergic to life. It did nothing but make me sneeze and to break out in hives. I lived with him. We went to bookstores and talked, we ate, and I laughed. I made him smile for the first time in years. I was his smile. He was my inspiration. Everything was perfect.
Start at the beginning, start at the beginning.
In Russia, blood runs cold.
She was from Russia. A tennis player, Svetlana, Irena. Age 32. Gorgeous blonde hair, tiny frame. Cold ice blue Russian eyes of steel. They ate through him like corrosive acid. They met in Petrograd. They made love in London. They engaged in Brussels. They married in a tiny New York chapel, she was Eastern Orthodox by baptism; she was atheist by nature. He was Episcopalian by birth; agnostic by study. They married in a tiny New York chapel with a Justice of the Peace. The courthouse did not have flowers.
Her family. Her family. Her family. Mother dead. Father alcoholic. Two brothers, Ambrosii and Kliment. Ambrosii will be immortal in my mind; Kliment was neither gentle nor merciful. For what they did they will never be exonerated.
It was my fault! I should have never gone to the library! I should have looked away! But he was reading, he was reading my favorite book. I should have said no to coffee. I should have said no to reading. I was drawn in. Keep all comments to myself. I only get people killed. Please forgive me Geoffrey.
Start at the beginning, start at the beginning.
The contract, Marriage is a contract.
Geoffrey and Irena were married for 11 years. 11 years they lived together and ate dinner together. They were friends and they did love each other. There were no sparks, no sparks, no life. They were childless, and they accepted this fact. It was less love to give to one another. Her brothers. Ambrosii and Kliment were ordinary immigrant's children and cared deeply for their sister. One was a bouncer, and the other an airplane mechanic. But to them marriage is a contract, a violation of the contract makes it null and void. Sins of this caliber were not tolerated. Null and void, he often used those words to describe Irena; she just could not make him happy. But that contract was sacred. They burst in the door the other day and… that's when it all started.—
--Start at the beginning—
--You're recording this?—I asked the detective.
--Yes, I have to. Beyond that window other people are watching.—
--Why? Am I going to have to testify?—
--Yes, unless if you want Ambrosii and Kliment to go free.—
--I never wanted to hurt anyone—I started to cry.
I told her. I told her everything I knew about the background of those people. I told her everything. In my head are haunting images. Haunting ghosts of the gruesome deaths of Irena and Geoffrey. I did not want to hurt anyone. I just wanted to stop being alone. But there was something, something I had to get off my chest.
They brought in a man, another investigator. I did not know what he was going to ask me, I did not know what was going on. He was pushy. I wanted to take Sean and go home.
--This is everything you know?—the male investigator asked me.
--Tell me what happened to Sean—I insisted
--Sean is being taken care of, Jane. Is there anything else?—
--What do you want? What else could there be?--
--You saw the entire incident! You saw her brothers kill them both! Why won't you tell me?—
--You think I want to relive those horrors? I've been here for six hours! Let me go home!—
--Not until you tell me every single detail of their murders.—He got in my face. I did not like him.
--You want to know, I'll tell you. I'll tell you everything that happened. You'd better be satisfied, because what I saw was my own personal Holocaust.
Irena was not supposed to be home for another two hours. When she came through the door, I was startled, he was startled, we were startled. I was reading a book in the living room, one I had not read by Dostoevsky. He was in the kitchen getting me a drink.
--Who are you and what are you doing in my house—even after all this time she still had an accent.
--Honey you're home!—Geoffrey came through the door with a tray of Russian Tea.
--Who is this girl and WHY is she in my house?—Irena insisted.
--Her name is Jane. She is a student of mine in Russian Studies. We were going to discuss…—
--Why is she here? Why are you discussing things here?—
--We had no time on campus…--
--Shut up whore.—
--Honey, we were just discussing…--
--I know what you were discussing. Throwing me out of my own house!—
--Irena, stop overreacting—
--You Geoffrey, you look me in the eye and say you did not sleep with her.--
Those eyes. They were of corrosive acid. He could not bear the pain that was burning through his skull.
--You bastard. I knew you were cheating on me! Why didn't you say it to my face!--
--You were not playing tennis today were you.--
--You heard me.--
The tide shifted under the moon very quickly.
--No woman goes and plays tennis without her racquets, or in those clothes!—
She had very pretty blue Manolo Blanc's on. They reminded me of silk Cinderella slippers. Her designer jeans and flashy top, combined with her long hair in a messy ponytail made for quite a sight in contrast to my bulky overalls and tennis shoes.
--You don't have your racquets with you.—
Good deduction Watson.
--You were going to leave me Geoffrey. I worried for a while that you did not love me anymore. That, this life wasn't what you wanted.—
--Irena, where did you go?—
--I went to a doctor. Can we try to have a baby? We aren't too old just yet. Scientists can help.—
Geoffrey sat there in silence.
--We don't have much love in us anymore. We need something to love.--
--And a puppy wouldn't do the job?—
-- Geoffrey, don't be cold.
It was here I noticed something out of the ordinary. Geoffrey did too apparently through his facial expression, however I think it was something different than what I found odd. He told me how much he wanted a child, that his DNA was good enough to be passed on to another generation. That's why he told me he wanted to keep ours. I wanted an abortion, I wanted nothing to do with a child. I'm too young to be a mother. Geoffrey promised to take care of me. He promised to be there and to help me with him. We even named him Sean. He was so excited about Sean that he bought him some baby clothes one day. No one who hates kids buys baby clothes. It dawned on me; he just did not want a child with Irena.
--I'm so sorry Irena. I don't want a baby with you. Jane is a little over eight months pregnant already.— She darted a look at me.
--His name will be Sean.—I piped up in the conversation.
--You took my husband! You took my chance at happiness! How do you know if the baby is yours?—
--He knows because he was there for its conception. He told me about how you miss anniversaries. That you schedule tennis appearances and leave him alone without even a phone call for years at a time. -- I was going to fight a fight.
--Now now Jane…-- He patronized me!
--You made him quit his job for you and then you did not pay him any attention, so he had to go back to being a professor to give himself something to do!—
--He could have always met people at the country club, play golf, drive around L.A. until he found something that entertained him.—
--You never listened to what he wanted, and he doesn't want a baby with you!—
Through my tears I got courage. The courage of recklessness drove me to the melting point.
--You really burned me Jane. Geoffrey says I stare with acid, but I know you kiss with it. Nothing will matter in a few minutes anyway.—
--What? Is that just your fatalistic worldview coming out?—Mocking her may have not been a good idea then.
--No. I wasn't at a doctor, and I wouldn't want to have a baby with a dead man. That's my cleverness coming out dear.
There was a knock at the door. Irena called to let whoever was behind it in.
Ambrosii and Kliment opened up the front door of the house.
--Are we late?—The more burly one of them said.
--No, just in time. Geoffrey, you will be very very sorry for your actions.—
--You want to carry out fine print?—
--Wait a minute, what contract?—I interjected.
--Irena, who is this?—
The skinnier one pointed at me.
--Don't worry Jane, Irena made me sign a prenuptial agreement. I'm sure everything can be worked out.—
--Oh. Yes worked out. In your favor professor? No.
--I don't want money.—
--You won't even get freedom—
--I am entitled to my freedom—
--Not if you signed contract—
--In contract has fine print. You beat Irena, you die. You kill Irena, you die. You divorce Irena, you die. You cheat on Irena you also die.—
--That's not legal! This is ridiculous!—
--In Russia, marriage is a contract.—
She sat down in a chair drinking the lukewarm tea Geoffrey prepared for me.
The burly one grabbed Geoffrey by the arm and flung him in a wooden chair. He took a bungee cord that was hanging off his back pocket and wrapped it around Geoffrey in the chair. Geoffrey tried to kick and scream. The brother punched Geoffrey in the face.
The skinny one was able to pick me up. I punched him in the head as I flailed and kicked. I clawed at his face and drew blood. He slammed me down on a wooden chair similar to the one Geoffrey was in. He slapped me so hard across the face I saw double images.
--Don't move—He stared at me as he grabbed rope that acted as his belt. He tied me in the chair as I was too dumbfounded to fight back.
Irena was drinking tea like wine before a show.
--Now its time for interview. Chance to save self. Didn't say we not fair.—the burly brother said. –-Kliment get lights—
The skinnier brother closed the windows in the living room, as well as the curtains. Only artificial light entered the now cold living room. Kliment took out a large handgun from his boot, and held it straight to Geoffrey's head. I started to sob, and weep because I knew what was happening. Ambrosii did all the talking.
--Did you know adultery in marriage to my sister was punishable by death?—
--No.—Geoffrey stared blankly ahead.
The trigger clicked.
--Did you read fine print on contract signed with us?—
--What made you want to sex another woman?—
--Irena was more frigid than one of your winters.—
--Did you ever love my sister?—
--Yes. I did love her, but then something changed. Something always changes.—
--Did you tell the whore about the contract?--
It's what you know that kills you. It has to be. There was only bullet in the gun, a sort of Russian Roulette with someone else's life. Where was the bullet?
My chair was being dragged across the hardwood floor to the other side of the room. I was crying, calling out his name. I wanted to die. Kliment was behind me and whispered.
--You open your eyes, and watch or I will force you to open your eyes and watch.
He held my neck in such a tight grip I could not move my neck. I opened my eyes in obedience.
--Is there anything else you want to say?—
--Irena cheated on me with her personal trainer four years-----
My neck was released, but my eyes. My eyes saw the most horrific sight. I can run them under water so many times, I can stare at the sun, but nothing but darkness could clean the pollution of the sight. His face, his beautiful face hung in pieces, as Irena watched in glee.
--Don't laugh just yet sister—Ambrosii turned to her. –He accused you of adultery too. You need your own interview. He dies, but you prove innocence. The adulteress knows what becomes of those lovers she destroys.—
Kliment untied the rope. You have much more pain to suffer. Death is relief for troubled, but punishment for persons who love. He put his gun to my temple. It was still warm from the shot. Click. I started to cry and shake. –Ha! No bullets—He mocked me. I felt a piercing pain from my stomach. I hunched over and screamed. I saw blood trickling down the chair.
--What do we do with her?—Kliment asked his brother.
--She will die anyway. No one survives miss births.—
I was in so much pain, I was bleeding so much. I hoped I was in labor but I knew something was horribly wrong. I lied there crying and screeching.
--Shut up!!—Kliment threw something hard at me and it hit my arm. It was the gun. I picked it up and tried to fire it.
--Ha! Still no bullets!—He laughed, went over to me and stepped on my hand to have me release the gun. My hand released the gun and Kliment picked it up and turned to his brother.
--You aren't serious?—Irena put down her tea and sat still in the chair. –Fine, I'll take your interview—
Ambrosii loaded another bullet in the sixth chamber of the gun.
--Did you know about fine print in contract?—
--Yes, I wrote the fine print.—
--Why did you write the fine print?—
--I don't like being taken advantage of.—
--Did you actually sleep with personal trainer?—
--Yes. Geoffrey would not touch me.
--Are you sorry for breaking contract?
--Irena you are forgiven!—The three of them smiled and hugged. They spoke in Russian for a little bit.
--I need to go into the kitchen, to call 911.—She went in the kitchen, but I noticed something metallic in her jeans.
--Irena what are you doing with gun?—Ambrosii asked her.
--I'm going to bury it.—She pointed it in his direction and pulled the trigger.
--Ha no bullet!—Kliment called out to her.
--There is only one left. She put the gun between her eyes and pulled the trigger.
If only her acid stare could melt the bullets.
--STOP!! I cant handle it anymore!-- Sobbing I fell to the floor and the male investigator, I still did not like him, lifted me up back into the chair.
The female detective walked back into the room.
--Stop torturing her! She's been through enough today!—
-- I still want answers!--
--She cant tell you anymore.—
--Why are you protecting a suspect?—
--She is not a suspect, she is a witness! The hospital only released her to tell us what happened. She almost bled to death lying there on the floor!—
--This is all bullshit, just because she's a woman, you want me to treat her differently, treat her nicer?
--When did you start acting like this? Why are you being such an asshole?—
--I am being a good detective. I want answers, the suspect is not giving them to me.
--SHE IS A WITNESS!
The woman bellowed down to the male investigator.
--Your wife found out about us didn't she.
--Yeah. Just a bit, just a bit.
--That still does not mean you can go around berating witnesses.
--So? She is just as guilty as you or I!
--Jane is not on trial here. Move your conscience somewhere else!
I started to play with my hospital bracelet.
--What happened to Sean?—
The female detective sat down right next to me.
--I'm sorry. He didn't make it.—
The only reminders of Dr. Geoffrey James were the horrors and the memories, and the baby clothes he bought my son David fifteen years before he was even born.