The irony of it was exactly the reason she chose that way to die. It would send him a message. It would punish him and hurt him the way he had hurt and punished her. She thought about the day of the accident. She'd called Tobias at work:
Tobias Beecher was going over some briefs on a case he was working on. A woman had fallen down on a slick hallway in her office, one that hadn't had the benefit of a "Caution: Wet Floor" sign. It should have been cut and dried, but the company was playing hardball and it put Tobias in a foul mood. He wiped his mouth, something he did when he was stressed. "Stingy bastards," he muttered.
The phone rang. He jumped, slightly startled and swore under his breath. "Howard and Matheson Law," he said tiredly into the phone, "Tobias Beecher speaking."
"Hey honey," Genevieve greeted brightly.
Tobias sighed. I asked her over and over again not to call me at work, he thought with irritation. He tried to remove his annoyance from his voice. "Hi Gen, what is it?"
"I just wanted to see what time you were coming home tonight," she replied. `I sent the kids to Grandmother's and I thought we could have a nice, romantic dinner."
"Gen, I'm pretty busy right now. I really don't know what time I'll be getting home, okay?" The annoyance was creeping out of his voice before he could stop it.
There was a pause. "You're in a mood," Genevieve commented slowly. Damn, he thought, I didn't mean to be cross with her. He started to apologize, "Gen, I."
"No, I know," she interrupted, starting to get angry herself. "You're really busy. Forgive me, Toby, for wanting to spend some quality time with my husband!" Tobias heard the phone click loudly in his ear as she slammed it down, then the dial tone.
He stared at it for a second before he hung up. "Shit! I'm sorry Gen," he said quietly into the empty office. He tried to get back to work, but he couldn't. Genevieve being mad at him was going to prey on his mind for the rest of the day.
"You know, I don't need this," he muttered, "I really don't need this right now. I need-I need." he reached into his bottom drawer and pulled out a bottle of scotch. "Here's to you, Gen," he whispered and took a swig.
Tobias spent another hour in his office "working" and finishing off his bottle of J.B. Finally, he gave up and decided to head home early to patch things up with his wife. He really did love her and he hated it when she was mad at him, as she so often was the past few months. The only way he could deal with her anger at being blown off, he thought, was with his senses carefully dulled by alcohol. It was also the only way he could deal with his creeping guilt at having blown her off. On the way, he stopped off at a liquor store and got another bottle. The clerk eyed him suspiciously after watching him emerge, two sheets to the wind already, from his car, but said nothing. It wasn't his place to judge.or scold.the customers for what they did outside his store. Tobias got back in the car, stumbling just the tiniest bit, and started to drive. He uncapped the bottle, not even bothering to wait until he got home to start in on it. The more swallows of scotch he took the more his problems seemed to disappear. They went to this far off place in his mind and seemed small and unimportant. And that was just the way he liked it.
He looked at the bottle and silently thanked it for being there for him when no one else was, then took another swig. Before he knew it, something hit the front hood of his car, causing a large thud. He looked into the poor dead face of a young girl with long red braids. From that moment on his life was changed forever.
And so was mine, Genevieve thought, Oh Toby. She turned on the ignition, the windows of the car were rolled up, the garage door closed. She closed her eyes and waited for the exhaust fumes to overtake her, for all of her pain to be over.
Another voice spoke up then, what she called her reasonable voice. She supposed it was her conscience, but that was something she couldn't listen to right now.
You have to listen, the voice said, forget about your pain. What about the pain of your children losing both of their parent's? Did you even think about them? You children are still babies. They need you. "I am thinking about them," Genevieve said aloud, "Mother and Daddy'll take care of them. Besides, I don't want them to watch me fall apart. That would do more damage to them than anything else would."
That's bull and you know it, the reasonable voice retorted, You're a coward, Genevieve, and what you're doing is wrong.
"Leave me alone," she sighed, "I know what I'm doing. And soon, Tobias will too."
She thought back to the letter she'd put in the mailbox just that morning.
"Dear Tobias," it read
"By the time you get this, I will be dead. Are you happy now, because you'll have two murders on your hands. You killed me Toby, just as sure as you ran down little Cathy Rockwell. Instead of coming to me, your wife, to help you share your pain, to help carry your burden, you let alcohol do that. Now look at you, an inmate in Oswald State Prison, right where you belong. Oh Toby, I loved you. I still do. I don't want you in prison. I want you hear with me and the kids. How could you do this? How could you leave us and do something so stupid? You didn't just destroy your life, and Cathy Rockwell's but mine and the kids too. Goodbye, Tobias. I'm sure we'll meet again.in hell.
Genevieve was starting to feel sleepy. She settled back and let the feeling wash over her. "Damn him," she whispered, "and damn me for still loving him. I can't live without him anymore." Two hours later, her kids found her dead in the car. Two days later, Tobias Beecher read his wife's note.