“It’s not goodbye, Sue, not at all.” He took another forkful of the fish and put it in his mouth. “This is delicious fish, by the way. Never had anything like it.”
“Don’t change the subject,” she said. “You’re saying goodbye.”
“No, I hate goodbyes. I hate endings.”
“But you cheated on me. I found the pictures on your computer terminal.”
“Now, Honey, I told you, I’m a man who can’t be tied down to one woman. My heart is too big. I see a beautiful woman and my heart turns flips. I’m a lover of beauty, a sentimentalist, a softie. That’s all it is.”
“We had vows.”
“I didn’t mean to break our vows. I had good intentions when I made them. I just, I just can’t help myself. You forgive me, don’t you Honey? Please say you do.”
“How can I forgive you? You cheated on me. Do you want some more fish?”
“Yes, I do. It’s delicious. I know what the problem is. It was hard for you to open up to me, wasn’t it? You don’t open up to many people. I think this will be good for you, it will open you up to new possibilities. We’ll all be friends. It’s a beginning, a new beginning for us, don’t you think?” He was getting very flushed, and there were beads of sweat on his forehead.
She watched him closely. “A new beginning?”
“Sure, that’s it. It’s a new chapter in our relationship. I’ll still see you, along with Dakota and Mandy, and maybe one or two other girls, but we’ll have such good times. Don’t you think that’s better, Honey? A beginning instead of an ending? Gee, it’s awfully hot in here. And I’m having trouble breathing. Honey, why are you looking at me like that?”
“It won’t be long now,” she said.
Suddenly he slumped over and fell to the floor. He looked up at her with wild eyes, questioning.
“Can’t move?” she said. “That’s the poison working. The fish you liked so much, it was blowfish. A delicacy in Japan, although it’s also very toxic. You have maybe an hour of consciousness, and you won’t be able to move during that time, but you’ll feel everything I do to you.”
She went over the drawer where she kept her utensils, opened it and pulled out a large carving knife. She ran her finger delicately along its razor sharp edge.
“It will be interesting to see how big your heart really is,” she said.
Copyright John McDonnell, 2010. All rights reserved.