I hum as I chop up a red bell pepper and dump the finely minced flesh of my favorite vegetable on top of the salad. A little raspberry vinaigrette on the side would be nice, I decide, and place it on the table, sweeping around the clean curved dining room that compliments the round oak table at its center. Still humming Candle in the Wind, I toss the salad and set it on the table. Everything is ready.
It really pisses me off when people are late. This pet peeve sometimes makes me a hypocrite, but I really can’t stand it when people make me wait. Still, when he finally shows up, I force myself to sit through dinner without strangling him.
Earl is a very attractive man. It’s really quite a shame I have to remove him from the gene pool-- he would have had beautiful children. For a moment as I’m watching his mouth move, not listening, I ponder children. Children would be nice. I don’t think they would understand my job very well though. I couldn’t come in on career day without causing a scene. But then again, my parents did it. And it isn’t like there is any hope of Jack producing heirs to the family business.
With my fork I trace little swirls in the white wine sauce puddled on my plate. It’s never good to commit murder on an empty stomach; much more pleasing if you’re comfortably full. And full as I am of my infamous chicken breast and angel hair, that is, it would be infamous if anyone ever lived after eating it, I’m ready to act a little naughty.
“I thought that lecture would never be over, I mean, I swear it must have been—”
“Earl,” I interrupt. He gazes at me politely. It’s hard to lie to him like I have to, but I proceed, “You’re not looking for any kind of serious relationship, are you?”
Earl stutters a little as I silently push back my chair and slink around to his side of the table.
“You must be so busy with law school. I’m sure you don’t have time to pursue a woman like me,” I continue, easily sliding my hand across his shoulders and beginning massage the knot of muscles at the back of his neck, just above his collarbones.
“Well, I…” Earl clears his throat and tries to get out of the chair. Gently but forcefully, I push him back down, easing the tight muscles of his shoulders with my adroit fingers when he relaxes.
“Really, Earl. I don’t think it would work,” I persist in a rational, steady voice. I let my tone drop lower and huskier as my hands ease down the chest of his dry-cleaned white shirt and my right clasps the wrist of my left so that I am draped around his neck like a rag doll. I whisper in his ear, “But I owe you a favor for asking you here…”
Now it’s time to really play my part. I kiss him on the mouth, letting him think he knows exactly why he’s in my apartment now. I enjoy myself for a moment, kissing Earl from this odd angle, prolonging the pleasure I’ll get out of killing him. My hands dance up his arm and I pull away just in time to leave him aching for more.
“Wait here. I’ll call you when I’m ready. I smile slyly and saunter down the hall, winking at Earl before slipping into the bathroom. With the door open I turn the shower on as hot as it will go, the water pounding like Niagara Falls into the porcelain of the enormous tub, and wait for steam to shroud the bathroom. When it’s billowing through the doorway a few minutes later I coo Earl’s name. He practically comes running. Poor thing thinks he’s getting lucky.
I kiss him feverishly and undo his tie simultaneously, trying to make it convincing. The buttons part from their holes one by one, and Earl is getting touchy-feely now. I jump as his hands drift down my back. Out of bounds. And that’s all it takes. I back him up to the tub, almost touching it and then, BAM. It’s so easy to kick a man’s feet out from underneath him when there isn’t enough blood circulating to his brain. He falls like a lonely pine; I feel the urge to call out “timber!” as his skull cracks against the large tiled wall on the opposite side of the tub. I lose my balance for a moment but manage to catch myself before falling into the stream of torrid water on top of Earl. I’m not always the most graceful, but in my defense, some of the guys I take out are practically logs.
A big stretch in the steamy bathroom completes the satisfaction of the evening. I turn off the water and watch as a stream of red pools around the drain, flowing from Earl’s head at a much less impressive rate than the water from the spigot. But still, he is sufficiently dead, and that’s what matters. Normally I feel a bit more loss when I strip someone of their life. With Earl, there isn’t much besides his pretty face I regret wiping from history.
Besides, he just wasn’t an assertive person. He would have made a terrible lawyer anyway.