“My name is Jane Carpenter and I’ve killed a man.”
Not just any man, my husband. His dead eyes stare up at me and I don’t feel an ounce of remorse. I have fixed a mistake of my own making.
You must be wondering, “What kind of monster are you?”
There’s no easy answer to that question, but there is a story. There’s always a story.
I met Jacob Carpenter in a bar one year ago today. Our chemistry was instantaneous, it crackled and we both felt it.
In my own weak defense, I’m a free spirit, I was anyway. Spontaneous to a fault and not one to pay attention to red flags and there were many – even that first night.
Jacob is… was, a straight-laced accountant. Sexy in that brainy, suit wearing kind of way. We were total opposites and in those initial hours, the old adage ‘opposites attract’ never rang more true.
“Filing taxes is serious business!” He slurred.
I laughed and he haltingly joined in. He wasn’t a man who appeared comfortable laughing. Instead of seeing this as an indicator of a humorless man, I saw it as a challenge to make him laugh.
I’m a fixer by nature and I instantly fell in love with the idea of fixing Jacob. I knew I could make him happy. I needed to make him happy. Once I set my mind to fixing something, it will be fixed.
We sat in that bar doing shots and periodically making out like high school kids until I couldn’t take it any longer and dragged him towards my car. Even through his horny, drunken stupor, he insisted we take a cab. He was still in complete control.
We made love all night. I can’t deny Jacob was the best lover I’d ever had. It was our first and last beautiful night together.
The next morning I peeled my eyes open to see Jacob, already dressed and drinking coffee at the table. He showed no signs of a hangover. I wasn’t so lucky, my head was pounding and my body ached.
“We’ll get married today. I can’t have you being a slut.” He somberly stated.
I laughed. Why did I think that was funny? Hindsight is an odd thing, the woman I am today, the one who has learned so many lessons in this short, tumultuous year would never find that funny. But, that me…she laughed. I pity her.
“What about love? Do you love me?” I asked, not hearing the child-like desperation in my own voice. “Daddy? How could you leave? Don’t you love me?”
“Yes.” He got up, straightened his tie and headed for the door.
“Ok then, I’ll marry you!” I staggered towards him, this hangover was a bitch, but I had to kiss my fiancée – such a ridiculous word, fiancée. But, I had one now.
He held my shoulders back as I leaned up for a kiss.
“Go clean up, and brush your teeth for God’s sake, I’ll be back in two hours to take you to the courthouse.” He squeezed my shoulders, not softly, and left.
“Who was that girl who let a man speak to her that way?”
I took two aspirin, a scalding shower and brushed my teeth until my gums bled. Then I got married.
One year later, on our anniversary no less, I sit here with a throbbing black eye, a couple of broken ribs and the smell of disinfectant burning my nostrils. Jacob made me clean up a drop of blood that dared to escape through the open wound on my cheek. In the menacing tone I’ve heard over and over again throughout this past year he said, “Clean it.” And I did. I always did.
But today, things changed. I glance toward the table where a still warm gun sits.
I’m free. I am a fixer by nature and I fixed this, this mistake. I have a fleeting thought that perhaps I’ve saved another woman from Jacob, another foolish woman. I’ve saved her, haven’t I?
With this thought in my head, I dial 911.
“My name is Jane Carpenter and I’ve killed a man.