What can YOU say in six sentences?
One day Chloe woke at her usual time, showered, dressed, read the morning paper, checked her e-mail, and stirred three heaping tablespoons of rat poison into her morning cup of coffee.
It was a departure from her usual routine and created quite a stir in Abbotsville, where Chloe was known as the most solid of solid citizens.
Five times a week for the past 25 years she’d worked the lunch and dinner shift at Ralph’s diner, serving the same greasy hamburgers and early bird specials to the same array of horny teens, lonely singles, and elderly couples who’d long since run out of conversation; cashed her check between 2 and 3 pm every Friday, when business was slow; took her wash to the corner laundromat every Saturday morning; sat alone on a near-empty pew in her neighborhood church, lulled half unconscious by the droning of the minister and the droning of the choir – the sounds had become all but indistinguishable to her ears.
Chloe’s simple, well-ordered life was disrupted by no unsettling drama, no chaotic upheavals, no unhappy romance, no stressful family relations . . . no relations of any kind, in fact, nothing at all to explain her violent action. They searched through her spotless, spartan apartment for hours, looking for some clue to her state of mind – perhaps a neatly typed farewell note – but found nothing except for two words
scrawled across the bedroom mirror in flaming red lipstick, apparently bought the previous day just for this occasion.
Strange . . . but why Chloe chose to end her life that day remained an utter mystery to the gentle people of Abbotsville.