This story is by Natalie Delgado and was part of our 2017 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the Spring Writing Contest stories here.
The wind howled while the snow lashed against the window. For early November, New York was seeing a lot of the white stuff. Chris sat on his favorite recliner as he watched the Cowboys demolish the Giants. Sundays were made for football! Unless you were Chris’ fiancée, since they woke up that morning Courtney couldn’t stop raving over her scheduled brunch wither best friend Jennifer. Lately, Courtney and Chris had been growing apart, he cared about sports more than everything else and she was always busy. If brunch didn’t interfere with football everything flowed smoothly.
As the game approached halftime, Chris grabbed a snack from the kitchen. Walking back to his seat, he noticed Courtney’s cellphone vibrating. Curiosity tore through his body like a flesh-eating cancer. As of late, Courtney had become distant. She was working more and spending less time at home. Something was up, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. The phone vibrated again. Chris looked over his shoulder to ensure Courtney was still getting ready. He grabbed the phone and stumbled upon one single text message. One lonely text message from an unsaved number. The text read, “Hey love, are you almost ready?”
Puzzled, Chris put the phone down quickly and returned to his seat. He pretended to watch the game as he heard Courtney making her way down the stairs. Thoughts consumed Chris, if Jennifer is her best friend, why in the world isn’t her number stored? Courtney grabbed her keys off the coffee table and kissed Chris on the forehead.
“I’ll be home later sweetheart. Give me a call if you need me.”
Chris saw right through Courtney’s act, but the last thing he would do was expose his ulterior motive therefore he played along.
“Have a good time honey, maybe if I play my cards right I’ll be lucky enough to go on a date with you. These days I barely see you, and when you do get home you’re exhausted.”
“Chris please don’t do this right now. You know how swamped I’ve been at work. Jennifer has been going through a lot with the divorce being finalized, and as a best friend, I just want to help her out, help her smile again. I’ll see you soon.”
She waved one last time and walked out the door.
Chris shut off the television and grabbed his keys as well. The unusual changes in Courtney’s behavior spiked dangerous suspicions within Chris and he was ready to learn the truth. Tailing Courtney to her destination would give him a clearer image on what was going on. There was no way Courtney would be meeting up with Jennifer, he felt it in his gut. He left through the back door to remain unseen.
The heavy snow made it difficult for Chris to keep Courtney in sight, his Ford Fusion trailing four car lengths behind. After driving for what felt like an eternity Courtney made a right-on Madison St. and parked her car. Chris made sure to stay out of sight. Courtney emerged from the vehicle and approached the front door of the only brick townhouse on the corner. Before she could ring the doorbell, the door swung open. It was then Chris got his first visual of Robby, the home wrecker who threatened his once happy home. Chris discovered his name by entering his address in Google Maps as he waited.
Robby stood in the doorway, all 5 feet 9 inches of him, his body builder physique enhanced by his H&M style clothing. Leaning over, Robby riddled Courtney with kisses leaving Chris enraged. Chris would stay until he was given the perfect opportunity to infiltrate.
45 minutes later, Chris finally saw the door open once more. Courtney hugged Robby with intense affection and gave him a goodbye kiss. She didn’t turn around as she walked to her car. Chris watched intently knowing he was up next, the time had come to meet Robby face to face. Maniacal thoughts consumed Chris as he made his way to Robby’s door. Seconds away from a face off, he tried to compose his scrambled being. Chris approached the front door with a light knock. Robby answered the door so confidently.
“Did you forget something sweetheart?” he asked sarcastically. When Robby finally registered, who stood in his doorway, all color drained from his face. Although tall and masculine, he knew his strength was no match for the strength of a man scorned.
“Who the hell are you?” Robby pretended to have no recollection of this man who stood before him, knowing he had been Courtney’s fiancé for years. Chris nonchalantly reciprocated the look Robby gave him.
“So how long have you been seeing Courtney? This could go either way Robby, if I were you I would just talk, honestly that is.” Chris stated.
Defeated, Robby let Chris into the main hall of his home and shut the door behind him. Chris spoke with palpable rage in his voice.
“I only came for an explanation, I believe I deserve one, don’t you? I- “Robby lunged at Chris mid-sentence as they both began to tussle with each other.
Chris pushed Robby with all his strength, not realizing the large statue in the middle of the corridor. Robby’s head and the statue met, causing paralysis through his whole body. Chris watched in awe as Robby fell to the ground. Perfect. Chris had him right where he wanted him, comatose and quiet. For a man in the wrong, Robby sure had a mouthful.
Thinking fast, Chris carefully carried Robby through the backdoor and loaded him into the trunk of his Fusion. Thankful for the rope he acquired on Robby’s backyard steps, he utilized it to tie Robby up. Things went from bad to worse quick. Chris put the car in drive and discreetly left Robby’s home.
Chris drove down interstate 87, his mind clouded with thoughts. Chris was aware of the consequences his actions could bring upon him, he knew Courtney would never forgive him for this, as he would never forgive her for her betrayal. But this was something he had to do, he started it and it was now time to finish it off.
Suddenly, Chris heard a loud knocking sound coming from his trunk. Robby had awakened from his comalike slumber. The time had come for him to meet his maker. Chris pulled over to the right of the highway, near the very secluded Tappan Zee Woods to avoid causing authorities any alarm, he made sure to maintain a low profile.
Chris opened the trunk release and stared at Robby. The man who had enough power to wedge himself between the purest form of love Chris had ever known, lay there so defenseless, so defeated. Robby attempted to speak.
“Please let me go! It’s not my fault you weren’t satisfying Courtney. You should be going after her! I don’t have anything to do with the inconsistencies of your relationship! If you hurt me, you’ll never get away with this!” Robby half pleaded and half demanded.
Those words infuriated Chris, how could he not take responsibility for what he clearly participated in? Chris carried Robby out of the trunk, and dropped him on the slushy terrain violently.
Chris fought off feelings of rage as he spoke,
“Courtney was my everything, and I’ve lost her to an intruder. Today only one of us will walk away alive and your chances aren’t looking too great.”
Robby’s demeanor suddenly changed as he continued to provoke Chris.
“She loved it Chris! Every minute of it. Each time I made her mine. She told me you don’t touch her the way I do.” Robby’s sinister smile lay slanted on his face.
At that moment, Chris grabbed a huge boulder that sat at the side of him and smashed Robby’s face in repeatedly. Finally, he was unleashing the wrath that was eating him alive. Boulders and rocks would carry no fingerprints, the blood that splat everywhere would never be traced back to him.
Chris looked at Robby and said his final words to him, “She’s all yours now buddy.”
He kicked Robby’s battered body lightly and watched as it rolled through the woods.
After hearing Robby’s skeletal crack against the trees at the bottom of the hill, he knew the deed was done. He jumped back into his vehicle and headed home to face Courtney. On his way home, flashbacks attacked his mental. Who would’ve ever thought when he left his house this afternoon, he would return a cold-blooded murderer?
When he entered their home, Courtney seemed disheveled, disconnected as usual.
Chris felt the need to reach out to Courtney, to comfort her.
“Hey sweetheart. Is everything okay? I notice you a little pensive,” Chris said, as if he had no clue what was stressing Courtney out.
“I’m fine, I just had a long day.” Courtney replied, “I’m going to take a shower and lay down. I’ll meet you upstairs.” Courtney slowly walked up the stairs.
Chris walked to the kitchen and poured himself a shot of the strongest whiskey he had. His conscious spoke to him, he knew if the truth ever came out about Robby he would go away for a very long time. But he was confident that he had left no stone unturned. He knew he would get away with it.
Chris heard the shower turn off, and the bedroom door close. Realizing that Courtney had gone to bed yet another night without saying I love you or goodnight. Chris grabbed a blanket from the living room closet and retreated to the sofa.
Chris tossed and turned all night as the horrifying events replayed over and over in his mind. He finally gave up sleep at 6am and tuned in to the local news. A reporter spoke about a man found early this morning in what appeared to be a kidnapping turned homicide. Chris’ mouth dropped open. He didn’t think they would find Robby so quickly.
Courtney who was also fighting a never-ending battle with sleep, emerged from the staircase. Her whole world froze as she saw Robby’s image come across the television screen. She couldn’t believe Robby was gone. It was beyond difficult for Courtney to hide the emotion she felt, but she couldn’t let Chris know how well acquainted her and Robby were. She walked to the kitchen without murmuring a word to Chris and made herself a cup of coffee.
Chris observed Courtney’s daily behavior and wasn’t fazed by it.
The reporter on the news spoke.
“There was no evidence found at Robert Johnsons home and none found at the scene. Police are calling this the work of an experienced mastermind. We will be sure to inform you of any new details discovered. Back to you Jane, at the studio.”
Chris turned the television off and walked up the staircase slowly. He had murdered a man for all the right reasons, which allowed him to believe that is why he walked away penalty free. A feeling of relief washed over Chris, he was free from it all. Free from the secrets, free from the make shift prison his relationship turned into, free from the pain. Deep down Chris knew karma held no prejudice and in due time, Courtney would pay the ultimate price for her betrayal.