3/22/2022: Andrea & Archie
I’m trying something new. Every day I’ll write for 10 minutes. I won’t limit what I write to any particular thing. It could be fiction, poetry, an essay, whatever. The goal is to write and then publish and share it. I need to get over my fear of publishing and I need to build a writing (and publishing) habit.
This is the continuation of the story from yesterday. You can find the first part here.
Yesterday, Archie was poised to take his revenge, but I felt it was important to get Andrea’s side of the story. I hope you enjoy it.
Andrea looked into the wet, green eyes of her soon-to-be ex-husband. She long lost the passion he obviously still grappled with. But, she was not afraid, not of this man, not of death. Being married to Archie had been worse than death near the end. It was so close to life but never truly touching it. All the dreams she deferred and all the hopes she gave away rubbed off a little piece of her every day until her soul was a ragged, raw, bloody meat puppet. Then she met Heinrich. No, this callow man with his big knife didn’t frighten her.
“Archie,” she said. “Stop it.”
Archie lowered the knife to his side.
“I don’t give a shit. You want to kill me? With the Cutco knife you got me? Fine. It wasn’t the most romantic present, was it? It’d be poetic justice for you, wouldn’t it?”
Archie’s face flushed, but he whispered through his clenched teeth.
“You never appreciate nothin’ I do for you! I work hard and do the best I can to provide and care for you. I love you, damn it.”
“What you call love, I call servitude.”
Silence passed a moment that was forever.
“Archie, you better get out of here before Heinrich comes out here. We don’t want this to become a scene.”
Archie stared at the bathroom door.
“Archie, look at me.”
He looked down at her, tears welled but no longer fell.
“You’re better than this. You need to see someone and get better. What was your plan once you killed me?”
Archie looked at his wet socks.
“Dunno. Write a note and hang myself, I guess.”
“That would make a wonderful scene for Gretchen to come for a visit and find, wouldn’t it? Did you think about our daughter at all?”
Archie’s grip on the knife tightened and it shook. He glowered at her.
“Did you when you decided to break up our family?”
“Gretchen is 23-years-old, Archie. She hasn’t lived at home in almost four years. Look, I know it wasn’t easy on you, but I was miserable. You deserve to be with someone who’s happy to be with you.”
Archie looked at the bathroom door.
“Who would want to be with me?”
“I did, at one point. I’m sure you’ll find someone else. You just have to get over me and have a little faith in yourself.”
“Andrea,” Heinrich called from the bathroom. “Do you have a spare toothbrush? I did not expect-“
“I’ll be right there,” Andrea said without looking away from Archie. She lowered her voice again. “If you go home now, I won’t tell anyone. I won’t call the police. I won’t tell Gretchen or your mother. Just, go. Please.”
Archie nodded his head and put the knife back into his jacket pocket. He sobbed silently as he turned and left the room. Andrea counted to twenty and then reached for her phone.
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