WRITING PROMPT: After returning from work, you walk into your house and notice an item that wasn’t there when you left in the morning. What room were you in, what was the item and how did it get there?
Just another day lost to the corporate monster. Finally, I get to go home and relax. No phones, no e-mails… just a nice glass of tea and some mind-numbing television.Lovely, he didn’t shovel the driveway. I pulled the car into the garage and shut the garage door. As I opened the door into the house and walked in everyone suddenly seemed very busy with whatever they were doing. For some reason, my family’s behavior seemed odd to me but I was tired and just wanted to rest so I forgot about it.
I went upstairs to the kitchen and made myself a glass of iced tea. I went to sit at the dining room table and turned on the TV in the living room. It was then that I noticed the wristwatch on the table.
My son came bounding in looking for a snack. “Is this your watch?”
“nope…” he garbled as his mouth filled with cookie.
I called my daughter to come upstairs and asked if it was hers or belonged to one of her friends. She too denied any knowledge of the watch.
The question now was… who had been in my house? Where did the watch come from? And did I dare pose the question to Joe – did I really want to hear the answer. My stomach began to sink.
“Joe, could you come up here for a minute?” He grumbled and said he’d be up ‘in a minute’; which always meant an hour. I just wasn’t important enough to disturb his video game.
A while later, after all of the conspiracies had plenty of time to formulate in my head, he came upstairs. I hid the watch. “Did anything happen today? Anyone stop by?”
“No, why?” I thought he looked nervous.
“Well, it’s just that I found something here on the table that doesn’t belong here. I was wondering where it came from.” Now I’d set the trap.
“What was it?”
“Nothing, I guess. It doesn’t matter. I’ll find out sooner or later.” With that he figured his part of the conversation was over. I decided to hide the watch until someone came looking for it.
Several days later after getting home from work early…
“Did you see a watch on the dining room table?” asked Joe, like he was asking me to pass the salt.
“Since when do you wear a watch?” I asked, knowing full well that he never wore one.
He balked. It was only for a second but I saw it. “It was a gift for my mother.” He stammered.
“Really? You never even talk to your mother. And it’s nowhere near her birthday.”
He started heating up. “Just give it back!”
“And the inscription on the inside of the band is ‘S.E.M.’… what I can only assume are initials. But those are not your mother’s initials.” I really had him sweating. ” Why don’t you tell me who it really belongs to and what they were doing in my house?!”
“Just give it back! I need to return it!” He was yelling now. He knew that he was caught in his own web of lies.
“To whom do you need to return it? I’m not giving it back unless you tell me the truth.” I spoke calmly and quietly, then paused for a moment. “In fact, I won’t return it to you at all. You can have the owner drop by and I’ll give to ‘her’ personally.” We both knew it was a ‘her’.
“Okay, I fucked up…,” he looked at his feet and shifted uneasily from side to side. “The watch belongs to a woman that I know and she stopped by here earlier this week.”
“And?” I knew what was coming.
“And I’ve been sleeping with her…” he waited for the explosion.
But to his confusion I didn’t react. I told him to wait and I would go and get the watch. I’m sure he thought I was despondent… too destroyed to even go into a jealous rage.
I went downstairs and into the bedroom. I had hidden the watch in my dresser. I got it and put it in my pocket. I stood there for a moment thinking about all the times he’d cheated. No… this wasn’t the first.
I didn’t think I could ever feel this way. Could it have finally come to this?
I went around to the other side of the bed and opened the bottom drawer of his bed stand. I retrieved the 9mm and the loaded clip lying next to it. I put the clip into the gun and pulled back the hammer. It was then that I realized what I was about to do – what HAD to be done.
I went upstairs and walked into the living room area and he was still standing there by the dining room table, wringing his hands. He looked up and I shot him. Center mass… his shock was palpable, I nearly laughed. I walked over and lovingly put the watch around his wrist. I whispered in his ear, “It’s over.” I stood up and shot him in the head at point blank range.
I went back downstairs and dutifully cleaned the gun before putting it away. The kids would be home from school soon.
Then I shook him awake. “Joe! Wake up!” He was sweating and writhing in bed next to me. When he finally came out of it he looked at me like I was the devil herself. He never did tell me what the nightmare was about. Oddly, he checked the bed stand before he left the room.