Entry 17: “No One Else”: Tuesday July 26- continued
The drive home seemed long. All I could think of was Mischa and what I learned from her stepfather. So, she had run away and he blamed it on the church. Quite obviously to me, she must have been pregnant and they made her feel ashamed about it. So she took off for parts unknown. Or did she? Mr. Martin never mentioned the letters Mrs. Shiflett talked about. Maybe those letters don’t even exist. Maybe John Martin wanted to believe Mischa had run away instead of face the truth. And the truth is, I don’t think she went anywhere. I think she died right here. Maybe she killed herself, I don’t know. But I have to find out. Her spirit is in an obvious state of unrest, and all the things that have happened lately are signs of it.
And what of the anklet? If the “MM” didn’t stand for Mischa Martin, then what did it stand for? If she isn’t trying to tell me something about it, why does it keep showing up? Is it someone who knows the truth? Is it the killer? And why has Mrs. Shiflett misled me about it? She had said she remembered giving it to Mischa. Had she really given it to her? No, I don’t think so. I think the old woman lied to me from the beginning. Or was it Mr. Martin who was lying?
I reached up and touched my cheek. It was sore where he had hit me. I almost winced. An odd, yet faint breeze came through the open car window and touched my face. For a moment, the pain seemed to subside.
Donna was up when I got home. She still wasn’t talking to me much. She glanced up at me when I came in and gave me a hard look. I leaned over to kiss her and she turned her head. I sighed and went into the kitchen to fix us a drink. I came back and set hers in front of her on the coffee table.
Finally she spoke. “How was your visit with Mr. Martin?” She stressed the ‘mister’ part.
“It was okay. He hit me, so we must have gotten along well,” I chuckled.
“What did he do, hit you with a tube of lipstick?”
“You should go look in the mirror.”
I got up and walked into the bathroom. Looking in the mirror, I was stunned by what I saw. Over the slight bruise where his fist had connected, there was lipstick. And not just a smudge either. The imprint of a pair of thin lips was very noticeable, as if someone with fresh lipstick had planted a big kiss on my cheek.
“What the hell?” I muttered, and then I remembered the breeze that had come through the car window on the way home. “Oh my God,” I mumbled. “Mischa.” Could that ‘breeze’ have been her? Did she kiss my cheek to make the pain go away or to thank me for trying to help? I must be losing it.
I turned around. Donna was in the doorway. “Who is she?” she asked.
I took the washrag and washed my face clean. “There’s no one but you, Donna.”
“Well that’s not my lipstick you’re washing off your face. So who’s the girl?”
“Baby, I don’t know how it got there. Really I don’t. There is no one else.”
I went to hug her, but she backed away. “Get away from me,” she replied. “Until you can tell me who she is, I have nothing to say to you.”
She turned on her heel and walked off. I couldn’t take it.
“Damn it Mischa!” I screamed, “There’s no one else!”
She turned back to me. “Who’s Mischa?”
“Shit,” I mumbled. My mind was dwelling so heavy on her I had blurted out her name. “She’s just a girl…” I started to explain.
“Just a girl?”
“Honey, it’s not like that. You don’t understand.”
“You’re right, I don’t understand. I have loved you with all my heart and soul. Haven’t I loved you enough?”
“Donna, please let’s not do this.”
“Damn it, Paul. I love you and you want to fool around with some girl?”
“I’m not fooling around. There is only you.”
“Mischa is dead,” I replied, not really thinking about what I was saying.
“I’m going to bed,” Donna said,disgusted. “We can talk about this tomorrow. You can sleep there.” She pointed to the couch. And then she went to our bedroom.
I felt like punching a hole in the wall. Instead, I cried. I was losing Donna over this whole mystery. Now as I sit on the couch pouring over all the events of the day, I wonder if things will ever be the same between my wife and I.
I hate this. Mischa is going to have to find someone else to haunt.
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“Resurrection Diaries” by Paul D Aronson.
Original text copyright 2007.
10th Anniversary Edition 2017. All Rights Reserved.