I knew what she was when I married her. Still, I thought I could change her. Mold her. Make her a new being.
How wrong I had been, then. How naive. Trusting.
At first, she seemed to change. She seemed happy. Willing to be a decent human being.
And I relaxed. Perhaps a little too much. Yes, I became too comfortable. Too lax.
No one was safe from her wrath. Not the children. Not me. Not those who chose to visit.
She became abusive. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally. Sexually.
And I was powerless to stop her. Not even my calm demeanor could prevent her from losing her calm.
The children could hide. I could not. I was too big to hide under a bed. Or even in a closet.
Besides. No one would ever believe that I was afraid of her. Or even abused by her.
Nothing could make her happy. No amount of housework. No amount of cooking. No amount of sex.
The more I gave, the more she expected. What I refused to give willingly, she took against my will. And I was left with my shame.
I felt as if I was weak. Unmanly. I had become a submissive man. A subjugated man.
I had been raised to never hit a woman. I had been taught to respect them with every fiber of my being. Even when they were violent and abusive.
Thus, I refused to hit her. I refused to lift a finger against her. Even when she was at her worst.
As a result, I could not go out into public. For fear some would see the bruises and ask. For fear I would have to lie.
After all, who would believe me if I told the truth? Who would ever believe that she was what she was? Who would accept that I, not her, was the victim?
But her cruelty did not stop there. No, when hitting and kicking did not work, she began poisoning. The first to succumb were the girls.
But I, being who I was, was too strong for her attempts against my life;. I lived. Why, I will never know.
But each dose had begun to twist my mind. And to blacken my heart. God knows it must have killed my soul.
I became cold. Indifferent. Calculating.
And I began to plot her end. Anything to end the hell I was in.
Now, I looked down at her. So peaceful. A smile on her face…finally.
She looked as if she could be sleeping. But she was now dead. She wouldn’t be hurting anyone else.
I had seen to that. I had ended her reign of terror. No one else would have to worry about her.
And no one would miss her. Not at first. That would give me enough time to disappear.
I could disappear and change my name. Change my looks. My clothes.
Of course, I would have to burn down the house we had shared. Too much evidence left behind not to.
And I couldn’t have the police searching for me. I had to be gone before they realized my deception. I had to vanish before they realized that the body I had left as mine was a mere cadaver. Some anonymous soul I had found in the morgue that looked like me.
To make it look real, I had shot the body twice. One shot would have been lethal had it been a living person. I had even placed my own blood at the scene.
Hell. I had pumped some of my blood into the body so that it spurted all over the room. It had been a brilliant stroke of genius.
And it had to be in order to fool the law. And to fool my family and friends. What friends I had left.
For all intents and purposes, I was dead. The cadaver had seen to that.
I had seen to that out of necessity. I needed to die with her. For an obvious reason.
She had made me swear a blood oath to observe a suicide pact. If she were to die, I was to commit suicide. And so, the cadaver had stood in for me.
I had bested her. I had outlasted her. And I had fulfilled my end without actually dying.
In effect, I had committed suicide without dying. How clever I had been! How ingenious.
But she was definitely dead. I had killed her myself. I had strangled her.
And I had drained her of her blood. But I had done so without a drop being left in the house! And I had buried in the backyard with the children.
The children she had forced me to bury even though I was ill because of her poisons. Children she accused me of killing. Children I felt guilty for not being able to save.
The police would be sure to find those graves. And the bottle of her blood. But not her.
No, she would be buried miles away. In an unmarked grave. Somewhere deep in a swamp. I had seen to that.
I smiled despite myself. Or, perhaps, to spite myself. I couldn’t tell which.
Still, my madness continued to grow, a sense of glee rising at the sight of her dead body. A slight, yet maddened, giggle began to escape my lips. A weight had been lifted and I now felt free.
I began shoveling mud and dirt into the hole on top of her. She would be unnoticed here. There were no cabins for miles. No houses.
No people. No one would even discover her grave. Not for a while, anyway.
No one knew that I had a connection to this place. Not even she had known. Hell. Not even my own mother had known.
But then, I had never let anyone know. I had never brought anyone here. Not until now.
And she was never going to tell. She was beyond caring. Beyond being aware of her surroundings.
I had picked the perfect burial spot. One where a large flat rock sat. and I had moved the rock off the spot to dig. After throwing the final shovel full of dirt onto the grave, I pulled the large, flat rock back over the spot.
She would be proud. It was probably the same thing she would have done to me had she killed me instead. It was poetic justice.
The rock covered a little more than just the grave. It covered an area twice, maybe thrice, the size of the grave. Thus, it would not sink into the grave. It would merely keep it hidden. But it would still mark it.
Not that I would ever come back. I wouldn’t. I had no need.
I was finally free. I no longer had to try and please her. I was no longer under her thumb.