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The Truth about Ruth

Updated: Jan 17

David Alan Binder
David Alan Binder

The Truth about Ruth

BY: David Alan Binder


Short Story

This is not an easy story to tell. There is not one shred of evidence to be found one way or another, no witnesses, no real crime scene since it was not a crime. Well, at least it was not a crime that could ever be proven beyond the shadow of doubt.

It is those shadows that follow me and haunt me and keep me awake at night. Why won’t anyone believe me? How can people, even my friends and family, the people who know me most and best ever think that? Let alone the authorities whom I had to try to convince all those years ago.

Oh, God, I was so sick of this and yet you will not believe how many times I’ve heard this question and I cringe.

"What happened to Ruth?," my friend asked me when I was visiting and we’d made plans to meet and talk. It had to happen. No one will leave that subject alone, let alone not mention it, they have to find out and they have to hear it themselves. Evidently just hearing it from someone else does not count, nor reading about it in the papers those years ago did not count. They had to, MUST need to hear it for themselves.

Oh no, I thought. I have to tell this story again. I have to drag myself and my emotions through this hurt, this drama, this terrible, horrible nightmare that was not a nightmare but in fact was so very real.

What could I tell him? The truth? Would he even believe it or would he think that I killed her? Just like the police when I told them, they seemed to not believe a word I said and kept asking me why I did it, when in fact I did NOT and COULD NOT ever do that. How could they think that I would even do THAT. I loved her so much and so deeply.

So what could I have done to convince the police, my friends, my family and the reporters? Should I have searched until I found her body so that they could see there was no evidence of foul play? But who was to say whether it was a staged "accident" or a real one. Sure I could have pushed her and there would be no marks or evidence. It all sounded so surreal and frankly it could be made up and total fiction but it was not. I am getting ahead of myself. Just so my friend and all of you reading this know for a fact what really happened. I decided that the best course of action was the only course of action. It is my story and that is what counts the most.

It was the truth so I decided to tell the truth and put myself at his mercy and let him be the judge. Just the same as I had when I told the police, reporters, friends and my family.

Then I found myself retelling the same story that I had told everyone that asked so many times before that I felt like a broken record stuck in the same groove. It was the same story I had retold so many times that I told it with no emotion, no tears, no remorse.

That should not happen. It should never happen to tell it without emotion or tears or remorse. It needs to be said with all the feelings and emotion from the depths of my heart. It took all the humanity out of it. It made it seem like I didn't feel or care about it and I unequivocally did care and still deeply care. The hapless story unfolded out of my mouth, a drama in monotone.

After starting and going through the whole story for the umpteenth time. The same story I had told the police over and over until I was sick of reliving it and retelling it. I droned along and; then towards the end I heard myself saying:

...after being lost in the mountains for hours and hours Ruth and I trudged wearily and warily along the path across the face of the cliff which was narrow and treacherous. Far below us churned the mountain rapids as if heated to the boiling point and frothing out of control between the jagged rocks. Suddenly Ruth slipped and fell screaming into the abyss. She went out of sight almost immediately and I knew she was dead. No way could she have survived that long cold plunge. I was stunned but seethed with an inner rage that this was all so senseless and quite possibly just as useless. It happened so fast, one minute she was there, so vital and alive, the next she was gone. She was gone! My Ruth was gone. There was nothing I could do except feel guilt and shame.

What could I have done differently that would change the outcome of this tragedy? I didn't, I couldn't have lifted a hand to save her. The scene would replay in my mind over and over, yet, nothing would change. It would follow me the rest of my life. SHE WAS GONE! The love of my life. Ruth, my Ruth.

After what could have been a moment but seemed an eternity in which the roaring river could not drown out the scream in my ears and with the weight of the loss bearing down on me heavily I turned and pressed on Ruthlessly.


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