I couldn’t help but rush to the apartment, I even debated whether or not to take the stairs. But I’d rather not be sweaty for our reunion, so I settled for impatient foot tapping in the elevator to try and release some of my energy.
I went on a business trip, and worked hard to close the deal, so I could come back a day early to celebrate Johns birthday with him.
I twisted the ring on my finger while I waited for the elevator…4…5…6, our floor and the same number of years we’ve been married. I rushed to the apartment, and glanced at my watch, it was a quarter after one. I quietly opened the door and went to his office assuming that’s where he would be, but he wasn’t there so, I almost called his name, but I heard something. A moan? I could feel my heart speed up and my stomach drop. The door to our bedroom was slightly ajar and I peered in, not truly wanting to see what was happening. Part of me already knew the other half clutched my chest as my lungs stopped working, and my heart started aching.
I caught a glimpse of gold, heard a chime of laughter, and then he said her name, as if it were more precious than the gold of her hair.
“Belinda” John called out, and my knees turned to jelly. I forced myself into a silent walk, I bypassed the elevator for the stairs. With each step I descended, I thought of moments that had seemed innocent enough, but now where so painfully obvious signs, flags, warnings that something was wrong. With each step I grew angrier, how dare he cheat on me with that bimbo of an assistant. Belinda wasn’t even his assistant, she was mine! I cursed my stupidity as I drove to our project house.
I pulled to a jarring stop right in front of the large barn, we’ve been converting into a house. I had wanted a settlement, a place to raise our children, and this was the fruits of our labor; and now I just wanted to burn it into the ground. I kicked up rocks to release some of my anger and then stormed inside. I went straight for the small office, that was already built when we bought the place. In anger I kicked boxes, threw things and generally made a huge mess. I continued until I heard glass break. I carefully found the broken glass, and to my surprise, it was an old bottle of rat poison, left from the last owners. I could still see parts of the label, Warning: fatally toxic to humans and small animals.
An idea came to mind, and I carefully scooped up the rat poison and put it into a plastic bag I found on the floor. I cleaned up the office; packed it up and put it into the car. I made sure not to leave anything important in the barn. Then I found a shovel leaning against the wall of the barn, and started digging a hole. I dug into the early hours of the morning.
I checked into a motel using cash, and cleaned myself up. I called my assistant and told her I was catching an earlier flight home, and I invited her to dinner for some exciting news. I waited until I knew John would be gone, to go home. I grounded up the rat poison into fine powder and mixed it into the food, that I would serve at dinner. I called John and told him about dinner, he almost refused until I told him that Belinda was coming.
Dinner went smoothly, no one noticed a thing, I served them wine until they were too drunk to drive. They didn’t notice that I hadn’t eaten a bite, I convinced them that they had to have a look at the barn. I drove Belinda’s car and they silently passed. I could easily lift them, and I dropped them into the hole and covered it, I had found some road-kill on the way and put it six feet under, so if anyone did ever dig it up, they would find that first and stop digging. I took Belinda’s car to a scrap yard, it was a piece of junk anyway, I made sure to stay long enough to see it get crushed. I returned home, wrote a fake email, from John to me, explaining how he couldn’t bare to be with me anymore. Then I returned to the barn to finish up the deed.
I clicked my heels as I paced through the empty barn, following the lines drawn out in chalk on the hard cement floor. I liked the clacking sound that echoed through the room while I walked, I find it almost comforting. I paused at one particular outline the vague shape of our bed. John had laughed when I drew stick figures laying in it; close together clearly in love. I frowned and bent down, I couldn’t stand the look of it. I wiped away the heart shaped eyes of the man and picked up a stray piece of chalk. I slowly drew two X’s where the eyes should have been, just to sooth, the hurt and anger, I felt building in my chest. I stood and resumed pacing, carefully stepping over a stray piece of insulation; and bit’s of drywall.
I strode to the barn doors where I left the hose, already spitting water. I picked up the hose and aimed at the chalk lines. I let loose the water, the pressure strong and unforgiving. I smiled knowing that I was cool and unforgiving just like the water. I walked through the barn once more, letting the water erase our hopes, dreams, and future. I continued the process until all the chalk was gone and the cement was a blank slate. I returned the hose to its spot and closed the large barn doors, missing the sound of my clicking heels.
I walked to my car momentarily pausing to glance at the small mound of dirt protruding the ground near the tree. The wind rustled the leaves in the tree, I could smell rain and felt the first drop as it hit me in the face. It rolled down my cheek masquerading as a tear. Then without looking back I drove from the empty barn and my past life, because I would never go back for as long as I live.