The Medical Examiner washes his hands.
Detective Montoya approaches him slowly, gives his Lucky Strike a draw, and asks dryly, “What’s up… Doc?”
The forensic specialist finishes wiping his hands on a dirty towel as he walks towards one of the many metallic tables lined up in the morgue. The naked body of a young man lays draped on top of it, the neon lights in the room twinkle in flashes over his bluish skin. “It can be seen over here…” he begins, as he points at the chest of the body, “the cause of death.”
Montoya leans slightly and observes nothing more than a series of stitches covering the chest of the young man’s corpse. “Well, Doc, what does it mean?”
The Medical Examiner waits a few seconds until the silence makes the detective restless.
“He died for love.”
“Huh?” Detective Montoya finishes his cigarette and flicks it into the corner. “Do you mean that he was killed for some girl? Can you tell that from examining the body?”
“Of course not,” the Medical Examiner says, “that’s not what I mean.”
“Stop beating around the bush Doc!”
“Listen Montoya; when the body arrived the chest area was puffed up, like something inside the ribcage had expanded.”
Detective Montoya interrupts him impatiently: “What the hell does that mean? C’mon, you know I need to explain this in my report.”
“Well detective, when I opened up the chest I found that this young man’s heart had dramatically increased in size… At first I thought it was ventricular hypertrophy, but once I extracted and measured the heart I realized my diagnosis had been wrong.”
“What the fuck?” Detective Montoya takes an unlit cigarette and places it in his mouth. This simple ritual helps him to calm down. “What does that mean?”
“The answer is simple. It tells us that this young man loved too much, too quickly; which didn’t gave the heart time to cope.”
“You really expect me to write that down?”
“It’s your case detective. If you can find a better way of explaining what happened, go ahead.”
Detective Montoya leaves the morgue scratching his head; later on he scribbles down in his notebook the cause of death: Crime of Passion.
©2009 Santiago Casares