I kick the black punching bag with all my might. It swings away and I kick it again before it comes back to hit me. I bend my knees and punch it until I can’t anymore. Panting, I take a step back to catch my breath and take a drink of water.
“Whoa girl. Everything okay?” asks Jimmy, my personal trainer.
I wipe the sweat off my face with a towel. It is rare for me to sweat so much, but I am feeling the rage today. I glance over at him. He is grinning.
“I’m fine,” I say.
“If you say so,” he says with a skeptical look on his face.
I hate his attempts to make conversation with me, but he’s a damn good fitness trainer. He got me in perfect shape for my wedding day and I’ve stuck with him since. He comes to my house three days per week willing to torture my body in the most effective ways possible. I’ve never tried boxing in my life, but after that strange dream, I’ve been in need of an outlet for my rage. Boxing seemed to be the right thing. Good thing Corey already has a punching bag installed in our home gym.
Jimmy shows me how to do a proper upper cut and jab. I repeat the actions with vigor. He seems impressed with my efforts and I feel the burn. We are both satisfied with the session.
After my trainer leaves, I wash the sweat off in the shower and decide to put on a bikini so I can sit out by the pool with a new magazine. It will be peaceful out there this time. I shift uncomfortably in the chair as I flip through the first few pages. It is time to get a new chair, among other things.
“I need a whole new life,” I say quietly.
I grit my teeth and throw the magazine at the glass door. It doesn’t quite make it, adding another edge to my annoyance. I pace around the pool, glancing at the still waters before looking at the garden. The rake and shovel Brad used the other day lean against the fence. He didn’t have the decency to put them back in the shed. He was just a freeloader pretending to work. Good thing I got rid of him.
“Marie, honey,” calls Corey as he opens the sliding door.
“I thought you’d be at the airport by now,” I call back, feeling poked by his presence.
“I’m running late because I haven’t heard back from Brad. He should have been here by now. Have you seen him?”
“No. I haven’t seen him since yesterday morning.”
Corey shakes his head with a frown. “It’s not like Brad to be this late and not call ahead to let me know.”
He seems shaken. I will never understand why the guy cares so much about a dumb kid he barely knows.
“You’re not going to miss work over this are you?” I ask in exasperation. “Are you two fucking or something?”
Corey fires me a caustic look before closing the door. I pay him back with a cold glare. He looks away from me and disappears. He’ll be dead soon. No matter.
I am agitated that another relaxing afternoon by the pool is spoiled. I walk around the rectangular reservoir. It looks so peaceful that one could forget how deadly it can be. A sudden gust of wind brings some prematurely fallen leaves into the water. I watch the ripples that form in the water as a result. The memory of Brad sinking below the water’s surface comes back to my mind’s eye.
“No,” I say sharply. “I don’t care about him. I don’t give a fuck about anyone.”
I shake my head. Brad. What a fool for trying my patience the way that he did. He’d still be alive if he minded his own business. Now he’s gone and I’ll have to deal with Corey sulking about it until I kill him. I would have given my husband a little more time, but since he’s going to ruin my peace over a missing pool boy, I’ll have to act quickly. I wonder why I can’t have a life free of assholes.
My pulse quickens and I cannot still the rage any longer. I look back at the garden and run over to it. I grab the shovel and stab the soil with it. I start to hack at the ground, destroying flowers and uprooting entire plants. My anger is boiling over and I just want to kill someone.
“You asshole!” I scream. “Fuck you!”
I toss the shovel at the fence and it hits the stained wood, leaving a mark. I stand there trembling, overcome by anger at the sandy-haired pool boy who made me kill him.
I walk away and take deep, slow breaths. I step into the house as Corey is going out the door.
“Corey, we need to upgrade our backyard. I’d like to hire a landscaper to spruce it up.”
He gives me a look and I think it is one of disgust. “Whatever you want, dear.”
I pout. “Why are you brushing me off like this, Corey? I was thinking we could have a garden party next month with all your work friends. It would be an event they’ll thank you for repeatedly. I’ll make sure it’s grandiose and unforgettable.”
He exhales loudly. “Do what you want. I have to go.”
I watch him drive off. What a dismissive defeatist. He’d never stand up to me even if his life depended on me. Too bad he isn’t a little smarter.
I browse local landscaping companies on Google and find one with the best reviews. I can’t set foot in that backyard until it has been revamped. I also want the water in the pool changed. The thought of touching the same water that I used to drown my victim disgusts me. I need to start fresh. I deserve to.
I give the landscaping company with the best reviews a call to get a price estimate and to see when they are available to start working on the yard. The level of work that I want done will require a lot of manpower. It turns out they are unable to accommodate my needs in the time frame that I want; I hang up on them. I tell myself to give them a 1-star review on Google later.
I feel restless as evening approaches. I am sick of this house. Everything about it bores me now. I need a different life. I am so close to starting afresh, but it will take a little more work to get there. Corey will be home tomorrow night. I’ll do it then. I can kill him the same way that I killed Brad then I will call Steven again to help me with the body. His only requirement for payment will be more sex. I like the way he fucks.
I put on my favourite satin black nightgown and get into my bed. I hesitate before turning off the light and question why I do it. I’ve never, ever been afraid of the dark – not even as a child. It must be all the annoyances of the last two days filled with stupid people. They are making me feel stranger than usual. I remind myself that it’s been years since I’ve killed someone. I just need to get back into the swing of things.
Soon this place will be a distant memory and I will be on my own again living in true freedom. I smile. Everything will be fine. I reach over and turn off my lamp.