The Sun Porch

“How should I kill my husband?”

That is the question I have been pondering of late because of the horrible nuisance he has become.  All he does is sit around in his frumpy, musty, cornflower blue chair, looking like a dated, stereotypical father from a 1960s sitcom.  He even wears his “evening sweater” as he calls it, like he has a smoking jacket. Ha, it is simply preposterous! To annoy me more, he continuously watches, and watches, and watches old television shows.  I am not sure if he is being nostalgic, or really watching programs he has never seen, or that he is just doing it to make me go crazy.  If I was a betting woman, I would bet he was doing it to make me mad, but he just seems too distracted lately to truly know his inner motives.  It appears something is wrong, or he is hiding something.  If he gets a phone call, he goes in another room to answer; moreover, he will not go into detail about who was on the phone.  He also never wants to do anything fun and sometimes he stays at work too late.  I’ve tried repeatedly to communicate with him, but there is just no use anymore.  He’s probably having an affair, so if that is what he ends up telling me is wrong, I still will want to kill him.  No one cheats on me and gets away with it! If I divorce him, I will have nothing, but if he “dies,” I get a whole lot of money from his life insurance.  I know I have been asking him, he probably thinks nagging him, about adding on the sun porch to the back of the house, but really, he needs to get over himself and figure this out with me. I cannot take this anymore!

All of this began back in February, about two months ago, when we were sitting at the kitchen table talking and laughing about the trip we had taken to Myrtle Beach the summer before.  On our vacation, we rented a house within walking distance to the beach.  At night, we would sit on the sun porch by candlelight drinking wine and listening to the eclectic melody of night chirps viewing a magnificent landscape of green lawn and palm trees.  This time was so relaxing, and it brought us closer like we had never been before.  After we arrived home, things were wonderful between us, but about six months later, Ed went into this mesmerized state of stopping time right where we were.  Yes, he went to work, ate regularly, and did some household chores he normally had done before, but when it came to communicate with me, doing anything productive with me, or planning the future with me, he just stopped.  Nothing I could do or ask him I had done to displease him would cause him to awake this cocoonlike state.

We had loved the sun porch so much, we decided to have one built ourselves to add onto the back of our house taking the window in our breakfast nook and making it a door that would lead out to our new screened in paradise.  This decision was made before Ed began to regress into his binge-watching, unhealthy hobby.  I had really hoped this project would uplift him and get him excited about something, anything; unfortunately, I was wrong.  I ended up working with the contractor on everything from plans, specs, materials, project timeline, and cost.  Since Ed wasn’t giving input, I gave my opinion on what I wanted.  Now, we were at the stage of clearing out some shrubs and a few trees that we never liked anyway, so the soil was all roused up like a garden freshly tilled.  Basically, the contractor was ready to send in his men to rid the lawn of unwanted items and smooth the ground to pour the foundation.

“How did I not think of this before?”  The sun porch was perfect to use to bury Ed.  With the ground resembling mud like dirt in a pot ready to pack down, no one would know I dug it up to place his body.  Now, how to kill him to get his body in the ground?  I could poison him, but moving him might be a challenge.  If I stab him, he might be able to gain control and in turn kill me, or at least call the cops.  That idea is out!  Shooting would require too much work.  Number one, we don’t have a gun, and number two, if I got a gun, I would be on death row before his memorial.  Number three, too much noise and mess.  Oh, I could hit him over the head from behind.  I must make this work, but how?  Wait, let me check the calendar, it’s about time for Ed to go away for work.  Perfect, he is leaving next Tuesday and returning Friday night.  I think I have my plan.  When Ed went on business trips, he was like clockwork when he would arrive home, so this was going to be a piece of cake.  He will arrive around 7, having eaten at the airport on his layover in Atlanta, and come in the back door, which we always use because of the awning we added going from the detached garage to the house just in case of rain.  All I need to do is quietly wait behind the garage and knock him over the head when he is fiddling with his keys to enter.  He will never know what hit him!

The week went by so slowly as I waited for him to pack and leave for the airport.  He kissed me that morning and wished me a happy few days.  He told me he would be back Friday night, just like I figured and as he always does.  He left for the last time…I was a little sad, but very quickly I was over him and his regressed self, and ready to plan my murder.  I went shopping in our own garage and found a tarp and a crow bar.  I would place the tarp by the door just in case of any blood from the hit and to help me drag his body.  I waited until Wednesday evening to begin my digging and finished it up on Thursday night, wearing a headlamp to light my way.  “Wow, digging a grave is work!”  Now, all I had to do was wait until tomorrow evening.  I was ready!

Friday finally came.  Tonight’s the night, anxiousness and excitement filled my being.  I had the tarp laid out by the back door and my weapon of choice on the kitchen counter ready to go outside and hide in the darkness like an animal patiently waiting for her prey to be vulnerable for the attack.  I walked out to the back of the garage around 6:45 to ensure he wasn’t early, careful not to leave any lights on so he wouldn’t see me.  I was like a kid at Christmas; I just couldn’t wait.  I kept looking at my watch feeling like he would never get here.  My mind was racing with so many eclectic thoughts and questions, I couldn’t control myself.  “Would I be able to do this?”  “What will I say to the police?  Police, would I call the police?”  “Wait, I must pretend he didn’t come home.  Jen, get a hold of yourself, you can do this!”  “What was life going to be like once this was all over…headlights!”  Ed was here!  “Stay calm and just wait.”

He sat in the car with the engine running for just a moment longer than it seemed necessary, but who knows, he might have been listening to the end of a song on the radio.  “I guess I owed him that.”  I heard the door slowly creak open like the door of a haunted house in a scary movie.  It seemed to take forever.  The car door shut and I heard him making his way up the walk with the steps of a hundred soldiers because the night remained quiet for me to hear every last sound of my husband.  I guess he already had the house key ready because he wasn’t fidgeting with them as he usually does.  I crept up behind him as stealth as a cat, raised my crow bar up, and swung down as hard as I could into his skull, smashing it in with blood spurting everywhere.  He stumbled, not turning around, to face his assailant, and then fell to the ground right onto the smoothly laid out tarp, the bed sheet of his grave.  My rage took over and I hit him multiple times to ensure he wasn’t coming back.

Now, timing was key.  I checked his pulse and didn’t feel one, so I moved a few of the corners toward the center of the tarp so the blood would stay contained, making sure I grabbed his car keys out of his hand.  Oh weird, his keys are in his pocket.  Interesting? The hole that I dug was right next to the walkway near the back door, making it less cumbersome to drag his body over to it and roll him in. I grabbed each corner at the top and began to heave his empty, dense mass over to the hole.  “He weighs more than I remember, but, ha-ha, I’ve never had to drag him, so I guess I never really thought about this before.  This is not that easy!!”  After a few steps, I took a breather and paused for a few moments and then began to tug some more.  I started panicking because of the time.  “Wait a minute, I don’t have to worry about anyone coming home, that lug of a husband is already here.”  This relaxed me a little, reducing my tension and so the dragging process started again.  “If I can just keep moving, I’m almost there.  Really, the only time constraint I have is the dawn.”  After several breaks, even sitting down for a short time, I finally reached the hole and rolled his sorry ass into it.  I jumped with utter delight as the lump of flesh wrapped in that tarp just laid there eyeing me like I should be ashamed of myself.  “Ha, joke is on you, Ed.”  I grabbed my shovel and started covering the body with every ounce of dirt I had dug up over the past few days, being so happy it didn’t have to look smooth since the contractor would be coming in a few days to get the ground ready to lay the foundation for the sun porch.

At last, it was finally done!  Ed was resting in peace, or whatever state I felt like he should be in since this was my doing.  I looked at my watch and realized it was already eleven o’clock.  “Whew, I need to get cleaned up.” So, I washed off the crow bar and the shovel and placed them back into the garage just as I had found them where they looked undisturbed and all evidence, including fingerprints were removed.  I went into the house and took a shower and felt like I was cleansing myself of all the woe my marriage had seemed to bring of late.  It was the weight of Atlas released from my shoulders and psyche.  Now, I had to get rid of the car.  If I was going to say the last time I saw him was when he left for his trip, his car had to be at the airport.  I drove quickly and parked his car in the extended lot and caught a taxi back home.  I was so wound up from all of this; yet, so exhausted, I was overwhelmed.  To wind down, I decided that I couldn’t quite fall asleep, so I walked to the kitchen and poured myself a glass of a dark red blend, which was already open.  “Lol, yeah, you could say there have been some dark events tonight.”

I couldn’t believe how surreal this night had been with feeling so at peace, but so wound up.  Walking over to the couch, I grabbed the television remote so I could drink my wine and watch some type of program and hopefully I would just fall asleep.  It’s funny, Ed dominated the TV so much, I can’t remember the last time I sat down to watch something.  The TV came on, but I heard a noise that sounded like the turning of a door handle.  I became a little startled; however, I think I was just a little jumpy and it probably came from the show.  I ignored the noise.

“Jen,” faintly coming from the kitchen.

I froze, who was this?  It couldn’t be Ed, he was dead and buried.  There was no way he could have dug his way up, even if I misread his pulse.  I took a gulp of wine and coward down into the couch closing my eyes hoping this was my mind playing tricks.  I heard footsteps approaching and the feel of someone leaning over the couch staring at me.  “Honey, I’m home.  Sorry I didn’t let you know, but I had to change my flight to a later one because of a last-minute meeting we had to add onto the day. How was your week?”  Ed said soothingly.  I opened my eyes to see him leaning in further for a kiss, so I reciprocated on the outside, but on the inside, I was in a frenzy.  If Ed was here, who was that in the ground under where the sun porch would be built?

“You didn’t answer me.  How was your week?  Are you okay, you look like you have seen a ghost?”  Ed asked.  “Oh, I am not feeling so good right now.  I wished you would have told me you were coming in later.  I have been worried.” I responded hesitantly, hoping he would give me more information.  Ed replied, “I’m really sorry, I have been nonstop all day and just wanted to get home.  Did anyone come by earlier?”  “No, why would we have any guests?  You know when you are gone, I always just relax and catch up on reading and I never have anyone over,” I said feeling like he knew something.  “I was just curious…”  “What are you talking about?  No one has been here!” I interrupted realizing I was acting too suspicious.  I needed to breath and calm down.  Maybe he was going to spill the beans about the affair.  Maybe his mistress was threatening to come tell me the truth.  “Jen, I’m not accusing you of having company, but there is something I need to tell you.  I need to come clean about something I’ve been keeping from you for about two months because I was trying to process everything myself,” Ed said with an honest tone with the sincerity of a grandfather.  Here it comes, he is going to confess!

“About two months ago, I was contacted by this guy named David.  He…this is so hard to say…he said he was my twin brother.  I have been in a state of shock since and I didn’t feel like I could confide in you until I had him checked out and verified.  I hired a private investigator, and sure enough, he is who he says he is.  Even weirder, he has the same type of car as I do…I guess it’s a twin thing.  I never told you, but I knew I had a twin brother, we grew up together and then we both went off to different colleges in two different states.  During my sophomore year, we both came home at Christmas to visit my parents, had a great time, and we both went back to our own colleges in January.  My parents received word from one of the deans at his college saying David just disappeared.  I came home to help my parents deal with this.  It was so hard, we contacted friends, hospitals, jails, you name it, but we couldn’t find him.  About a year later, my parents had him declared dead.  This was so difficult and I never really got over it because it felt unfinished.  I had dropped out of college when I went home to help them, so they encouraged me to go back once the decision was made to move on and so I did.  If you remember me telling you about when I started back to college, we met about a year later.” Ed paused looking for some type of affirmation from me.  “Oh Ed, I wish you would have shared all of this with me.  I would have been there for you.  Wait, a minute ago, you asked me if we had any visitors, were you referring to your brother?”  I asked very hesitantly.  “Yes, I assumed he was going to come by because he said he was going to visit any day now and I figured he was in here waiting for me.  I know I should have told you he might be coming, but I figured it wouldn’t happen.”  Ed replied.

Oh my God, what have I done?  I killed the brother Ed has been waiting, anticipating with unfinished business for these years.  I killed his brother who should have already been dead, but he wasn’t.  He even drove the same type of car; this is too ironic.  What do I say? I decided to take the route of playing dumb about knowing anything.  “So, why did he stay away all these years?”  Ed answered, “He said that he had gotten into some trouble with drugs and he was facing jail time.  He was so embarrassed and so low that he felt it was easier to disappear than to tell my parents the truth to disappoint them. He just never felt he could come back.”  What do I do now?  Do I tell him the truth and ruin his life; he would lose his brother all over again in addition to his wife.

“Sweetheart, I know I have been a total ass lately, actually a total bastard for a couple of months.  I was just so taken aback about my brother, I was just dumbfounded.  It made me feel like I should have looked for him longer.  I felt as though I failed my parents and was not worthy of being their son or even your husband.  If I could go back, I would tell you exactly when it happened, and I know we would be stronger for it now.  I’m sorry and I promise to make it up to you,” Ed sincerely explained his feelings.  “Uhm, ah, I don’t know what to say.  Thank you for the apology.  I’m having a hard time with this because I thought you were having an affair.”  I responded, still contemplating what to say.  “Oh my God, no!  I would never do that to you! I love you!”  Ed declared, “I want to make it up to you any way I can.”  “Okay, it just might take some time.  I’ll think about it,” I responded with hesitation.  No affair, and then this happened.  How could I be so careless?  He has spiraled down before and then went back up again over small things, and now this.  I don’t think so; it’s his fault I killed the wrong man.  I’m not going to tell him about his brother and I’m still going to kill him.  Hell, the waiting might kill me.

As a few months flew by, I kept plotting for just the right time.  Ed started out bringing me flowers at least once a week, taking me to nice dinners, taking me shopping, and planning outings.  He even helped me finalize the sun porch, his brother’s cover for his never-ending slumber. His death was imminent because even though he didn’t know about me killing his brother, in a twisted way, he was a witness.  He was the only person who knew about him and if anyone came looking for him, too many suspicions would arise.  I think it would be best to kill him next week when he gets back from his business trip.  I figure I got away with a murder the last time, luck must be on my side for a second time.

Ed left for his trip on Thursday.  He kissed me and told me he loved me and said he had a surprise for me when he gets back in town.  I told him I would be anxiously waiting, but I was thinking how he was going to look on our new Kelly-green tarp.  Ed bought a new one because he figured he misplaced his old one.

The waiting for him to come home was agonizing.  Friday would never arrive! I had everything ready, even to the point of digging a hole.  We were in the middle of redoing our flower beds, so he would just be buried below the rhododendrons once we planted them.  I would never have to put flowers on his grave this way.  The sun porch had been completed and I lounged out here all the time to relax and enjoy the beauty of the back yard.  The flower beds encircled the sun porch, so Ed would be with me always when I was home.  I’m not sure if this was comforting or morbid.  This was the right thing to do.  Oh, he keeps acting like the doting husband, but I know in due time, he would regress once again.  I just know it!

Friday evening finally arrived.  Déjà vu was going through my mind while I stood behind the garage at 6:45 patiently waiting for Ed to drive up, get out of his vehicle, and allow me to beat his skull in.  I heard his car moving up the driveway.  The car stopped.  The door opened slowly.  He stepped out of the car.  He shut the door.  His footsteps were soft and swift like a sly fox moving briskly through the grass.  With crow bar in hand behind my back, I crept up slowly behind him ready to strike.  Ed turned around, “Jen, what are you doing?”  “Ah, I was outside looking for something in the shed out back and heard a noise and was scared.”  “What do you have there?”  Ed asking and pointing behind my back.  I had to think fast.  Uh, uh, uh… “It’s a crow bar.  I told you I was frightened, so it’s for protection.”  Hopefully, he bought my story.  Looking puzzled, he responded, “You knew I was going to be home soon.  You should have waited for me and I would have gone to get whatever you needed.  What’s with this tarp by the back door?”  “I was working in the flower beds and didn’t want to track too much mud in,” I quickly answered, holding my breath.  “Okay, let’s go in.” Whew, he believes me.  Luck is on my side once again; however, only with not getting caught.

We walked inside, and he embraced and kissed me with more passion than he had ever shown.  He seemed giddy like a little kid.  “Jen, I told you I had a surprise for you.  Well, here it is.  I booked us a trip to the beach coming up in two weeks to celebrate our anniversary.  We are going back to the house in Myrtle Beach again.  I just thought it would be the perfect place to celebrate our ten years together.”  “Oh Ed, this is so sweet.  Thank you!”  I answered telling him what he wanted to hear.  We hugged again, and he said he was going to get comfortable and come back in where we could open a bottle of wine and cuddle out on the sun porch.

All I had ever wanted was for Ed to be a loving, doting husband I could always trust and count on.  Finally, here he was after ten years and me trying to kill him twice because I thought he was having an affair and leave me penniless.  Now, I had everything I ever wanted and more…the body of his dead twin brother under the sun porch we were about to go sit in and cuddle on the couch.  At that moment, I went into the living room, slumped down on the couch, threw my crow bar on the coffee table, and turned on the television to Perry Mason: The Case of the Skeleton’s Closet.

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