Wilson almost fell off his chair. He had a friend request from 'her.'
Did she know? Did she know that he had been stalking her on Facebook? Does Facebook suggest you as a friend when you stalk someone??
Wilson knew so little about Facebook. He had no photos up on his profile because he didn't know how to upload them, and he never tried to figure it out because the only reason he was on Facebook was so that he can stalk Jesse. But all she had set to 'public' on her profile were the 5 profile pictures, all portraits of herself, with no sign of her husband in them.
Wilson hovered over the 'accept friend request' button for a moment before accepting the request. Now he could see her entire wall. All her statuses. All her sad, depressed statuses.
What he felt was a mixture of emotions. A tinge of sadness that was being quickly overwhelmed by a sense of excitement. Her marriage seemed to be on the rocks. There were vague statuses about how she felt lonely and about trust issues. And not even a single mention of her husband in any of them. Wilson suddenly wanted to get back with her. Screw her marriage, he thought. He and her were always meant to be together. But he forced himself back to reality. Sure, he and Jesse were in a relationship for more than 5 years. Sure, they were going to get married, but they broke up a year ago. She wanted to honor her parents' wishes and marry someone they found for her who they thought was more 'suitable' to be her husband. And 6 months ago, Wilson himself was forced by his family to get married.
Wilson, who had never been on Facebook, signed up just so that he can stalk Jesse. At first, there were only 2 public profile pictures, and the 3 others showed up at random intervals. He had always logged into his Facebook account in his office so that his wife wont catch him looking at Jesse, but she eventually found out about it.
After he married Sandy in an arranged marriage, he found it difficult to consummate their marriage. Whenever they attempted to do it, he would feel disconnected, unable to perform. He felt this was because he had always imagined it would be with Jesse that he would be sharing this intimate experience with. Jesse wanted to wait till they had gotten married before they had any form of physical intimacy. She was even part of an online purity ring movement. She had vowed not to have sex till she was married, and even ordered one of their rings online and wore it.
At first, Wilson was horrified at his inability to perform, but Sandy seemed surprisingly understanding, assuring him it was just the nerves. Wilson began to struggle with his emotions, and then his close friend suggested him a solution: "Imagine its Jesse you are making love to."
Wilson was skeptical about this advice, but that night, it worked.
A few weeks later, in the middle of their love-making, Wilson called Sandy 'Jesse.' What followed were a few days of unrelentless questioning about who 'Jesse' was. Finally, to put to rest the suspicions that he was having an affair, he told her the truth. He told her about his relationship with Jesse. He also told her about how his friend had suggested the brilliant idea of imagining she was Jesse.
"I wanted to sleep with my chemistry professor when I was in college," Sandy interrupted.
A few moments of awkward silence followed. Was this a test? Was he supposed to say something?
"I want you to role-play him, and I will be your Jesse," she quipped.
Wilson had slowly fallen in love with Sandy. A week ago, he realized he was no longer imagining her to be Jesse while having sex, but he didn't admit this to Sandy yet. Not even when Sandy joined a dancing class because he had told her how Jesse was a dancer. At night, she would come into their room dressed the way Jesse was in her public profile pictures. Yes, Wilson had shown her Jesse's Facebook pictures. Its like she completely understood him and never judged him no matter what. And Wilson realized that he was not prepared to give this up, not even for Jesse. Wilson stopped scrolling through her statuses and closed the browser.
The next day, Wilson couldn't resist and checked her Facebook wall again. She had not replied to his message, but had put up more statuses on how depressed she was, how her trust had been broken. Wilson felt a tinge of guilt. Was she talking about him now? She knew that now he could read her statuses. Were these for him? May be she had expected him to fight for her harder after the breakup. May be he gave up too easily.
"Hi, how are you?" he messaged her.
He checked it in the evening before he left his office. There was still no reply. He downloaded the app to his phone so that he can be notified in case she replies to him.
Luckily, Sandy had taken his mind off her when she turned up that night in her dancing class attire with a huge gold plated designer necklace on. He remembered showing her one of Jesse's photos that was taken right after she had taken part in a dance competition, and Sandy had gotten the look pretty much spot on.
"Do you like it?" she said, seductively. Wilson realized he was grinning like a kid.
By the next day, there was still no reply from Jesse, and there was no activity on her wall. Then at noon, she posted the following:
"I have had my trust broken too many times. Its time to end it. To end it all."
Wilson was alarmed by this. What does she mean to end it all? Her marriage? Her life?? He knew Jesse suffered from depression. He quickly sent her another message, "Jesse, is everything alright?" No answer.
An hour later, there was a like and few comments on the status, but no response from her so far.
Wilson finally remembered that he had the number of one of her friends. He called her up and asked her about Jesse only to be said,
"Wilson... she's... she's gone."
"What do you mean she's gone?"
"She's dead," she said.
It took Wilson about 30 minutes to grab hold of a friend who knew Jesse's present address and get there. Just like the girl on the phone had said, there were cops in the house. Wilson walked inside the gate only to be stopped by a cop at the door.
"I was.. am her friend," Wilson said. A guy who stood inside, turned to look at him, jumped at him and punched him right across his face. Wilson stumbled down, dazed. The cop grabbed and held the guy back, but he kept shouting,
"Its him! I know it was him!! He loved her, but she married me! This is his revenge!!"
Another cop walked to Wilson and helped him up saying,
"Come in, I have some questions for you."
Wilson was too confused to say anything and just followed him. What happened here??
He walked with the cop into the living room and saw Jesse's lifeless body on the floor. He felt a lump in his throat.
"Sir, this could just be a burglary gone wrong," one of the cops said.
"And the neighbor told us she heard her shout 'thief' a few times. She said she heard it about 10 minutes before she came over and found the body," another cop added.
The cop who accompanied Wilson to the living room, knelt down beside the body and took a closer look at her. Another cop was checking out her laptop on the table nearby. He opened a folder with pictures in them, and he began to scroll through them one by one.
"I dont think this was just a burglary gone wrong. If it was, she might have been stabbed, or say hit with something to incapacitate her so they may get away, but this..... " he pointed his finger around Jesse's bruised neck, "this is personal. Someone wanted to kill her. He took the time to squeeze her neck till she died. We are talking about a crime of passion here."
"It was a burglary!!" the husband said storming into the room.
Everybody turned to look at him.
"Things have been going missing from our house for the last couple of months. Jesse knew it was somebody she was close to. I had been on a business trip for the last 4 days, but yesterday she told me over the phone that she finally found out who the thief was."
"And...? Who was it?" the cop said.
"I dont know, she didn't tell me," the husband said, with a tinge of disappointment in his voice.
Wilson's eyes caught something in the photos on the laptop that the cop kept scrolling through. The pictures were of Jesse along with her friends from her dance classes. And what caught Wilson's eyes were the recent selfies taken by Jesse with her arm around Sandy.