Four nights ago, my life changed forever. It was hot and it had been a long day of running errands, laundering clothes, and refereeing children. I was exhausted and he was there, as usual, to relieve the stress. It was quiet because everyone was in bed–the children, the dog, the cat, and the husband. It was me, him, and a cup of coffee and it should’ve been perfect. It wasn’t. We’d been fighting for weeks, maybe even months. I oscillated between two states of mind where he was concerned: hatred and obsession. I didn’t know what to do. He did.
“You have to choose. It’s either them…or me.” I inhaled sharply and choked back a gasp. Surely he wasn’t serious. I looked at him incredulously, waiting for the punchline. His burning gaze told me it was not a joke. The ultimatum hung in the air between us like a foul stench.
This was it. I’d known him for 16 years and he’d finally had enough of my fickleness and selfishness. He wanted me all to himself or not at all. The choice was mine.
But how could I choose? I’d known him for as long as I’d known my husband. In fact, my husband introduced us. It started off innocently enough. He was cool and mysterious. He piqued my curiosity. He had a certain way about him, an aloofness and lack of concern that said, “I’m bad and I don’t give a crap.” It was very appealing, especially to a 16-year-old girl. So we started hanging out. Secretly. We’d go behind buildings on the school grounds and I’d brush my softly puckered lips against him in quick, timid kisses, excited and scared of being found out.
As time went on, we got reckless. We went out in public together and didn’t care who knew about our relationship. My parents met us on a crowded street and were shocked. They didn’t approve of him, which only made him more appealing to me. Eventually, we dropped all pretense and revealed our relationship to the world. It was a rebellious and exciting time.
As our relationship developed so did the relationship between me and my future husband. It was an easy relationship for the three of us. Like I said, my husband introduced us in the first place. We were all very close, like three peas in a pod.
Eventually, my future husband asked me to marry him and I agreed. We married, and had a child within a year. He was with us through it all. By the time the second child came along, the relationship was beginning to suffer. I was questioning the wisdom of having the ever intrusive, albeit necessary, third wheel constantly hanging around. It was an unhealthy relationship, one of co-dependence and abuse.
I suggested it would be best if we parted ways. He wouldn’t hear of it. He pleaded with me, reminding me of all the things we’d been through together. How he’d helped me with the stress, the boredom, the disappointments. I relented. But with the birth of each new child, I became more aware of the dangers he posed to our family. He was poison, in the guise of a friend. I tried to push him away but he always convinced me to let him stay. I was powerless to resist him, yet never stopped trying. Now he wanted an answer, once and for all. What would I choose? Him? Or my family?
I needed help, but didn’t know where to turn. I couldn’t go to my husband. He had no idea how serious our relationship had become. I’m sure he suspected something when the time we spent together during the day would extend well into the night while he was sleeping. He had never said anything beyond, “Wasn’t he just here on Monday? It’s Thursday, why do we need him back so soon?” I would just shrug my shoulders. Remarkably, I got away with that. There is none so blind as those who will not see.
I thought about my children. They deserved better than a mom who completely disregarded what was best for them and the entire family. They deserved a mom who wasn’t so selfish.
I thought about him. A lot. I knew he had to go but I couldn’t bring myself to tell him. I got depressed, sad, and nervous. I couldn’t sleep. He invaded my dreams. When sweet exhaustion would overtake me, I couldn’t stop the vision of him coming toward me, beckoning me with his heavenly scent. Just as I reached out to him to take him into my loving embrace, I jolted awake, overcome by fear and trembling. It had to stop.
He issued the ultimatum, and now he would suffer the consequences. The decision was made and I had an ultimatum of my own. If I couldn’t have him, no one would. I waited until everyone was asleep and he had taken his usual place in the living room. I sneaked up behind him and watched him for a moment. He was so smug sitting there, so sure he would be my choice, and I felt nothing but contempt for him. I grabbed him, snubbed him out, cut him into tiny pieces, and buried him in a shallow, unmarked grave. And I never looked back.
As is the case with most psychopathic killers, I couldn’t resist taking pictures of my evil deeds. The SOB had it coming and I think I’d like a scrapbook of his suffering. Oh, how I still love him, though.
Happy Friday the 13th!
This was an entry for Fiction Friday via The Domestic Fringe