I Love You To Death

February 3, 2010
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I gasped as the black gun fell from my trembling hands. His body was splayed out on the floor, and his eyes were wide open, stricken with fear. His chest did not inflate with breath, and his pulse was nonexistent. I quickly picked the gun back up and ran up to my room so I could hide it in his underwear drawer and sat down on the couch in our bedroom, allowing the tears to flow freely down my cheeks.
I met Bernie two years ago and we got married several months after living together. I didn’t think we were soul mates or anything, I don’t really believe in that soppy romantic stuff, but I didn’t mind him and we enjoyed one another’s company. I also did not mind the financial benefits that came with being the wife of a high-powered lawyer. Bernie was in criminal law, defending the rich people who cheated around taxes, as well as their accountants. He also defended rapists and murderers, but he told me that it was just a part of the job. Even so, it still struck fear upon my very core when I heard that somebody who had killed three people would not have a much-deserved life in prison. And to think that my husband was the reason for their good fortune, well it wasn’t something that I liked to think about. We would get in fights about it occasionally, but I learned to live with his job, just as he learned to live with my tendency to bite my nails. He constantly reminded me how it was a filthy habit, and how there was no point in paying good money for manicures when I would bite my nails later, but there was no use in his protests. It was a habit, or an addiction, that I could not let go.
It was the night of our first anniversary. I wouldn’t admit it, but I was excited, knowing that we were going to a newly opened restaurant not far from our apartment. I wandered the streets of Manhattan, my home, as I searched for the perfect dress for the night’s dinner. It was silly of me to put off dress shopping for so long, but I never found the time. I came across a small boutique in SoHo. The door was impossible to miss, as it was a bright cherry red, begging for attention. As I walked in, the sound of a bell warned the employees that a customer was walking in, and would probably inquire some assistance. A young blond woman quickly ran up from the back of the store.
“Well hi there!” she said enthusiastically, “I’m Veronica. If you need any help let me know!”
I waved her off, I knew what I wanted and I did not need her help. I quickly walked to the left side of the store, where the sleek dresses hung in full view of the customers, so they would be impossible to ignore. I ran my hand through the soft fabric of the dresses, until I laid eyes upon the perfect one, a dark red gown made of pure silk.
“Vanessa,” I called to the salesgirl.
The girl blushed, “Actually my name is Vero-“
“I don’t care,” I said, cutting her off, “could you put this in a room for me?”
Veronica cautiously took the dress from my hands and walked to the back of the store while I aimlessly touched various dresses, but I was unable to find any other ones as beautiful as the first, so I decided to try it on.
“Wow,” Veronica said as I stepped out of the dressing room. And ‘wow’ was right. In the mirror, I could see how the red dress hugged my curves, but managed to hide my budding stomach, a consequence to my nightly pint of vanilla ice cream. I bought the dress and rushed home to get ready. I was to meet Bernie at the restaurant, as we had discussed, and simply could not wait to see what present he would get me. Would it be the earrings I had been hinting at, or a weekend getaway to a spa resort, as he gave me for my birthday? Either way, I knew it would be good because his mother usually aided him when shopping for presents, and though she had a nasty attitude, she had divine ideas for gifts, especially gifts directed to women.
The front door to my apartment swung open, since I had applied much force to open it, and there stood Bernie, in sweatpants and a black shirt, digging his hand into a bag of chips.
“Hey hon,” he said, his mouth full of the greasy goodness.
“You’re here early,” I observed, “I thought we were meeting at the restaurant.”
Bernie swallowed the chips, “Restaurant? We’re going to a restaurant tomorrow, why would we go today?”
I rolled my eyes, “Very funny, Bernie.”
“I’m not joking,” Bernie said with a raised eyebrow, “Tomorrow’s our anniversary dinner, why the hell would we go out tonight?”
“Bernie,” I said sternly, “our anniversary is tonight. We got married on October fourth of last year. Remember?”
“Fiona,” Bernie said, mocking my tone, “our anniversary is tomorrow night. We got married at midnight, so that would count as October fifth.”
I thought back. No, we got married October fourth. I remember sending out invitations and the sound of my mother’s delighted screech when she realized I was to have an autumn wedding, her all-time dream.
“It was October fourth,” I said firmly, “I remember because the invitations all said October fourth.”
“No. The guy said, ‘I now pronounce you husband and wife,’ at midnight on October fifth. Remember? The wedding was stalled a bit because of your sister.”
Oh no he didn’t, I thought to myself.
“My sister?” I yelled angrily, “My sister was pregnant! She thought her water broke! Don’t you dare try to blame your forgetfulness on my sister!”
Bernie rolled his eyes, “Whatever. We’re going to dinner tomorrow and I’m going to watch TV.”
“You anger me so much, Bernie,” I said, trying to calm myself, “Sometimes I wish we were never married, and I even plan out our divorce!”
With that, I stomped into our bedroom and locked the door, so he would have to watch TV elsewhere. I changed into pajamas and called my best friend, Monique.
“Hey Monique, wanna go clubbing tonight?” I asked her before she even had the chance to say hello.
“Um sorry Fi, I can’t,” she apologized.
I sighed and hung up the phone without exchanging goodbyes and called a couple of my other friends. After three phone calls, I finally got a hold of Susanna and we made arrangements to go get some drinks at a nearby bar.

I quickly got ready in a neat skirt and shirt. I wasn’t going out to find a boyfriend, I just wanted to dance and drink with my friend.

“I’m going out,” I called to Bernie, “I’ll be back in the morning.”

Bernie didn’t say anything back to me, so I took it he heard and I slipped out the door. Susanna was waiting outside and we walked, our arms linked companionably, to the bar.

Several hours of light drinks and pretzels, I was sitting at the bar when a man approached Susanna. They began to talk, and Susanna went on to dance, leaving me sitting at the bar alone. Feeling neglected by my friend, I left the bar, anger filling my whole body. Tonight was supposed to be the magical first anniversary, where Bernie and I would unfreeze the leftover wedding cake after a luxurious meal at the trendy new restaurant downtown. It turned out, however, that I was angry and alone, and drunk, but not in the pleasing way.

When I finally reached the apartment, all was silent. The television was no longer playing, and I figured out that Bernie was probably asleep, seeing the late hour. I suddenly felt bad for overreacting about our anniversary, who cares when we celebrate it? I was going to surprise him and apologize for my behavior. I quickly undressed in the living room, with just my bra, underwear, and heels on. I slowly sauntered into the bedroom and opened the door quietly, so as not to wake him. I smirked at the gun on top of the dresser. Bernie kept it there for safety; he had it since he was sixteen years old. I slowly approached the bed when I saw a familiar figure cuddling with my husband, her eyes closed in slumber. Monique. My supposed ‘best friend’. She was lying there with my husband.
I was so angry, and still slightly drunk, that I didn’t realize what happened until afterwards. I grabbed the gun from the top of the dresser and shot Monique straight in the head. The loud sound of a gunshot woke Bernie, and he looked at Monique in horror. Then he raised his head and caught sight of me, in my bra and underwear, glaring at him, the shiny black gun in my sweaty hands.
“Fiona, darling,” he said gently.
“Don’t you dare say my name!” I screamed, not caring who could hear, “Explain. Now.”
“Monique came and she said she changed her mind and wanted to go out with you. I told her you already left and offered her to come in. I was so upset and she told me you were going to find some other guy, so we had sex. But I didn’t like it at all and I was thinking about you the whole time,” he said, his body shaking the whole time.
“F*** that,” I said simply and pulled the trigger.

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