Michael Keihler. “Be proud of your name, son,” his mother had always told him, and he supposed he was. After all his ancestors had fought in wars; they had been in battles, killing those who treated others unfairly. “You’ll always be a Keihler at heart, so you should be proud.” And so he was. In fact, he was planning on passing the name on: Alice Patman. They had been dating for a good year or two now. He figured he was in love and needed to get married one of these days, so he decided to.
They were going on a date that night, and it was the night. He had the ring, he was completely ready. They went to her favorite restaurant. One of those really fancy, expensive places. It was located right next to the park, it was a beautiful park at that. The park had a big lake and a beautiful board walk, dim with only lanterns giving off light. He decided that was the perfect place to ask, so after dinner that’s where they went.
They were walking on the board walk alone, holding hands. With his other hand he checked his pocket. Good, the box is there. He cracked open the box and felt the ring. Good, the ring is in it. He slid his finger out of the box and it popped shut. “What was that?” Alice asked. “What? Oh, nothing.” he replied, nervously. He hadn’t been nervous, not until just now. It was probably because now she knew that there was something, even if she didn’t think anything of it, he did.
“Alice, there’s something that I haven’t told you about me yet.” She looked at him with a questioning look. “Alice, I love you.” Then he brought out the lovely black box with the lovely gold ring inside.
It was on that dim, romantic board walk that he asked her. And it was on that dim, romantic board walk that she said yes. After all was done, after the restaurant and the dim, romantic board walk they climbed into the car, fiancé and fiancée, for him to bring her home. They pulled out of the parking lot, drove away, and then they were stopped by a stop light.
That stop light was the last thing that he really remembered clearly, everything after that was just a blur. He remembered reaching down for something, then a flash of white lights, he remembered something wet and warm covering his hands, he remembered looking at his hand and seeing the color red, then red lights, then darkness…
– – –
It was 4:02 PM. All the feelings and emotions rushed back to him when that time came. Everyday, he would be crawling along on the ground only to be beaten and robbed by the memories and the sadness of her being gone, exactly at 4:02 PM. That was when he’d gotten the call that she was dead. Not Alice, she had died in the car crash nearly 7 years ago, these memories were of Heather. Heather had been his wife. He married her a few years after the loss of Alice.
Heather and Michael were nearly a perfect couple. They’d been truly in love when they were married. Then a few years later the separation came along, it was terrible. Michael was torn apart; he didn’t know what to do. Why was this terrible separation coming into his marriage? What was it about? Fortunately they had finally worked out their problems and come back together. Things were finally going back to the way they had been before the separation, possibly even better than before the separation when it happened. They had only been back together for a month when he received the phone call. That was when he died, died on the inside. He had been killed and robbed of his love. This had happened only three weeks ago, and it haunted his life. 4:02 PM.
– – –
The police had been investigating the murder of Heather Morson Keihler for the past three weeks. Yes, it had been murder. She had gone out to run some errands and then she was found with a knife wound in her stomach and her wedding ring missing. That was all, just her wedding ring. None of the money in her purse was gone, none of her credit cards were stolen, just her wedding ring.
This is why the police were so interested in this case, because it was so suspicious why that was all that mattered to whoever the attacker was. Whoever it was…
– – –
Michael heard a knock on his door. That knock pulled him out of a nap, and when he woke up the world rushed in on him so fast that he was dizzy. He had been asleep, away from this world where both Alice and Heather had been taken from him. In his dreams they lived on, and they were there– to comfort him and to remind him of his happy days when love wasn’t murdered and robbed from him. –KNOCK KNOCK– He rose and went to answer the door. It was the investigator.
“Hello Mr. Keihler. Sorry to have bothered you, but I needed to ask you some more questions about your wife’s case.”
What more information could they possibly use from me? “Yes sir, whatever you need.”
“You never found her ring did you?”
“I’m sorry sir? What do you mean?”
“Alice, I mean. Wasn’t her ring missing too?”
“Yes, it was. I suppose it somehow came off in the wreck, what does that have anything to do with Heather?”
“We found that what was believed to be a wound from the broken glass in Alice matches the same knife wound that was found in Heather.”
“What are you talking about?”
The investigator glanced over at a seemingly ancient chest that was on the other side of the room. On top of that old chest was a seemingly older knife with an exquisite case. The investigator made his way over to it and brought out some sort of measuring device.
“Mr. Keihler, This knife’s width is the same as both of the wounds.”
“Sir, that knife belonged to my grandfather. He fought in World War II. My mother brought that here because she wanted it to stay in the family. I never actually touched it.”
The investigator opened the case and looked inside. Gleaming up at him were two gorgeous diamond rings.
Michael froze. He froze in confusion, and in horror. Images began flashing through his mind as clearly as someone looking through a photo album. He remembered the stop light. He remembered reaching down to retrieve the knife, then violently stabbing his fiancée and the blood running out all over his hand. He remembered vividly colliding with the other car. He remembered the red lights flashing from the police car, then he remembered removing her ring and pocketing it as well as hiding the knife before he passed out.
He remembered Heather saying she would be back in a little while and driving away to the corner store. Then suddenly like an overlooked page in a photo album he remembered grabbing that knife and riding down to the corner store, murdering his wife and stealing the ring.
“Mr. Keihler, you’re under arrest for the murder of Alice Patman and the murder of Heather Keihler.”
Michael was speechless. All he could think of was how he’d felt like his love was murdered and stolen from him. How he’d died on the inside when he received that phone call. In a sense he had killed himself.