To whomever finds this note,
I guess I always knew, somewhere in the dark, cobwebby corners of my mind, it was going to come down to this. I just didn’t think it would happen here. I expected to see a shadow materialize in my peripheral vision as I was walking to my car or to hear footsteps behind me, following me home after the bar late one night.
I guess I thought the hospital would be a safe zone. Maybe because of all of the innocent people wandering the halls, I don’t know, but goddamn…it sounds like he’s killing everyone.
As soon as I heard the shots, I knew it was Ollie. No doubt in my mind. I didn’t even bother to peek out the door and make sure, I just flipped the lock and shoved my bookcase across the frame. It won’t stop him, but maybe it’ll slow him down just long enough for me to finish this.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that the whole situation with his wife Megan was a tragedy, but sometimes these things happen. Things get left behind. I don’t know where the sponge was hiding, tucked neatly under some organ no doubt. If any one of my damned assistants had bothered to count them like they’re supposed to I’d have never closed her up and her death could have been prevented.
The whole lawsuit, too. I could have told Ollie he wouldn’t win, and I’m sure his lawyer did too. I’m an established surgeon with a sterling reputation, and was backed by St. Thomas’ entire team of law dogs; what could a public school teacher hope to do? The best he could afford was some shyster from across the tracks. They never stood a chance, but I guess it’s the thought that counts, right? Every now and then during the trial I would catch him staring at me, his eyes alight with pure, unbridled hatred. I could almost feel the bullet grinding its way through my forehead, or the sharp edge of a knife kiss my throat. The jury deliberated for the better part of two days, and when they finally trooped back into the court room and delivered a verdict of not guilty, I saw every bone in Ollie’s body turn to rubber. He slid from his chair to the floor and had to be carried, sobbing, from the room. Before the doors swung shut he shot me a look that I’m surprised didn’t kill me on the spot.
I heard afterwards that he’d depleted all of his savings and was in danger of losing his house, probably his car too. I did a little checking and found that he’d used up all of his sick and vacation days, and the school had let him go.
When I heard that, I knew he was going to come for me. I mentioned my worry to a cop buddy of mine but he thought the idea was a little too farfetched, a little too Hollywood for real life.
Haha, well, is it too Hollywood now, Rick?
Ollie was always quiet during the meetings, letting Megan do most of the talking. I could tell he was uncomfortable, anxious. I could tell that he loved her.
The surgery was routine, the same little game of I’ve-got-your-appendix I’ve played a few times a month for the last sixteen years, and I told them there was nothing to worry about. I also tried to make sure that they understood that every time you go under the knife there are certain risks. Megan didn’t seem overly concerned, but looking back on that first visit I’m certain there was a sickly look in Ollie’s eyes; I think even then something deep down was warning him of coming disaster. He asked to go to another doctor for a second opinion, but Megan refused. She said she was comfortable with me, that I made her feel like the whole thing would be a piece of cake. Ollie deferred to her judgment, but he was always by her side, keeping a wary eye aimed my way.
The gunshots are closer now. So are the screams. I never thought he’d come into an operating hospital, guns blazing. I thought he’d care about the innocents, but I guess innocence depends on whose eyes you’re looking through. Jesus-God, the screams.
He’ll be at my door soon, and through it a few seconds later. I know there is no hope for me, no way the police will arrive in time to stop him. If only that part could be a little more Hollywood (haha).
If you’re reading this then I am dead. I’d like to say my ex-wife will cry when she hears the news but probably not. She might even write him a thank you note.
It’s a special thing to love someone as much as he loved Megan.
Maybe I should have counted the sponges myself. Maybe the big shot surgeon got lazy with all those helping hands and forgot his duty to the patient. Maybe I am responsible for the disintegration of everything good in Ollie’s life, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll even go unlock the door.
Dr. Walter Edie