Things haven’t been great with Frank and Olivia for a while now. He stays out late, he’s not interested in conversation, and things don’t feel the same. What’s a girl to do?
Suicide Letters Are No Laughing Matter
by Ela Çetin
For the The Warren’s Ashes Award Contest
Frank got up with the irritating ringtone of his alarm clock. After preparing his breakfast he sat down on the kitchen table and started flipping through the pages of the New York Times. The small date in the corner 01.04.2015 caught his eye. He was distracted by the buzz of his phone: “When will you be here?”. He took a brief look at his watch then got up and left the house in a rush.
The thud of the door woke Olivia up. “Every morning the same! Why can’t he be a little quieter?” she mumbled, annoyed. Suddenly her eyes lit up and a mischievous grin crossed her face. She put on her dressing gown, strolled into the kitchen, poured herself a cup of tea and started writing her suicide letter.
Frank got in his car. It was already 2 o’clock. A wave of guilt swept across him because he had left Olivia alone all day. He would stop on the way and pick up some Chinese to make up for it. There was little traffic and in less than half an hour he was stepping through the door of their flat on the 4th floor. As he did so a cold breeze washed over him. He called for Olivia but there was no reply. Without bothering to take off his shoes, this always annoyed Olivia so much, he marched into their bedroom only to find an open window and a sheet of paper folded on the neatly made bed. He unfolded the paper and started reading it with growing anxiety.
You are not the man you used to be. When you look at me, when you touch me I can’t feel the affection I used to feel. The feeling of losing you is unbearable. It’s no secret that all these “meetings” you go to are just to cover up the undeniable fact that you are betraying me. My life has turned into hell and you are the angel of death who comes and kills me everyday. I have grown tired and can’t bear it any longer.
The paper fell out of his hand as he broke into a cold sweat. He got up and walked towards the window. Looking out he saw Olivia lying on the ground motionless. His eyes blurred and he felt like vomiting. She knew.
Olivia got up just as Frank’s body hit the concrete pavement a few meters away. Her eyes widened and her jaw dropped. Her whole body started shaking out of helplessness. She knew she had gone way too far with her prank. It hadn’t crossed her mind that Frank would’ve actually taken it seriously. He should surely have realised the date. Besides, the things she had written in the letter were so absurd. She looked around frantically for someone who might be of any help but the street as always was a ghost town at this time of day, when the lunch hour was over and everyone was back at work.
Her eyes were locked on his still body not knowing what to do next when a miracle happened and Frank grunted. She ran in the apartment and up the stairs. If she could call an ambulance now maybe there would still be chance. She was searching wildly for her phone when she heard a buzz. It was Frank’s phone on the bed. She let out a sigh of relief. However, a text from a woman named Suzanne lighting up the screen attracted her attention. She began reading the conversation which stretched back for months. It didn’t take her long to realise that Frank had been cheating on her. That very morning he had been with his mistress.
She stood up and in a trance headed towards the front door. The takeaway Frank had picked up on the way was lying untouched on the floor. She made herself comfy in front of the TV. Nibbling on the soya beans she started watching her favourite soap just as she would do every Friday night but only with one difference. It was now a little colder without Frank’s arm around her.