A/N: So, I have some people to thank/blame for this. First of all, Arnolds Love, who tagged me for her Song Shuffle Challenge. It was exactly what I needed, because from one of the songs that I wrote to (specifically, #7, entitled "How I Could Just Kill A Man" after the song by Charlotte Sometimes) I thought up this little story. It begins directly after the events in that ficlet, so if you haven't read that, then you might want to, just to understand the story a little better. Also, I have to thank the amazing finn, whose wickedly hilarious (and somewhat crazy) PM, totally inspired me to go for this. I may be using some of her ideas, so credit goes to her too. And that is why…this story is officially dedicated to them! I've never dedicated an entire story to someone, but they definitely deserve it; they're both great authors and absolutely fantastic and fun and cool and..,stuff. If you haven't read their Song Shuffle thingies, then do so. Immediately. Right after you read this.
Roses Are Red Chapter One: 11 hours, 17 minutes
Roses Are Red
Chapter One: 11 hours, 17 minutes
Stretching my arms above my head, I yawned, taking a brief respite from my work. Granted, there wasn't much work to do around here, but I'd been able to keep myself distracted for most of the morning. Not that I really wanted to be distracted; to be honest, I didn't regret anything that I've done in the past 24 hours.
'He had it coming.' I told myself. The way I see it, everyone pays for the things they do, eventually. What goes around, comes around, right? So whether it was a bad case of pneumonia, or a tragic car accident or a stray bullet from a robber while standing in line at the bank, Arnold was going to get what was coming to him.
All I did was cause it to happen sooner.
I'll admit, I was somewhat nervous about it this morning. I worked almost obsessively to remove every trace of dirt from under my fingernails. Looking at them now, some still remained. What if someone found out? What if someone saw me? But then, I thought about it, and really, who cares? He was my husband; we vowed to devote ourselves to each other completely. Which made him…mine. And I can do whatever I want with my husband.
Even if that means poisoning him and burying him in my garden.
"I'm going to the Coke machine." I informed another receptionist, Nancy. She nodded and dialed another number as I left. Walking down the hallway, I thought about my life now that Arnold was gone. Would I mourn? Where would I go from here? I reasoned that not having Arnold at all was better than sharing him with who knows how many other women.
Dropping my change in the vending machine and pressing the button next to a random drink, I tried to clear my head. I had no regrets. What was I to do if not kill him? Sit back and be the adorable, naïve wife, who watches her husband waltz around, thinking nothing of it? Lead a broken and lonely life, after he's left me for some air headed bimbo?
I earned him. I paid my dues. He was mine. And if he couldn't be mine, I had to see to it that he couldn't be anyone else's.
Back at my adjoined desk, I shifted a few papers around, once again content with myself. If these brief lapses into guilt were bound to continue, hopefully they'd only last a few moments.
"Helga?" Nancy said, hanging up the phone and turning towards me.
"Yeah?' I said, calmly.
"Are you and Arnold going to be able to make it to our barbeque this weekend?" she asked, tilting her head and smiling. Was she mocking me?
"Oh, I'm sorry. Arnold won't be able to make it. He's going to be out of the country." I said, creasing my brow, feigning disappointment. I may still try to make the party. No use sitting around the house sulking over a dead husband.
"Too bad. Rob hadn't seen him since your housewarming party." she noted. "Will you still be able to join us?"
"Of course. I'll bring a potato salad." I said. I have to say, I'm a little amazed by myself. I've only just murdered (oh, that sounds so mean. I didn't murder him…I…okay, I killed him. Let's go with that) and buried my husband, and, apparently, no one had any idea.
"Perfect." she replied, turning back to her computer and clicking away.
By this time, I was so pleased with myself that I turned to my own modem, and looked at the time. 4:44 PM. I could leave work a few minutes early. Extending a goodbye to Nancy and clocking out, via the company's computer database, I grabbed my purse and left the office. The early evening sun was still bright, but it comforted me. Despite the warm summer, the interior of the car wasn't too hot. On the way home, my favorite radio station didn't play a single commercial. No one ahead of me swerved, no one cut me off in my lane. And when I pulled up to my (that's right my) beautiful two story house, none of the neighbors parked in front of my mailbox.
If things weren't going my way, then I don't know what was.
Walking across the lawn to the front door, I noticed the thin spots of grass, and where the mulch was fading in the front garden. Kicking a few chips of dark wood with my black pumps, I thought about hiring someone to fill in a bit of topsoil around the front yard, but disregarded it. Doing so would look suspicious. Granted, Arnold was in the back garden, along the east wall, but any activity in the front yard would bring attention to the back yard.
Shaking the thought from my mind, I unlocked the front door, and shut it behind me. In the living room, I kicked off my shoes, and tossed my belongings on the green leather couch. I hated these green leather couches. Another sacrifice I made for him. Smaller than the rest, but still, a sacrifice. Wonder how long I should wait until I remodel this house. I always did like French doors. Maybe install a few bay windows facing the back of the house.
Chuckling to myself, I thought about how it'd look. Arnold thought bay windows were impractical and unsightly. Putting them on the back of the house; that would just be icing on the "Take That, Arnold" cake.
That night at dinner, I went for something simple. There would be time for elaborate dinners later. Amongst the rotisserie chicken, green beans and mashed potatoes, I did treat myself to a glass of wine. Finishing off my last glass for the night, I lazily turned toward the back of the house, and smiled.
"This Merlot is absolutely divine…" I said, sluggishly. Did I drink that much already? Settling my glass down (which proved only slightly difficult, as the room immediately began to spin), I ran my fingers over the lip of the glass, emitting a quiet hum from the flute. It was then that I noticed the faint, brown line of dirt underneath my nail, causing my hand to stop abruptly. Bringing my hand close to my face, I inspected each nail before moving on to my other hand. Each fingernail had a layer of dirt tucked neatly within it's bed.
Getting up quickly and moving to the kitchen sink, I turned on the hot water tap and began washing my hands. When the dirt stayed in place, I recovered a dishwashing cloth and began scrubbing at my fingernails until they were raw and red. I know, for sure, that I removed any traces of dirt from my hands this morning. And I certainly don't remember going near the garden since.
By the time I finished, by hands were pulsing and burning, but the dirt was finally gone. I shut off the water, and shook the thought from my mind. Drying my hands tenderly, I stole one last glance at the window and retreated to my (that's right, my) bedroom. Dressing for bed, I again thought about how my life would be from now on. If nothing else, I reasoned, I'd probably sleep better. I was used to sleeping alone; Arnold either spent his nights at work, or…with someone else. The only difference I would feel now, is the ease with which I would sleep. No more worrying about where he is, or who he's with, or if he'll make it to bed before sunrise. Just me, two king sized mattresses, four oversized pillows, and a husband who couldn't put me through an ounce of heartache anymore.
I could get used to this.
There she is. It's so dark and evil, but I love it! Okay, here's some useful little facts about my story:
- It won't be terribly long. I'm shooting for no more than six chapters.
-There are little things that you have to pay attention to, because they'll make sense later. Trust me.
-It will blow your socks off and across your house/apartment/dwelling place. Of this, I am sure.
Hope you enjoyed it!