One Lump or Two?byTE999©
Hello and welcome to my readers. Thank you for the votes, comments and e-mails on my previous stories. As the poet Robert burns once wrote, "The best laid plans oft go astray" as Harry Hopkins is about to learn in this little tale. Happy Valentine's Day everyone.
"Happy Valentine's Day, my ass," Harry Hopkins muttered, knotting his tie. In a few more hours, he'd be rid of his nagging bitch wife and flying to Samoa with Carole. All the weeks and months of plotting and planning culminated in this moment. His lawyer had already drawn up the divorce papers, his stockbroker had transferred Harry's assets to overseas accounts, a computer tech from the office had wiped all data files from his hard disc; everything was set.
He snapped the lid shut on the jewelry box and hurriedly signed the Valentines Day card. He would give the diamond choker to Rosalyn after breakfast, giving her something to focus on while he made his escape. She could have the house and the bank accounts; he'd taken what he needed.
Carefully brushing his suit jacket, he recalled the first time he and Carole met at a motivational seminar for Amalgamated Chemicals executives. She was VP for Production, he was VP for Accounting, soon they were friends, then close friends and one afternoon became lovers. After their first encounter in the back seat of her Lexus, they began having skirt up, pants down quickies in each other's offices; progressing to afternoon visits to her apartment, then weekend getaways. Lust turned to love and they planned their getaway very carefully. She was already divorced, he was about to be, they would begin a new life together where Rosalyn couldn't bother them.
His bags were already in his BMW's trunk. He would go through the motions as he did every workday, breakfast, then seemingly off to the commuter rail station and to work. However, this time he would never return. He slipped on his jacket, picked up the card and present and went downstairs.
Harry entered the dining room. The table wasn't set. Where was Rosalyn? Then he heard a familiar and annoying humming from the kitchen. Pushing open the door, he saw her bustling about wearing jogging clothes and an apron. She saw him and smiled.
"Good morning, Harry, happy Valentine's Day. I gave Maria the day off, so I could surprise you and cook breakfast. I remember when we were first married how you enjoyed my Belgian waffles."
They exchanged pecks on the cheek, and then he proffered the card and gift.
"Happy Valentine's Day, Rosalyn."
"Thank you Harry." She opened the box and her eyes grew wide. "Oh, it's beautiful. You shouldn't have."
"Only the best for you, my dear," he replied with a smile.
She gestured towards the small table and two chairs where Maria usually took her meals.
"Sit down Harry. It's more cozy here. Would you care for some tea?"
He sat down at the table, slightly bewildered.
"Yes, that would be fine."
"Oh, the first waffles are ready. I have some butter and warm syrup for them too."
She placed two waffles on a plate, carried it over to him, and then brought the butter and syrup. He stared at the waffles curiously. He couldn't remember the last time Rosalyn had cooked anything.
"Eat up," she admonished, "Before they get cold. I'll bring your tea."
He cut into the waffle and lifted a forkful to his mouth. It was delicious.
"This is very good, Rosalyn. You should cook breakfast more often"
She turned from pouring more batter into the waffle iron.
"I'm glad you're enjoying it, Harry. It's the last meal you'll ever eat in this house."
"What are you talking about?"
Suddenly her face was a mask of hate.
"I know about you and that slut. I know everything. My lawyer and his investigators have been on your trail for months. I have enough evidence to charge you with adultery. I'm going to get you out of my life forever."
"What do you mean?" he said incredulously.
"You'll see. I know your bags are packed and in your car. That makes it all the easier to throw you out. I've contacted the president of Amalgamated and told him about you and that tramp. He said he'll look into it. I'll ruin both of you."
She stood defiantly before him, arms folded, lip curled in a sneer.
He felt his face turning hot, an irrational fury possessing him, a red haze clouding his vision. He sprang to his feet and she jumped back in fright. Gripping the handle of the waffle iron lid, he smashed it into Rosalyn's leering face once, then twice. She crumpled to the floor, shattered skull spewing blood. Shocked, the bludgeon dropped from his nerveless fingers.
"Oh shit, what have I done? I've got to get out of here," Harry muttered aloud. He wiped his fingerprints from the handle. "The cops will think it was a burglary. By the time anyone finds the body we'll be out of the country."
Hands shaking, he poured a cup of tea from the steaming pot, seeking to calm his nerves.
"Whadda we got here, Riley." Lieutenant Parsons rasped, ducking under the crime scene tape. He stepped carefully around Harry's body sprawled outside the kitchen door and grimaced at the bloody pulp that had been Rosalyn's face, "Jeez, what a mess."
"Yeah, it's a dirty one," Riley replied. "Santos said he figures there's enough cyanide in the teapot to kill an elephant. He was CSI before he became a patrolman, y'know."
"Where are those jokers?"
"They're 10-40 from another crime scene. They're busy people."
"Evidently." He looked at the greeting card and the jewelry on the table.
"I gotta stop off and buy something for the wife when we wrap this up. It's Valentine's Day, not that she would let me forget it."
"Sure didn't change things for these two."
Parsons nodded sagely, "Looks that way."
Upstairs, on the bureau, Harry's cell phone continued to ring.