Prompt – This year, your character resolves to get organized. While she is sorting through papers in her house, she discovers an expensive insurance policy that her husband has taken out on her life. Why has he done that? And why didn’t he tell her about it? And why does he have a second cell phone hidden in the back of his desk drawer?
Why is it so difficult to be organized? Rebecca wondered for the umpteenth time. It had to be done now. That was her New Year Resolution. So she decided to attack the attic first. She knew it would take hours so she had kept the entire day for the cleaning. John had gone to work and she did not have anything to do till it was time for him to be back. Dinner was normally together unless he has to work late, in which case he would call beforehand and tell her. Her cell was nearby and she started to get busy with her work.
A lot of memories hid inside the boxes in the attic. Her school photos, photos before their wedding, some random small gifts which John had given her before getting married, their movie stubs, bus tickets etc. which she used to stock lovingly – everything was there in the attic. And then she came across that box. It felt to be an unknown one. It was really small, like it held just some papers, and it actually did hold only some papers. Only those papers were shocking to the point of being heavier than the world. It were Insurance papers in her name for $20 Million, taken by John some months back. Next to that box, on a different shelf, was a disposable cell phone. It was switched off. When she tried to turn it on, it showed no battery life. So she took it to her room to charge and then check it.
By the time the phone took for charging, a million scenarios ran through Rebecca’s head. John was planning to kill her. She was sure that is what was happening. He had an affair and wanted her out-of-the-way. He knew she would never allow a divorce to happen so he could marry someone else. She had always made it clear that she will never sign divorce papers, because they had a divorce clause which did not leave her with anything. Since she was not working, she was completely dependent on John and that made her a liability. That is why the Insurance was taken – she was sure of it. But when the phone switched on, there was nothing in it. No phone calls, no messages, nothing. She decided to keep a watch on John and the activity on the phone for some days just to be sure.
When John came back, she casually mentioned that she cleaned up the attic earlier that day. She searched for any expression on his face but none came. However, after they had gone to bed, when he thought she was asleep, he had gone to the attic to check. That confirmed her suspicions. There was something going on. She was shattered.
For some days, there was no activity on the phone. She used to check it regularly. She had almost lost hope to find something when suddenly one day a message came while she was holding the phone. It read “The plan is in place. She will not see the light of day tomorrow”. She was shocked. This was definitely for her. John hired someone to kill her. And it was happening tonight. John had said earlier that day that he was on a tour and will not be back till the next day. He had the perfect alibi. She was sitting duck. Rebecca panicked, so much that she went blank. Nothing came to her mind on what to do. She could not involve the police as there was no proof. Neither could she involve any friends or relatives as no one would believe her. She was known to have a vivid imagination since childhood. She tried calling the number from which the text had come, but it was switched off. She was a goner now.
Rebecca did the only thing she could think of doing. She decided to wait in the shadows outside and wait for the killer, and then call the police. That sounded better to her. So, when the night came, she hid in the hedges and waited. The wait was a long one. After a lot of time, when she was about to put everything to her vivid imagination, suddenly she saw some movement near the gate of her house. Someone was coming in. She could not see who it was, but they were carrying a package. Very easily they opened the front door and went inside. She was just contemplating calling the police when some more people started coming. Very soon she noticed John coming back home. He had lied about the tour and had come back to ensure she is dead. That could be the only reason. She felt dejected. And just as she was dialing to call the police, the phone rang in her hand. It was John calling. She could not pick up. What would she say? She thought it better to go inside and face her husband. Let what was coming come her way.
Steeling herself, she went inside. It was still dark inside. She searched for the switch and turned on the light. As soon as the light was on, a loud noise scared the life off her. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!” She looked around to see the house decorated and all her family and friends standing with a big smile on their face. John was next to her,giving her a kiss and a hug. Rebecca could not understand anything. John smiled at her. “The message was sent by me. I realized you found the phone. It was a dead phone I found in the “Lost and Found” unclaimed for more than a year. So I took it thinking someone would use it here, and forgot to tell you. And when you said you were cleaning the attic, you had a strange look on your face. It took me some time to figure out that you might have noticed the phone and must have spin up a tale in your head. So I thought why not play with it and give you a birthday surprise. I am sure in all this mess, you must have forgotten it was your birthday today.” Rebecca felt so loved at that time. She cursed her wild imagination for doubting her husband, and went on to enjoy the party.
It was a nice party. Everyone had fun till wee hours. After they left, Rebecca and John went to their room to sleep for some time. Just as they were about to sleep, Rebecca turned to John and asked, “So what about the Insurance papers I found in my name? Was that also a part of the joke? Although I am not able to figure out how they come up in all this.” John paled. “What Insurance papers? I do not know any such thing…” So saying, he turned and slept.
And so, the suspicious story came back to life again!