The Game

by Jody Lewis

                     The Game

                  By Jody Lewis

He didn't have a good feeling as he drove his wife to the hospital. She was scheduled to have her appendix removed. Rob, working as a detective for the local PD, knew about those unexplained murders case which took place in hospitals all over the town. Though he kept his silence because he didn't wanted to frighten Lynne before her operation.

"I see you in about an hour, honey", Lynne said before she was brought into the operating room. That was nearly 2 hours ago. Rob was sitting in the waiting lounge, drinking cheap hospital coffee from Styrofoam cups. He was aware of the looks the nurse behind the administration counter gave him. Within the last 30minutes he must have walked up to the counter a good 20 times, demanding information about his wife. And he always got the same answer "Everything is okay. The doctor will be with you shortly."

Just as he decided to talk again to the nurse, a serious looking man, dressed in a white doctor's coat, entered the room. Rob didn't know what it was, but there was something strange about that man.

"Are you Mr. Malone? Lynne Malone is your wife?"

Rob nodded in response to that question. "Mr. Malone, I have the sad duty of telling you that your wife is not longer with us. She died an hour ago. I am sorry, Sir!"

The silence was crushing. Rob tried to process the information he just got, but it was as if his brain suddenly stooped functioning. ]This couldn't be true. Not Lynne! Of all of the people in this hospital, not Lynne. She only had an appendix. A routine operation. Doctors perform about a million of those every day all over the world. [

"Mr. Malone, did you hear what I said?" The man sat next to Rob and touched his shoulder in a comforting gesture. But Rob didn't wanted comfort, he had no use for comfort, he needed facts. "How?"

The man, who identified himself as Doctor Shane, cleared his throat. "Your wife told me you work for the police department, so I am sure you know about those mysterious murder cases that be going on for the last 4 month." Rob nodded again "We are not sure yet, we need to wait for the results of the autopsy, but we think that your wife has become a victim of the 'sane maniac'. There was a problem with your wife's blood coagulation. We couldn't stop the bleeding. We gave her several blood transfusions but it was too late. I am really sorry."

"How could that happen? Lynne never had problems with her coagulation."

Doctor Shane took a deep breath "Like I said, we have to wait for the autopsy. Unfortunately, that is all I can tell you right now."

Rob looked up. And for the first time he really noticed the man in front off him. His face looked somewhat familiar but Rob couldn't place it anywhere. ]I must have seen him before as I picked up Lynne after her pre-op appointment. [, He told himself. But still there was something in that mans eyes that made the little bell in Robs head ring. Though he was to deeply involved in his sorrows to listen to this bell. "When can I see her?"

Doctor Shane glanced at his watch. "They should be done in about an hour, I suppose. Would you like me to come back then and bring you to your wife?" He got no answer this time. Rob had stood up and was starring out of the window, motionless.

It was a beautiful day outside, but Rob didn't notice the sunlight or the mild breeze that was coming in from the mountains, playing with the leafs of the big oak tree, which was the emblem of the hospital. Nor saw he the people entering and leaving the hospital in a steady stream. The only thing he could see was the smile on the face of his wife before they took her away.

And he suddenly realized that he would never be able to see this smile again. Lynne's smile. She had that kind of a smile that enlightened your day, no matter how dark your day was. That kind of a smile that automatically made you smile back, even when you didn't feel like smiling. He remembered all the times when was watching her waking up in the morning. The times they laughed together, argued with each other and made up afterwards. He not only lost his wife; he also lost his best friend, his critic and his confidante. But the worst part was that his life has lost all the meaning. And suddenly he felt lost.

Rob heard the door open. He still didn't move, but silently thanked Doctor Shane for the privacy. He needed to collect his thoughts and focus on what has to be done next. "Mr. Malone?"

Rob turned around to that new voice. Another man had entered the room. "Yes?"

"Mr. Malone I'm Doctor Bryant, your wife's surgeon. Sorry it took me so long to come to talk to you but I had an emergency. Your wife is fine; she should be out of recovery by now. If you like you can go up to her room and visit her."

Rob looked from man to the other. "Excuse me? I was just told that Lynne died?" He made a step towards Doctor Shane. "Who is he" Do you know him?" he asked Doctor Bryant. Bryant shook his head. "I have never seen him before. Your Wife is fine, I just talked to her."

The bell in Rob's head was ringing to loud now to be ignored any longer. Rob pulled his gun and pointed it towards the man who called himself 'Doctor Shane'. "Call Security" He bellowed to the other man, without taking his look of the guy in front of his gun.

"Why didn't I noticed it before? The name 'sane maniac' was never revealed in the news. You are under arrest."

As security lead the killer out of the waiting room, he turned around and looked at Rob. The he smiled. "Did you enjoyed our little game, Officer Malone? I certainly did!" Then they took him away.

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