Friday, 14 April 2017

Fear of Flying

[Media prompt] Man’s body, seen tossed from plane, found on roof of Mexican hospital.
Fear of Flying

Gabriela, one of the nurses, rang Dr. Guzman to tell him a man had fallen from a plane onto the roof of the hospital. “Don’t be stupid, girl,” he told her. But she insisted so fervently that he dressed and came back to work, despite having promised his mistress the pleasure of his company all afternoon. Later he would have to thank Gabriela, for his wife was a crime scene investigator and she arrived at the hospital shortly after Dr. Guzman returned.

“I can’t believe it,” he said to his wife when she dropped by his office. “One of the groundsmen, Juan Carlos, said he saw the man fall from a plane.”

His wife nodded. “We’ve had people phoning in saying exactly the same thing.”

He and two hospital security men went with Mrs. Guzman to the rooftop. As they stood in the stifling heat, Dr. Guzman compared his mistress to his wife. His wife did not fare well. He cursed the broken half-naked man on his rooftop. And he cursed his wife, a woman with an income but nothing else that attracted him. Dr. Guzman went back to his office and rang his mistress. “It’s true,” he said, hoping she would not be angry with him. “And he’s half naked. The police thinks its drug related.” He was careful not to mention his wife.

Two days later, another person fell from a plane onto the roof.

“The odds are impossible,” he said to his wife when she arrived. “How many people drop out of the sky in the whole of Mexico?”

“You’d be surprised,” said his wife. “More than you think. But the real surprise is that two of them landed on this roof in one week.” She looked at her husband, wondering why a woman half his age would want to be his mistress. “If there’s another one, you’ll fall under our suspicion.” It was a joke, but she noticed that he didn’t laugh.

Over the following days, Dr. Guzman’s nerves were on edge. And on Monday, after fighting with his wife so badly over the weekend that she went to stay with a friend, he made plans to visit his mistress. She was the polar opposite of his wife; serene, loving, sexually adventurous, slender yet curvaceous. His ideal woman, in fact. So it was with some surprise that he found his wife waiting for him when he arrived at his mistress’s apartment.

Gabriela was first on the scene after Juan Carlos told her that two people had fallen from a plane onto the roof. At first, she could only see the body of a woman who, even though it was mangled from the fall, appeared to have been both young and beautiful. She tried calling Dr. Guzman again, but there was no answer. It wasn’t until Mrs. Guzman’s arrived that they found him. A crumpled heap behind the air-conditioning unit.

Mrs. Guzman crossed herself and wondered what the odds where of four people falling from a plane and landing on a hospital roof.

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