“Yes, Your Honour…I DID IT! I killed him!” the wife cried out. “All those years of belittling me, treating me like some sort of slave. Cooking and cleaning. Raising the kids on a shoe string budget. And then…then I heard about the lovely ginger girl he had been seeing. After all these years! Me with nothing new to wear and he spends his money on the floozy from the diner! Ha! She was young enough to be his daughter. Disgusting! Despicable!” she hollered. “Such a simple plan! HA HA HA!” she laughed maniacally as she was dragged back to her prison cell.
As she sat in the small cell she smiled victoriously to herself thinking about her triumph. Oh yes! I did it! The world should be rid of scum like him. I’m glad I did it. Oh sure, it wasn’t easy to get him to take the poison. It took me weeks of planning. Then my dream came true. The poison presented itself in the most imperceptible way. Oh sure, trying to get him to eat it was hard enough, but watching him take each bite made it all worthwhile. I wished his red-headed bimbo could’ve seen him as he choked it back.
No matter what I tried to do to get my husband to eat his vegetables, he was always such a baby. Actually, I had an easier time getting the kids to each their vegetables. But no…not my big, strong, husband. Ha! Brussels sprouts, broccoli, peppers, spinach. Oh no….he wouldn’t eat those. And then it hit me! Caesar salad. Sure he’ll eat that! Romaine lettuce smothered in that creamy, garlicky sauce, with a sprinkling of that snow white parmesan and bits of greasy bacon to cover the poison. Yeah, I knew he would eat that. Die! Die! Die!
For once I was glad he didn’t watch the news. The sports channel was all he wanted to see. Watch the game. Watch the re-run of the game. Watch the plays of the day of each game. Huh. Well I showed him didn’t I.
“Why don’t you watch the news. Find out about current events,” I would off-handedly mention.
“Who cares!” he would yell out. “Accidents, robberies, fires, earthquakes. I’m a regular Nostradamus.” he would say. “I predict there is one of those somewhere in the world,” he would quip. “Now go get my supper and it had better be hot!”
Yeah, that was what I had heard nightly for 23 years. When the children were younger I had learned to feed them their dinner first so they wouldn’t bother their father. They asked too many questions and he didn’t like that. He didn’t like them knowing that he didn’t have all the answers. Actually, he didn’t have any of the answers unless it was about sports stats.
Well, on this night I told him that I had a surprise for him for dinner. He was gonna have a loaded baked potato and a nice peppercorn steak, medium well…just the way he liked it.
“Really?” he asked. “Why?”
“Steaks were on sale. I bought one just for you,” I trilled. “Don’t you want it?” I asked. “If not I’m sure the kids would enjoy it,” I teased.
“Don’t be stupid. Gimme the steak.” he growled. “And it better not be medium rare,” he warned.
My plan was working. I had to remain calm. I took a deep breath as I walked over carrying the salad. “Here’s your Caesar salad. Just like in the restaurants,” I said cheerfully, plunking the bowl down in front of him.
“I hate salad!” he snorted, as he turned his snarling face toward me.
“I know, I know, but this is special dressing. I didn’t make it. It’s that celebrity chef’s fancy dressing. It was on clearance so I got it for half price,” I rambled on, “and it’s got bacon bits and everything…just like in the restaurants.”
He turned his head back to face the tv screen. Distractedly he shovelled the salad into his mouth. I smiled as he took each big bite. Forkful after forkful and the salad was gone. Every last leaf of it.
I took the salad bowl into the kitchen and washed the bowl right away. I dried it then put it back on the shelf, nestling it into the other bowls. I plated his steak, done medium well, and plopped the baked potato beside it. I topped the steaming hot potato with sour cream and chives…and more bacon. Maybe he would have a coronary. I could dream couldn’t I?
“Here you go,” I said as I placed the plate in front of him.
“Move out of the way,” he barked, “you’re blocking the tv.”
I grinned as I walked away. Say what you want, I thought, you won’t be talking for too much longer. My plan had worked. Sure, the steak had cost me a fortune, but I wasn’t a savage. Every person should be able to enjoy their last meal, right?
The pain started the next day. He rolled around in bed moaning, clutching his stomach. I kept telling him it would pass. Maybe he was lactose intolerant and was just feeling gassy. It progressed to horrible diarrhea and then the bloody urine by day 3. Oh…this was bad.
“Take me to the hospital,” he said weakly on day 4. I told him it was just symptoms of a viral infection. It was nothing bad and it would pass within a day or two. Since I was a Registered Nurse he believed me and lay back down on his sweat moistened pillow.
By day 5 he was weak and dehydrated and had nothing much to say. I knew his kidneys were failing. It would be over soon. He couldn’t even keep water down and without an IV feeding him, his body would start shutting down. I, his doting wife, kept up my vigilant care-taking; care-Faking. HA HA!
And on the 7th day…I rested. He was dead.
I never thought they would do an autopsy. Why would they? A man dies at home with his loving wife taking care of him; a trained healthcare professional.
I found out at trial what had happened. While I was in the kitchen plating his steak and potato, my husband had texted his ginger-haired girlfriend: Hey gorgeous! Loverboy eating Caesar salad.
His bimbo watched the news.
“E. coli outbreak: Romaine lettuce. At least 32 people have been sickened in the US, with 13 taken to hospital, while another 18 people have been stricken in Canada. The latest outbreak follows the deaths of at least five people in the summer linked to romaine lettuce.” She decided to show the cops the text she had received. She thought it might be relevant after she saw his obituary notice.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Carnivores live longer. (haha…kidding!)
Actually, I thought this story would make a great excuse for those of you who hate to eat vegetables. Now you can say, “I can’t eat that salad, I might die from E. coli!”
It might work.
P.S. One of my favourite short stories is by Roald Dahl and it’s called Lamb to the Slaughter. A fascinating quick read.