Jason Lawrence Bell
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07-28-20 Evolving


Stanley slowly walks back to his cubicle trying not to give anyone a hint of the raging turmoil that is consuming his mind. He needs to reach the stability of his desk chair to hold him steady. His legs collapse as he lands in the seat. He grabs the arms of the chair and strains his body rigidly to feel solid. He lets out a deep breath and faces forward. He hopes no one notices his desperate actions. If he stares at the computer screen and focuses, possibly his mind will move away from the images of horror that rotate constantly in his mind.

Those images. They seem burned into his brain with vivid colors of blood and half-open eyes. Stanley tries to calm his heart beat. He can feel the beating like drums in his head. Loud and fast. He takes slow deep breaths and feels the pounding weakening. After about 5 minutes of breathing, he is relaxed enough to let his eyes scan the room. He glances two cubicles up at the empty chair where Sharon normally sits. Oh shit, the images return in force. Stanley holds tighter to his chair. Focus, focus, calm yourself, calm.

Stanley just left a meeting in the conference room where he was interviewed by Detective Michaels. Detective Michael is investigating the missing person Sharon Walker. Sharon is an employee who suspiciously disappeared last weekend. Her apartment is undisturbed and her close friends and family are worried. Detective Michaels is interviewing Sharon’s fellow employees. Somehow Stanley holds himself together during the interview and Detective Michael doesn’t seem interested in him.

Stanley finally calms himself down and is silently making deals with God. ‘It was one moment of madness. Something I will never repeat again. Please God, you know I’m a good person. A good person who made one terrible mistake. Please forgive me and let me stay free and do good deeds to atone. You will see this sad mistake will make me a much better person.’

Then Stanley’s mind slips back to his dilemma. ‘No body, no crime. Stay normal, act sad, don’t talk too much.’ Stanley goes thru the events of the night to make certain he doesn’t make any critical errors that expose him. He recalls running into Sharon in the parking lot of a Walmart. As they talk near Stanley’s car, a rain storm begins and they quickly jump into Stanley’s car to stay dry. The rain starts pouring and they can barely see anything out the windows. Stanley’s always thought of Sharon as attractive and decides to make a move. He leans over to her kiss her. This startles Sharon and she pushes him back. She looks at him as if repulsed. At first Stanley attempts to apologize, but after he sees her repulsion, anger and rage explodes inside of him. The next thing Stanley recalls is Sharon’s lifeless body laying across the passage seat.

As the rain covers his car, Stanley begins to panic. Then he remembers the cave. On his father’s childhood farm, he knows of the location of an old deserted cave from his youth. The cave is the answer. He drives his car thru the rain with Sharon’s body to the cave. Stanley keeps repeating over and over, ‘no body, no crime; no body no crime.’

Now it’s been a month since Sharon’s disappearance. Stanley is thinking ‘God accepted my deal. I will live up to my end of the bargain.’ Stanley signs up to work at a soup kitchen and volunteers to mentor foster kids. This lasts about a month. Then he stops showing up, telling himself he is just too busy. After all, there is a new employee in the back row. She is gorgeous and Stanley wants her. He wants her so bad, that he doesn’t care if she wants him back. He knows he can take what he wants. Stanley has evolved. Peace***