The rain fit my mood as I looked down at the headstone with my name on it. What a pity. I was a nice person. Now, my life as I knew it, was over. Raven Marie Jacobson-Drake, born April 13, 1979; died April 13, 2018. I have to laugh at the irony. I was born on a Friday 13th and died on a Friday 13th. Fate is a cruel jokester.
No one believed me when I told them that for me, not all, but certain Friday the 13ths, were cursed for me. They would laugh and tell me it was all in my imagination. But I had hard evidence that couldn’t be scoffed at. Since I was born, every year in April, that Friday the 13th fell upon, something bad always happened to me.
The first incident was the day I was born. I’d almost been kidnapped right out of the maternity ward. Luckily, I was recovered before the woman left the hospital. In April 1984 came the next Friday the 13th. I contracted pneumonia and just barely escaped death’s door. In April 1990’s Friday the 13th, I broke my arm falling out of a tree house. All those incidents were as a child so, I thought nothing of them. But then when Friday the 13th of April 2001 rolled around, I went on a camping trip with the man I married. I was bitten by a snake. It was then I began to think I was cursed. In April the year 2007 on that day was no different. I caught dear ol’ hubby cheating on me which ended that relationship. Finally, in 2012, I thought I’d gotten through it without incident. I remarried on a beautiful Friday, April 13th day on purpose, defying fate, hoping to turn my bad luck around. I should have known better!
Liam Drake was the man of my dreams. He seemed too perfect to be true. He was tall, handsome, attentive and wealthy. When we first met, he told me he was an independent contractor and his business took him all over the world. We lived in a luxurious apartment in Chicago and also had a summer house near the beach in Venice, Florida. We never argued, and he always let me have my way without complaint. He’d surprise me with flowers, boxes of chocolates or jewelry for no other reason than it was a beautiful day or a dreary one to make my day more beautiful — even after we were married. When I told him he didn’t have to keep buying me gifts, he always said his mission in life was to make me happy. Life was wonderful for a few years — until I discovered who the real Liam Drake was.
One day, while Liam was out of town on business, I was surprised by two FBI agents who came knocking at my door. They told me Liam was under investigation for several murders, and they had a warrant to search the premises. To say I was stunned would be an understatement. I couldn’t believe it. Not my wonderful Liam. I told them they were mistaken, and he was just a building contractor who traveled a lot. They’d told me he was a contractor alright — a contractor for the mafia — a hit man. They showed me a few gruesome pictures of his dead victims in cities where I knew he’d visited at the time. My heart was broken. It was all I could do to keep from crying. Bad luck again. It was April, but it wasn’t even Friday the 13th — until the next day.
The agents told me that since I wasn’t under any suspicion, I’d better distance myself from him before he returned. When they left, I packed a suitcase and ran without so much as leaving him a note. After drawing out enough money from the bank to keep me afloat for a while, I went to the airport and caught the first plane I could get to anywhere, which happened to be Louisville, Kentucky. I spent my first night in a small motel to figure out my life and what I would do next. The following morning there was a knock on my door. I thought it might be the maid wanting to clean my room. I was shocked to see Liam’s smiling face. How he followed me, I hadn’t a clue. As I backed up, he entered and closed the door behind him. My heart beat wildly in my chest. I told him I knew who he was. He replied he knew what I was told. He then pulled out a gun. I asked if he was going to shoot me. He smiled and said, “Yes.” I begged him to let me go, but he said it was necessary for our happiness. I thought that was an odd thing to say. How could we be happy if I was dead? The next thing I heard was a loud bang. He’d shot me. Before I lost consciousness, I heard another shot and Liam’s body fell beside mine.
Now I’m standing here in the rain looking at the grave with my name on it. Everything about Raven Marie Jacobson-Drake was dead and buried; cursed by another Friday the 13th in April.
“Ready to go yet?” Liam asked me as he drew me to his side.
I smiled up into his blue eyes. “Ready as I’ll ever be.” We left the cemetery never to revisit it again.
I know you’re probably thinking we’re spirits joined together for eternity in the afterlife. Such is not the case. I was shot alright and so was Liam. Our murder/suicide at that motel room was big headlines and plastered all over the newspapers and television news in several major cities. As it turned out, the agents I spoke with, who I thought were with the FBI, were actually with the CIA. Liam was a deep cover operative whose cover had been blown. In order to protect both of us from retaliation from those he was working against, our shootings had to be real for the local police, medics and media; only our deaths were faked by doctors brought in by the CIA.
We recovered from our wounds and after having plastic surgery to change our looks, we were given new identities. Call me crazy for forgiving the person who shot me, but what can I say; he shot me because he loved me. Who we are now and where we are going? — That’s a secret.
© 2016, Michele Hinton. All rights reserved.
The author has granted WritersCarnival.ca, its affiliates and syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.