Tuesday, December 6, 2011
where to go
Asa was happy to see Amanda's car in the driveway. They could go Christmas shopping tonight. It probably wouldn't be at the mall, but they could go to her favorite salad bar. Maybe have a slice of cheese pizza, she liked, and get down to business with this whole Christmas season.
She had a plan. Each month since May she'd put 50 bucks on a Target gift card. She told him it was adding up. They could do all their shopping there, and they wouldn't break the bank. He liked that about her. Thinking ahead. She was working on several crochet projects. She was even attempting to make Rosie a poncho. Asa really didn't know how she found time to do it. She crocheted if she ever watched TV. Amanda even promised him she'd make him something. Only homemade gifts for us this year, she'd told him.
Asa thought what he might do. Maybe a coupon book. Of course, he could always make her a CD mix. Thoughts of songs were floating around his head as he came in the front door. He expected more lights to be on. It was getting dark, early now. And there was a strange pungent odor in the air. Except, he didn't think much of it when he came in.
"What is this? Are you saving on the electric bill, now?" He flipped on a light. Still, he wondered if there was a surprise. It wasn't like her to keep him in the dark about anything. He pulled off his jacket after he put down his backpack that was loaded down with his netbook and other things from the library.
"Amanda?" He called then. She wasn't one to play games. Although, she liked to play around in the kitchen. Once they made a mess with brownie batter. They'd made each other laugh with the gooey batter all over themselves. Her laugh was so infectious. But it was so quiet now. So very still.
"Amanda?" He went to their bedroom. Maybe she was taking a nap. Maybe it was nothing. She had to be here, he thought. It was starting to snow. She liked to stay in, when it snowed. Perhaps they could stay in. It would probably be just the two of them.
He checked the bathroom. Of course, the light was out. He went back to the bedroom. The bed was barely made. Just an old quilted comforter thrown back over the bed and their favorite pillows squished as they'd left them this morning. It wasn't exactly romantic, but it was a bed, well lived in.
Asa sighed. This was weird, he thought. He was sure she would be here and if she was...he smiled thinking what might be next. But Amanda wasn't here.
"I dunno why, you, are hiding from me?" He said aloud as he came back down the hall. It was then he noticed something odd in the kitchen. He stared at it for a moment. What was that? He squinted hard.
The thought stabbed him as hard as an invisible knife in his chest. He thought he might vomit.
There wasn't just blood on the kitchen wall. It was on the floor. A big puddle of it, and there was someone he didn't know in the middle of it. Or did he?
He blinked tears, instantly, as he fell to his knees in her blood. It wasn't possible. He wanted to believe.
So much he had to say. He had to say, but his voice was gone. A part of himself was already gone. And so was she.
It was too late, he knew.