I'd given him eight years of my life, had been a good wife to him. I did all of the household chores, kept our home spotless, our lawn immaculate, tended to his every need. We'd had a great marriage. Lots of wonderful memories together. We'd traveled a good deal of the country, enjoyed our lives, and genuinely loved each other. Though we were unable to have children, Dom and I had started the adoption process, attending classes and interviews, excited for the opportunity to begin our own family.
Then he announced one day that he was leaving. He never gave a reason, just said that he had to get away. I watched as he rummaged through his side of the closet, taking jeans, shirts, suits, and ties off the hangers and placing them in a suitcase. He packed in silence, not so much as glancing my way. I stood against the doorframe in shock, unable to process what was happening. Finished, he'd grabbed the leather handle of the suitcase, a wedding gift from my sister, and simply walked out.
For the next two months I carried on as if nothing was wrong. I went to work each day and laughed with my coworkers at lunch. I sent emails to my friends, talked to my parents on the phone, did some shopping. Everything had changed... and yet nothing had changed. The only piece missing was Dom, and I told myself that he would be back. I convinced myself that it was nothing but a midlife crisis, that he had needed some alone time to discover himself, and that once he did, he would return and life would pick up where it had left off. We loved each other, and love conquered all.
He did return. He knocked on the door and waited for me to answer. I smiled when I saw him, reached out to embrace my husband, hot tears running down my cheeks, relieved that he was home again. He backed up out of my reach, looking uncomfortable for a moment, and then started to speak. But I wasn't listening. My mind was focused on the woman sitting in his passenger seat.
She was young, maybe twenty or twenty-one, with a thick mane of shiny blonde hair and a full mouth of deep red lipstick. Her eyes were hidden by ridiculously large sunglasses that matched her blouse, a loud pink ensemble, cut low enough to display a majority of her breasts. In her hands she clutched a purse the size of Detroit, Hello Kitty staring back at me from the front.
Dom went into the house and, for the next forty minutes, cleared out everything he had left behind. One by one, he took out the plastic garbage bags full of clothing and shoes and such and hefted them into the backseat and trunk of his convertible. As he picked up the last of the bags and strode out the door, I called out to him.
"Dom? You're just going to leave, just like that? Are we over?"
He paused on the threshold, his left hand holding the screen door at bay, looking down at the cement porch beneath his feet. It seemed an eternity before he answered, slowly raising his head up to look at me.
His hand lingered for a moment on the door and I noticed something. Dom wasn't wearing his ring. I saw the band of pale skin around his finger where it had been for the last seven years, but it wasn't as white as it should have been. The prick hadn't been wearing it for a long time. Deep down, I had known this day was coming, thought I'd be prepared for it. And just maybe I was..... until I saw that. I realized that he had lived the last two months we'd been separated as though it was over, and it brought me back to reality. Hard.
I spent the better part of three days crying and curled up on the couch. I didn't shower, didn't eat, didn't answer the phone. The television set was on, and I watched it, but I didn't see it. The house was sweltering, but I didn't feel it. My hair became an oily, tangly mess, the sweatsuit I'd been wearing that day starting to itch and burn, and I knew that my face was swollen from all the tears I had spilled. In my mind, I replayed our last moments over and over, recalling every last detail, punishing myself for the failure of my marriage. I saw the screen door closing, him walking down the steps and out to his car, giving the house one final look as he settled in next to the blonde bimbo riding shotgun, and then he was gone, taking my world with him. Part of me was sad, desperate, afraid to be without him, filled with the certainty that I would never love again .
But the other part of me was angry, hurt, and betrayed. Furious.
And it was this part of me that decided to kill her.