THE WINDOW BEYOND
Looking out the window in the middle of the night, I felt that the troubles in my life were righted. The solution developed over a crisis that nearly devastated me. Emily became bored with an emotionally unavailable spouse, as I provided a comfortable living for both of us. Brazenly unfaithful she desecrated our marital bed as I silently plotted revenge. Days and nights merged as I struggled to overcome writer’s block. Sleepily, I returned from our guest house to find my wife and former friend snuggling in my king size bed. Screaming obscenities at both of them, I grabbed some clothing, tossed it into a duffel bag and slammed the bedroom door. Sped away in my Durango jeep to my secluded cabin in the woods, stopped. Detoured fifteen minutes later to pick up my golden retriever Rowdy to take with me. I could not be all alone.
It took less than a week for her to find me at the cabin. She beat on the door, calling out my name. Her explanation included, “I can't be alone, Travis.” We at least had something in common. She admonished me for my appearance. For days unbathed and a growth of beard in a bathrobe lying on the couch I stared in space. Emily urged me to come back home and we could talk about an official separation. I replied I needed more time and we would settle things soon.
If a writer does not meet deadlines, your publisher isn’t pleased and there is no income. I had eventually determined that other types of livelihood had not worked for me. I tried working with car sales and computer repair. Hours turned into weeks and my whole world locked within a fantasy. Thoughts created words then ideas finalizing in action. Lost in this world it became more realistic and I felt a certain clarity.
Emily returned a couple of weeks later, to find me fully clothed and seemingly in my right mind. I was sitting on the deck with my dog. She had brought Greg with her, she probably wondered what she would find this time. Emily excused herself to go to the bathroom. While I spoke casually to a guy who I had known since high school, the best man at our wedding. We talked and walked toward a side of the cabin that received plenty of sunlight. He was two paces ahead of me, as I hit him on the head with a shovel.
When Emily came back outside, her eyes widened as she took in the whole scene. Greg's body was sprawled out on the ground, his head covered in bright red blood. Emily shrieked and fled in the opposite direction. She ran to their vehicle, locking the door to the car they arrived in. I calmly spoke to her jingling the keys Greg had had in his pocket. I lifted a rock and crushed the driver’s side window.
Putting on gloves, I donned work overalls and dark glasses and drove the Cutlass Oldsmobile to a public national park. I went to the bathroom in the visitor’s center, changed out of the work clothes into jeans and a tee shirt, wearing the glasses and carrying my duffel bag. I called for a taxi that brought me within a couple of miles from the cabin. Walking to the cabin cleared my head.
It was quiet at the cabin and I had plenty of time to think about what I was doing. I remembered the last words Emily had spoken. She was complaining that the electricity had been turned off for non -payment. I had not given a reply, at least not in words. I used a tool that is a handmade tiller to till the ground. I purchased seed packets of beans, corn, squash, and seed potatoes planting carefully. The fertilizer was rich cow manure bought locally and two human cadavers. “Time heals all wounds.” It is debatable if this is true.
Days are definitely better for me, as I am writing articles for my editor and publisher. Currently, I am in the process of writing a book about the perfect crime. Around the borders of the garden I have planted marigolds. Often I go sit out on the deck and view the garden. It is peaceful to weed in the garden, occasionally leaning on my hoe and listening to the silence.
The garden is more than a hobby, it is more like an obsession. This is where my focus is since I emptied our house of furniture and all of Emily’s belongings. With yard sales and donations to charitable organizations I felt that all evidence was vanishing in thin air. All that is left are my thoughts, memories, and writings. Writing is therapy for me. I have learned to live with this.
Years have passed, my writing has supported me and is a livable income. I have been married to a successful attorney for five years. She is tenacious in her occupation and kind and loving to me. We have a young son of 3 years of age and another baby due this summer. We a planning a cookout for the gender reveal. We have invited my wife’s parents and her sister. Our friends and neighbors were invited to our cabin in the woods. Finally, the day of the gender reveal arrived and It was a beautiful day of blue skies and sunshine.
This day we learned the baby is a girl. We gathered around the large picnic table and waited for the sizzling steaks, hamburgers, and hot dogs. We had potato salad, macaroni salad, baked beans, and corn on the cob. We had a dessert table of apple pie, cherry pie, cheese cake, and all the makings for s'mores. Our little boy was so excited to be the big brother. Leaving my position by the grill, I sat down and filled my plate. My plate filled with some of everything, I lifted the corn on the cob covered in melting butter to my lips. Beyond the window, onto the deck, out into the garden, where my secrets are buried.