And here’s the final installment of the story. I debated over ending it another way but the ‘happily-ever-after’ part of my brain just couldn’t handle the thought. 🙂
I finally feet some feeling came back to my arms and reach in my pocket to pull out my cell phone. Dialing 911, I manage to whisper ‘help me’ before hiding it behind the tools in the middle of the table – just before Jane appeared in the doorway.
“I always knew it was Lucy.”
“What do you mean?” I ask, eyeing the butcher knife in her hand.
“I knew you were having an affair. You couldn’t hide it from me, no matter how often you denied it.” A couple of steps closer now. Beads of sweat tickle their way down my temples and I want to brush them away but I don’t move.
“You’re wrong. I never had an affair. Not with Lucy, not with anyone.”
“Liar!” she shouts, coming to stand on the other side of the table, slamming her hands – and the knife – on its Formica top.
Her eyes zero in on my sandwich and I take a chance, sliding the plate to the middle of the table.
“You think you’re going to distract me with food?” she snaps, staring at the plate like she hasn’t eaten in days. “If you’d let me finish the job on Tuesday, you’d already be dead. Now we have to go through all of that again.”
“Can we at least talk first? I want to know why, Jane. Why you never believed me. I was always faithful to you.”
“More lies.” She snaps, but she picks up half the sandwich.
I breathe a sigh of relief. The handle of the knife is still wrapped in her fist, but at least she hasn’t moved it from the table. As she chews the first bite, I hope the police are tracking the call, are listening to our conversation.
“You stole my baby,” she says after she swallows.
“The judge gave her to me.”
“Because of your lies. I’m not crazy, no matter what you got those doctors to say. Now I’m going to cut your throat. And after I watch you bleed to death, I’m going to pick Nell up from the party at eight and we’re going to disappear. No one will ever find us.”
There’s not a chance on the planet I’ll let her have my daughter. God only knows what she might do to her someday and my mind starts running through my options. A quick scan of my surroundings verify the fact that those options are few.
And then I know. The solution has been staring me in the face the whole time. I nod at my coffee and ask if I can have one last sip. Jane holds the knife up, warning me not to try anything as she takes another bite of the sandwich.
When the cup tips, spilling the brown liquid over the tabletop, she glances down. When she looks back up and sees what’s in my hand, she laughs.
“What are you going to do, drill me to death?”
“I might – if this was a drill.” I pull the trigger three times in rapid succession. The first two and a half inch nail between her eyes probably killed her but I added one on either side of it for good measure. As her body hits the floor, I pick up the phone and let the dispatcher know their escapee is dead.
In the distance, I hear what sounds like an army of sirens. I pick up the half of the sandwich I’d started to eat when I was so rudely interrupted and smile.
With all of the craziness of late, I realize I neglected to cancel Jane’s life insurance policy. At ten times more than the lapsed house policy had been worth, Nell and I can make a fresh start.
“Thanks, Jane,” I murmur as the first squad car squeals to a stop in front of the house.