As I lay on the kitchen floor holding the knife in my blood-bathed hand, I gazed at the rattling chimes calming me down.
I was losing consciousness. The sweet noise kept haunting me and reminded me of my wife’s blood-soaked body, finally fading.
I entered the living room, treading quietly as I wanted to surprise her. I finally returned home. She’d be ecstatic. I was nostalgic. Flashbacks started running through my mind.
“I can’t take it anymore. I can’t do it alone.” she broke down over the phone.
“I can’t have our child miss his father in his growing years.” Her voice was hysterical.
“I understand what you’re trying to say, honey, but there has been increasing tension in the borders. My troops need me. Just a little bit.”
She had a miscarriage two months ago. Our first baby was no more.
‘I can’t have our child miss his father in his growing years.’
Her condition had worsened after my departure. She was unable to bear the trauma of losing our baby. She started to hallucinate that she still had her baby.
I spent the first month after the miscarriage with her. It pained me to see her in such agony. Even though the loss of our baby had drained me empty from the inside, I kept my pain aside and helped her mend her heart and her broken soul.
Surprises, sudden movie plans, cuddling her to sleep – I tried every little thing I could do to make her happy. And it worked; she recovered miraculously fast.
“You don’t need to go, do you?” she asked me, pouting as I left for my camp. “I don’t have a good feeling about this. Please don’t do anything stupid out there. And promise me that you’ll be back, for God’s sake.”
“Rachel, I’ll be back. I’ll be back in no time. And we’ll be a happy family again.”
“I love you so much. Please don’t die. “
“I love you too. I’ll haunt you even if I die.”
“You moron.” she was smiling.
‘She’d be proud of me,‘ I thought as I looked at the stars pinned to my uniform.
‘My father is a soldier, and I’m proud of him.’ I’d have been my son’s hero.
I entered the living room and was gaping at the sight in front of me. I completely forgot about what I was thinking.
“That is something.” Wind chimes – everywhere. Hanging down the roof, near the doors, hallway, dining area – everywhere.
There was no answer. I started to go upstairs.
The stairway was full of more chimes. The deafening silence, despite so many chimes, was bizarre. The whole house was closed shut with no windows open.
‘Maybe that is the reason,’ I thought to myself.
The stairway wall was full of sketches – crayon drawings, scribbling. I started to panic.
“Rachel? Where are you?”
My head turned towards the room upstairs. I listened closely – a wind chime. I rushed towards the room and opened the door. She had meticulously decorated the room with flowers. Even though most of them had started to rot, they still looked magnificent.
“Looks like someone tried hard to give me a surprise.” I was delighted.
There was still no answer. The chime kept jingling on the other side of the room. Strange. I just noticed the room was shut closed, even the windows. What was that stench? I immediately recognized it. Oh God, no!
I entered the other side of the room, and I wasn’t ready in a hundred years for the sight I was about to see.
Rachael lay on the bed in a white gown – a bloody red one. I stood there, dumb folded –the chiming now echoing the entire house.
“Rachel?” I started to move, my body shaking now. “Why?”
The bed was soaked red with her blood. It was her wrists.
“Why did you” I broke down.
Wrapping my arms around her bloody dress, I sat there crying.
You don’t need to go, do you? Her voice echoed in my mind.
The wind chime kept tinkling right above the bed. I stood up and smashed it off the roof.
I was selfish. I should’ve taken care of her. It’s my fault.
‘A knife?’ I heard something drop downstairs.
I pulled myself up with an enormous effort as I started to go downstairs. As I was going down the stairs, I noticed the pictures on the wall.
The walls were covered with pictures of three people holding hands and parents smiling with their babies. Several baby names were scribbled in crayons. ‘Joseph?’ – the only name that she circled.
The tinkling had started again, and this time the whole house was rattling to the noise of a hundred chimes. I didn’t care anymore.
Chimes. Never let me forget about my wife’s bloody body upstairs. I moved towards the kitchen, where I thought I had heard the noise. I looked at the floor, and there was a knife with a ribbon tied to it and a note attached to it.
I fell on my knees – wide-eyed, bewildered, reading the note scribbled in a crayon in Rachel’s handwriting:
“And we will be a happy family again. Mom, Dad, and Joseph”