As John slowly roused from sleep,
he realized the ring tone from his cell phone had broken the silence of the room. Clumsily he clawed for his phone on his bed side. Finally in his grasp, he pressed “talk.”
“Yeah,” he groggily said.
As Maggie sat up to see the reason for the intrusion, she saw the look on John’s face. His mouth had dropped open and his face had turned very pale. As he hung up she turned to him with concern. “What’s wrong?”
“April,” he said quietly. “She’s dead.”
John was at the office within thirty minutes of the phone call demanding to know the details. Immediately he saw the Chief of Police Bob Johnson and walked over to him.
“John,” Bob said very nonchalant. “What can I do ya’ for?”
“What the hell Bob,” John exclaimed. “My people tell me you think she committed suicide. April would never do that.”
“Let’s go somewhere where we can talk in private,” Bob responded.
John led them over to a little office off to the side of the reception area of his campaign office. Susan, his receptionist, brought them both a cup of coffee. “I thought you could use this,” she said looking sadly at John’s facial expression.
“John, has April seemed different to you lately,” Bob began as Susan shut the door behind her as she left. “Has she seemed depressed or stressed out lately?”
“No!” John immediately belted out, but then he remembered the night before and her decline of his dinner invitation. “I mean she is working hard, but she is always working hard. It is really nothing unusual for her. When I left last night around 8 o’clock she was still on the phone.”
“Do you know who she was talking to?” Bob asked.
“No, but it looked like business to me,” John said a little annoyed. “What the hell happened here?”
“The cleaning lady found April this morning still in her chair. When she went to go rouse her, she found a gun beside the chair, and April had been shot in the head. The wound was close range and the CSI’s found GSR on April’s hand and blood spatter on the wall. It appears that April shot herself.” Bob paused and looked up. “I’m really sorry John.”
John moved from his chair pacing the office from corner to corner. How could this have happened he thought? He would have known if something was going on with her and she would have told him if she was in trouble. “April would not have killed herself. She was a very strong person.”
“Sometimes these things happen,” Bob began again calmly. “Typically in suicides even those close to the victim don’t realize there is something terribly wrong. You can’t blame yourself for not seeing it. She didn’t want to burden others. Suicide victims often feel alone thinking they have no one to talk to. I’m sorry; this is an open-shut case.”
John felt himself get angry. Who did he think he was acting like he knew April? He didn’t know her at all. She isn’t a “victim.” She’s his friend. He knew she wouldn’t commit suicide, but he didn’t know how to persuade the Chief of this. After all he already had his mind made up. He wasn’t going to look in on it at all.
John stormed out of the office slamming the door behind him. He continued out the building and down the street. His thoughts never once stopping for him to gather his mind, his emotions. What was he going to do? Suddenly, once again, the ring tone of his phone brings him back to reality.
“Yeah,” he replies into the phone. He sighs. “Ok I’ll be right there.”
Back at his office, John was getting drilled with what he should say to the media to keep this as quiet as possible. This wouldn’t be good for his campaign for presidency, at least that is what everyone was telling him, but he couldn’t think about that. How could he care about the presidency when his dear friend was dead? Her life meant something. As he stared forward he heard Tom, his manager of volunteers, repeating his name. Recognizing that John was preoccupied, Tom dismissed the others from the office.
“I am truly sorry John,” Tom interjected, “but we have to continue with the campaign. There is so much to do, and now without April…” He paused. “She would want you to get the job done. She wanted you to be President.”
John looked up at Tom and focused. With a determined look on his face he said to Tom, “Find me a private investigator.”
To be continued…