A Heart for Africa

A Nightmare/Choices #writephoto

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Photo by Sue Vincent

He stood at the water’s edge, facing the calm ocean when she joined him.  Without saying a word, he pulled her roughly against him and his eager mouth sought hers.  As they kissed, their hands tugged at each other’s clothes until they were no longer a barrier between them.  The sand became their bed and they made love right there with the sun behind them.

She watched them through the binoculars.  They were so disgustingly blatant in their sordidness.  It never occurred to them that someone could see them or perhaps they didn’t care.  Maybe they were banking on her blind trust of them.  After why should she suspect that her doting husband would be sleeping with her nurse?  She hadn’t swallowed the pill that Ashanti had given her.  It made her drowsy and it upset her stomach even when she took it with milk.  She put it under her tongue and as soon as she was alone, she spat it out.

She couldn’t remember when exactly she suspected that there was something going on between them but she started watching them closely.  While he was at work and Ashanti was running errands, she had a hidden camera installed in the guest room where she knew they had their trysts.  Bitter jealousy and hatred filled her.  Just because she was confined to a wheel chair and wasn’t young, he thought he could throw her over for Ashanti.  Ashanti was twenty-something and very attractive.  She had become very fond of her until she became the other woman.

It was time.  She put the binoculars down on the window seat and wheeled her chair over to the phone.  Taking a deep breath, she dialed a number.  As soon as a voice came on the line, she put on the phone down on the bedside table, cried out, “Victor, please.  Don’t!”  She picked up the revolver which was lying on the bed and pointed it to her temple.  She squeezed the trigger.  She slumped to the side, her long auburn hair hanging forlornly about her pale face.  From the phone was heard a woman’s frantic voice screaming, “Anna!  Anna!”

Minutes later, the place was swarming with police and Victoria’s sister was there telling them about the phone call and the shot she heard.   And when a bewildered Victor showed up with Ashanti behind him, she pointed at him and screamed, “You murdered my sister!”

He stared at her.  “What are you talking about?  What’s going on here?”

“Don’t act like you don’t know anything.  “You murdered my sister.   I heard her beg you not to shoot her but you did in cold blood.”

He shook his head at once.  “You’re mistaken.  I just got here.”

The police lieutenant asked him, “Where were you between 5 and 6pm?”

“At the office.”

“Can anyone verify that?”

“I was the only one there.  Everyone had left for the day.”

“How convenient,” his sister-in-law muttered.  She dabbed at her eyes which were red from crying.

The lieutenant looked at Ashanti.  “And who might you be?”

“I’m—was Mrs. Forsythe’s nurse.”

“Do you usually leave your patient alone, Miss–?”

“Ndiaye.  Only when I need to go to the drugstore.”

“And is that where you were between 5 and 6 this afternoon?”

“Yes.”

“You don’t sound very sure, Miss Ndiaye.  You know we can verify your story, right?”

“Yes.”

The police lieutenant noticed how Mr. Forsythe and she avoided looking at each other.  Just then, one of the officers called out to him, “Lieutenant, you need to see this.”

“Excuse me,” he said and left the three.  He walked over to the young officer who handed him a stack of photos.  He looked through them and whistled.  “Hmm.  It seems like Mr. Forsythe and Miss Ndiaye have been playing doctor and nurse.  These photos give us our motive for murder.”

He walked over to Victor Forsythe.  “Mr. Forsythe, you and your wife’s nurse have been having an affair,” he said.  “Don’t bother to deny it.  I have the evidence here.”  He showed him the photos.  “Your wife knew about your affair and she must have confronted you about it.  You decided that it would be a good time to get rid of her.  You shot her but made it look like a suicide.  I bet when we check the gun, only her fingerprints will be on it because you wore gloves.”

Victor’s face was white as a sheet now.  “Lieutenant, I swear to you, I didn’t kill my wife,” he cried.  “I admit that I’ve been sleeping with Ashanti but that’s all I’m guilty of.”

“You bastard!” his sister-in-law screamed and she was clawing wildly at him.

The lieutenant pulled her away.  “Take her home,” he told one of the officers.

After she was gone, he turned to the couple standing there, shaken to the core.  Their affair had been discovered and now he was being accused of murder.  They both knew that Mrs. Forsythe had been alive the last time they saw her but how were they going to prove that?  The phone call to her sister placed Victor at the scene and if they were to check they would learn that he wasn’t at the office and she hadn’t gone to the drugstore.  Instead, they had been on the beach together, frolicking naked because they believed that Anna was sound asleep from the sedative Ashanti had given her.

“Mr. Forsythe, I’m placing you under arrest for the murder of your wife, Victoria Forsythe.  You have the right to remind silent.  Cuff him.”

Victor Forsythe was cuffed and led away.  He shook his head, muttering over and over, “I didn’t kill her.”

Ashanti watched him go, her heart breaking.  This was a nightmare.

“And you, Miss Ndiaye, you’re coming down to the station for further questioning.”

Ashanti was escorted from the room.  Her head hung low and tears were running down her face.  What a mess she had gotten herself into.  If only she had followed her mind instead of her heart…

This story was written for the #writephoto Prompt – Choices at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo.

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