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Brentwood Wife

I sat in the waiting room of the hospital watching as the doctor told a woman her husband didn’t make it through surgery. She started crying hysterically, hitting and kicking the chairs around her. She finally sat down on the pearly white floor with her head between her knees. Her breathing seemed to even out after a while.

I was still sitting on the hard chairs, still covered in blood from earlier that night. Everyone assumed I was in a wreck. I let them assume they were right. Nurses tried to get me to the ER but I told them I wasn’t hurt; just waiting.  My white v-neck cashmere sweater had dark crimson stains on only the front. The blue seersucker pants I still had on were speckled with blood. My hair was still in perfect blonde curls. I hadn’t bothered to wipe the blood from my face before coming into the hospital. I figured they were used to blood.

Doctors walked out in their red scrubs and white jackets talking to families. Sometimes they smiled, other times they just had blank looks, but they never looked sad. I bet it got easier the more they did it. Telling families their loved ones didn’t make it. After doing something everyday, over and over, it must just come natural.

Emily had called to tell me Stan had been taken to the hospital, but I already knew. She told me he was found in our house and he was shot earlier that night, three times in the chest. I wanted to tell her it was only twice, but I stopped myself. I was driving through the snow around downtown Nashville absentmindedly when she called. I made my way to the hospital eventually. I pulled out the mini bottle of vodka I kept in my purse. I could tell this was going to be a long, boring night. I was use to being alone, just waiting on Stan, never knowing what to expect.

I found divorce papers in his office that morning. They were laying in the middle of his desk with his perfect swirling signature on the dotted line. I’d known about the other women, but divorce papers were a new development in our relationship. I found his revolver that he kept in a dark brown wooden box. He kept it in a secret compartment in the top right drawer of his desk. Stan didn’t know that I knew where he kept it. Just another thing he was trying to hide from me.

***

We met my junior year of college while I was at Vanderbilt. Stan owned the Nashville Predators at the time. I was at the championship game with my friends and our faces were blasted over the big screen during the first quarter while they had a commercial time-out. Stan made his way to our box at the end of the first quarter. I didn’t believe him when he told me he was the owner. His chocolate brown hair and boyish grin made him look like a frat boy, not a professional hockey team owner. He was much older than me, his looks were deceiving so I didn’t mind our age gap.

Over the next year and a half I got to know Stan. He came from old Nashville money and worked with his father. His family lived in a huge mansion on 60 acres of land in Brentwood. His parents didn’t like me a first. Stan’s parents thought I was too young for him. They wanted him to be with someone more serious, ready to settle down, and have kids. They didn’t know I was a first generation Spanish-America. Stan’s parents wouldn’t have even given me a chance if they knew my heritage. They were the worst kind of racist. They didn’t like anyone that wasn’t white, and they preferred whites from the south. Stan defended it by saying that was how they were raised, they didn’t mean, they just didn’t know any better. I thought rich, educated people would be open to cultures and different people, but that’s not how it is in the south I quickly learned. None of my friends from college knew about my back ground. They never asked, and I didn’t tell them. My grandparents came to New York from Spain and became self-mail millionaires. They assumed I was from the south since I was studying at Vanderbilt. After many visits, dinners, and shopping trips with his mother, Stan’s parents were excited when we decided to get married.

Stan and I had a lavish wedding in the outskirts of Nashville. Candles lit the aisle as we were saying ’I do’ at sunset. The sky turned that perfect southern mix of blue and pink. You get use to the Nashville haze, you learn it makes things prettier. My life turned into benefits and other fancy parties. I was there to be arm candy. Things changed so quickly between Stan and I. It wasn’t the same after we were married. I was expected to be more. It wasn’t good enough that we loved each other, it needed to be more. I wore all the right dresses, said all the right things, and was the perfect southern princess.

***

I was suppose to be at a Breast Cancer Charity event held in the Gaylord Opryland Hotel the night Stan was shot, but I decided to come home early. I slipped my cream stilettos off as I walked into our house we’d been living in for the past twenty-three years. I didn’t make a sound as I passed the sitting room that held our grand piano that once belonged to my grandmother. She had given it to me in her will. Stan didn’t want to keep it, but he was never home enough to realize what was and wasn’t in that part of the house. I noticed a black Coach purse had been dropped absent mindedly in the hall near the marble staircase. Two black pumps littered the stairwell along with a white button down shirt and a black leather belt. As I reached the top of the staircase I saw the black dress thrown halfway over the metal railing.

I followed the trial of clothes to my bedroom, stopping when I got to the door. They didn’t notice me standing there. Stan was thrusting his meaty hips into her bony body from behind. A bead of sweat made a trail from the nape of his neck to the hairy patch on his lower back. Only when she cocked her head to the right did she notice me standing there. In a frantic jolt she was trying to cover her naked body with my white satin sheets. Stan’s body stiffened and he turned to look at me with his big green eyes and messy salt and pepper hair. He got off his knees when he noticed his gun he kept locked in his office in my left hand. My mind went blank. The kind of blank where you know what you’re doing, but you don’t care. I wasn’t thinking about the consequences, only what I was feeling in that moment.

I walked calmly into the room with the gun pointed in their direction. Stan sputtered out apologies, telling me how much he loved me and needed me. I pointed the gun at his hairy chest and fired two shots. I almost forgot about the whore in my bed until she screamed in terror. I shot her once and the room fell silent. Stan was barely breathing and had a blank stare on his face. I followed the trial of clothes back thorough my hallway and down my marble staircase. I put my shoes back on and got into my black SUV.

His doctor finally came out to tell me the news. His face was blank as he told me Stan didn’t make it through the surgery. He gave me the lines that he tried everything he could, but it just wasn’t enough. The woman found with him was in critical condition but her baby didn‘t make it through the surgery. I thought about crying hysterically, putting on a show for everyone, but I just couldn’t help smiling.

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