She listened to the music and lit the candles while waiting for him to come home. She always felt a tingle of anticipation and looked forward to dinner together. She loved to pamper him and take care of his tired body when he came back exhausted and aching from the hard labour he did.
She cooked his favourite meals, ran his bath so he smelled good, that when she kissed him, he would smell like juniper berries in springtime.
He told her work would increase as summer approached, and he would have to work till the sun set and she trusted and believed him. She was proud that he worked so hard for their future together.
But all that changed one day in July. She did not know which hurt more; the lies or that he still said he loved her. She felt he destroyed any glimmer of hope she had for the life she imagined.
She did not mean to pry but she had used his computer one day and saw the romantic messages to a woman. She thought he only kept those words for her. She foolishly thought she was the only one he called sweetheart, apparently he called another woman that too.
He denied everything when she confronted him, no remorse or guilt; he pretended it was all a mistake, that someone must have been using his work email. She was even more livid now that he thought her so gullible and naïve. He thought she was vulnerable as always to his charms.
She dreamed of poisoning him with food laced with arsenic. But poison could be detected and traced back to her so she dismissed it grudgingly. She was patient; she would come up with the best plan.
He knew she hated dealing with the car but she had always held a little of herself back from him, a little something he never knew about her, but discovered suddenly out of the blue – it intrigued and amused him – discovering these little things about her.
Like the fact that she once danced in a hip hop class and that she knew how to slaughter a chicken with a single slice of the knife.
Like the fact she never told him that her father had taught her about the workings under a car’s hood and so she was no stranger to it just did not like to get her hands dirty.
She made his favourite breakfast that morning, kissed him a little longer, fussed a little more before she followed him out the door to his car. He never suspected anything amiss, thinking she had forgiven him.
So when she saw him struggling with the car brakes that August morning just as the sun was just a glimmer in the clouds, it was no surprise to her for she had sent him off to work at the time she needed him to go, just as the car started rolling down the hill it was parked on, down the slope towards the intersection and she knew when the lights would change and that the garbage truck always came by precisely at that moment the lights changed. No one would guess it was her and blame it all on the brakes that failed.
She stood on the street and waved him off and people heard her screams as he was rolled mercilessly by the huge truck carrying tonnes of garbage, everyone saw her hysterical watching her lover flattened beyond recognition, everyone heard her wails and screams.
But no one saw her tears, yet no one suspected her, for she wasn’t faking it, she explained her rare condition- a condition known as Sjögren’s syndrome – a state of “tearlessness”. And the jury listened with silent anguish for the poor woman who lost her lover so tragically.
That night she was home, alone again and she wondered why she had ever wanted not to be alone. She always loved the sharpness solitude gave her. And she claimed it with euphoria.
She laughed till she cried as she cut up his clothes and made them into rags, rags that she would use to clean her entire house of his scent and fingerprints, off the windshield of her mind. And suddenly she was cured; she finally cried real tears that wouldn’t stop!
trust your heart if the seas catch fire – e.e. cummings
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