It's a rainy Saturday night in November. People on the busy street rush by me; it's as if they cannot see me. It's also surprising that no one has bumped me yet, so long I have been standing in the rain like a loser. But I'm holding my position because I found the perfect angle, close enough to the glass to look inside the restaurant but angled enough to the side not to be noticed by the people sitting on the window booth. Funny how the circumstances may change an ordinary guy into a stalker. Over the booth's table, I get an unobstructed view of the bar, where she is sitting. My wife, Barbara. My Barbie. Having drinks, laughing, enjoying herself with another man.
He looks familiar; I'm sure I've seen him before. Maybe it was at her office's Christmas party. I remember now: Grant, or Brad, something like that. Yes, that's him. Even that day, with me by her side, that creep was ogling her. I remember clearly now, Grant or whatever his name is, emboldened by cheap well drinks, his eyes fixed on my wife's ass. At some point, when Barbara went to the restroom, he cut her on the way back. They chatted for only a minute, but his gaze never left her tits. That memory makes me fume. Or it should make me fume, but I feel nothing.
I guess I've been standing here so long I'm numb. Maybe this is how it goes when you are turning to the dark side: first comes the numbness, then comes the coldness. What else would explain why my chest is not exploding with rage while I watch that fucking creep run his hand up my wife's thigh? Even I never did that, fondle her shamelessly in public.
Is that it? Is she cavorting with this snake because I don't grab her ass in a public place? Is that what she wants? To be treated like a cheap whore, groped for the whole world to see? My head is spinning with this information. Or it should be spinning, but I guess I'm now cold and calculating. What the fuck, Barbara? You wanted public sex? you could have said something. We have been married for five years, for crying out loud, I thought we understood each other. I thought you cared for me as much as I cared for you. If you needed more excitement, you should have asked. I would tie you to a lamp post with your panties and spank you there in plain sight if that makes you happy. My mind could be planning ways to torture you into pleasure instead of ways to make this motherfucker hurt.
They're leaving the bar now. As they approach the door, I retreat some more. I'm not sure I want the confrontation to occur here, in the dark, under the rain. It turns out I don't need to worry about that: they rush by me to hop on a cab, not ten feet from me, and still don't see me. I guess lust makes you that blind.
When I get to our building, I decide how it will happen. I go around to the alley and up through the fire escape. I manage to make it to the bedroom while they are still in the living room. I hear the conversation, the sound of a bottle of wine being uncorked, the glasses clicking. Once again, I'm not quite myself: instead of bursting through the bedroom door into the living area to confront them, I feel cool and somehow collected. Maybe this is how the brain works when a person is about to go from an average Joe into a killer: a disconnected coldness fills the body, and the expected human emotions disappear: there is no anger, sadness, or despair. Instead, the mind opens into an unemotional space that allows for something that resembles planning.
I take my time and find the perfect place to position myself: sitting in my leather armchair by the bedroom corner. I am slightly hidden, like a lion ready to pounce. I look at the nightstand and see Barbara's diary. It's a black leather book where she pours her thoughts and feelings. Maybe I should read it to figure out how this whole shitshow started. I'm about to reach for it.
I hear Barbara say that she needs a minute, and suddenly she enters the room, closes the door, and sits on the bed. She still has not seen me. I move slowly, in a controlled motion. I walk the first few steps, but Barbara doesn't look at me. The door swings open; Grant or Brad walks in, a glass of wine in hand and a fucker smile on his face. The smile falters when he sees her. I expect him to look up at me, but that doesn't happen. Instead, Barbara speaks.
"I think you should go, Grant."
"But baby, we're doing so good, we're having some fun," he says with a lustful smirk. What the fuck is wrong with this guy? I'm standing right here. Why am I not moving? What am I doing watching this bizarre spectacle?
"Just go, please," Barbara says, voice breaking.
"But, I thought," she interrupts him with a shrill cry:
"My husband is dead, Grant; it's not even been a year! I can't do this, I thought I was ready, but I'm not! Just go, please go!"
She breaks into loud sobs. I guess Grant leaves the room, but I'm not paying attention to him anymore. I rush to Barbara's side, try to take her in my arms. But I can't. I'm not next to her. I'm not here nor there. I'm nothingness.
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