‘You are a disgusting person’. These are the words Christine spoke to me before she walked out of our hotel room. I never saw her again.
We loved very hard, and most of the time our lives were filled with laughter. We fell asleep in each other’s arms every night. We were in constant communication, texting and calling and sending photos until we finally reunited each day after work. We’d split the night’s duties (practices, dinner, shopping) and fall onto the couch when we finally got the kids to bed to spend a couple quiet hours together.
But when we fought it was ugly. This night was no different. I was so furious at her I did something I’d never done before. I let her walk away.
She texted me a few times during the night. Telling me she hated me, then telling me she loved me, telling me she loved the kids.
When I got up at 4am to catch the bus to the airport she wasn’t responding. I called and texted, telling her I was leaving soon but she wasn’t reading my texts. I assumed she had made her way to the airport early, purposely causing me more concern.
When I arrived at the airport she hadn’t checked in. I decided to check in and wait for her in the terminal. I called her mom and my mom, asking if they had heard from her. Nothing. They called her and she didn’t respond.
Then I heard my name called over the loudspeaker. I couldn’t understand what they were asking (it was in Norwegian) but I did hear my name.
FINALLY!!! She had arrived at the airport and was waiting for me. I just had to figure out where she was.
I started running around the terminal, trying to find anyone who could help. A customer service agent told me to go to my departure lounge… Christine wasn’t there.
I approached the ticketing agent. She called someone, spoke to them (all in Norwegian), looked at me, smiled, and asked for my boarding pass.
I handed it over and sat down, waiting for Christine.
And then the police showed up.
They walked in, looking solemn. The ticketing agent pointed at me. They approached me and asked me to accompany them outside.
I was half confused, half upset. Had she made another attempt? Another cry for attention?
Me: Where is she?
Police: I’m sorry, she’s dead
Me: What? No. Facebook showed her online only an hour ago.
Police (shrugging): She’s dead. You are not under arrest. You are not a suspect. But you must come with us. We will bring you to the station and take a statement but first you will speak to a doctor to make sure you are not in danger of hurting yourself.
They loaded me into the back of a police van. I didn’t know how to react at that moment. I didn’t cry. I didn’t do anything really. I just sat. And then a moan escaped my lips. It sounded foreign to me. I hadn’t made a noise like that before. It sounded inhuman. And then the sobs came.
3 thoughts on “The First Morning”
Share. Open as much as you can. Release. We’ll listen. We’ll comment if we can. Know that our hearts are with you and we will wish we could give you a hug.
Ben, you are strong and courageous and a great model. I respect you.
Reading your story. I hope you feel free to write whatever you want and need to any time.