How to begin? I guess I should start by telling you I didn’t wake up Benjamin and Wendy. Not once did they so much as stir in their sleep.
I’m sitting by the little kitchen table writing you this letter. That’s right – I’m in our house. Even though you don’t think about it like that anymore. I’m writing these words with a pen that says its from Hotel Atlantico. I guess we brought it with us home after that time we went to Rio De Janeiro. That was good times, wasn’t it? Do you remember walking along the Copacabana? That quaint little bar where they kept bringing us pretzels even though we told them we didn’t like pretzels? Going skinny dipping at night, even though it was illegal? I wonder if you ever think about those times, and what we had together.
I can’t believe you still have that pen, but I guess that answers my question – if you ever did think about those times it would be too painful to keep something like that. I guess you really don’t care anymore.
You’ll probably want to know the how’s and why’s of what I’ve done. Or maybe not. Maybe you’ll be too upset to want anything. But then maybe later. Fuck it, who am I kidding. I’m going to tell you anyway. Just to torture you.
I have been watching our house for a long time. I don’t know if you know that? I guess, if you did you’d have called the cops. It’s really your own fault. It’s not like I enjoy sneaking around like some damn pervert. Do you have any idea how undignified it is to have to sit out here in my car, in the rain, watching my own Goddamn house through binoculars? If you hadn’t gone and gotten that restraining order it wouldn’t be necessary either. What did you expect when you had my rights to see Benjy and Wendy revoked?
I was watching when the babysitter arrived, and I was watching later when Thomas arrived, and you emerged from the house all dolled up and slutty looking. I knew Thomas was going to come by and pick you up (I hacked your Facebook even though you changed the password again, and read all the dirty messages you’ve been sending each other). You guys have been dating for a month now (yes, I keep track), and I guess you were going out to celebrate that.
You looked good when you came out, I’ll give you that. The last couple of times I saw you, you always had your hair in a bun and no make-up on. I guess you really wanted to look good for him.
I wonder how you guys met? It annoys me to no end that I haven’t found that out exactly. But judging from your messages I’d say a bar somewhere downtown. How original. Was he just the first guy that gathered his courage and went up to offer you a drink? If I had been there, when and if, that was how it happened, I would have knocked that motherfucker’s teeth out right then and there.
Did you already know you were going to start dating him back then? Or did you think it was going to be just a one night stand?
That was what I hoped at first – that maybe you just needed the rebound. But then I watched as you started texting each other more and more. And I noticed the first time you made the first of many little ❤ in a text message to him.
So weird that you have chosen this stranger over me.
That you now grant him the sighs and moans that used to be reserved for me.
That you now curl up him to fall asleep to the sound of his breathing.
After he'd finished playing the perfect gentleman, holding the umbrella and everything, I watched you drive off. I waited for a couple of hours (waiting becomes easier the more you do it), to be sure Benjy and Wendy were asleep. Then I drove a couple of streets down and parked the car. Getting out of the car, I checked my coat pocket for the thousandth time – the syringe was still there. I still work at the drugstore, so it was easy enough for me to procure it.
It was raining, and my hair clung to my face in sticky wet tongues when I rang the doorbell , but that was part of the plan.
For once I felt thankful you'd thrown out all the pictures of you and me together that used to stand on top of your mom's old bureau (even though it did hurt when I found the picture from our wedding in your trash).
When the babysitter opened the door I could see she had a piercing in her nose, and I would have sworn there was a faint smell of cigarette smoke on her. I can't believe you'd let someone like that watch over our children. It's especially funny because you wouldn't let me show Benjy ”The Good, The Bad & The Ugly” that time. Maybe you've gone soft from being ”in love” again and all that – maybe Thomas even convinced you to be more ”broadminded” or ”tolerant” or some shit like that.
I had rehearsed what I was going to say over and over – my first inclination had been to ask to borrow the phone, but of course that would be stupid, nobody borrows phones anymore. I also didn't want to scream or shout or raise my voice or anything like that for fear of waking up Benjy and Wendy. I could almost see their sweet, serene faces as they slept before my eyes. You see? I've never had anything but their best interests at heart.
I needed just the right mixture of urgency and respectability in my voice to pull it off. I'd also washed my shirt and bought a new tie for the occasion.
”Hey,” I said, forcing what I hoped looked like an embarrassed smile. She didn't respond, just eyed me suspiciously, so I went on.
”I was wondering if I could borrow your bathroom,”
I produced the little plastic bag with the syringe from my pocket and held it up in front of me.
”You see, my car has broken down. And I have diabetes. I need to take a shot of insulin or I'm going to have a seizure.”
”Um… ah… I don't know about that…” she said, and scratched her head.
”Please,” I urged. ”I just need a clean, calm place to do it. It won't be long, then I'll be out of your hair again. If I don't get this shot I might die.”
She rubbed her face, probably trying to decide what to do.
I decided to take a chance and pulled out my wallet.
”Look,” I said, ”I'll give you fifty dollars if you let me in. Please.”
Just as I felt certain she was going to call my bluff, she removed the chain on the door.
”But please hurry,” she said. ”I don't really live here, I'm just the babysitter.”
I nodded gratefully, while I fumbled to get the syringe out of the bag. It seemed to take forver. Then I stabbed her in the throat with it.
I knew I had to be damn fast – I couldn't allow her to let out the smallest peep. Luckily she must have been so surprised she didn't even scream.
I covered her mouth with my hand and pushed the content of the syringe into her. She struggled viciously, the bitch, but it wasn't insulin I'd put in the syringe, it was cetacaine, a strong prescription sedative from the store. In a manner of seconds her eyes rolled back and she went limp.
I put her on the floor. Before leaving her, I leaned down and yanked out her piercing. Her skin tore like tender sole leather. For a moment I stood transfixed and looked at the blood that curled around the shiny material. It was beautifull. Then I tossed the ring away and went out to the kitchen.
Passing through our living room, the memories opened the storm locks. I remembered the old days when things were good and uncomplicated. When you smiled and looked happy in the pictures we took. I wonder if, if one could roll out the history of your thoughts on the floor, like a map of the neural paths, would I be able to find the exact moment you decided to ruin everything? Would I be able to pinpoint the exact moment you decided you didn't love me anymore? Or did it happen more gradually?
I have done a lot of work to find out as much as possible about what you've been doing since you kicked me out, but I'll never know the actual thought process and that drives me up the damn wall. I can watch you shower and read your mail, but I can't tell what is going on inside your beautiful, mysterious head.
I guess I went a little overboard calling you slutty and all that earlier. What I'm trying to say is just that you went and destroyed something that was good and right and beautiful. When people get married they are supposed to be together. For ever. That's the whole idea.
And what's more, I don't think you had the right to divorce me like you did. What about my feelings? What about what we had together? We built a family, for Christ's sake. It's not just about you and what you want – a marriage is something you have together. It's holy. You can't just pull the rug out from under everything and waltz away as if everything was just there for your enjoyment.
And goddamn it – the kids, you bitch. Benjy and Wendy were the lights of my fucking life. How could you take them from me? How did you manage to turn everyone against me like you did? Did you sleep with my lawyer maybe? Maybe that was why he did such a lousy job.
Here's the problem you see – not that I'd expect you to understand, seeing as you were always so damn strong and independent – but I love you too much. I grew to needing you. And one can't help but secretly resent the things one needs.
But it's no good – I keep ending up saying bad things about you. And when you read this it will all be too late anyway.
When I'd found what I needed in the kitchen I went into the nursery. I see Benjy and Wendy still sleep in the same room even though they are really too old for that now. Wendy also still sucks her thumb, the little rascal.
Seeing them sleeping so innocently there, I wavered and almost couldn't do it.
I hesitated for a moment – and you'll love this – a tiny, treacherous voice rose inside my head. What if – just what if – your date with Thomas was going horribly? Just what if, suddenly he did some little thing that made you remember what you'd thrown away, made you realize your mistake and sent you running back through the rain, not even wanting him to drive you home.
I almost dropped the knife to the floor and went outside to look for you. But it would have been stupid, wouldn't it?
It was a ridiculous, childish hope like so many I'd entertained before, all of which had all left me disappointed and hurting even more.
You never came through for me, and you never will.
There is no happy ending tonight.
I caressed the sweet bulb of Wendy's forehead, drawing a few wild locks of hair away from her eyes. I swear she looked just like a plump little angel.
It is done now. I will have killed myself too by the time you read this. As I write this, you are probably still out with Thomas, shamelessly enjoying a night away from the kids.
Good, I want it that way. I want you to think back to this night, knowing that while you were out drinking expensive wine, laughing and thinking of fucking his brains out, our children died.
And every time you curl up to him and fall asleep to the sound of his breathing, in your most private and intimate moments, I want you to remember what it cost you. That this was the price you paid.
By Lars Kramhøft