MORE OF THE LAKE...by b. Malin
Old man Carter, cleared his throat before lighting up his pipe. He stared back at the young couple. "Look, I'm not trying to scare you two...but the cottage does have a little bit of history, even though it was built only two years ago. The young couple stood by quietly waiting for the story to unfold. Carter took a deep puff of his pipe, before continuing. "Mr. Jordan built this place for his young wife who was expecting their first child that spring. They had been married about five years, with Mr. Jordan being about ten years older then his wife, so naturally he was tickled pink to find out that he was to become a father. Anyways, Mr. Jordan worked for some big oil company...I forget the name now...He had some big executive job that kept him traveling around the country. So I guess he figured all this fresh air and sunshine would be good for his wife and future child. You two want to sit down on the couch"? he asked as he sat down opposite them on the love seat. They did so silently, so he went on. "Where was I? Oh yes, anyways, he flew in some fancy architect and this place was constructed in four months, the towns people couldn't believe their eyes...but money talks you know...anyways it's as well constructed, if not better then the other homes around the lake. Mr. Jordan bought Mrs. Jordan here that June for the big surprise. Well, that little lady fell in love with the cottage the moment she laid eyes on it. The baby, it was a boy, was in her arms went she walked up the front steps...and what was that she keep saying, oh yeah, "it's perfect, just perfect".
Carter had the urge to bring up some more throat phlem but then decided against it, as he cleared his throat before going on. "She, Mrs. Jordan, such a pretty little thing kept mostly to herself tending to the baby and working on her writings...we heard she was some type of writer. Oh, she'd come into town now and then, to buy food, or eat out with Mr. Jordan when he flew in for the weekends. She was always polite, but hardly anybody really got to know her, including the other lake people. Carter hesitated for a moment taking a few long puffs on his pipe. And then one morning he said as he leaned forward on the love seat, they found her hanging in the bathtub by the shower, a ladies scarf twisted around her neck...the baby sleeping peacefully in his bed, safe and sound."
"Oh my God! Sarah screamed as she jumped up from the couch. Who did it"? she whispered softly. "Ma'm she killed herself" Carter replied. "The case is closed, that's why the house is being sold, Mr Carter can't live here any more, too many sad memories". "Where was he on the day that this happened"? Sarah asked trying to sound normal, as her pressure seemed to be going higher. He was on the other side of the country when she killed herself", Carter replied dryly. "Why would a woman who had everything to live for, a loving husband, a new baby, maybe even a best seller in the works...why, why, would she do that? Why would she kill herself? Sarah was beside herself. She didn't know this woman, so why did she feel so strongly in defending her? "Did she leave a suicide note"? Robert asked trying to ease his wife's mind. "No. Carter replied, no, she did not sir". "Listen, Carter was saying, I felt you folks had the right to know...people around the lake still talk about it, but if you've now changed your minds about renting for the summer, I'll give you back your check and that will be the end of it".
"If it will make you folks feel any better, Mr. Jordan blamed himself for not being here. He tried staying here that summer by himself, with a nanny for the baby...but he couldn't do it. I think he thought if he stayed, she'd return, but of course that wasn't going to happen. She's dead, gone, and that's that". He said as he stood up to hand Robert back his check. Robert looked at Sarah. "Robert I want to stay here this summer". "Are you sure Sarah? he replied, there are other lakes and other houses...it doesn't have to be this one with such sad history"... Sarah stared around the room, it was such a beautiful cottage, and she had never been superstitious before..."I'm fine now Robert" she said, "Give the check back to Mr. Carter and then let's try to beat the Sunday traffic home". Robert handed the check back to Mr. Carter and went to find his wife who now sat patiently waiting for him in the car. Staring at her perfect, perfect, summer home.
To be continued...