Hung

Suicide, or murder? Who knows.

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The paper bag rustled between my fingers, and the breeze mussed my bed-tangled hair. 

"We're very sorry, ma'am." The police man apologised profusely, but nothing could console the emptiness growing inside of me. "We believe it was suicide. At least," He gestured towards the bag. "That's currently all we can see it as. I apologise greatly, but I couldn't interview you just for a minute of your time, could I? Just to ensure it really was suicide and not... Anything else." I nodded weakly, and moved away from the front door, the paper bag still quivering in my icy hands. I led him into our house, and into the living room. We were well off - well, at least, we had enough money to afford the newly released hoover that was tucked quietly away in the corner. 

We lived in suburbia, just outside of New York, where my husband worked - had worked. He was a runner at the Ford factory, surveying the workers down the assembly line to ensure everything is in order. It was a monotonous job, but he was paid generously, up to $10 an hour, an amazing pay. It gave us a beautiful house, with a large front porch that we sat on in the warm evenings and watched our young children play in the yard, growing older over the years. Our youngest, a beautiful baby girl now aged six, was named Ruth, with tumbling blonde curls that bounced when she giggled, framing her soft, chubby face that held perfect blue eyes that glistened like sapphire in the sunlight.

Our second child, a boy, was now ten; he was growing up big and strong, just like his father, and he was named after him, too; Albert Johnson. He looked a lot like my husband; he had the same big blue eyes, the wavy brown hair, the big, muscly build.

And our eldest, our beautiful first daughter, called Hazel, was now sixteen - and being spoiled by the modernisation in today's society. She went out in the evenings in short skirts and enough make-up to cover an elephant's wrinkles. She comes back home late every night stinking of alcohol and sex, but for some reason, I can't cease my pride in her. She has also inherited her father's good looks, and my curvaceous yet slim figure, and in a way I'm jealous of her for being able to make the most of it.

All of them were currently tucked up in bed, soundly sleeping while I was facing hell on earth downstairs. I sat down in the armchair, and the policeman sat on the couch opposite me. 

"Now, ma'am, I'll keep this brief." I clutched the paper bag tighter, my fingers tracing the spidery writing. "Was your husband involved with any... You know, Blacks?"  I shook my head; I didn't trust my voice. "What about the Klan?" I shook my head again. "What was his job?" This wasn't a yes-no question. I swallowed, attempting to dampen my bone-dry throat. 

"Runner at the Ford Factory."

"And was he involved with any trade unions?" I shook my head, grateful for the break in the non-yes-no questions. "None at all?" I shook my head, becoming a mechanical action that I didn't think I was in control of anymore. The policeman slapped his legs, preparing to stand. "Right then. I guess we'll just have to rule it down to suicide, as we originally thought. We're very sorry for your loss, ma'am." He was already moving towards the door, giving me the idea that his shift ended several hours ago. 

"Thank you." I croaked, not bothering to show him out. No tears poured onto the bag as I was expecting. i just felt very, very empty. My eyes trailed for words, but for the first time since I saw it, I actually read it.

"My dearest Grace. I'm sorry, but I just honestly cannot take life any longer. Please forgive me. Give Hazel, Albert and Ruth my eternal love. Sweet dreams, angel. I love you. Albert."

And then, finally, after the seventh scan, the tears began to fall.

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