Claire stood at the window and watched her husband leave for work. She felt brittle, and was only just holding herself together. As soon as he was out of sight, she turned and collapsed onto the living room sofa, floods of tears cascading down her cheeks.
Why hadn’t he noticed? Once upon a time, when they were first married, he would always know if she’d been crying, even if she’d washed her face and done her make-up since. He had been such an empathetic man. Now he was just pathetic. Chasing after that slut. Why do men always turn away and look for a younger model?
She had been longing for him to say something. Just a murmured “Are you okay?” and she would have broken down and told him everything. She would have thrown the sandwiches in the bin and maybe thrown him out of the house, or maybe begged for him to stay- she honestly couldn’t say which- but…
She sat up and sniffed loudly, wiping her eyes with the sleeve of her dressing gown. It was too late for buts, now. It was done. He hadn’t noticed anything, he’d gone and it was over.
She stood up slowly and went upstairs to have a shower. She stayed in longer than usual, enjoying the warmth of the water and the smell of her favourite body wash, the expensive one that she’d bought in London and usually kept for special occasions.
After her shower, she dressed in her favourite red dress and stood in front of the mirror. It didn’t suit her quite as well as it had a few years ago, if she was honest, but still, it was the only designer dress she had and it still looked good. She sat in front of the dresser and put her hair up in a formal style that had gone out of fashion several years ago, and carefully did her make-up.
She looked at herself critically in the mirror. She had bags and circles under her eyes that concealer couldn’t quite hide any more; she had more wrinkles than she’d realised before and by God, she looked tired. She sighed. She wasn’t getting any prettier, that was for sure. She sighed, and popped a few pills from a bottle on her bedside table.
She went downstairs in her bare feet and took a folder out of the sideboard. It was full of papers, and she sat down at the desk to go through them and make sure everything was in order. Bank statements, property deeds, insurance documents, her pre-paid funeral plan and last will and testament. And, of course, the letter she had written the night before while her husband was “working late”.
She replaced them in the folder and placed it centrally on the desk. With a marker pen, she wrote carefully on the front “For the attention of the police and whomever it may concern.”
She sighed. It was all ready.
She put her favourite CD on, and went to the kitchen to mix her drink. She wasn’t sure exactly how much of it she’d need, so she mixed up a jug of Margaritas before taking a bottle of blue liquid out from underneath the kitchen sink and mixing in a generous amount. She thought about it for a moment, then added more. It was supposed to taste sweet, anyway.
She sat down in the living room, listening to her favourite music and drinking her antifreeze Margaritas until the sleeping pills kicked in and she passed out.
© Kari Fay