The hotel’s vacancy sign was a welcome sight. Alec and Sierra were beyond exhausted due to having traveled to his brother’s wedding. Before Sierra took the wheel for the next hundred miles of their journey, she needed sleep. Luckily for her, Alec was in an agreeable mood. The wedding had been great and they had not argued the whole weekend, which was a nice change because lately that is all they had been doing.
Sierra suspected Alec had been sneaking around, but did not have the proof she needed to make her case. Sierra’s female instinct was hardly ever wrong. Alec’s distant behavior and late nights at the office had her on edge. There was also his renewed obsession with keeping fit and the new Armani suits hanging in their closet at home which cemented Sierra’s belief that another woman was in the picture. Nonetheless until Sierra had concrete proof, she wasn’t going to say anything. Especially not with the weekend being such a success.
Alec’s constant rejection was not something Sierra hadn’t dealt with in the past. Rejection by men seemed to be a constant in her life and Sierra had the scars and at one time the strait jacket to prove it.
After checking into the somewhat seedy hotel and exchanging pleasantries with the twenty-something desk clerk, Sierra and Alec headed to their room. She quickly started peeling off her clothes after Alec insisted she shower first. After showering, Sierra brushed her teeth and opened the door to reenter the bedroom. She quickly closed it when she heard Alec on the phone. The conversation she overheard confirmed her biggest fear. Alec was engrossed in a very intimate conversation with someone named Tasha and from the way he spoke to her it was obvious that the two were more than just friends. Sierra’s mind started to whirr thinking back to all of the females in Alec’s office, but the name Tasha did not ring a bell. She was obviously someone who meant a whole lot to him, because it had been a long time since Alec had used such a gentle, loving tone with her. Having heard enough, Sierra exited the bathroom.
“Who’s Tasha, Alec”?
Sierra watched as Alec froze at the sound of her voice. This Tasha person was still rambling on the other line, completely oblivious to her lover being caught red handed.
“Answer me, Alec. Be a man for once and be honest. WHO IS TASHA?”
Alec ended the call and placed the phone in his pants pocket.
“Tasha is a woman I have been seeing for the past few months. “
“Months? So I was right all along you, lying bastard!”
The words that Alec spoke next completely shattered Sierra’s world. Alec met Tasha on a business trip and admitted that the relationship was more than just physical. He was falling for her and wanted out of the marriage. Sierra knew from Alec’s voice that the only thing left to do was to divorce. No counseling, no attempting to reconnect, the marriage was just over. There was no point in fighting the inevitable: Alec was done. In more ways than even he realized.
Once Alec was done ripping her heart to shreds, he went for the jugular by telling Sierra that he would be seeing a lawyer once they were back in the city, and he suggested she do the same. He then walked past her into the bathroom to take his shower.
While Alec was in the shower, Sierra got dressed, but not for bed. She threw on some sweats and a hoodie and went for a drive. While driving, Sierra thought back to her last serious relationship pre Alec: her college sweetheart. His lies and the heartbreak that followed resulted in Sierra attempting suicide and being institutionalized for a year. Men had always been Sierra’s kryptonite and when they ended things for one reason or another, it always sent her over the edge.
This time though the hurt was deeper because this was a marriage not a college romance. Alec had broken the covenant they had made in front of God and there was no way he was going to get away with it.
BACK AT THE HOTEL
Alec wondered where Sierra was. He figured she was somewhere crying her eyes out to her mom or best friend and just didn’t want him to see how his wanting a divorce was really affecting her. Alec wasn’t too worried though. Sierra was a big girl and knew that he’d financially take care of her until she got on her feet. All he wanted was his freedom and a chance at happiness with Tasha. He hoped that Sierra found someone else as well. He had no ill feelings toward her and genuinely wanted what was best for them both.
It was an hour until sunrise, and Alec did not hear Sierra when she walked in an hour later. He was so out of it, a hurricane could have been going on outside, and he would have been none the wiser. Sierra often wondered how someone could sleep so soundly, but decided that Alec’s deep sleep would serve her well for what she had planned. Sierra stared down at his handsome face and caressed the knife she carried in her purse for protection. Some women carried mace, some had cute little handguns, but her weapon of choice had always been a knife. It had come in handy on several occasions. If anyone ever wondered about the scars on Sierra’s arms and legs, it was because of her beloved knife. Whether it was a bad grade, a fight with a friend, or a breakup, the knife always came in handy to ease the pain. Yes this knife had served her well and it would again tonight.
THE NEXT MORNING
The shift had just started for housekeeping manager Juan Morales and so far it had been uneventful. The hotel did not have a lot of guests so there weren’t a lot of rooms to clean, but at the end of the hallway was the room of the attractive young couple that the desk clerk said checked in late the night before. The Do Not Disturb sign was on the door but the guests were about to be disturbed. It was almost check out time and they were still asleep.
Juan knocked loudly once he arrived at the door. He heard nothing inside but dead silence. He knocked again and then decided to walk away. Maniacal laughter from the other side of the door stopped him. Juan used his key to the room and once he got inside he almost threw up his breakfast. On the bed was a woman with a bloodied hoodie and sweat pants on stabbing the obviously dead body of a man lying in the bed.
In the years Juan had worked at the hotel he had seen his share of grisly scenes, but this one ranked as the worst. Whatever this guy did to deserve this was anyone’s guess so Juan just stood in the doorway until Sierra grew tired, transfixed by the sight of yet another body in need of disposing of and the laughing woman whose blood splattered face was also streaked with tears.
Yolanda Lewis is a writer living in Atlanta GA and a student at the Gotham Writers Workshop in NYC. She aspires to create content for television and film and is happy to be living in the city now being referred to as the Hollywood of the South. Visit her pop culture blog www.thelewiseffect.blogspot.com and feel free to follow her on Facebook (Yolanda Lewis) and Twitter @thelewiseffect.