Plan B

by Samantha Enders

            I remember it like it was yesterday, although it happened six months ago, almost to the day. Every night when I shut my eyes I relive that moment when my heart stood absolutely still before crumbling.

I held the piece of paper tight between my fingers. It was a bill for a nights stay in The Ritz Carlton in the city, paid with his credit card. Single king-size bed, smoking. He had said he was working out of town that week. But he was in the city, in a fancy hotel room that cost more per night than my wedding band. Immediately my stomach began to hurt, like period cramps except I wanted to vomit. I had thought things were going well since last time. We were sleeping in the same bed again, talking relatively often. We had worked things out, gone to counseling. We were OK. He told me he had stopped seeing her, that he had made a mistake. Foolishly, I had believed him.

What are you looking at? he asked from behind me.

I turned, paper in hand. I looked down at it and then up to him, holding it out, but not close enough for him to snatch it away. My eyes avoided him and I asked, What is this? Now my heart was racing, my stomach continued to hurt, my hands began to shake. I felt my body grow cold.

He looked at it only for a second. He didnt get a confused look on his face, or furrow his brow as if he didnt understand what I was showing him. He stood there, face like a stone, saying nothing. His expressionless face said more than a thousand words or hasty explanations ever could. My whole life ended with that paper.

            Every day since I got a little better. Then a little worse. I tell myself, Youre stronger than this. Your life is awesome. Quit your goddamn complaining. And that helps, at least for a while. Then I spend days in bed crying about my self pity, hating my life, drowning all of my regrets in expensive gas station Danishes. After Ive devoured two or three of my guilty pleasures I lay there staring at the ceiling, wondering what I have to live for anymore.

            My mom, maybe. And my dogs, of course my babies. Thats about it. Is that my legacy? Is that what I leave behind when I go? I had always thought, even as a young girl, I would marry my prince charming and have three or four bambinos running around the house, and that would be my legacy. And what a beautiful legacy I had imagined it would be, driving my minivan to soccer games and packing lunches with cute peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. But instead, my whole life Ive been belittled by the notion that I can do no right. My family ignores me at family get-togethers, talks about me behind my back like Im some kind of plague or venereal disease. University degree so what? A good job big deal! A desire to be the best person I can be not impressive. So Ill impress everyone yet. Ill impress them so much that the sound of my name in their ears will be grimacing, like news of a stillbirth after nine long months of waiting.

            And where is he, Mr. Perfect-Amazing-Selfless-Gorgeous-Husband-Of-Mine? Oh, hes living it up in our house, sleeping with his cheap trade-in, in our bed, probably taking showers together in the tub that I used to clean like clockwork. So Mr. Perfect is getting into shape and moving up in the world one promotion in his terribly blue-collar job at a time. Hes smiling in the photos I see of him on Facebook, out with friends having a good time. He never had a good time with me. Hell, he never even smiled with me. I get it. My life sucks. Get the scissors and cut it the fuck out. And Im back at home, living with my mom, feeling the resent for my failures. Thats right, my failure. Back to that can do no right notion. Everything is somehow my fault. He cheated on her? Well, what did she do to drive him away?

When my life began to tear at the seams and fall apart like cheap stitching, I decided that I didnt want to leave this world without a legacy. So how could I, a single thirty-five year old female from a small rural town just outside of Toronto, leave her mark on the world? I couldnt become a doctor. Id have to invent some disease-eating cell that latched onto cancer and turned it into metabolism so all the fat people with cancer would be super happy. Too much work. Dont get me wrong, Ive worked for everything in my life until all I had worked for was taken from me, taken like the virginity of a nave high school girl in the back seat of a black Camaro at a graduation party because she didnt want to go to college a virgin.

When Ive given up on my life Im not going to throw my hands in the air and wave my little white flag sewn together from the tissues Ive used to wipe away my tears and take the easy way out. I wont take the cowards way out. No, I wont wrap my lips around the cold double barrel of the .410 shotgun under my bed, or swallow the whole bottle of my anti-anxiety pills, though both thoughts have crossed my mind. No, Im going to take a different approach. A much more ingenious tactic, if you ask me, one that requires skill and intelligence.

So, I used my six-year veteran university brain to devise a back-up plan, a Plan B, if you will. You see, Ive dedicated much of my adult life to the study of crime. My dutiful research has shown me many things. One thing is that one in one hundred people are psychopaths. Not every psychopath will go on to become miniature Hitlers or borderline Margaret Atwood psychosis subjects though I still ponder could I be a psychopath? Crazy people dont know theyre crazy, but could I rationalize my way into being a part of that statistic? Could I convince myself to become crazy, or does that defeat the purpose?

Another thing I learned from my research in criminology is about a hundred different ways to kill someone, and dozens of ways to dispose of a body and thwart police. Not that thwarting police is a major concern in Bumfuk Egypt, but its still a handy tool. And finally, the most important thing that my research has taught me is that there are so few female serial killers in history. So, thats my plan, plain and simple right there in black and white.

Ive put a lot of thought into it discreetly over the years. I never wanted anyone to know what dark secrets were lingering behind this faade Ive put on, but now Ive realized that people need to know why I made the choices that I made. Yes, I might be a psychopath, but I might also be a statistical anomaly is it possible that I am not a psychopath, and I just convinced myself to become one after failed life attempts, before I get too old and cant do anything about it?

Regardless, I think Ive got it figured out from every angle. Id like to have a pattern, but I havent decided what kind of pattern just yet. I certainly dont want to just kill people at random, because that would get in the way of the fact that I dont want to kill good people, or people who dont deserve it. Some past serial killers have targeted women, prostitutes, white men and children, but thats not quite my style. But I guess targeting bad people who deserve to die is still a pattern if you think about it.

My deeds to society will not be rewarded however, because who I deem unworthy of life, others likely will not. That seems too John Kramer for me, and thats not what Im going for. Im not saying these people will have to be drug dealers or arsonists to make my victim list; all they really need to do to make my list is piss me off or do me wrong in some way. I dont mean the lady behind the counter at the coffee shop who gives me two sugars when I clearly asked for one, she doesnt make the cut. Although, she is likely to get a few disappointed clucks, and I wont be leaving her a tip.

            After I decided what my pattern would be, I thought I would start making a list of people; something like Danny McGraths People to Kill List from the movie Billy Madison, except the ending wont be quite so comical. So, now I chore myself with the tedious task of deciding who does make the cut (no pun intended).

            Thinking about my husband and my life with him makes me think of the worst part of our five years together. My husbands mother. Picture the mother from the movie Monster-In-Law, beautiful and high on her horse, proud of her mediocre life and her mediocre children. Picture her daunting stare, her Im-not-impressed look, though without the humour and with more conniving, back-stabbing malice. That woman made my life a living Hell for five years of marriage by hanging over my every move like a ghost or a shadow, criticizing my decisions like they were hers to make. Married for five years, and it only took him six years to propose. Afraid of commitment, he would say. Doing what his mother subliminally made him believe he wanted to do. That woman deserves to be hung by her wrists with old horse fence wire, the kind with the twisted prongs that cut you like a scalpel. First I would drive to her house and catch her off guard while she was running on her treadmill, which she did every day just before dinner time. I wouldnt wear black leather gloves, as that would be too clich for me. Instead I might wear the thin mitts used to keep the winter chill from your finger tips, perhaps in pink or purple. I would take a frying pan, a cast iron frying pan, and hit her on the back of the head with it to knock her out. She would fall right on the treadmill and because she wont be wearing her safety clasp the treadmill will continue to run against her skin. It will make an awful whizzing sound and the smell of burning rubber will fill the room as I stand by and watch. I suspect Id have a struggle carrying her because even though she works out shes still fat. So I would tie a rope around her like a hog tie, and drag her to my vehicle. I would take her to my dads house, which Im charged with taking care of while he is away on business, and I would hang her in the basement from the rafters by her wrists. Not with the horse wire I had wanted, because I wont be able to get my hands on any. An rope will do. Then Ill take a rusty pair of scissors and cut inch-long slits all over her body. This shock and trauma to her body would wake her up if she was still unconscious. And I wouldnt have to worry about gagging her because were in the middle of nowhere, and she can scream until she is blue in the face.

After watching her bleed out for a while, Ill rub feces, probably dog, into each wound to impose on her the most painful and prolonged death possible. When I was done with the waste of skin, if she wasnt already dead by the time I got bored with her, I would merely slit her throat and collect the blood in an old five gallon pail that we sometimes used to change the oil in our cars, to be dumped down the toilet later. Then I would take her to the field where my husband and I had picnicked together, where the ground was so soft I could bury her in it. And so I would. I would dig all day, giving her the perfect burial, nicer than she deserves. Nobody would ever find her there. Not for many, many years. After that Id take the rusty scissors, the rope I used to tie her up and hang her, the cast iron frying pan I used to knock her out, the clothes I had worn, and I would take them with me. I would donate the clothes, having gotten a minimal amount of anything on them due to careful precision and caution. They could never be traced that way. Then I would burn the rope in the bin behind my moms house that we used to burn our bills and things with personal information on it. As for the frying pan and the scissors, I would bury them in her backyard in the middle of the night. So, if her body was ever found in that field and the police decided to search her yard, they would find the murder weapons. They would question why a murderer would bury them there unless he or she was in close proximity. Ultimately a suspect of their findings, her husband. Though he was the lesser evil of the two, I would be satisfied to see him go to jail for what he allowed his wife to do to me. Seems a just reward.

            And so was born my method of execution: prolonged torture. You see, a woman killer is rare. A woman serial killer, even more so. A Canadian woman serial killer, we are talking highly unlikely. But, a Canadian woman serial killer that tortures her victims through sadistic and prolonged methods, well, thats international news that will go down in history. Their names live in the hearts of generations to come in pure fear of a revival by a copycat. Karla Homolka, for instance is forever remembered and feared despite the fact that she played a fool about the whole ordeal. Though she was an equal part in the murders she was certainly no mastermind like me.

I can see it now, the signs outside the courthouse on the way to my trial after much deliberation on dozens of other plausible suspects: Burn in Hell, Bring Back the Death Penalty Fry Her, You Will Be Judged, Thou Shalt Not Kill, and many other religious sentiments directed at my actions. After all, the crime is more heinous when it is committed by someone unsuspected of being capable of committing such crimes.

            But, Ive already decided: if Im going to do this and tarnish my name forever with the blood of societys innocents, then Im going to do it big. Not only will I make Dr. Stones Most Evil list, but he will rate me as his scientifically-dubbed highest amount of measurable evil, a level twenty-two on his scale. Because, yes, my methods will be just that sadistic and torturous. Go big, or dont go at all.

            The next person on my to-do list is the scrawny, horse-faced girl who likes my name on her lips more than lipstick. Ever since I heard the rumours she was spreading about me I would watch her across the bar on the nights I went out, thinking, look at that bitch dancing like she owns the place. She came into my life shortly after my husband left me, spreading rumours about an affair that I did not have. Leave it to a woman to twist and contort such a tragic story, leaving the victim a victim once again. The world would be a much prettier place for all with one less conceited woman who cant keep her mouth or her legs closed. Oh, how I would ruin that face of hers, that face she looks at in the mirror every day and thinks, How lucky am I to be so beautiful? Shes quite the bar-star, hitting up the trashiest places in town like its her night job. So I would frequent the places she visits for a while, scoping out the perfect opportunity to get her. After all, the perfect crime is not done irrationally or with haste. You must take your time, do it properly. I would wait until she stumbled drunkenly out of the bar and down the sidewalk to her home just a few blocks away. Id follow her a few steps behind, wearing my next pair of pink or purple mittens. Maybe that could be my signature, since Ive already established my modus operandi. I could be the Pink Mitten Killer. Insights fear.

Anyway, I would wait until she was too drunk to stand up and I would act as her friend, take her up under her arm and swoop her away. She might question me, but her drunken mumblings wont matter. Ill take her behind the bar and load her into the trunk of my vehicle by pushing her in head first, tucking her feet in beside my hockey gloves. Then, Id drive to the countryside and take her back to my dads house, back to the solace.

First, I would tie her to one of the metal pillars in his basement, and then pry every single one of her huge teeth right out of her face with a pair of pliers I just used to tighten the lug-nuts on my car. Standing there, laughing as she bled. Then, because that pain just wouldnt be enough for the malicious words she took against me and my name, I might cut little chunks of her flesh off of her and fry it up, and make her eat it. So maybe I would keep that cast iron frying pan. It could serve as a double image in my killings. I would do this until she either passed out or died, and then I would chop her into chunks and feed her to the pigs down the road from my house during the night. Theyll eat anything, even bone, if its cut small enough. And so would be gone my second victim.

            Dont fret, though, as I know where it seemed I was going. As gruesome and creative as I intend to get with my killings and disposal of bodies, I will never eat a human being. There are a surprising amount of cannibal killers in history, but I dont intend on being one of them. If thats what it boiled down to in order to leave my legacy behind, Id choose the cowards way out. Sure if I became a cannibal Id go down in history as that sick woman who ate people, but the reality is that I can still make Dr. Stones Most Evil list and be forever immortalized without resorting to cannibalism, or even vampirism for that matter. Ill leave that to the Albert Fishes and Nicolas Clauxs.

            By this time the police would probably already be looking for the kidnapper, maybe suspecting some kind of foul play in the disappearances of these two women who the papers would deem full of life, with so much potential. Though the amount of missing persons is high in the Greater Toronto Area so they may not be concerned with foul play at that point. There would be services and search parties all over town for the women, and I would be a part of both of them. I would console my cheating husband with such amazing acted sympathy that I could win an Oscar.

However at this point I wouldnt be able to keep killing women, because then the police would suspect that would be my pattern and Id rather not confuse things. Id have to mix it up. I guess I could toss them a petty kill, still a deserving soul, though. I thought about the guy that tried to strangle me one drunken night when I told him no, I didnt want to be friends with benefits.

Sure, thatll do. Ill lure him into the bush for a tumble. After all, if he believed I was a slut he would expect to get lucky and I would have no difficulty convincing him. Then when his back was turned I would bash the back of his skull in with one of the hammers from my mothers shed, the one with the blue handle stained with white paint. I would drive his limp body to the other side of town and dump it in the bushes behind a local bar. Then I would plant some receipts and gum from other people that I had previously collected precisely for that moment, in order to lead the police even further away from me. You can thank Gary Ridgway for that tid-bit, the Green River Killer, or psychopathic genius who helped me commit my third murder.

At this point maybe I might start getting nervous, finally realizing the seriousness of what I am doing. The search for these people will be in full-tilt and I would probably have to lay low. The important thing is to maintain normalcy. Look normal, act normal, keep hanging out with friends, going to work. If I start doing things out of the ordinary someone will pick up on it and raise suspicion. Its when everything seems hunky-dory that the real trouble lurks. Like John Gacy, for example. Totally normal human being, popular with friends, dressed up like a clown to entertain childrens parties, was extremely friendly and, oh, did I forget to mention a psychotic serial murderer interested particularly in young boys? Nobody suspected a thing from this seemingly docile creature. And nobody will suspect a thing from me. Ill embody the successes, not the failures, of the best serial killers. I will be Ridgway, Bundy, Wuornos, Lucas, Olson, and Lake.

Ill give it three weeks of down-time. After my taste for killing has set in, if I acquire one, which I suspect I might as Im quite the glory hound, itll be hard to stop for three weeks. But a good serial killer must also have patience. If I start getting impatient, I start getting sloppy. I wont go down in history for being the sloppy serial murderess that made stupid mistakes and got caught before any of the real fun began. During those three weeks, though, Id occupy myself with more dutiful research on the topic. I could plot my next murders; contemplate the possible outcomes and who I might add to my list. And I could start looking at laws.

The justice system is a joke in this country, anyway, so I doubt if that research would have changed my mind. Im not against pleading insanity. I will plead that I had a mental break down brewing within for months after my husband cheated on me and left me with nothing, that it was his actions that drove me to insanity killings. Whether they will buy it or not is not really a concern of mine. Ive come to terms with my worst possible outcome, which is life imprisonment. Right now that life sentence would have me out in plenty of time to continue living a normal social life outside of prison. And even still, Id have the potential for some kind of early release on probationary terms. And if not, who cares? Ill still get three meals a day with a relatively warm bed and time to exercise and focus on number one for once in my life.

When the three weeks is up, the plan will be back in full swing. No looking back, no regrets. Onto the next victim. Who shall it be? Someone from high school who teased me? The guy who beat my mom soon after her divorce with my father? But how would I find him? He might be a potential victim in the future, if I can track him down. But, perhaps, the next crime will be a crime of passion, and it wont be premeditated.

One day after work Ill be driving home on a relatively busy street. Ill have my eyes on the road, but something will catch my eye to the left. A man dressed in a haggard sweat suit, torn and dirty like a homeless man but with clean, white runners that makes me think otherwise. But its not the man that catches my eye; its the dogs at the end of his leash. Two beautiful German Shepherds, not unlike my own dogs except much bigger and probably males. The man walks with the dogs through the big park and when they get too far ahead of him he yanks their leashes back with such force that I can hear the dogs cries from inside my vehicle.

Ill cut the guy off in the turning lane and dart into the secluded parking lot behind the park. Ill grab my pink mittens and the lever from my tire jack from my trunk and Ill head toward the man, walking behind him, but walking quickly so I can reach him before he gets too far.

Nice dogs, Ill say to him to get his attention.

Hell turn around, though I wont be able to see his eyes under the hood of his sweater. Thanks, he mumbles to me and continues walking.

The dogs will fight his pull and whine for me, crying for my attention, or for their salvation.

May I pet them?

He will stop again, and I will sense his irritation. But it wont stop me, and I wont be afraid. As he is about to turn toward me again, maybe to tell me off, I will take the concealed lever from behind me and I will strike him across the head.

He probably wont drop at the first blow, as the lever maybe isnt as strong as I would have initially expected or hoped.

So I might panic at first and strike him hard again, at which time he will undoubtedly go down. He will probably drop the leashes to the dogs, though they wont run away nor will they attack me. They will just stand idly by.

His hands will shoot up to shield his face from the lever, but I will strike him continuously until the blood splatter gets too heavy and the deep red seeps from his cracked skull.

Ill take the lever with me, knowing it would be stupid to leave it around. Why people ever left their murder weapons at the scene of the crime was beyond me. And then Ill drop a cigarette butt that I picked up from outside a government building, belonging to God only knows who. Then Ill take the dogs with me. Their tails will wag excitedly and it will remind me of my own. Ill load them into my car, in the back seat. If I were to leave the dogs, they might run away and get hit by a car. If I were to tie them to a tree until they were found they would likely end up at the shelter where some duckweed asshole like their previous owner would pick them up. So it was only logical that I would take them home with me and include them in my family. Who would notice, anyway? Hey, thats that dog of the guy who was killed. Lets be honest.

            That murder will be the knot in the rope, the thing that throws the police off completely. Out of the ordinary, not in character for their tall, Caucasian, male serial killer that they are now looking for. But my next murder will put them right back on track, and might put me on their list of suspects, because a deranged ex-wife wouldnt have logically made their stupid feasibility list in the first place.

Ill wake up in the morning with a smile on my face and hope in my heart for a potentially happier future. Ill make myself my favourite homemade Belgian waffles with the waffle-maker we got for a wedding gift. Ill top it with whipped cream and strawberries. Ill enjoy it at my kitchen table with my five dogs staring up at me for me to throw down a piece. Ill look out the window to the bright sun rising over the mountains in the distance, and I wont be able to keep the grin off of my face knowing the days events to come, knowing I got my revenge. I dont care what anyone says, revenge solves everything. If it doesnt solve everything, youre not doing it right.

Ill park on the road beside the driveway, and Ill walk up to the front door and knock even though I have my own key. I need to put him exactly where I anticipated he would be, or else my plan could fall apart.

My husband will answer the door in his stylish jeans and expensive hoodie, his camo hat that I bought him last Christmas on his head. His face will be unshaven, as usual, but it will look good on him. The sight of his handsome face, standing there in my house, under my wall art that says Home is where our story begins will sting at my heart and only make me want to do it more.

Hell ask me what Im doing there, and Ill ask him politely and sweetly if I can come in. Hell study my face for a bit. Hes not smart enough to figure out why Im there. So then hell stand back to let me in. Hell close the door behind me and wait for me to take off my shoes. And well walk up the stairs together.

He might offer to put some coffee on, because hes just such a sweetheart. Hell ask if I still take two milks and one sugar, and I will say yes.

            So they still havent found your mother, yet? Ill try to hide my smile as I watch him.

His back is turned to me, hes facing the coffee pot. His head hangs and his shoulders sink.

I can hear his breathing, hard and irregular. I wonder how fast his heart is beating inside his chest, how much he wants to cry but fights it so he doesnt show me how weak he really is. Weak like the bones of a newborn baby.

His back still turned to me, Ive got some time. Ill pick up the malachite stone on the shelf beside the cupboard, and Ill raise it high above my head although it is heavy. My adrenaline will pump, and Ill start to get excited, my heart racing.

Ill creep ever closer to him, careful not to disturb his pain and anguish over his lost mother, whom, I rightly know, is pushing up ugly dandelion weeds (because shes too evil and awful to push up daisies) in the field we frequented for picnics.

And then Ill whisper, in the smuggest voice I can muster, I love you sweetheart.

Hell turn, almost immediately, startled at the sound of those words coming from my lips. Ill let him raise his eyes to the malachite stone above my head for a split second, and then I will bring it down, heavy and hard, across his face.

Hell stumble momentarily and then fall to his knees, clutching his face. Hell be awake still, a little dazed, but alert. Ill strike him again, harder this time, holding my breath. And then he will fall, writhing on the floor like a child having a seizure.

Ill watch him for a moment before wiping the blood from the stone on his sweater and placing it back on the shelf where it belonged.

Ill struggle, grunting and uttering swears to myself as I attempt to drag his still-fat ass, despite his recent weight loss, across the kitchen floor and into the bedroom. It will take me a while to drag him to the bedroom, because hes heavy and I dont have any upper body strength.

Ill get him onto the bed easier than I had expected because he tries to stand up, and Ill lay him under the covers as if he were sleeping, or about to. Blood will seep from his wound, but it doesnt matter. They wont be able to tell.

Ill grab the bottle of Captain Morgan from his cupboard of alcohol, knowing he has become quite a heavy drinker. I remember smelling it on his breath the night he came to my moms house and threatened me with my own shotgun, like it was my fault he cheated on me and left. Like it was my fault that he became depressed over his foolish choices.

That memory will fuel my anger some more. Ill pour some of the alcohol from the bottle around him. Ill make sure to pour some down his throat. Ill slap him when he spits some back up at me. Ill place the bottle in his one hand, and a cigarette in the other.

I might spend a bit of time positioning him. First I might turn his head one way, then the other, then decide I liked it better the other way. Ill roll him onto his side and push his knees up to his chest, though he isnt flexible, so it will be hard. His chin will be up, so I will point it toward his chest and tuck the bottle closer to his torso, his body is in the fetal position.

Am I really about to do this? Is this what I have been building up to, to kill my husband? Is he really a bad enough person for me to kill? The others were bad. They were awful. Can I blame him for what he did to me? I love him, I didnt love them. I felt nothing for them but hate. Him, though, he was different.

I swallow hard and begin to have a change of heart. After all, I did love him. I do love him, still.

I think of our wedding day. I remember looking into his soft blue eyes and telling him that some people are lucky enough to marry their love, but Im lucky enough to marry my love and my best friend.

And there I was, left cold and alone. He had left me, found someone questionably better. We werent even divorced, and they had already planned on getting married and having their happily ever after.

But wheres my happily ever after?

So Ill put no more thought into my broken heart or his broken skull, and Ill light the cigarette between his fingers. Ill nudge it from his fingers with the lighter and drop the lighter on the floor.

The sheets will light up instantaneously.

Ill walk past the bare spaces on the walls where our wedding and honeymoon photos used to be. Id imagine them in a landfill somewhere; glass cracked right through my face in the picture like it was designed that way. Ill take one last look back at my living room, my warm, autumn colour scheme of dark browns with light brown and red accents, and Ill see how she has changed it. Tacky Wal-Mart decorations in black and cork. All I can do is shake my head and wish things had been different. But they cant be different, now, as the room beside me is lighting up and I wonder if he can feel a thing. I wonder if he can feel anything, because he obviously felt nothing for our whole fucking marriage.

            I do a once-over of the area, trying to see the room from an outside perspective. Nothing suspicious, so I leave and I lock the door on my way out. Why would the door be locked? He must have been home alone.

Ill kick the light, fluffy snow over my foot steps as I walk backwards down the driveway. Smoke will billow out the back windows behind the house. Ill take a moment and watch them at the end of the driveway, by my car.

And when I get home itll be like every other day. Ill let my dogs outside and then feed them, watching them and appreciating their presence more than ever. Ill think about how I cant wait for them to finish eating so I can sit on the floor with them and let them lick my face and show me how much they love and miss me every time Im gone.

Then Ill sit on my bed and let my dogs surround me in little curled up balls of love and affection, and Ill wait.

Ill wait for news that my husband, the love of my life, my everything, was found burned alive in bed. That poor alcoholic fell asleep with a cigarette. What a horrible way to go. Whole house in flames, burned to rubble before the fire department could get there. Theyd have to identify him by his dental records.

Ill wait for the saddened phone call from my mother at work, telling me how sorry she is because she is convinced that I held hope for our reconciliation. And Ill play into it. Ill act surprised, in disbelief, the way I imagined I would act. I tried to imagine the hurt in my heart, and it worked, and soon I was telling my mother how I had wished I had told him I loved him one last time before he went. Little did she know.

Together, my mother and I will pick out my dress for the funeral. Ill put as much time and thought into it as I did my wedding dress, my beautiful gown that fit me like a dream. As well as my dress, Ill buy an expensive black veil to cover my face, because I should wear one. After all, I am the widow. Not her. Id always wanted to wear a black veil to a funeral, how thankful I got my chance. Black was my favourite colour, and I suppose it was fitting. Not only because I was a widow, but because I literally was a black widow.

Ill act sad and disheartened at the condolences Ill receive on that day. Ill nod and purse my lips, my brow furrowed. The wrinkles Ill get from furrowing my brow all day will be worth it in the end. Ill cry my best tears. Ill hold my mothers arm and keep her by my side the whole night because on my own I might look too comfortable and not widow-ish enough.

Friends and family will look at me with broken hearts which I can see on their faces, and I will avoid eye contact with them as if it pains me to see them. Ill always be looking down, to the black dress I had chosen. Ill be sad, and distraught on the outside. But on the inside, Ill be smiling.

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