There he was laying on the kitchen floor. Next to him was the cast iron frying pan. But what happened? Who could have done this? I was sleeping; did I hear something?
Barefooted, I ran toward the front door in my nightgown. It was still locked. Confused, I scurried around the house looking for an open window or unlock door. Everything was secure.
But how did the killer get in? And why?
Everyone loved him. Well, his friends did at least. He was the life of the party.
As for me, I wasn’t sure. Did I still love him?
It was a complicated question. To me, he was really two people. I remember the dreamy man I fell in love with. The man who swept me off my feet. The father of my children. Him, I loved.
But the man who questions my every word, ridicules my every idea and makes me feel less than. Well, him, I could do without.
Can I do without? I guess now, I must.
I hear something. It is the police?
No, it’s the alarm. Now I’m awake and he’s next to me. It was just a dream.
There he was laying on the family room floor. Next to him was a knife. It looked like his prized hunting knife.
What happened? Who could have done this?
Dressed only in my robe and slippers, I ran into his den. The sheath for the hunting knife was empty. Yes, it was definitely his knife. I felt an unexpected chill and spun around the room. The window was open slightly.
That’s how the killer got in. But who would kill him?
Suddenly I remembered the fight he had with his business partner the other day. I heard them loudly arguing about the accounts but didn’t hear any specifics. Could his partner have killed him over money?
Then I saw a suitcase in the corner of my eye. I opened it. It was filled with money. Oh no, did he steal money from his company? There was a plane ticket in the sleeve. Was he going to escape and leave me destitute?
I heard a sound. Is that the killer? Oh no, is he still here? Did I see too much?
Terrified, I felt a hand on my shoulder.
“It’s time for breakfast. I’m hungry,” he said.
I sighed. It was just a dream.
There he was laying in bed. Still. No snoring. No snorting. Not a sound.
I noticed he still had his clothes on. He does that sometimes, either too drunk or tired to change, so he just staggers up the stairs and falls into bed.
Next to him I saw some pills laying on the nightstand and scattered on the floor.
Could he have overdosed? Would he do himself in?
No, it must have been an accident. These days he’s taking so many pills and with his eyesight going, maybe he made a mistake?
I looked down at the pills. They looked like his heart medication. Maybe he forgot to take them? The doctor warned him not to miss even one pill or he could have a heart attack. His health had been declining. His last checkup was not great. The doctor told him to turn his lifestyle around immediately. No booze. No sweets. No fatty foods, but he refused. He was a ticking timebomb.
I decided to clean up the pill mess and got dressed.
Climbing down the stairs, I noticed a half empty bottle of bourbon, empty glass and some empty candy wrappers on the table in front of the TV. He stayed up late watching a movie last night after I went to bed. When he drank, he often got the munchies.
I started to make his breakfast and set the table to eat. Every day he insisted on three poached eggs, bacon, sausage and toast with orange juice. While waiting for the eggs, I checked my phone and sent out a text to my friend to confirm our lunch appointment and returned a few emails for work.
Everything was ready, so I called for him to come down. I heard nothing.
I went upstairs to wake him, but he wouldn’t rouse. I checked his pulse. He was dead.
Now… I’ll call the police. I’m prepared. I have something to tell them.
(c) Suzanne Rudd Hamilton, 2022