And Then It Happened By Thomas Morgan

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I’m having an affair with an older woman. It’s not an extramarital affair because she’s not married. She’s actually a widow. She’s been a widow for as long as I’ve known her.

I went to school with her son. We were in the same class. Sometimes, he would come over to my house after school – sometimes, I would go over to his house.

That’s how my parents became friends with her.

The affair started when I was fourteen years old. One day, my mother told me to drop a birthday present and a card round to her house. I told my mother that I didn’t want to, but she told me that sometimes in life, you have to do things that you don’t want to do. That’s just the way it is. So I went round there.

I knocked on the door, but there was no answer. Then I heard a voice shout out “Just a minute.” I stood outside and waited until she finally opened the door. Her hair was still wet, and she was wearing a silk dressing gown. Drops of water  trickled down her smooth legs, and I could see the faint outline of her breasts against the silk robe.

And then it happened.

I want to get out of this. It’s been going on for far too long. Plus, I’ve just started seeing someone new – someone my own age – and I feel like I’m finally ready for a real relationship, instead of one where I have to sneak around all the time. But I’m afraid that if I speak up and tell her that I want out, she’ll tell my new girlfriend about us and our relationship will be over. Even though we have an unspoken agreement and a no-strings-attached kind of relationship, I can see a hint of jealousy in her eyes when I tell her that I can’t make one of our pre-arranged appointments. I don’t tell her the real reason why I can’t make it, but I think she knows.

I’ve thought long and hard about it, and the only way I’m going to get out of this is by killing her. I know what I’m talking about here is murder, but I don’t see any other way around this. It’s just the way it has to be.

She’s coming over tonight. That’s when I’m going to do it. She always comes over to my place because I live alone. We tried it at her house for a while – when we first started all of this – but we were nearly caught by her son. I remember it well. I had to climb out of the window and run home in nothing but my socks.

That’s when we decided to change the location of our meetings. For a while, we would get a room at a hotel, but once I got myself a place of my own, it just made sense to make it our new meet-up location.

If I’m going to go through with this, I need to make it look like an accident.

There must be no trace of me – nothing whatsoever that connects me to this crime. We’ve been careful not to leave any sort of digital trace. We don’t talk online or send each other text messages. If she wants to contact me, she does so by using a payphone. The phone that I use to speak to her is an old Nokia 216 with a Pay As You Go SIM card. I’ve deleted all traces of our call history on that phone and will destroy it when I’m done.

I think the best way to do it is with pills. I’ve been buying boxes of paracetamol from different supermarkets around town. I’ve  got enough  to do the trick. I’m going to crush up as many tablets as I can manage and put them in her wine. Then  a few hours after we’re done, and she’s back at home, it’ll happen. And it’ll look like suicide.

She should be here in a minute. I’ll let you know how everything goes.

*

I’m having an affair with a younger man. But when it started, he was just a boy. He went to school with my son, and they became friends. Then I became friends with his parents, especially his mother. We’re still close today. But they have no idea about my relationship with their son.

I remember the day that it all began quite well. I had just finished a spinning class at the gym. I didn’t have time to use the facilities at the gym, so I jumped straight in the shower when I got home. Then I heard a knock at the door. My son wasn’t home, and I was expecting an important delivery, so I quickly rushed out of the shower and put on my robe. I was still dripping wet. When I opened the door, I saw him, and he saw me.

And then it happened.

This whole thing has been going on for ten years now. At first, we had to sneak around and do it at my house. But my son almost caught us once or twice. Then, for a while, we would go to hotels, but that became too expensive, and it just didn’t work. Then he got a place of his own, and we’ve been doing it there ever since.

I know all about this new girlfriend of his. He’s had relationships before, but nothing as serious as with this new girl. I’m worried  that he’s going to tell her about us and that she’ll convince him to go to the police. She’ll tell him to say that I seduced him when he was just an innocent young boy. And then they’ll come for  me. I don’t want to end up in jail. Besides, I don’t want my son to find out that his mother has been having an affair with one of his childhood friends for the past ten years. He’d never speak to me again.

One way or another, this whole thing has to stop. But it looks like the only way to make sure that none of this gets out is by killing him. I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. It’s the only way to go.

If I’m going to do this, I need to make it look like an accident. I listen to a lot of True Crime podcasts, so I know the perfect way to do it. On one of the podcasts that I listen to, the host said that if you inject someone who’s not diabetic with insulin, they have a heart attack. And because insulin naturally occurs in the human body, they don’t test for it or even consider it as a possible cause of death.

I’ve been a carer for the last  three years, and I look after an  old  woman  who has type two diabetes. I often go and pick up her prescription for her. The last time I went to the chemists, I kept some of her insulin for myself. It’s in my handbag, ready. I’m going to use it tonight, and then this whole thing will be finished for  good.

I’m just on my way over there now. I’ll let you know how everything goes.

*

She’s here. I know it’s her by her knock. It’s a secret knock that we came up with a few years ago to add another layer of secrecy and security to our operation. I open the door, and she comes inside. I don’t kiss her – we don’t kiss until we get down to it.

She usually wears a big black coat, but tonight, she’s just wearing a black dress and black high heels. And, for some reason, she’s wearing an elegant pair of black gloves. Perhaps she got them for her birthday – I don’t know, and I’m not going to ask.

I tell her to go into the bedroom while I make the drinks. She says okay and goes on through. She’s got no idea what’s going to happen to her tonight.

*

I’m going to wait until after we’re done before I do it. Then he won’t get suspicious. I’m trying to be very careful and not touch anything. I’m wearing gloves just to be on the safe side. I think he’s picked up on  the gloves. He probably doesn’t know why I’m wearing them, though.

After we’ve finished, he usually goes into the bathroom. That’s when I’ll do a quick sweep of the room and make sure that no evidence is left behind. And then I’ll do it.

*

I get two glasses out of the cupboard. I keep her glass on the top  shelf. My girlfriend has asked me why I have a single wine glass on the top shelf of my kitchen cupboard. I told her that it was here when I moved in and I didn’t want to touch it. She thinks that’s a strange thing to do. I’ll make sure I get rid of it later.

I make us some drinks. She has red wine, and I have Jack Daniel’s with a single cube of ice. But tonight I need to keep my wits about me, so I pour myself a Coke Zero instead. I rinse my mouth out with some JD so that she doesn’t get suspicious. It burns the back of my throat.

I prepared the tablets earlier, crushing them with the end of a wooden rolling pin until they formed a thin white powder. I take a teaspoon and pour a small amount of the powder into the wine glass. Then fill it up with some wine. I give it a quick mix with the teaspoon, taking extra care so that the spoon doesn’t clink against the side of the glass. The powder starts to dissolve in front of my eyes. I keep adding small amounts of powder until it has completely disappeared. I top the glass up with a bit more wine, just to make sure that it doesn’t taste funny or look suspicious in any way. Then I take the drinks into the bedroom.

She’s sitting on the bed with  her hands on  her lap. She’s still wearing those black gloves. I smile at her – she smiles back at me. I hand her the glass of red wine. We clink our glasses together and take a drink. I watch her drink the wine. She only drinks about a quarter of  the glass, but that’s okay – she usually drinks the rest  with a cigarette when we’ve finished.

I put my glass on the bedside table and take off my shirt. Then I lay her down on my bed.

*

He looks into my eyes as he finishes. Then, just as I predicted, he gets up and goes to the bathroom. I usually have a cigarette right about now, but I don’t want to leave any evidence behind. So I finish what’s left of my wine instead. It doesn’t taste quite right. I would say that next time I’ll bring a bottle, but there won’t be a next time.

I get out of  bed and get myself  dressed. I make sure that not a single trace is  left behind – right down to the hairs on his bed. I pick up my wine glass and put it in my handbag. Then I take the needle out of my bag and hold it behind my back. I think I’m about ready to do this…

*

She’ll probably be finished with her wine by now. All I need to do is get rid of her. Maybe I’ll get into bed and say that I’m tired and that it would be best if she went home. That should work.

God, I can’t believe I’m going to get away with this!

*

He comes back into the bedroom and lies down on top of the bed. He yawns, telling me that he’s tired and that it’s probably best if I went home. I say okay, and lean over to kiss him. And then I do it.

He clutches his chest. I can see the pain in his eyes. He tries to get up, but he can’t seem to move. He struggles, moving his head from side to side, moaning and crying out for my help. I do nothing but sit there and watch him struggle. It all happens so fast. After a minute, he stops struggling, and his head falls back onto his pillow.

He’s still now. I want to kiss him one last time, but I know that I can’t. I get my things together and creep out of his place, carefully shutting the door behind me. I make sure that no one has seen me leave the premises, before walking down the street to where my car is parked.

As I sit behind the wheel of my car, it finally hits me that I’ve just gotten away with murder.

*

I arrive back at home. My son is staying at his girlfriend’s place, so I’m alone for the night. I think that’s best.

I sit at the kitchen table and pour myself a glass of red wine. It tastes a lot better than the stuff I drank earlier tonight. I light up a cigarette and take a long drag.

All of a sudden, I’m not feeling well. Maybe it’s the guilt. I’m not quite sure. I light up another cigarette and take it into my bedroom. Then I lay down on top of my bed. All I need is a good night’s sleep. I’m sure I’ll feel better in the morning.

glasses

Thomas Morgan

Thomas Morgan is a writer from Worthing in West Sussex. He’s been published in Visual Verse, Clover & White, Truffle Magazine, The Wellington Street Review, and the 2019 Leicester Writes Short Story Prize Anthology.

Twitter handle: @Tommorgan97

Links to previous publications: https://www.trufflemagazine.com/issue01/#coffee-with-david-lynch

https://cloverandwhite.wordpress.com/2020/04/05/the-old-pine-tree-by-thomas-morgan/

https://wellingtonstreetreview.com/2020/03/31/some-memories-from-my-time-at-uni-thomas-morgan/

Image by Dirk Wohlrabe from Pixabay

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