Crime Drama Suspense

It's perfect, almost too perfect. No. Stop overthinking. He loves lasagna, everyone loves lasagna. It's perfect.

I finish wiping down the kitchen counter. Cheese, spices, and chopped vegetables are speckled everywhere. I always was a messy cook. Maybe that's why he hates me. It was more than that and I knew it. Our marriage had been a ship-wreck since the day I said "I do." It wasn't anything violent, just words. Words are enough. Everyday was like warfare, we were constantly screaming at each other. Maybe that's why Steven wanted to move. Before moving to this dumpy town out in the middle of nowhere, we lived in an apparent complex. Maybe he was worried people would hear us. I doubt it. He's never cared about others' opinions. That should've been my first red flag.

The day of the week is unclear, so is the time of day. Everything has felt so fussy lately. Lately, meaning our entire marriage. All I know is that it's dinner time. I know this because he came home from work ten minutes ago. 

What am I doing? What would my mother think of me? I can’t bear the thought of her finding out. She'll never know. No-one will ever know.  

"Since when do you cook dinner?" A stiff voice mocks from behind. It startles me and I jump. Good thing people can't hear thoughts. But they can read actions. Don't act differently. I see him reach into the fridge for a beer. It must be dinner time.

"I just thought we could eat together. We haven't done that in a while." I mumble, silently holding back growing frustration.

"Well then hurry up, Rachel! It's been a long day." He yells.

"Ok, Ok! It's almost done!" I snap. My head spinning with exasperation. I need to calm down, or this won't work. 

"I made lasagna, I remembered you said you liked lasagna." Do I sound normal? I wouldn't even know what normal sounds like, all we do is yell. I can’t remember the last normal conversation we’ve had. I hate him. 

"Since when do you care about what I like?" He questions as he twists the beer cap off. What you like? Everything is about you! Stop it Rachel. Stop it. Deescalate the situation.  

"Steven, can we not do this right now?" That wasn’t what I wanted to say. The rabid dog inside of me wanted to scream. 

"Yeah, okay, whatever." His face wrinkles with disgust as he yanks a chair out from the dinner table and sits down. He's almost done with his first beer. 

We hate talking to each other, even small talk is miserable. It will be over soon. I remind myself. Yet somehow that doesn't give me relief. I mix the salad together as my head sizzles with thoughts. Although, I wouldn't label them as thoughts. I haven't had a clear thought in weeks. Just feelings. Just anger. I place the salad bowl on the table and start filling cups with water. He onto his second beer. 

Just as the oven timer goes off, I hear someone suddenly burst through the front door.

"I didn't know they were filming a hoarders episode here! What's with all the boxes?" A lively voice shouts from the hallway.

Mom? Mom! My heart crumbles in relief. I haven’t seen her in five months, not since Steven and I moved towns. We thought a change in scenery would somehow fix our marriage. HA, what a joke. Living around my mother gave me clarity. She was my rock. Without her, I feel so lost. I’ve felt so lost recently. 

"Is that your mom?" Steven hisses. He hates my mom, but then again, who doesn’t he hate? I run past him, trying to ignore his comment, and head towards the front door. I see her standing in the doorway holding her luggage.

"Mom!" I call out as I warmly embrace her. Emotions begin flooding up inside me. Gosh I missed her.

"Hey, sweet girl." She beams. She always knows when I need her. It's like her superpower. I needed this.

"What are you doing here?" I let go before any tears can escape.

"I just thought I'd surprise you, are you surprised?"

“Very surprised." I chuckle. I haven't laughed in a while. Her smile slowly fades as she analyzes my exhausted face. Before she notices too much, I take her bags and lead her into the kitchen.

“Something smells good!” Mom proclaims as she waltzes into our shabby little kitchen. The house is a mess. This is embarrassing. I haven’t cleaned in weeks, maybe months, it’s hard to tell at this point. I would’ve cleaned if I had known she was coming. 

"We were just about to have dinner, Mom. Have you eaten?"

"Dinner sounds lovely." She gives me a little grin and takes a seat across from Steven, his arms firmly crossed in aggravation.

"Steven." Mom says civilly.

"Carol." He replies coldly.

I quickly take out the lasagna and set it beside the salad and rolls. I sit down and serve up the plates. It's so nice to see my Mom's face. I've missed her face. I’ve missed her. We eat in silence for a minute or two.

"Honey, how's the novel going?" Mom warmly asks.

"Besides the fact that it's taken three years?" Steven scoffs as he takes the last swig of his beer. I slam a fork down on my plate and shoot him a deadly glare. I hate him. Suddenly, reality hits me like a train. I remember the reason for the dinner. I remember the lasagna, the plan. My head jerks towards my Moms plate. My body jolts across the table, knocking my Mothers plate onto the flour. It's too late. The poison would soon be in effect. My heart dissolves in horror. What have I done. 

I have just murdered my husband and killed my beloved Mother. Not only that, but my own hatred will be the very death of me. How ironic.

June 27, 2021 20:54

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Graham Kinross
00:43 Jun 24, 2022

If ironic is the word she uses to describe murdering her husband and mother was she really beloved? This is brutal and gripping.


Korinne H.
17:50 Jun 27, 2022

Thank you for this comment!


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Mellanie Crouell
16:50 Jul 04, 2021

This is great story!


Korinne H.
18:27 Jul 04, 2021

That means a lot! Thank you :D


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