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The alarm went off at 8:00 am and Tim drowsily reached over to hit the snooze button.

Ten minutes later, the buzzer sounded again. This time he sat up and silenced it. Looking over at Kate fondly, he thought of the previous night’s events. He shook his head. The whole thing was a mess. Some terrible mix up. He still felt sorry for the person whose body was laying in the morgue, and for their family. But the most overwhelming feeling was of relief. When he saw his wife standing in the hallway after the police had left, he almost wept with joy. And when she suggested that it was time for them both to sleep, he agreed eagerly, ready for the night to be over.

He ran his hand lightly over her blonde hair and she stirred, still asleep. With a loving smile on his face, he got up to take a shower. Even if it hadn’t been her in the accident last night, he needed to speak with the police and clear things up.

 As he finished pulling on his shoes, he leaned over and kissed Kate gently on the cheek. Looking at her closely, something seemed off. Something he couldn’t quite place. He shrugged it off as leftover emotional strain from the previous night. By the time he got in his car, the thought was completely gone from his mind.

“Good morning, Officer Wright. Officer Scott.,” Tim greeted them cheerfully.

“Morning, Mr. Schultz. You seem…well,” the older officer replied, seeming slightly concerned. The younger man looked at him steadily and Tim briefly noted that he still hadn’t heard him speak. “We’re sorry again about your wife, and appreciate you coming down here.”

“Thanks, officer, but the sympathy is unnecessary. There must have been some sort of crazy mix up. Kate is fine. She was home last night and I just left her, still in bed, this morning.”

The other two men exchanged glances.

“I’m sorry, sir, but that’s imposs-” Officer Scott started, in a deeper voice than Tim expected.

“Now, hold on, Scott,” Wright interrupted. “Tim, you’re sure about this? It’s a traumatic time, you’re sure you didn’t dream it? You didn’t do any drinking last night?”

“What? Of course I’m sure. Kate’s at home, and she’s fine. I didn’t dream her. She’s alive.”

“Well then, that’s great for you, and for her. But it leaves us with a bit of a mystery on our hands. If it’s not too much to ask, would you still be willing to have a look at the body? If she’s someone local, maybe you can still help up identify her.”

“Uh, sure. I guess I can do that. I am already here.”

“Thanks, son. It’ll only take a minute.” Wright led the way through a pair of stainless steel doors, followed by Tim and Officer Scott. Tim could feel the man’s eyes on the back of his head. “Alright, over here. We just need you to take a quick look at her face and let us know if you think you’ve ever seen her around here before.”

As he pulled the sheet back from her face, Tim felt bile rise up in his throat. He realized why something had felt off when he kissed his wife’s cheek as she lay in bed.

The mole. The one just under the corner of her right eye.

The one he always planted his kisses on.

The Kate laying here on the cold metal table in the basement of a hospital, the one with her forehead split open and normally sunkissed skin a pallid gray, had the mole. The Kate he had slept next to last night, the one he left this morning, didn’t.

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