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The Affair

The cheap motel room reeked of sex and cigarette smoke. The curtains completely covered the widows, keeping away the outside world. The walls were confining, almost like a prison cell. In this moment, we were alone. With his one good eye, Jack stared at me, listening to every painful word of my story. His face was malevolent, covered with scars on his right cheek, and a patch on his left eye. He was a tall man, standing proud and sad like a willow tree in his Armani Suit and silk tie. But it wasnít his shaved and tattooed head, or the gauntlet like rings around his fingers that amazed and frightened me. It wasnít even his contradicting character of a man who wore expensive suits but stayed in thirty dollar a night motel rooms. It was his shoes. He wore a pair of black shoes that was unusually clean and shiny. It was as if his whole world revolved around them, polishing them religiously each day. I feared him, but more importantly, I feared his determination. Any man with shoes that clean must have indeed been dangerous. This fear was sweet. It was what I needed. ď I no longer have a reason to live,Ē I told him.

He stayed silent, nodding to show me that he understood. Forty thousand dollars was the fee. It was my life savings, inherited from a dead uncle, but I would no longer need it. The job description was simple. Jack was to kill my wife and her lover while I watched. And then to finish the job, I would join them. I pictured it in my head. The two lovers, inseparable in life, but separated at death. In my mind I saw their agony, their screams of pain and turmoil, with each cut of their soft flesh I would be closer to salvation. Jack was my angel. I asked him how he would do it, but he remained silent. I could tell that he was an artist. A man who took his craft seriously, but also one who enjoyed every inch of his paintings, or in this case, the sweet aroma of dead bodies. Perhaps he was formulating a plan in his head, and the thought of it was giving him such a state of ecstasy, that to reveal it would make him lose his erection. I didnít care. As long as the bastard knew the terms of the contract, he was my hired angel.

Handing over the bag full of cash gave me the sensation of absolute certainty. There was no turning back. Twenty thousand dollars was paid now as Jack took the bag from me. The other twenty would be collected from my corpse after the job was done. It was a brilliant and sadistic plan. And in the end, all of us who suffered would be relieved and punished. Maybe in death, my wife Emily would learn that I loved her too much to live without her. If we were truly meant to be together, perhaps in another world or another life, we would see each other again. And as for her nameless lover, it would give me great joy to see him burn in hell for his lecherous crimes. Lost in thought, I almost forgot that the deal was completed and the details understood. For the first time since I had been in his room, Jack spoke. ďTomorrow night, how do you want to die?Ē

I left the Brooklyn motel room with a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. Perhaps it was the thought of having a bullet put in my head after watching my wife and her lover murdered. Or maybe it was simply hunger. Between plotting murder and suicide, I had completely forgotten that I left a turkey sandwich on the desk of my cubical. I headed back to my office building, thinking about Emily. What did I ever do to make her stop loving me? Did she truly think I didnít know about her lover? The thought of her with another man consumed me. The questions were haunting. How loud did she moan when he fucked her? Did she run her hands through his hair like she would with me? Did she feel any guilt? Alone in my thoughts, my rage bottled up. I often wondered why I didnít just kill the both of them myself. The fact is I should have done it three months ago when I first found out about the affair. I never knew how they met. All I knew was that he always came to my bed when I was away on business trips. I have seen them together, through a tiny crack of the door. But instead of charging into the bedroom and bludgeoning him to death like I wanted to, I simply walked away. She never knew that I saw them that day. I told myself that she made a mistake, and that she truly loved me. My faith in her made me believe that it would never happen again. I was naive. But I didnít want to lose her. After some time, things became clearer to me. Eventually I realized that I could not let them live. But to kill them myself, that would be too easy. They deserved far worst.

In front of the Midtown office building, a flower vendor stood behind his cart smiling. He was a cheery man, probably in his forties, standing at about five foot six. He had dark hair, a bearded chin, and a beer belly that made him look rather jolly. It pleased me to look at him. He looked like the type of man that was friends with everybody he knew, or the type of man who never missed his sonís baseball games. We needed more people like this in the world. I decided to buy a dozen roses from him. I figured I could give them to Emily one last time. She always did love roses. I thanked the vendor as politely as I could, walked in the building entrance, and headed towards the elevator.

After passing by some coworkers who pretentiously smiled and waved, I finally sat down behind my cubical. A turkey sandwich rested on my desk, which was always kept clean. The pens and paper were all in order, important documents filed away within the drawers. Pictures of our honeymoon and vacations thumbtacked to the walls. I looked at one of these pictures as I unwrapped and started to chew on my lunch. Lost in the pictures, I hardly noticed how dry the meat had been. We looked happy together in the photograph, holding each other, looking as if we would always be in love. The bluest sky and whitest sands surrounded us, captured within the picture, within my memory. We had made love that night, believing that we would always be together. If I could have it my way, we would all live in a photograph, within our happiest moments. But in reality, on a normal day I would have been trapped in this cubical for three more hours, until I could go home to a wife who didnít love me. But there was nothing ordinary about that day. I realized that this would be my last time at the office, and that I didnít need to follow any directions or listen to any orders. I could do whatever I wanted. I could tell my boss that I have always thought he was an egotistical bastard. Or run around naked, knocking down desks, and ripping off telephone cords. But instead, I sat behind my cubical and daydreamed about past memories of the woman I planned to kill. For about an hour, I sat at my desk, lost in dreams. Finally, I decided I would go home early to see Emily, who would have gotten off work by four oíclock. That was the good thing about being a teacher; she didnít have to stay too late after school ended. I grabbed my flowers, put on my coat and left the office building. While walking towards Grand Central Station, I thought of the pictures on my cubical walls. We really did look happy together.



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Comments

The following comments are for "The Affair (Part 1)"
by pengster13

stand alone
Pengster,
This story is dark and in some ways inscrutable, reminding me of Pulp Fiction on some levels. The bit about him thinking of the sandwich kinda threw me, but it's oddball in an indearing sort of way. But the thing I liked best was the way that this installment can stand alone as a story in and of itself. Good show.

( Posted by: Bartleby [Member] On: December 4, 2002 )

mechanics
Maybe you should think of breaking up your paragraphs. It's kind of weird that the paragraphs in your story are about the same size. Try mixing it up, with all three sizes (S,M,L) in your story. I think it would be easier to read.

I have some problems with a few other things. For example, this sentence: "They deserved far worst." I think you mean "worse." "Worst" only applies when you're comparing things -- bad, worse, worst. See?

And by the way, it's spelled "cubicle."
That misspelling kind of grated at me.

Otherwise, it was a pretty interesting read. I really liked the quiet tone of the narrator. I'm going to go read the second part right now.

( Posted by: AK-47 [Member] On: December 7, 2002 )





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