It seemed like yesterday when J met Lara, an aspiring actress then. She had the face of Madonna, but her talent at acting was weak. All these years, I haven't seen more than two expressions on her face. J had great faith in her.He said she just needed her lucky break. It never came. I was the best man at their wedding and the godfather of their elder son.
I saw her sleep, but couldn't rest peacefully. I decided to visit J. I entered the front garden, the garden gnome still held its lantern. There was a huge stoneware mushroom near the vestibule. The main door was open. I had an uncomfortable feeling and entered his bedroom on the second floor almost immediately,instinctively.
J was lying on his bed, in his night pajamas, drenched in blood. He would have hated to have been seen this way. Always dressed for a dance he was. When one of the major networks cut down his airtime, thinking it was not bringing enough revenue, he stood his ground and didn't care to call back the headhunters who were wooing him for their Network TV. Soon, the channel owners saw their mistake and gave him exclusive one- hour prime time airtime. They say the least number of viewers J ever had was 4.5 million. He had dignity, that guy.
He must have been sleeping when he was shot, and still wearing his Mickey Mouse watch which he loved so much. I often teased him about it. But he said it was his first gift from his grandfather. I often asked him which time zone it displayed, and he would laugh and say, he didn't wear it to track time. I understood. But I loved to see him defend it. This and many of his idiosyncrasies made J so lovable. He was not perfect, far from it. But his imperfections drew people to him. He could crack a mean joke and he would still be loved. His practical jokes almost cost me a fortune once, but it was a good laugh.
I dialed 911 from my cellphone which seemed to be the only thing I could do. I was sitting on the stairs when the police arrived. There was a barrage of questions. I replied to what I could, wishing I could faint. When I reported Lara's narrative, I had uneasy feeling that I have made a mistake somewhere. Accompanied by some officers on the way to my house, I was at the last traffic light when I realized it was too late.
Sprawled on my Persian rug (it was a gift from the Haydens) was Lara's listless body. She had shot herself through the mouth. They found traces of alcohol, cocaine and antidepressants in her blood. She had shot him thrice- on his forehead, his chest and his forearm. Strangely enough, it was the shot in the arm that killed him. It had reentered his heart through it.
The verdict was murder/suicide.