The door creaked as he opened it. He stepped in silently, hoping his wife was asleep ’Don’t hear me’, he thought. A dreadfully long day had gone by and all he wanted to do was go to bed. His shoes felt loose and worn out on his feet. ‘It’s so dark’. A candle burned in the kitchen and shed its light on the lines that scarred the old table. He could see her shadow watching him silently through the still air.
He heard his wife’s voice say, ‘They’ve cut the electricity. The fridge isn’t working. There’s no food in it anyway.’
‘I don’t know what to do.’
It was a familiar conversation.
‘Where’s the money from your salary?’
‘I spent it all. There’s nothing left.’
‘On what? Where could it have all gone?’
‘On stuff for the kids. On food.’
‘Then why is there no food?’ A pause. ‘I’m going to sleep. Put out the candle when you go to bed. It’s the only light we have left.’
He didn’t want to remind her that his salary was less than it once was. ‘It’s not enough for this life anymore. It’s not how it used to be.’
Emotionally and physically exhausted, he went to his room. He took off his shirt. It was crinkly, unironed and not as perfect as it used to be. A button was coming off. ‘How do I fix this?’ Walking into the dark bathroom, he looked into the mirror. The moonlight showed him a familiar face. ‘What do I do?’ ‘She’s sleeping so soundly as if nothing’s wrong.’ ‘She’s angry with me’. ‘I wish I could tell her.’ ‘But it’ll only worry her more.’ ‘How would I say it?’ ‘They let me go.’ ‘She’d ask why.’ ‘Because I wasn’t good enough? Because I didn’t have the right connections? Because I wasn’t productive enough?’ ‘How could they?’ ‘After 10 years with them, working overtime, going the extra mile… Why me? Why not him or her or him or her.’ ‘She wouldn’t understand’.
He lay down to sleep. The softness of the bed was of some comfort but not enough to put him to sleep. ‘What do I do?’
He came home. Her shadow stared at him in silence. He couldn’t sleep. A sudden thirst had overcome him, a thirst to end their misery, a thirst to quench the earth with their misfortune. ‘Should I put it right?’ ‘How?’ He went into the kitchen. There was a knife on the table, stained with blood.
She was asleep. ‘Why is there blood on the sheets?’ It looked so familiar. ‘Why isn’t she breathing?’ He stumbled to the children’s room. ‘They are asleep’. His children lay in bed as silent as the night; not a sound came from them. ‘Why is there blood on the sheets?’
The shock was too much. ‘Who did this to them?’ He looked in the mirror and saw a familiar face.
He came home. There was a knife on the table stained with blood. He couldn’t sleep. He looked in the mirror. The moonlight showed him a familiar face. He couldn’t sleep. A sudden thirst had overcome him. ‘Is that blood on my hands?’
He walked into the bedroom with the knife tightly held in his hand. She lay sound asleep. Watching her beautiful face, telling himself it was the right thing to do. It was the only way to put things right. ‘She deserves better and I can’t give it to her, not in this life.’
Her pulse had stopped. There was no breath. Her chest was still. ‘It had to be done.’ It was all too familiar to be left undone.
His children were sound asleep. It would’ve been easier the second time around and even easier the third time around but it wasn’t. They were angelic. The eldest one was too beautiful to kill. But she was too fragile for this world. ‘It had to be done.’ ‘It was too familiar to be left undone.’
The youngest was always the littlest princess. He told himself that there was better for them in another life. ‘They do not belong here, not in this cruel, harsh, evil world where not every man can have fresh bread with an omelet with cheese and onion; where not every man can keep up with the bills and expenses; where not every man can buy his wife a pair of expensive shoes or his children, the latest technology. They do not belong here.’ She was the hardest life to take but she went the easiest.
He looked into the mirror. He saw a familiar face. ‘It was me.’ ‘Who killed them?’ ‘It was me.’ ‘What choice did I have?’ The shock was too much. ‘It had to be done’ His eyes searched for justification in the eyes of the familiar face that looked back at him, the same face that had been looking back at him since he had killed it after he had killed it’s family.
He came home. There was a knife on the table stained with blood. He picked it up gently and pushed it into his heart forcefully. ‘It had to be done. It had to end and so he ended it.’
The door creaked as he opened it. ‘It’s so dark’. It was a familiar conversation. ‘There’s nothing left.’ It’s the only light we have left.’ He couldn’t sleep. A sudden thirst had overcome him. ‘Why is there blood on the sheets?’ ‘It had to be done.’ It had to end and so he ended it.’ It had to end and so he ended it.’ It had to end and so he ended it.’