Promises

By: Alexa Riley


The investigators asked if we’d had any problems in our marriage. I didn’t know how to explain that I loved her beyond all sane reasoning, and I had to keep busy at work to stop the obsession that was growing inside me. They asked if there had been any infidelity and I laughed in their faces. No other existed besides my Molly. I was blind until she came into my life, and after that day, she’s the only woman I see. The men seemed skeptical, but I didn’t give a shit. They can think whatever the fuck they want as long as they find her.

I find myself falling between being grief-stricken and being mad as hell. I’m so fucking sad she’s gone, and I’d give anything to hold her in my arms again. But on the other hand, I’m so fucking angry she left me like this that I don’t know if I could look her in the eyes. I finally needed someone, and she was gone.

I know the last part is a lie, even as the thought flits through my jumbled brain. I would never look away from her again if I had her back in my sight. How stupid of me to waste so many nights away from her when I could have had her beneath me as we made love in bed. The thought brings a lump to my throat and I hold back a sob. I spent the last year trying to get shit in order so that I would never have to walk into another office again. I did all that I could to set our lives in motion, and it was to the detriment of our relationship.

Parts of our lives replay over and over in my brain, and I keep trying to pinpoint why she would just leave me like this. Leave us like this. I knew she was unhappy in the penthouse, but I was making strides to change that. To live up to the promises I’d made her, but maybe I took too long.

I didn’t think she was so unhappy with me and our marriage that she would just walk out. No explanation, just a note saying I can’t do this. Don’t follow me. I’d worried that note in my fingers for so many days, I wore a hole in it.

I keep pacing, trying to think of something. Even after the cops said she was okay. Maybe she was kidnapped and forced to write it. Maybe she had a fever and she was hallucinating and thought she had to go.

Both of those scenarios make my palms sweaty with fear. But when I checked the security cameras, she was alone and didn’t seem to be under any duress. She moved fast out of the building, but it wasn’t as if she was running. Then we traced her credit cards to an ATM from which she withdrew a large amount of cash. Then nothing.

I keep thinking that there had to be a reason. Maybe there was another man…

Reaching over, I grab the glass paperweight on my desk and throw it across the room like a baseball. I hear the noise of its collision with the wall, but I ignore it. If I truly took a good look around the room, I’m sure I’d see it’s destroyed, but better in here than the rest of the house. I left our home untouched until she returns. Because she will return. There is no other way.

Somewhere in the distance, I hear the office door open. I don’t look up to see if the investigators left, I just walk to the window and stare out at the rain. I wonder if my Molly is cold, if she’s out in this with no shelter. I wonder for the ten thousandth time if she’s safe. I think I could live with anything as long as she was safe.

“Mr. Tanner. We’ve got something.”

I spin around, seeing the youngest of the trio, Jeremy, walk in and hand his phone over to Carl. After he looks at it, he nods and then looks to me. There is hope in his eyes, but I don’t dare read too much into it. I want to hear what he has to say first.

“We’ve been watching all her known associates since you requested our services, and it looks like your friend Cindy received a call from an unknown number. Jeremy traced the call and has a recording.”

He lays the phone on my desk and hits play.

Molly’s voice fills my ears, and I fall to my knees, clutching my chest. It’s the first time in weeks that we’ve gotten a single scrap of information, and the sound of her voice is overwhelming.

I was wondering if I could come home and stay with you. Then Molly stops talking. There’s the sound of someone screaming, and then I hear the loud noise of screeching brakes. Cindy says her name in a panic, and then the line goes dead.

A deathly chill runs down my spine, and I’m on my feet in a second, ready to take action. I don’t even have to ask before Jeremy starts talking.

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