Meat

By June Ong

It was a beautiful morning. Trees were swaying gaily in the gentle breeze and there was a scrumptious scent of waffles wafting in the air. Stifling a yawn, I gingerly pulled myself out of my cozy snuggly bed and turned my head lazily to the right.

Wait, my senses were immediately on high alert, where is my husband?

Craning my head left and right, I detected no signs that indicated my husband was home last night. Millions of questions raced through my mind that split second. Where was he? What was he doing? Overworking to the wee hours of the morning? That did not make sense. I paced around my bedroom, trying to figure out the cause of my husband’s absence until my gaze landed upon the scar on my forehead. At that instant, I knew where he was spending the night.

My thoughts were interrupted when I heard the front door slam. Quicker than you can say Jack Robinson, I threw myself under the duvet covers and pretended to be asleep. He thinks he can fool me? Well two can play this game. The door knob jiggled and in entered my husband, who was shuffling quietly into bed. It is now or never, time to let the cat out of the bag.

Putting on an act, I groggily rubbed my eyes and gazed tenderly at my husband, the bastard who was pretending to be snoring.

“Hi honey, where were you last night?” I asked in a voice as smooth as silk, playing the part of an inane gullible wife.

“What are you mumbling about? I was sleeping next to you throughout the whole night darling,” that hypocrite replied without batting an eyelid, his expression revealing nothing.

Upon hearing this, I knew that he was lying. I had two options. One, I could play the part of the forgiving wife and let bygones be bygones. Two, I could question his motives and lashed out vitriolic bellicose remarks which would most probably lead to an initiation of a heated argument. I debated with myself for a split second but the answer was crystal clear. Determined to dig out the truth, it was Hobson’s choice for me but to choose the latter.

“Henry, don’t you dare lie to me! Where were you? Having an affair with Becky?” I yelled at him, my face fuming with anger.

A look of disbelief flitted across his face, which turned to guilt and in a split second later, a face contorted with rage.

“How dare you accuse me, you bitch! Do you have any proof? Or are you just spinning tales from that pompous wild imagination of yours?” He looked like he was about to fly off the handle any moment now.

He started circling me around the room, like a predator hunting down his prey. A cold shiver went down my spine and for an instant, I just stood there numbed, dumb rooted to the spot. His fervid grip on my neck would definitely mean the end of me. That guy had no qualms in killing me. Helpless, I gazed frantically around the room and just then, a lightbulb lit in my head, I had an idea.

I took quick swift steps backwards to my bedside and quietly, slipped my hand behind my back and grabbed the brass lamp. My heart was palpitating wildly within me and the butterflies couldn’t stop fluttering in my stomach.

As he was about to strangle me, I gazed up at those piercing blue eyes of his that once charmed me so long ago for one last time, trying to locate any ounce of love but no, all I could see was an abusive monster, a monster who had been given too many second chances. So, feeling no remorse, I tightened my grip on the brass lamp and with one hard blow, smashed it heavily against his skull.

There was an ear-splitting crack and Henry started wailing in pain but I could no longer care less, I continued knocking the lamp repeatedly against his head. I was totally blinded by rage. All these years of abuse, mockery, pretend forgiveness……An eye for an eye. He hurt me, and now was my turn to hurt him.

Bit by bit, his shrieks subsided into a moan and later, diminished until there was nothing but silence. Coolly, I placed the murder weapon back on the table and crouched down, examining his unconscious figure.

Maybe I just knocked him out cold, I presumed but as I placed my fingers over his pulse, my worst fears were confirmed. I just killed my husband.

Fear gripped my heart and I felt cold. What should I do? How could I dispose his body? Suppressing my anxiety, I paced around my bedroom, trying to get myself rid of this bloody situation when something outside caught my eye and halted me dead in my tracks. It was an advertisement, advertising a newly-opened butcher store.

A few days later, there was a long queue outside Hanks’s Butcher; apparently there was a new type of exotic meat on sale, for a limited time only.

“Step right up, come and savor the latest exotic meat, hailing all the way from the Caribbean Islands,” Hank bellowed over the commotion of the customers fighting to get a piece of it.

You see, after glancing upon the advertisement, I knew just how to solve my dilemma. There it was, staring right back at me, my golden ticket to salvation. Hank is my brother, so persuading him to sell my husband’s meat to unsuspecting customers was a piece of cake. No one would ever find out, right?

As I walked by the store, Hank caught my eye and gave me a mischievous wink. Finally, after all these miserable abusive years, I was finally free. I feel refreshed, like my vigor in life has been renewed. I returned Hank a smile and continued to walk down the rocky pavement into the glorious sunshine. It was certainly a beautiful morning.

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