Suicide by Death

Suicide by Death by Mark Anthony Waters

“I suppose you heard about Troy.”

The conversation went silent for a moment.

“Yes, I did. Why didn’t you go to the funeral?”

“Just couldn’t. It was me who found the body.”

Clair said nothing and stayed with him. She could hear in his voice he was getting a little shaky.

“I went to his house to pick him up as usual. He was going to get his ninety-day chip for staying clean. Clair, it was the most horrible thing I’d ever seen. When I saw him, I couldn’t breathe. He didn’t fool around either. I don’t know what kind of bullet he used, but it blew half of his head off! It took two days to clean up his bedroom. The coroner said he’d been dead somewhere between twenty-four and thirty-six hours.”

With the phone in one hand, he rested his cheek on the other and sobbed. “I still can’t get the smell out of my mind.”

“That’s terrible, Hunter. I never knew it was you who found him.”

Clair heard the rustling of tissue paper and his sniffles. “The family wanted me to help with the arrangements and the funeral director suggested a closed casket service was in order because there was too much damage to make Troy presentable.”

Clair could hear in Hunter’s voice the pain and sorrow he was experiencing. “He was one of my best friends.”

His sobbing continued. “I wish he would have said something. I could have helped him.”

“Hunter, sweetie, there was nothing you could do.”

“You’re right.”

His sadness turned to a hint of anger. “But don’t they realize what they do to us?”

Clair replied, “It’s more complicated than that.”

He talked for several more minutes, and she continued to listen. For once in her lifetime, got a firsthand account of the aftermath that goes along with a suicide the victim will never see or hear.

Hunter was gasping for words. “I liked him a lot.”

“Me too. You okay?”

Still sniffling, but more calm, replied, “No, I’m not.”

“Time will heal.”

“Does it?”

Clair stayed on the phone with Hunter, giving him much needed comfort. He regained control of himself long enough to finish their talk.

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