I told the police I tried to save him. I said to them I grabbed his legs, but he was already dead, or so it seemed. They asked me a lot of things, and I can understand that it may seem a surprisingly weird coincidence that the man who found the hanging body is the one who hates him the most. Did I hate him? I didn’t deny I wanted him suffering. I told them that his death is nothing but a relief to me; still, I tried to save him, because when you find someone committing suicide, you immediately try to help him. Also, I’m not good at acting.
Elvira was the first to arrive. When they told her what happened, she was petrified. They said we both were shocked, and maybe it’s true. Elvira is a nurse, and that night she was at the hospital. She said, don’t worry, we’ll be okay. The cop asked if I wanted psychological assistance, but I said I was okay. They told me about the analysis and the questions. Elvira nodded and gave them her cell number, just in case.
I clearly remember the weight of that body, a human body softly swinging from the ceiling. I tried to revive the scene many times, while Elvira was listening to me and holding my hand gently. She said it was the best thing to do, to summon every detail, such as the creaky door, the guttural noises, the thud of the body hitting the floor. She said that, if I was too anxious, I could have some pills, since she’s a nurse and knows how to get the right ones to make me feel better. I felt hurt, and I said that I was okay.
She smiled at me: I knew you were strong enough.
I don’t blame her for Giorgio. The affair is now part of a forgotten life: I recognize I was horrible, and even if I didn’t cheat, I treated her in a way that made her forced to cheat. They were both drunk and unhappy, it just happened—troubling times, the ones that made them live together in his beautiful house.
Are you okay?
I told her I was okay, she smiled. That night, we went to a restaurant, and she proposed a toast to our new life. We had sex. The next day I felt nervous. She was hysterically cleaning the house. We argued. Then she asked me if I needed help to review my story for the police. I told her I didn’t.
At the police station, I told the cop I knew everything. They had been lovers. Marriage is a hard job.
The cop didn’t seem doubtful.
When I came back home, Elvira was worried. It was all okay, I said, I didn’t even forget the swollen face and the livid lips. She hugged me. Everything was okay. She said if I had any doubt, I could have the pills. I think I may accept.
Michelangelo Franchini is an Italian author, founder of the artistic collective Yawp. His stories and essays have been published by many Italian literary magazines, such as: Tuffi Rivista, Frammenti Rivista, Pastrengo Rivista, Reader for Blind, Altri Animali, Carmilla, Verde Rivista. He has a bachelor degree in literature.