She couldn’t believe it. She just couldn’t believe it. How she actually managed to work up the nerve to shoot Rain’s husband, she’d never know. It just seemed like the night Rain went on her last bike ride, it was either then or never. It was a huge risk she had taken and she knew she could have ended up in jail for the rest of her life, and in her late fifties she still had another thirty years of life left in her, and thirty years was a hell of a long time to spend behind bars. But thirty years was also a long time to spend alone, and she knew she didn’t want to pass up what might be her only opportunity, since Rain didn’t usually go out alone.
She used an old unregistered gun of her husband’s. It had been years since he had taught her how to shoot, and she wasn’t even sure she remembered how to fire the damn thing or if it even would fire because of its age. If she’d gone over there and the thing had jammed, then she certainly would have ended up in big trouble. That would have been attempted murder, after all. But her love for Rain was reason enough to take a chance and she had been her driving force. She didn’t know that Rain could ever feel the same for her, but now she at least had the opportunity to influence her feelings. Or try to anyway. She believed she at least felt close enough to her to live with her if she no longer had Troy. Julia would go slowly. She knew that proceeding slowly was important because Rain needed time to grieve for her loss. If she moved too fast and appeared too eager, that might end up driving her away.
The night of the shooting played itself over and over again in her mind. She’d simply gone across the street, knowing that someone might see her, and rang the doorbell. As soon as Troy came to the door, she’d fired. She’d held the gun kind of low and off to the side so that if it jammed, she could quickly shove it in the pocket of her housedress before Troy had the chance to see it and understand what she had tried to do. But the gun behaved accordingly as soon as she pulled the trigger, firing a round into his abdomen. He began to shout as he doubled over in pain and proceeded to bleed out.
Without ever saying a word to the guy, she quickly walked back over to her place, got into her car, and drove off to the Sacramento River where she dumped the weapon. Fortunately, she hadn’t gotten blood on her clothes, so there was no need to dump or burn those anywhere.
She hadn’t even taken the time to close the door after she shot Troy, mostly because she was hoping the cat would escape. She remembered Rain had mentioned not allowing it outdoors because she feared it would run away. She loved the idea of Rain ending up with her, but not her damn cat as well.
She was able to return home before Rain returned from her bike ride. Heart thumping wildly in her chest, she watched from the window to see Rain return just minutes after she did and put her bike in the garage. From her angle, Rain wasn’t able to see that the front door was open. The kitchen door was in the garage, so Rain would have to go into the house before she discovered her husband, which Julia could only hope to hell was too dead to not only foul up her plans with Rain but to identify her as well. There was, after all, always the slight chance he may survive.
She felt a bit guilty and bad for Rain, but more of her felt happy to have him out of the picture because she really believed they could have a happy relationship and that Rain would forget him in time. Not literally forget, of course, but she would at least get over the hurt and pain.
Julia would show her just what a wonderful partner she could be. She may not be the most attractive person in the world, but for her age, she wasn’t doing too bad and she knew it. Had she been younger, she wouldn’t dare to take such risks. But in a youth-obsessed society, Julia didn’t expect to meet anybody new in the future, and even if she could, they wouldn’t be Rain. Rain was the one she wanted and she was willing to make sacrifices for her.
Ending her life wasn’t an option because of her kids and grandkids. Rain would make the rest of her life a lot more bearable since her kids and their kids didn’t live with her. She also loved Rain in a way that she didn’t love her kids. She had no idea how she’d come to love her as fast and as much as she had, but she had and that was that. Why question love, her mother would say.
But the police would certainly question Troy’s murder and so she knew she had to play it cool and act natural when they came to question her, along with others in the neighborhood.
She hadn’t seen or heard anything, she told them, explaining that she’d had music playing rather loudly in the living room so she could hear it while she was baking in the kitchen.
Rain had been hysterical, crying and screaming. She could hear her all the way over at her place. She was quick to tell the officer at the door that Rain was welcome to come and stay with her, explaining that she had once been a patient of hers until they discovered she was moving in across from her, and that she didn’t know many people being fairly new to the area.
“Oh, you were her doctor?” the officer asked with a bit of surprise.
“Yes, and I’m in touch with her primary doctor, so I can let her know if there’s anything of concern if need be.”
The officer seemed satisfied and said he would have Rain gather anything she needed and then send her across the street.
Oh, the benefits of being a physician. So many people saw them as gods.
Rain contacted Troy’s estranged family and then she had basically cried the night away, Julia doing all she could to comfort her and assuage her guilt at the same time by telling herself they were both better off in the long run.
The doctor expected Rain’s emotional state to remain desperately depressed and withdrawn which would have been an advantage to her because it might have made it much easier for her to win her over and convince her to stay with her indefinitely. Instead, Rain’s sorrow soon turned to anger and determination. She was going to get a job outside of the home so that she could support herself.
“You’re welcome to get a job, of course, but you don’t need to be all alone and support yourself. I’ve got plenty of money.”
“And I appreciate you taking care of me until I can get on my feet, but it’s just a matter of independence, I guess you could say. If I at least have the money, then I know I have other options. All I need is a part-time job. My online proofreading job can supplement it just fine. But this way I’m not locked into anything and you’re not stuck with me if you change your mind later on and get sick of me.”
She knew that what Rain really meant was that this way she could escape her if she decided she was too boring to be worth living with. Or perhaps just not attractive enough.
“I’ll never get sick of you, honey.”
It was then that she remembered that Rain spent a week on Prozac which had been a total nightmare for her. Three or four days after beginning the medication, she was plagued with thoughts of dying and had to stop taking it.
What if…? she began to wonder. What if Rain suddenly became more depressed? Wouldn’t she then be more likely to turn to her? The more she thought about it, the more the idea appealed to her. As long as she was careful to make sure Rain didn’t do anything stupid the plan might just work. She just had to figure out how to get ahold of the drug, but that should be simple enough.
Rain emerged from the shower clad in a sleeveless pale pink satin nightgown that barely reached her thighs. Julia could see hints of her lacy panties beneath.
“Well, hello gorgeous. Would you like to watch a movie with me now?”
Rain shrugged. “Whatever.”
Julia saw Rain glance at the chair across from the couch as if she wanted to sit there instead of on the couch with her, but Julia had a lot of stuff sitting on it that she planned to take to a friend the next day. “Come on,” she said patting the couch beside her. “I don’t bite.”
After a split second of hesitation, Rain took a seat next to the doctor. Julia threw an arm around her and squeezed her tight. “You’re going to be okay, girl. You just hang in there. Now, just what would my fine lady like to watch?”