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27 May 2013 @ 08:33 pm
therealljidol week 2, topic: "Um..."//"Blind rage"  
NOTE, this is a bit intense. I started writing, not really knowing where I was going when I wrote the first draft of it. If any of the science in this is inaccurate, I apologize, I don't know much about it.....but even without it, I feel like I need to put the warning out there that it is a bit intense.

Ava gripped the edge of the table in front of her, almost as if attempting to dig her nails into the cool dark wood. Short of that tiny movement, she was frozen, unable to speak.

Her lawyer moved uneasily in his seat, nudging her gently with his foot under the table. She understood she was supposed to speak. The problem had never been a lack of understanding. It was the lack of execution that got her in trouble. The lack of being able to say or do the right thing.

"Ava!" he whispered sharply, getting nervous now, glancing between his client and the judge. It was such a simple question and yet, she could not respond.

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, hoping this would give her the strength to answer the question that until about three seconds before, she had thought she knew the answer to. It didn't. Instead, the simple gesture allowed her to see nothing for a split second and that allowed her - forced her, really - to go back in time to that summers evening two years previous...

"Stop!" she had pleaded as her soon-to-be ex husband had only laughed again.

"Stop what, doll?" he asked, his face only inches away from her. She smelt the alcohol in his breath and had to fight the urge to release the dinner she had eaten with him only a couple of hours before.

"Huh?" he asked her, shaking her slightly. "Stop what? I ain't doing nothin'. I'm not hitting you, am I?" he asked again, as he waved the knife wildly, causing the light to bounce off of it. It made it appear to be gleaming and look even more menacing than it already was.

"Just put it down." Ava whispered. It was true, technically. Paul wasn't doing anything to her. He was simply standing in between her and the door, a sharp knife in one hand and an even sharper one in the other.

They also both knew that if Ava moved even another step, he likely would no longer be able to accurately say that he "wasn't doing anything."

In eight years of marriage, Ava had never seen this side of Paul. It was as if the information that she had given him minutes before had caused some sort of mental breakdown, a loss of who or where he was, and an all consuming desire to stop her from leaving - no matter the cost.

She wondered if she could blame him. After all, the two had been madly in love for ten years... or so he'd thought.

It was true, at first. Before they had gotten married, a happier couple had never existed. They simply had fit together in a way that most people who would end up together could never understand.

The wedding had been beautiful. 100 of their closest friends and family members, the best champagne they could find flowing, dancing until two with a live band. And the honeymoon - fourteen days straight on a tropical island with gorgeous beaches that they saw a few times - when they'd bothered to leave the hotel room.

But, then they'd come back and settled back into their lives. Or at least Paul had. Ava, who had always been described as impulsive, as self absorbed, as someone who "craved perfection", had not been able to settle. She quickly became bored with their lives, his as a successful investment banker and hers as a high school English teacher. All of the "perfection" in their lives seemed to evaporate overnight the day they returned from Bali.

She couldn't figure out why at first. Keeping that perfect smile pasted on her face at all times, she had quit her job wondering if maybe that was the problem. She didn't need to work - Paul made plenty of money - but, again, women like her didn't simple do "nothing". So, she had taken a job near their Beverly Hills home at a PR firm.

With her combination of beauty and brains, Ava moved quickly up the ladder, quickly gathering a loyal group of her own clients from that "plastic surgeon to the stars" to quite a few of the actual stars. She had only been working there for two years when he had walked by her office with one of her co-workers. She'd glanced up from her iPad when she heard his voice. Ava had never been one to get starstruck and even less so since she'd started working at the firm. But this was - this was him. The actor. Who wins an Emmy in their first year on a new TV show?

Of course, after catching a quick glimpse of her, he had doubled back and walked by her office again within about ten seconds. Ava had flashed him a smile - and within an hour he was her client. All of her co-workers hated her ability to quite literally steal clients from them, but she was so good at what she did that she knew they could never fire her. Besides... she charmed her bosses when they needed to be charmed as well.

Ava had always been a flirt, but that was where it had stopped. She had never dreamed of cheating on Paul, even when the panic attacks started. She would leave the office to go home to this man she adored and her stomach would start churning. By the time, she had pulled into their driveway, she could barely breathe. She would slip into the house and into the kitchen reaching for the nearest bottle of wine . Two or three glasses later, the panic would ease and she was able to paste that smile back on her face. Paul never guessed that a thing was wrong.

But, she knew, in the instant that she had signed a contract with "the actor", shaking his hand and feeling that jolt of electricity flow through her. She knew that she would no longer be able to keep this up. He had glanced down at her perfectly manicured hand and seen her wedding ring. A tiny smile had crossed his face and they'd locked eyes again. In that moment, she knew that he knew too.

Sure enough, it didn't take long for a full blown affair to begin. "The actor" was married too - with two grown children and three younger ones. It was for their sake, he explained, that he couldn't leave his wife. Ava knew that wasn't all their was to it. She could be the best PR agent in the world and even then, she wouldn't have been able to spin "the actor" leaving his wife and young children for - well - his PR agent.

So, the secrecy instead. For a good few years, they carried on. She had stopped needing to drink when she came home, instead relying on his text messages to soothe her anxiety - along with any concern about what she was doing to her own family. True, they had no children (Ava had drawn the line there - she would not had a child with Paul while carrying on an affair. Paul had wanted them though, desperately. Ava had talked to death about why they should wait as she kept taking her birth control pills. At least, she had thought at the time, clinging desperately to anything she could, she was not taking the pills behind Paul's back. She was being upfront about not wanting children. Paul loved her so much that he accepted that they wouldn't have them - yet. There was always that word "yet" that she had let him have. She knew that eventually the marriage would end. They couldn't carry on like this forever. So, she had let him have the 'yet' and convinced herself that she somehow was a decent person simply because she wasn't taking pills to halt getting pregnant behind her husbands back.)

And then one day, a miracle happened. "The actors" wife had found out about them. She didn't know how - she'd never found that out. She only knew that she'd gotten a text message that night while at dinner with Paul. "Susan knows!" it had said. "She's not gonna go to the press for the sake of the kids. We talked all day and she hates me, but she's hated me for years, so it's all good. Come by my hotel room later and we can talk about our future." Those words, along with the name and room number of where he was staying, was all it had taken. A flurry of butterflies in her stomach and she'd dropped her iPhone into her bag and glanced up at Paul. "I have to tell you something." she'd said.

And that had landed them here. At home in their bedroom. She'd told him at dinner and he certainly hadn't been happy about it, but he had been a normal person. They'd gone home and she'd gone into their closet to pack a few things, leaving Paul in a daze on her bed.

She didn't know this either, but her phone had gone off again while she was packing. For reasons unknown, she had left her purse on their bed. Perhaps it was simply an oversight in her excitement to leave the man who loved her for this man - a man who clearly was as heartless as she herself was acting.

"Baby," the second text had gone. "See if you can grab some of that whiskey that your hubby drinks. That shit's GOOD!"

Paul had, against his own better judgement, glanced at her phone when it had gone off and, almost mechanically, read her text. He'd then proceeded to read all their texts. There was thousands. Texts at all hours. Texts about how hot he made her and vice versa. Jokes about himself and this mans wife. She had shaken his head slowly, reading through them. Who was this woman? Surely it couldn't be the woman he had loved for years. This was a cold and heartless woman texting to an equally cold and heartless man. "Let her go" he had whispered to himself. "Let her go and tomorrow, you are going to take yourself to a shrink and figure out how you got fooled like this."

He moved to put the phone back in her bag and another text had come in. Against, his better judgement, he'd glanced down. Another one from him. A picture of his unclothed self along with a caption. "Leave the birth control at home... we'd make beautiful babies, don't you think? ;)"

A joke, he was sure. But...

Suddenly, it all made sense. Ava's refusal to give him children. The one thing he'd wanted in his life for so long. A son or a daughter, someone to raise, to teach, to love. That's all he wanted and she had been telling him for years how she simply wasn't ready yet. He had been okay wasting years of his life, allowing him to grow older and live his life thinking that he and his beloved wife would eventually have that family. And in that moment he hated her.

Unfortunately for Ava, that moment was when she had chosen to come out of the closet holding her bag and humming - humming! - a Whitney Houston song under her breath.

And in that moment, all Paul saw was white light. A blind hatred had filled his soul and he had disappeared, instead renting his body to a person with no regard for right or wrong or consequences. Paul had grabbed the collectable knives from his dresser drawer and..

"Paul!" Ava had whispered, her voice shaking. "Paul, please. I'm sorry. But you still have time... you can do everything you want... you'll find somebody else. Somebody who is capable of being the wife you want. I wasn't good enough for you, I never was...."

And saying those words, for the first time, her heart had broken free of the shell she had created for it years before. She suddenly realized that she was right. She had taken the best years of this mans life as she had selfishly skipped along, a selfish child, doing what she wanted - and who - without any regard for what she was doing to this man who had loved her, truly. Who had she become? How had she become it?

A tear slipped down her face and she'd opened her mouth to try to tell Paul that she understood. That he was right to hate her. That she wanted to change, that she knew it was too late, that she had been scared and pathetic and horrible.

Paul had seen the tear too. He didn't read it how it was meant, though. He saw this selfish woman who had broken him, expressing herself the same way a spoiled child did. Cry to get out of things. He knew Ava lived her life this way. She'd cry to get out of arguments with him, speeding tickets, fights with her father, whatever.

And in the split second that Ava was going to open her mouth to explain what she was thinking, the blind rage had taken over. Screaming at the top of his lungs, Paul had thrown one of the knives across the room and while Ava was distracted by that he had taken the second knife and allowed it to plunge directly into - his own stomach.

"Paul!!" Ava had screamed also at the top of her voice. No longer able to keep that dinner down at the sight in front of her, Ava had vomited violently. (This sure was different from those glamorous crime scenes you saw in movies.). Undisturbed, she'd, rather impulsively and without thinking if this was a good idea, she'd pulled the knife from her husband and thrown herself over him, sobbing.

And that was how the paramedics had found her. Thrown across his body, the knife in her hand, about four minutes later.


The rest had been pretty much as one would expect. She'd been arrested for murder on the spot. She'd expected that something would release her eventually - after all he'd stabbed himself, surely someone would be able to figure that out, right?

Apparently not quite, because though her lawyer had promised it would greatly help their defense, her story had not proven her innocence enough for charges to be dropped.

She'd spent months in a California prison full of unanswered questions that she couldn't bring herself to ask. Who had called the paramedics, she still didn't know. Probably a neighbor who'd heard the screaming. How "the actor" felt, she never knew - he never contacted her again. Her lawyer had spoken briefly to him but since he had about fourteen prepaid cell phone numbers (and as many affairs happening at once.), there was nothing but her word to tie him to this. He'd be a witness in the upcoming trial, she knew. But it wasn't questions like that that kept her awake at night. It was one single question - why had Paul hurt himself when she knew that, if anything, he should have wanted to hurt her?

It had taken a long time for her to figure out that even in his blind rage, Paul had loved her so much that he couldn't hurt her. He could not hurt her. It was only she who could hurt him.

And that's why, on the day before she was meant to stand trial, she'd found herself standing in front of the judge who was to be presiding over the case, unable to answer a simple question.

She'd answered the question a year and a half earlier at her arraignment, why couldn't she answer it now?

Because she was smarter now than she was then. Of course she hadn't taken the knife and plunged it into her husband, allowing him to bleed to death on their bedroom floor. And according to many many 'expert' doctors, her pulling the knife out hadn't been what killed him either. But... hadn't she caused the situation? By being herself, apparently a horrible unfeeling person who cared only for herself, using her beauty as a weapon, making it impossible for her husband who loved her to ever have children and causing the blind rage that had caused him to take his own life... she had caused it hadn't she?

Her layer kicked her under the table this time and Ava startled glancing up at the judge in front of her.

"Ms. Smith, I'll ask you once more," the judge said wearily. "HOW do you plead?"

Ava racked her brain desperately trying to get an answer. Logic versus emotion, memories versus advice, head versus heart...and then she was ready to answer. She held the judges gaze and opened her mouth.

"Um..."

---

While the majority of this came from my imagination, some of it came from some case studies in a law class I took a couple of years ago. None of the details were taken directly from that case.
 
 
 
Desireex_disturbed_x on May 28th, 2013 12:42 am (UTC)
I hate that it had to end there! I wanted to know how she would plead.

This was very dark but I enjoyed it. :)
Stephneverletyoupart on May 28th, 2013 12:49 am (UTC)
Thanks. :) I know it was and I hesitated before posting it but I decided to go for it...hopefully the right choice. :p
MamaCheshirecheshire23 on May 28th, 2013 11:49 pm (UTC)
What a question to answer! I'm not sure what's right.
Stephneverletyoupart on May 28th, 2013 11:58 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure what's right either... I think that's something only she could decide for herself...once the question was laid in front of her like that, she realized it wasn't as simple an answer as she thought.

Thank you so much for reading! <3
Jenjennickels on May 29th, 2013 02:37 am (UTC)
Somehow I don't think that was the best time to grow a conscious.
I was really drawn into the story. I'm usually easily distracted when I read unless it's something that really hooks me and I read this straight through without even thinking of stopped or having my mind wander. Good job.
Stephneverletyoupart on May 30th, 2013 03:59 am (UTC)
Wow, that means a lot to me! Thank you so much!

Would you be interested in writing this next weeks intersection with me? I really like your writing as well, and thought I'd at least try to grab you early. ;)1Totally up to you. Just askin'!
Jen: a: happy rockjennickels on May 30th, 2013 04:07 am (UTC)
I'd love to but I had already made arrangements at the end of the last intersection. Maybe next time.
Stephneverletyoupart on May 30th, 2013 04:10 am (UTC)
Cool, no worries. :)
Myrnamyrna_bird on May 29th, 2013 01:28 pm (UTC)
This was compelling right to the end. I enjoyed it!
Stephneverletyoupart on May 30th, 2013 04:00 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, I'm so happy you liked it!
whipchickwhipchick on May 29th, 2013 04:30 pm (UTC)
What a suspenseful read!
Stephneverletyoupart on May 30th, 2013 04:00 am (UTC)
I'm gonna take that as a compliment. ;D Haha! Thanks for reading. <3