lay there quietly contemplating in bed next to his wife Mildred-
just as he had done so many times over the last twenty-six years.
six years," he muttered out loud almost without realizing it.
still half asleep turned to him questioningly.
was that Harry?" She murmured from her dream like state.
thinking where time has gone dear- that's all
where time has gone."
mused over the strange events at his office yesterday. He was a
journalist by trade, nothing glamorous, just a small time hack for
the quiet town of Suffolk New Hampshire- population 26,000. A smile
came to his lips, and he had to fight back the urge to chortle as
he remembered how an ordinary Friday had infolded in an extraordinary
had come in to visit him again and as was there routine they secretly
snuck off for a quiet intimate lunch together. They had first met
just three months earlier at a birthday party for one of his wife's
best friends, Marge. Sally had been the only thing memorable in
a night filled with dismal conversation, ill prepared appetizers
and an over consumption of cheap vodka .He had noticed Sally instantly.
Hell, which red blooded man wouldn't? She was in her mid twenties,
and her perfectly proportioned freckled face was deliciously framed
by a delightful crop of natural blonde hair. Her figure was lean
and athletic and she had worn a white sweater which snuggled her
shapely figure enticingly. She too had appeared bored and he watched
quietly fascinated as she ambled gracefully away from the chatter
of conversation and gossip into the kitchen. Gulping down the last
of the vodka in his glass, and deciding that perhaps cheap vodka
was not so unbearable after all, he took a deep breath and had followed
clumsily attempted to strike up a conversation under the ruse of
looking for ice. Surely she was going to see through this? As he
fumbled awkwardly at his wedding band and stared nervously from
his graying blue eyes she flashed him an encouraging smile. Her
reaction had the strangest of affects on him; it made him feel alive
again. Seemingly detecting the profound influence she was having
on him she introduced herself. Apparently she was the niece of Marge
and that she was visiting with her aunt over the summer, in an attempt
to rediscover her life's focus. She added that she had just gotten
out of a horrible old relationship under gruesome circumstances
and that she was finished with men. Her facial gestures seemed to
Harry to contradict the words he was hearing. She continued to speak
Harry tell me about you..." she had cooed.
he did, for the next forty-five minutes in fact, and she listened
intently to every word. He told of his mundane childhood, attending
the local College, getting his job at the newspaper and marrying
his first real girlfriend. As he spoke she actually seemed engrossed,
and made him feel interesting for the first time in his life. He
narrated to the enticing stranger how the first few years of married
life were blissful, but gradually routine and humdrum invaded, and
reduced his existence to nothing more than a series of boring routines.
She had nodded, knowingly and understandingly. He would have talked
for much longer if Mildred hadn't come in search for him. As the
door of the kitchen opened Harry turned around to see his wife's
stare attempting to analyze the situation. He watched as she had
shot a knowing glance towards Sally, then grabbed his hand and quickly
ushered him back into the sitting room and back to the dozen or
so dull couples. As Harry walked over to the makeshift bar and once
again replenished his drink he somehow strangely knew that things
would never be the same again.
the next few weeks Sally often came to Harry's office, and it always
ended up with long conversations over lunch
They had never
even kissed, yet somehow Harry felt that fate had decided to deal
him a much better hand, that Sally was in his destiny. Today, however,
had been startling different from the others, as this had been the
day that Sally made the suggestion. She proposed that Harry killed
his wife. He had remembered his first impulse; he had actually found
the idea exciting. But within a few minutes his proper Lutheran
upbringing cleansed his thoughts as in that proper Lutheran way
Sally seemed to sense his reservations; she reached out and clasped
his hand firmly in his, and stared Harry straight into his eyes.
her and I will marry you." She smiled. "It will be surprisingly
simple. Trust me you see I have devised the perfect plan."
here he was, and here Mildred was next to him. He ran over the words
that Sally had confidently had told him earlier. "The simple
plans are the best ones," she had whispered.
Harry looked at the clock, 7:00, and gradually climbed out of bed.
It was time. He glanced at Mildred half asleep next to him; this
is going to be easy, he thought to himself.
put on his black leather gloves, just as Sally had told him and
removed the small knife from the plastic bag that Sally had given
him yesterday. He returned to the bed and hesitated for a moment.
In his head he imagined how wonderful it would be to awaken each
morning next to Sally. Regaining his composure and motivation he
took the long thin blade and gingerly started to edge closer and
closer to Mildred.
Suddenly Mildred's eyes sprung open, and
there was a loud unexpected sound of gun fire and Harry recoiled
back with horror awash over his face. Then he fell to his knees
and finally collapsed onto the bedroom carpet. He desperately, but
hopelessly, attempted to hold back the gushing red blood with his
leather clad hands.
did you get a gun?" Harry uttered trying frantically not to
succumb to the desire of slipping into final unconsciousness.
my new lover," Mildred blurted. "She told me that she
would be mine forever if I killed you. She told me that she had
a plan, a simple plan. She told me that if I shot you in self defense
that I would get away with murder
She told me she loved me."
closed his eyelids for the very last time.