Another waiting story. I think I’m going to make it an even 10. But with Halloween coming up, expect some darkness for the next couple.
I believe the story below delivers.
There’s no gore. That’s not my favorite style. Just a calculated maliciousness that chills me, in part because I find the narrator’s situation sympathetic.
Does it warrant her reaction? Hell no. But the harder it is to hate her, the darker the tale.
It’s a fun emotionality to exploit.
the waiting 7
He was late. Hardly a new development.
She heard the garage door open and he made his way hurriedly through the kitchen. She told him dinner would be ready in 10 minutes as he passed.
“Good,” he said. “I’m hungry.”
She held her breath until he was out of the room. No hello. No kiss. No greeting of any kind. Just a statement of desire with the implied expectation that she’d meet it.
No girl dreams of this life.
Prince charming isn’t a belittling asshole. But that’s what she married. A man who frequently garners laughs from friends at her expense, right in front of her. A man who gave her a gift certificate to William Sonoma for their most recent anniversary. A man whose idea of foreplay is a blowjob, and whose idea of good sex is a quick, one-sided orgasm followed by uninterrupted sleep.
Be still her beating heart.
She checked the pork chops. They were done. In fact, they’d be dry by the time she was ready, but she didn’t really care.
There were green beans boiling on the stove. Also done. She hated green beans, but he loved them. And of course, the coup de gras – rosemary mashed potatoes with a white wine gravy.
She hated that gravy. Always had. When planning the meal, she briefly considered the gravy, but there were two issues. The first psychological. Could she wait that out? Especially if it got messy?
She believed she could, but she didn’t care to test the theory. Besides, the second concern outweighed the first. Evidence.
He clicked on the TV from the next room, blaring some nonsense about football at an unnecessarily loud volume. She said nothing, opting instead to set the table.
On her return to the kitchen, the timer dinged. She heard him grunt, stand, and make his way to the bathroom, pissing with the door wide open. Meanwhile, she made two plates. Pork chops, beans and potatoes on both. Gravy on his.
He was sitting at the table when she brought them in. She hadn’t heard water from the bathroom sink, but she merely clinched her jaw and inhaled.
He was on the food the second it touched the table. He made the rounds, tasting each part and then heavily salting the whole plate.
“Pork chops are dry,” he said with a mouthful.
“Sorry,” she replied. Whether he noticed her lack of sincerity or not, she couldn’t tell. He was too busy enjoying that which did not meet his standards.
She slowly cut into her own pork chop. It was dry. Pity she hated the gravy.
She took her time, delicately craving the entire piece of meat before taking a single bite. Then she ate, slowly and deliberately, feasting more on the sight before her than the food.
She wanted to remember him like this. Ravenous. Greedy. Selfish and self-centered. This was the man she knew. The man she hated.
When he helped himself to seconds, she wasn’t quite halfway through her firsts.
She knew what would happen next. He’d clean his plate again, belching before returning to the living room, leaving his plate on the table like a wounded soldier who simply wasn’t worth saving. The TV would click back on and he’d spend the next several hours right there, flipping channels or watching the shows he liked.
He’d never once ask what she wanted to watch. He didn’t care.
Then, after the news and the opening monologue, he’d yawn, say he was going to sleep, and make his way to the bedroom.
She would give him 15 minutes to fall asleep, and then she would act. The syringe was already in the nightstand. It would be easy.
In the morning, she’d make the call. He ate horribly and never worked out. Most likely, there wouldn’t even be an autopsy.
He rejoined her at the table, another heaping plate in hand. He sat and dug in, chewing with his mouth open. She watched, memorizing every detail.
Like this, she thought. Remember him like this. The pig that he is.
And you know what piggies do, don’t you? They squeal.
All the way home.