A Moment of Doubt - #3

by Remedios Dorio


Miriam was numbed from fear. Mark was just silently standing in front of her but she saw his burning eyes. Then a taxi stopped. It was the taxi that Miriam ordered. It was Mark who approached the taxi, and Miriam saw Mark gave what money to the driver and then the taxi went away.


“Upstairs, and inside the house!” the voice of Mark was like a thunder and Miriam followed what Mark said.


They were inside their house when the cell phone of Miriam rings. Mark quickly took the cell phone from Miriam’s hand. It was Ria.


“Ria,” Mark answered in a soft voice.


“Mark, how are you?” Ria asked Mark in a neutral way although she was surprised why it was Mark who answered the cell phone of Miriam.


“I’m okay, although we have a small problem, Miriam and I.” Mark answered the question of Miriam.


“You and Miriam have problems? Why?”


“I don’t know, but I think Miriam is seeing someone else,” Mark said to Ria. Miriam eyes were wide opened, she could not believe what she heard, and Ria too at the other end of the line.


“What? Come on, Mark. I’d never seen Miriam with another man. We are best friends and you know that we do not have secrets to each other,” Ria said to Mark.


“That’s what I thought, but I am wrong, Miriam really is seeing someone else,” Mark insisted to Ria about what he said that Miriam was seeing another man. “And you know what hurts me most? She said I was the one who had another woman. Imagine, I am just out from the hospital and she accused me that,”


“I am sorry, Mark. I know nothing about it, Miriam told me nothing,” Ria apologized to Mark.


“I hope we could work this out, Ria. I don’t like to loose Miriam, she is my wife and I love her very much,” Mark said in a sad voice.


“Okay, Mark, please you both have to work out the problem and don’t worry, I will talk to Miriam tomorrow at the office,” Ria said.


“Okay, Ria. If you want to talk to her, you must wait for a while; she just entered the comfort room,” Mark said.

“No, I will talk to her tomorrow at the office. Good night, Mark and take care yourself. Just tell Miriam I called.”


“Thank you, Ria. Yes, I’ll do it. Bye.”


Mark after talking with Ria, went to the kitchen. Miriam liked in trance just looked what Mark was doing. She saw Mark took out the sim card and the battery out her cell phone. Then Mark took a glass of water and came back to where she was sitting. He gave the glass of water to her and two pills.


“Take these pills,” Mark said to Miriam.


“What pills are that? I don’t need it,” Miriam refused.


“Miriam takes it. You are so upset, this will calm you. You heard what Ria said, we have to work out our problem,” Mark insisted.


Miriam thought that she better follow what Mark wanted. She took the two pills not knowing that the tablets that Mark gave to her were Oxazepam, a muscle relaxant. And before she knew it, she fell asleep.


AT WORK the next day Friday, Miriam did not come to work. Ria thought that Miriam and Mark reconciled and spending the time together. Ria tried to call Miriam on her cell phone but there’s no answers; she did it many times until she stopped. A honeymoon after the fight and the two decided not to be disturbed; that’s what Ria told herself.


Saturday, Ria felt uneasy. She could not take out her mind, that Miriam called but she denied her because she had a male visitor. The call of Miriam sounded she was in distress, in a big trouble but it did not register with her really because her mind was on that handsome, muscled man in her house. She had talked to Mark, and there’s no reason not to believe Mark. Mark was a soft, respectful and polite but she also knew Miriam, a good, dedicated woman and she loved Mark. She could not believe either that Miriam was seeing with another man, it’s impossible.


Ria dialed the number of Miriam’s cellphone, but the same as yesterday she only heard the words, ‘Sorry, the number you had dialed is out of reach, please try again later.”


Ria then called the mother of Miriam.


“Ria,” the mother of Miriam was surprised.


“Mom,” Ria called the mother of Miriam Mom, the proof that she and Miriam were really friends liked sisters. “I am calling Miriam but she doesn’t answer and I am worried.”


“She also called me Friday for many times but I am not home. Alice my cousin was alone in her house and she requested me to accompany her just one night because her man could not come home. Today I came home and saw in the answering machine how many times she called, and she was crying. You know that I do not use a cell phone. I called her many times, but I could not contact her,” the mother of Miriam said.


“I am worried, I think I will go to their house,” Ria said.


“I come with you.”


“Okay, I come along with my car, and we go together.”


RIA and the mother of Miriam arrived in the house of Mark and Miriam. They rang the bell for many times and when no one responded, the mother of Miriam who had a key opened the door and they went inside.


Inside was very quiet. They called the name of Mark and Miriam but seemed they were not home. They looked at the bedroom which was opened, but there’s nobody too. Then they went to the guest room and when they opened the door, the two women were shocked. They saw a stretcher and on it was Miriam. Her arms attached to the dextrose hung at the side.


“Miriam!” both women rushed to Miriam but when her mother saw everything clearly, she collapsed. Ria helped her to sit in a chair at the same time taking out her cell phone from her handbag and called the emergency number. And when asked if also police were needed, Ria answered yes.


Miriam was dead. Her body was full of bruises and cuts. One cut in her face was stitched and also one on her head. Mark badly beaten Miriam and then played as doctor to her. A painful and tragic death.


Mark was gone.


Ria felt guilty. Miriam needed help but she was unable to give it her, not because she was with a man but of her nonchalant thoughts that there’s nothing serious knowing both Mark and Miriam,

she doubted. Never she thought that Mark because of the tumor in his brain was becoming insane, instead she had her doubt to Miriam.


Damage was already done. Miriam was dead, and Mark disappeared hunted by the police. Ria could not sleep and lost her appetite in foods. She doubted for a moment, and the price was too high, Miriam paid for it her life. Doubts and friendship doesn’t belong to each other, Ria thought.

The guilt was grabbing her sanity, and she decided she must do something about it. For almost two weeks she did not work, so she dialed a number and made an appointment with a person she thought could help her, a psychiatrist. ****The End****