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by Michele D. Jenkins
She was five minutes late before she walked into the restaurant. My hands began to shake. I always get charged when I meet my husband’s lovers. This will be the sixth woman who will be out of my husband’s life after I get done with her. It screws my husband up when he doesn’t know why his women just suddenly disappear without a warning when in reality they are scattered all over Columbus, dead and composted in the city’s landscapes. I smile when I see flowers growing on the crushed bones of the past lovers mixed along with dirt and mulch. I’m not crazy, but I kept my promise when we got married. During our vows, I pledged that if he cheated, he’d be minus one woman. I didn’t say who, but it left him wondering when I put the ring on his finger.
This woman has been fooling around with my husband for a month. I didn’t find out until my husband left for work this morning without his phone. It rang on cue, and her name popped up on his caller I.D. So I answered. She sounded polite delivering the news that she’d been sleeping with my husband. I didn’t get upset because I knew what was going to happen next. I invited her for lunch to a restaurant of her choice, thinking that this would be the last meal in her lifetime.
She noticed me and walked towards my table. “Mrs. Queen?”
We shook hands before she sat down. She was a big pretty girl who could pass for a plus size model. She had round light brown eyes with very long lashes that could give you a cool breeze if she blinked. My husband told me once that he likes a woman with big eyes because he can see the reflection of her soul. Maybe he can’t with mine because they’re small. I can hold secrets in my eyes.
“Queen.” She said. “What a peculiar name.”
“Why do you say that, Christine?”
She was shocked to find that I knew her name. I had to. The game is to get to know all my opponents before I eliminate them. I bet she wonders what else I know about her.
“Because being a queen, you must be able rule the palace.”
“I think I’m smart enough to know what’s going on in my household.”
“I’m not passing any judgment, Mrs. Queen. I just thought that it’s a peculiar name.”
A waiter came by our table. “Ray, two waters and a bowl of lemons.” Christine ordered. After he wrote down our orders, he moved to the next table.
“Do you mind me messing with your husband?” She asked.
I laughed at her question. Innocent enough but she was challenging me. I pushed my feelings for my husband a long time ago when he first cheated on me. Remembering my wedding vows was enough for me to forgive and forget, until it happened again. After that, the killings were a therapy treat of mine. There was no other way to get through the pain until I proved my point every time. When will it stop? I don’t know. My husband and I will not change from who we are.
“What do you think I should do?” I asked.
“I want you to leave. It’s time for your husband to know what love is.”
“No, and do you know why? Because I’m the queen”
She nodded at my answer. She showed no other emotion other than understanding. Weird. I thought she was going to create a scene, but she didn’t. She just sat there like she was defeated. Killing her wouldn’t be easy, but it had to be done. There was no room for pity.
The waiter came back with our drinks and lemons. Christine played with her straw, and then took a sip. I squeezed a couple of lemons, and then drank the whole thing. I didn’t know I was so thirsty. After I placed the glass down, I saw the residue at the bottom of the glass. I glanced at her as she smiled. This woman had poisoned me! Before I could think of how she had done it, my throat closed up, giving no air for me to breathe. I fell out of my chair, gasping for one last breath. Out of all the commotion that was going around me, there was one whispered sentence that stood out. “You have just been dethroned. I’m the queen now.”