Motherhood quickly took its toll on Lauren. I volunteered for the night feeds to allow her rest and took more time off work to take Marley to her Doctor’s appointments to allow Lauren to get settled into her year-long maternity leave.
The sleepless nights, the upset routines and the lack of socializing, on Lauren’s part, damaged her greater than we expected. It almost felt as though she blamed our daughter and I for her miserable existence. At first, I thought it might have been post-natal depression that drove a wedge between her and our child. But as time went on, I learnt differently. My wife just didn’t like kids. Hated them, in fact. She told me this during one of her rants after we were forced to leave a wedding reception early. Our babysitter had called to tell us that Marley had a fever and had started vomiting. Of course we would return home, our daughter was unwell!
I finally lost my patience with her on the drive home and questioned her behaviour. Normal Mothers don’t complain like this when their babies are sick, I yelled. Her response stunned me to my very core:
“I’m not a Mother, Al! I’m not! I’m not the mothering kind and I never will be!” She screamed before bursting into tears.
A few years later and many more tantrums and disagreements with my wife saw me retreating from our luxurious king-sized ensemble to the wooden-framed single bed in our guest bedroom. I began to seek solace in online gaming, staying up to the wee hours of earlier morning long after Lauren and Marley had gone to bed. It was an escape for me. A delicious escape away from the glares of my wife, whose eyes I once looked into with absolute adoration.
One evening, after picking Marley up from the Day Care centre on my way home from work and driving my usual fifteen minutes home, I noticed Lauren’s car was missing from our driveway. I recall this strange sense of dread mingling with relief just washing around and through me as I was unbuckling Marley from her car seat.
Smiling at my daughter, I admired her resemblance to my wife. My wavy, dark brown locks, covering my wife’s olive skin, as well as Lauren's round, brown eyes and full, pink lips. Marley broke me out of my reverie by asking me what was for dinner. In that moment, I felt resolute. Whatever was to come, my daughter would be my number one priority.
My wife had gone out to get some milk after she’d gotten home that afternoon and discovered we were fresh out. She blamed me, of course, because I had breakfast that morning – like I did every morning, how horrible of me!
Something was different that evening as we chatted quietly over dinner. I felt awkward. Embarrassed, even. I wasn’t sure why. So later that night, when she retired to her bedroom to watch her erotic, vampire television show – I hopped onto my PC and opened Microsoft Word.
It was the first time I had ever considered putting pen to paper, so to speak. There was this overwhelming feeling, something that I just had to get out. And so I wrote. I wrote about the drive home and how I arrived to an empty driveway. I wrote about how it felt to have no wife in the house and how wonderful life could be. Just Marley and I together, in our own little family.
Then the tide of guilt washed over me. A dousing of the fire of my independent thoughts, the crushing of my dreams under the weight of responsibility. I realised what the feeling was, the reason for my guilt. It was the feeling that penetrated me sharply when I had pulled into my driveway.
Sweet relief at not having to face her today, or any other day. The hope that she was gone, run off with some gorgeous twenty-something apprentice. The dream that she had left me forever.
I stared at my computer screen for an unknown amount of time, letting the joy of that possibility swim through me. Then it hit me, I knew what I needed to do. I knew how to get myself out of this bind. Yes.
I needed to kill my wife.