We need this time to connect again. I have to believe that if we get away from our responsibilities it'll be just what our marriage needs. Kevin rented this cabin on his own and its perfect. The view of the lake is magnificent and I'm settled on a white wicker bench on the back porch taking it all in. Two whole days for us to do nothing.
No laundry, no dishes and hopefully no cooking. I drink red wine and I wait for him to emerge from the shower. I keep hoping this will work. I was against therapy for our marriage, but this trip was our doctors suggestion.
I like the way he smells after his shower. So clean, so polished, rugged just the way he does before he brings me to our king size bed at home. We have cold chicken sandwiches and coleslaw. I drink more wine. We talk about how nice the weather is here. I want this to work.
So far everything has been perfect. Not one disagreement at all.
Not during the two hour car ride or even when we hiked the excruciatingly long gravel driveway to get up here to this cabin. We watch old movies just like we use to. He has stared at me several times and I wonder does he want me like I want him. I move closer to him and he takes my hand. I smile and Kevin pulls me onto his lap. I kiss him slowly then I pull away.
"Its been so long. We could wait if you want to."
"Why? I really don't want to wait anymore."
I pull his face closer to mine and we kiss so hard that I start to get dizzy. Its from the wine. His hands are exploring every part of me and I'm quite pleased. I giggle and start to pull away but Kevin has my wrists. I've never known him to be this way. We continue to kiss hard. He has his hands on my face. I want this I know I do but I keep seeing him with her. I begin to feel sick. Only he wont stop. I wriggle and squirm until he lets me go.
"What is it?" Kevin asks.
"I cant. I'm sick. I'm going to be sick."
I leap from the sofa and run towards the back of the cabin. I stay in the bathroom for awhile. Kevin assumes I'm sick and I let him. The only thing that truly hurts is my heart. Its real late when I crawl into bed beside him. I don't think I can sleep but it comes sooner than I had expected. The sound of glass breaking wakes me. I'm out of bed quickly but its too dark to tell where I am. I search the room for anything I can grab and find nothing. At the bedroom door I hear footsteps from the hall. I hold my breath and feel my heart leap up in my chest. I can see the doorknob start to turn and I freeze in place. When the door opens I'm prepared to scream at the top of my lungs but Kevin is standing there.
"What the hell was that?" Escapes my throat.
"You have to stay here Jill promise me you will?"
He takes my hand and leads me to the closet.
"You didn't answer me Kevin. What was that noise?"
"Someone broke the windows. Your staying put I can handle this."
"I'm not hiding in here like a small child while your out there..." "Listen to me, this is serious! They are still outside."
"Call the police. We have to do something!"
We both hear noises from somewhere inside the house. He puts his hand up so I wont speak. We wait and hear nothing else. Together we make our way out in the hall.
"The landline is down and I cant find my cell. Jill where's yours?"
I try to think before I answer him.
"I think I left it out there near the couch. Damn it. How can we get help now?"
Kevin crept away from me and slowly heads toward the front room. Kevin has gotten to the couch, he searches frantically for my cell phone but its no where in sight. He reaches over and lifts a metal poker from the front of the fire place. He makes his way to the galley kitchen holding the poker out in front of him. At the table he hears another sound. Kevin whips around and finds me beside him.
"I told you to stay put."
"I cant do that. Did you find my phone?"
"No it wasn't where you said. We should try to get to the car."
I follow close behind as we make our way to the back of the cabin. When we reach the back door I stop him.
"No I don't think we should go out there."
"We cant just stay in here. Its not safe. Keep close to me it'll be ok."
In a matter of seconds we are out the door and off the porch. Then we quickly head across the grass to find our way to the gravel driveway. A light shines in our direction. We are instantly blinded by its brightness. I struggle to make out the shape that is coming towards us. Kevin has raised the fireplace poker up high above his head.
"Drop it or I'm going to drop you!" The intruder shouts.
There's a man coming towards us and he points a hand gun at me. Kevin tosses the poker away and it lands on the other side of the grass. We both try to make out this stranger.
"Ok lady step towards me." He shouts.
My legs wont move. This only makes him angry.
"Move it! Walk this way now!" I look over at Kevin and then begin to move forward. The man looks pleased. I'm inches away from this stranger. He yanks me by the arm and I cry out in pain.
"Keep your hands off her!" Kevin shouts.
The man aims his gun at my husband.
"Don't you be giving me orders! You keep your mouth shut. I want you in front of us. Now walk back inside."
Kevin and I do what we are told. There was no point in escalating the situation further. Inside again he instructs me to sit. I am shaking now and I just feel awful. Kevin stands with his arms folded in front of him. He wants to speak I can tell by his face. The man meets my eyes. He moves closer to the couch and grins at me.
"We have around four hundred dollars in the other room. Your welcome to it."
"I wonder how the big guy feels about that offer?"
I roll my eyes at him. He glances at Kevin who refuses to speak.
"Enough small talk. Where is it?"
We are both confused by his words. I shrug my shoulders.
"The package you brought up here with you! Where did you hide it?"
"I have no idea what your talking about." I manage to choke out.
He runs straight at Kevin. The gun is pointed at his head.
"You know where it is?" He asks him.
"No, we rented this place for the weekend. I swear that's why we are here. I think you got the wrong place."
"I sure hope your not lying to me."
He lowers the gun when I stand up. I go slow and hope he will let me move forward. He looks livid.
" We have four hundred dollars in the bedroom. Its in our bags. Please just take it."
I can see the wheels turning as he approaches me. Again he takes hold of my arm. I act like its no big deal.
"I'm not here for your money. I want that package."
"We don't have your package! I swear it. Please believe me."
Tears are streaming down my face but this man doesn't care. Kevin begins to cross the room in my direction but our company stops him. Kevin holds up his hand. I am panic stricken.
"Listen to me, I can find it if its here. You let her go and give me a few minutes to find it. Come on you need me to get it for you."
The man stood there and thought it over.
"You got one hour to find it. Get moving."
Kevin left the room quickly before the stranger could change his mind. We could hear him tearing the room apart. Then he went to the smaller bedroom and again we listened to him going through everything in search of this mysterious package. I wanted to help but I was made to sit and wait. Kevin returned with nothing in his hands. He went straight for the cabinets in the kitchen. But they are empty. Next he ripped out each drawer and emptied them in front of us.
"I don't think its here. Isn't it possible you got the wrong cabin?"
"No this is the right place. You better get creative and think of something. You might run out of time."
"Let me help him please. It will go faster and you'll have what you want." I pleaded with him.
"No I need you right here. It'll make your husband work that much faster. Now hurry up and find it!"
He screamed at my husband. I jumped at the tone of his voice. Kevin moved toward the front door.
"Your only making things worse. Just sit there and shut up."
"I was trying to help you out. This is all because of you."
He gave me the nastiest look. I returned the glare.
"Oh and how do you figure that?"
"Who cheated Kevin? That would be you! We would be home right now and none of this.."
"You always blame me! Your no saint."
The man began to grin. I could see how much he enjoyed us turning on each other. I didn't want him to win. Kevin was about to open the front door.
"What the hell are you doing?"
"I need something that's on the porch. Bear with me." Kevin said
He opened the door flew outside and was back with a rake and shovel. The stranger burst out laughing.
"And what the hell is that for?"
Kevin didn't respond. He went straight to the brick fireplace and started whacking the bricks with the handle of the rack. Several of them became loose and started to fall on the floor by his feet. He continued to hit it harder each time he swung it. I kept trying to envision a bag or a box being found behind the wall of bricks. But every swing produced nothing. He hit it even harder this time and I wondered how long this would continue.
"Twenty minutes left!"
The man announced to both of us. I had enough.
"Kevin stop it! Its not in there just give it a rest!"
He dropped the rake on the hardwood floor and looked like he was about to collapse but he didn't. He lifted the shovel and drove it into some of the debris and then tossed sections of it on top of the large area rug. My head was slamming. My throat felt dry and I was scared. I wanted this night to end already. I wish we had a plan but we were way beyond that now.
"Times almost up Kevin. Anything you'd like to say to your wife while you still can?"
My heart felt like it dropped. Kevin put down the shovel and faced me. He took a deep breath and I got nervous.
"I don't love you anymore. I used to I really did. You were my whole world but then everything changed. You changed and not in a good way."
"Yes I changed so what? People change life does that to us! I don't care how you feel. I stopped loving you the second I couldn't trust you anymore! You lying cheating bastard!"
"I cheated because you stopped sleeping with me. Did you forget that Jill? You turned into a cold hearted bitch!"
I wanted to smack him. But I faced our guest.
"Tell me what it is. I will find it. He has never been good at finding anything."
"No Jill. I want you two to say your goodbyes."
"Wait. What is your name? Can you at least tell me that? I really want to know."
"Its Jake. I don't even care if you know. So who wants to go first?"
Kevin and I looked at each other. I had no words. I didn't want to volunteer but I wasn't sure I could handle watching my husband die.
"Listen to me Jake, I really don't care why you broke in here. You did nothing to us. I swear on my two kids that I will never breathe one word of this to anyone. Take our money, Kevin has a Rolex in our room and here this is for you."
I pull my wedding rings off my left hand and I held them out to Jake. He smiles at that.
"Please take them all. I'm not ready to die."
Then he comes closer and takes my rings away. I look over at Kevin he is angry but more than that he is hurt.
"Your marriage must really be over. Kevin you ok with her offer?"
"Yeah if it gets you to leave. Then I don't care."
Jake looked over at the fireplace and then back at us.
"Jill you made me a gracious offer but I still want what I came here for. So one of you needs to find it."
I didn't even think I just let my legs take me and I ran toward the back of the cabin. The gun went off just as I slammed the bedroom door. I froze in place. What had I done? Kevin could be lying in a pool of blood and Jake would be coming for me next. I hear a commotion in the front room. They are fighting. I can hear things breaking and I heard the sound of punches being thrown. I search the room for any kind of weapon.
I emerge from the bedroom grasping a shower curtain rod in both hands. I inched closer to the front room and stop when I see Jake on the floor and Kevin standing over him. I got closer to my husband. His lip was cut and blood was dripping down his chin. Jake looks much worse. One of his eyes was swollen and he had cuts on both sides of his face. Kevin kicked him hard in the ribcage and then pointed the gun at him.
"You don't have to kill him." I said.
"Why not? He tried to kill us."
"I know he did but your not a killer. We can call the police."
And that's just what we did. Once they took our statement and took Jake away did I finally feel safe. As soon as the police drove away I was in my husbands arms.
"Its over sweetie. He wont hurt us anymore."
"I'm so sorry. I didn't think. I was so scared and I just ran. He could have killed you."
I was crying hard. He touched my face.
"You did what you had to and we are alive. We made it out of this nightmare. You and I together." He kissed me slowly.
"I love you. I was angry when I said those things."
"I know it doesn't matter now. Jill you were amazing."
Kevin kissed both sides of my face. We walked back into the cabin.
As the sun came up behind the water we packed in silence. With our suitcases in the front room we looked at the fireplace together.
"I wish this weekend had gone like we planned."
"But its ok because I remembered why I married you and why I love you."
He takes my hand in his and we enter the kitchen.
Kevin pulled out a chair for me and I sat down.
"I guess it took coming here and having this happen to wake me up. I will never take you for granted again."
Tears rolled down my face but I wasn't sad. I knew he meant every word. I watched him turn on the stove and put on a frying pan.
"I am making you pancakes." He winks at me.
"Pancakes sound great."