Tue Mar 27, 2018
Victor had sworn to himself that he wasn’t going to watch her again. But he couldn’t bear to sit in that soulless hotel room for one more night, agonizing over the life that was stolen from him.
So here he sits, on a bench across the street from the house he knows so well, watching his wife kiss another man - a stranger he’s never seen before. After their embrace ends, they clink their wine glasses and toast to some special event. Their anniversary perhaps?
Marcy looks stunning in a black dress he’s never seen before, her hair done up on the top of her head. Now in her fifties, she’s always looked beautiful to him, but something was different about her. She looked healthier, more trim, and more relaxed than he’d ever seen her. His jealousy welled up in him and threatened to choke him in a hot, simmering wave. Was she happier with this other man than she was ever with him?
Hot shame flares up within Victor for a moment as he recalls the night he and Marcy moved into this house, after being married for just shy of two months. They’d gotten into an argument about some trivial thing. Marcy was stressed out and needed some reassurance about their new beginning in a new city. He was too tired to take care of her - dreaming about a hot shower and bed. The argument escalated and she started screaming at him. She did that a lot before therapy.
She was right in his face now. A torrent of insults. Trying to get a reaction out of him.
With his anger aroused, he snapped and flung her on the bed, glaring at her with bloodshot eyes and bellowing like a bear awoken. He didn’t hit her, but it was a close thing.
He hadn’t known at the time, but she was three weeks pregnant with their son.
The stranger takes Marcy in his arms again and they start slow dancing to music that he can’t hear. She suddenly throws her head back and laughs at something he says.
After a few minutes, she walks over to the window and draws the curtains closed, cutting off Victor’s view of the inside.
Victor reaches into the inside breast pocket on his jacket and grips the gun nestled there. He feels his heart beating hard and fast against his fist. He needs to calm down - now.
But he can’t. The bitterness rises up out of the bottomless hole inside and steals away his reason. He chokes on the rising bile and angrily wipes away stinging tears.
Over the years, their marriage had gotten so much better. They’d learned to communicate with each other and love each other with the intimacy of two souls blending into one. It was hard work but the tough times only made them stronger as a couple and made them completely inseparable. At least, he’d thought so.
The loss of his soulmate left Victor shaken to his core. And what really haunts him is that his loss isn’t real. This life isn’t real. So, Victor convinced himself that any action he takes in this shitty fake world won’t have any consequences in the real world.
Victor stands up and draws the gun out of his pocket. Striding across the street without checking for traffic, he walks up the stairs to the front door. He’s about to hammer on the door when his phone starts ringing. The blaring ringtone snaps him out of his rage-induced tunnel vision and he falters. Retreating back down the stairs, he looks at the Caller ID. It’s his son. He answers the call.
“Hi Luke. Now isn’t a good time.”
“Dad, are you at the old house again?”
Victor takes a deep breath and sighs, his anger almost completely dissipating. He pockets the gun.
“Dad, where are you? Talk to me.”
“Have you made any progress with the girl?” Victor asks.
“Don’t avoid the question, Dad - I know you’re sitting there staring at Mom like a creepy lost puppy. Don’t torture yourself like this. Get back to the hotel room and I’ll meet you there,” Luke says.
“Okay, fine. I’m on my way. But did you make contact with the target?” Victor started strolling down the street, away from the house.
“Jesus Dad, why are you talking like you’re back in the military. Relax - we’re not at war right now. And yes, I did meet Judith.”
“She’s different than I expected,” Luke continued. “Smart as hell for sure, but feisty. And cute. I wasn’t expecting that.”
“Don’t get distracted, son,” Victor said. “And don’t get too attached. Remember what has to happen if we want our lives back. We’ve got to fix the timeline.”
“Judith Jameson has to die.”