It has been fourteen years now since I came home to a terrifying sight of blood and gore. Fourteen years since I screamed with such horror I ripped the soft lining of my esophagus. It has taken fourteen years of struggle to finally talk about the day I found my wife and two children dead.
It was a miserably cold night in December when my wife, Sarah, and I decided it was high time to we argued about my growing dependence on alcohol. I had been, as she politely put it, “fucked up more often than time spent with your kids”. She was of course, totally and utterly correct. The last time I played with our twins was probably on their birthday, though I had a martini in hand when I did.
While viciously calling her many times a liar, I poured another drink. What did she know, she only drank socially on major holidays. I on the other hand, drank everyday which meant of the two, I was the only one capable of spotting an alcoholic. An hour after sitting down for a conversation between partners, she was calling me a cunt and I was smashing glasses against the walls.
We could both hear the children sobbing, but neither relented. When she slapped me, I nearly shit myself with the amount of force used to restrain myself from hitting her. I did what any man would do, I left. I walked out of that house, failed to open my car with the house keys and fitfully resorted to walking to the closest liquor store.
Sam the Swill, merchant of fine drink, gave me his words of sixty-year wisdom. He bagged a bottle of gin and cupped strong coffee with very little sugar. He made me promise to drink the coffee before the gin, which I did. And made my way home.
The lights were on and the house was quiet, glass still littered the hardwood floor I fought so hard to have replaced instead of restored. It made my glossy wet bar look horrible, I lost that argument too. Walking into the kitchen to make a fresh pot of coffee only brought back memories of other stupid fights I instigated.
The salvaged napkin rings came from a century old pub in London, she loved and I hated. The Copper pots and pans that hung from an iron display, I liked. But I desperately tried to convince her were useless trinkets that would neither be used or look good. Even the kettle I used to boil water in I hated, but she threw mine out.
Two cups down and I was feeling fit enough to check on the kids. I stood outside their door planning how I would delicately explain to these six year old children that their parents still love each other. I tried to push the door open but the laundry bag hanging on the other side left the smallest gap to squeeze through. When I did, I stood in the dark room, breathing softly as to not wake them. The last time I blundered in while the lights were off I scared them so bad they couldn’t sleep alone for a month.
I tiptoed between their beds, towards the night stand. While felling around for the lamp switch I placed my hand on my son’s bed and felt the warm dampness of urine. Instinctively I wiped my hand on my shirt, idiotically getting it all over my self. When I finally turned on the light I was horrified to see it was blood.
Thomas, named after my father, was the son every father truly wants. He was the exact opposite of me, I loved literature he was mesmerized by all things nature. At five he could identify every bird that would visit the many baths and feeders in our backyard. But now, he lay disemboweled and dismembered in bed. I fell back onto and over my daughter’s bed, a scream lodged in my throat. My boy, my beautiful boy was dead and I couldn’t bring myself to look at him. I forced myself up and made a grab for my daughter, but she wasn’t in bed.
Rene, named after a good friend of my wife’s, took after me. She reveled in the sound of a typewriter clicking away on a lazy afternoon. She would make me read six or seven books for bed time. We would always read the same books because she always had a better ending for them every night. I needed to get to her and take her to safety, but she wasn’t in her bed. Every beastly reason for her not being in bed ran through my mind, but finding her hanging from the door hook instead of the laundry bag was nowhere in that mad list. Her lips were ash colored and twitching.
The lump in my throat burst out of me and I filled the small room with a wail of misery. I now know I took breaths between screams, but at the time it felt like one continuous note of anguish. Even when the police arrived and restrained me I howled. I ripped and thrashed at my cuffed wristed when they pulled my children out in body bags, I smashed my face into the cruiser door when what could only be my wife’s body as well.
I woke behind bars, confused at first, then hopeful that it was all a drunken nightmare. I even joked towards an officer that my wife was going to go ballistic when I called for bail. He beat the awful truth into me. Months later he paid me a visit, after I moved in with a friend, to apologies. It turned out my wife, who secretly struggled with depression, killed our children and then took her life.
She left me a letter, which I haven’t read until today:
By now you have found out that I had no other choice but to kill Thomas, Rene
and myself. There will be those who will blame it on a disease I do not have.
All this could easily be explained by looking deep inside yourself, and finding
the blame there.
We are now safe from you, we will not miss you.
There is a friend here with my while I write this and will most likely stay the night to make sure I don’t bring harm to myself. I’m glad because I don’t trust myself either. My hands shake terribly, my glass is nearly empty, and my eyes sting with bitter tears. I drain my glass to toast another fourteen years of self-loathing.