You replay, in your mind, everything that has happened in the last 24 hours. Just that length of time ago, you had a wife and a son. You had a family. And now, you’re trying to come to terms with being wifeless. You can’t believe she did what she did. You call her a bitch. A whore.It all started yesterday- the day after Christmas.
You couldn’t be with your family on Christmas night, because your mean boss decided to pick on you, the Nigerian immigrant. He wanted to show you how powerless you are, and so, you couldn’t go home. You counted your blessings instead. You’d sent your family to this country three years ago, and your wife had become a registered nurse. She made more money than you did, but it never really mattered. She was still the good girl you married in your country. Snapping back to reality, you called her to let her know that you wouldn’t be back home. She was upset and called your boss ‘Ekwensu’ (devil), and that made you smile.
You got home rather early yesterday (the beginning). She was still asleep, and so you went up to your son’s room, but he had gone out. ‘ probably with the neighbor’s kids’, you thought to yourself as you vaguely remembered he had said something about learning new Christmas songs. You were about to turn around and leave his room when an open book caught your eye. you went closer and saw that it was the journal your wife had bought for him. She had been encouraging him to write about his day and his observations about the world. You had laughed about it. It seemed like such a girly thing to do, but you supported your wife anyway, even while hoping in the back of your mind that he would drop it soon. You frowned as a small battle ensued between your conscience and your curiosity, but you are only human. You win some and you lose some.
So, you looked at that page. It was the last entry he had made, and you saw his handwriting, smoother and more mature than it had been just three months ago. Yes. Three months ago was the last time you helped your 8-year old son with his homework. You shook your head and that feeling of guilt and started reading. You couldn’t tear your eyes away from that page. You read it over and over. and that was when it happened.
You felt that familiar tick near your right eye. You heard your heart in your ears, pumping so loudly that you wondered if it wouldn’t beat its way right out of your chest. You took a deep breath and walked out of your son’s room, went down the stairs and into the garage where you kept your toolbox. Then you went to your bedroom where your wife was still sleeping with a small smile on her face. You smiled too, but your smile was different. And then, you struck.
One blow was all it took,but you needed to let it all out. The pain. The rage. And so, you carried her, smiling as you reminisced about teasing her for being as light as a feather. You carried her to your bathroom and laid her carefully in the tub. Then you left the room. You returned with a kitchen knife and you stabbed her dead body- 8 times in her stomach, for every year your son had lived, and 10 times in her chest, for the years you’d been married to her. You stabbed her like you wanted her to let it all out. You did it because you wanted to let it all out.
You waited till she stopped bleeding, and then, you chopped her into smaller, more portable pieces, and put her in two garbage bags and took her to the deep freezer in the basement. Afterwards, you cleaned up the bathroom and the tools and put them back where they belonged. She always did praise you for being tidy, unlike her friends’ husbands. You had always brushed it off, but it secretly made you happy. You smiled.
You had breakfast alone and went straight to bed. Your son came back home some hours later, and asked for his mother. You hugged him tight until he squirmed, and told him that she had traveled to Africa to see her sick sister. And then you gave him lunch. And dinner. And you sent him to bed.
Now, this morning, you are taking a walk , alternating between muttering and loudly cursing your wife. You hate her for doing what she did and unknowingly letting your son know. The bitch hadn’t had the courtesy to be certain of his continued ignorance. She knew about your temper. She had talked to you about it. And yet, she had pushed you. She had done the unforgivable. ‘Screw you’, you scream, and you wonder why you hadn’t thought of screwing her before chopping her up. And to think you’d loved her with every cell in your body…
You blink back tears and draw the cold air into your lungs, trying to clear your thoughts. And then you hear it. No. You listen to it. You’ve been absent-mindedly hearing the cheery Christmas songs that are audible in the streets, but this one has caught your attention. You stop walking to listen, and everything slows down.
” I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus
Underneath the mistletoe last night
She didn’t see me creep down the stairs
To have a peep…”
This is the end of your sanity, and you know it, as you realize why the lyrics sound familiar.
You saw them in your son’s journal yesterday (at the beginning).