It's for her own good, of course. I only have Caroline's interests at heart. I always have, since I married her.
The guys at work pass by my desk, and tell me how lucky I am, to have such a gorgeous wife. And I am. I still see the beauty she was, and the beauty she is... inside.
I didn't always lock her in. That only started three years ago. She's glad of it. Really she is. It all started when she lost her job. She started making too many mistakes, you see. And if you make mistakes, you deserve to be fired. I told her so at the time. And she agreed. She always agrees with me. She knows I'm right.
She blamed the mistakes on lack of sleep, at the time. But I told her that other women manage to get all the housework done every day, and hold down a job. It wasn't much to ask, for a husband to come home to a clean house after a hard day at work, was it? I told her about my exacting standards when I married her.
She was a little surprised, the first day we returned to our jobs after we returned to work after our two weeks in the Caribbean – our dream honeymoon.
“Something wrong, Eddie?” she asked, smiling, as I ran my white-gloved finger over the dining table surface. In reply, I showed her the dust. Then I took my belt off. Her first lesson. She tried harder, after that.
After that, there was no more dust. Anywhere. Even if she had to stay up all night to make certain of it.
The second time she needed the belt was after she failed to put the creases in the correct places on one of my work shirts. She didn't repeat that mistake, either.
I had to start locking her in about a month after she lost the job. You see, I found this magazine with an article about a “women's refuge”, under her side of the bed. When I'd put my belt back on, I burned the magazine, in a metal waste bin. “I'm the only refuge you'll ever need, darling.” I said. The same day. I called out an emergency locksmith, and changed all the locks. He raised his eyebrows when I asked for just one set of keys. When he'd left, I removed the telephone from its socket, and locked it away in a cupboard.
I look at the photograph on my desk. She doesn't look so good these days, my Caroline. She's put on a few too many pounds. She complains about the deterioration in her looks, too, and I can only agree. She looks pasty, puffy, unkempt.
I give her her daily treats, though, and she looks forward to them. She's so hungry after her busy day, when I come home at night, that she wolfs down the chocolate cake or the cream-filled pastries, or whatever else it is I've chosen as her daily reward. I started locking the food cupboards when her standards started slipping, a couple of years back. I figured that being hungry during the day would focus her mind on keeping the house looking good. It worked. And I discovered that if I filled her up with sweet food, she didn't need much dinner. All the more for me. Just as it should be. I'm the man of the house, the breadwinner, after all.
And, thanks to me, she's the perfect wife.