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Boiling Point

by Gloria Watts

Unbearable, the pain that came suddenly, took his breath away and left him lying on the road. He hadn’t seen the car travelling toward him when he stepped off the curb; his mind busy thinking of Lisa: blue eyes ablaze, lips twisted with anger. God, she’d been so damned angry.

Just a late night with the boys, a couple of drinks, a few hands of poker, surely a guy’s entitled to some relaxation? Well, maybe not so often as recently, but she nagged so.

‘Give me some peace, woman. Get off my back,’ he’d yelled at her.

The pain spread, body wrenching pain that propelled a low groan from his stiff lips. His eyes blurred and a last gasp escaped his torn body.

He never saw the face, the slight smile of the woman behind the wheel, or the words she uttered: ‘Peace, I’ll give you peace.’

* * *

‘You’re always out. I’d appreciate an occasional night at home,’ she’d screamed. ‘Just the two of us, is that asking too much? Aren’t I entitled to some relaxation?’

Nagging, there’d been plenty of that, but didn’t he deserve it? She’d turned away from his blazing eyes, the anger that knotted his face.

She didn’t see it coming, the mounting pressure became unbearable as fingers pressed deep, stealing her breath, leaving her half conscious. The sour smell of him caught at her throat; his fingers tightened. She drifted in a haze of endless pain, jerked, as he snapped her neck.

She never saw the face, the smile, or heard the words he muttered. ‘Stay at home? Sure, honey, I’ll stay at home.’

* * *

Tension hovers, tangible in the air between them. John pretends to read a newspaper. Lisa chews at her bottom lip, a frown creasing her forehead. They want to talk, but somehow, as happens every other evening, time slips by and all they have are remembered angry words.

And their thoughts....

Her mind says... dead, under the wheels of a car. That’ll teach him.

His face looks younger, softened by the firelight and her heart misses a beat.

He feels her stare, drops the newspaper, curls his fists, knuckles stretched white. His eyes fasten on her neck; swan-like, so near, so soft, he can feel it beneath his fingers. His thought... only a minute’s pressure... lifeless... dead.

Her eyes look tired; her skin glows golden in the firelight. He wants to take her in his arms. The clock ticks, the fire slowly dies.

‘Are you coming to bed?’

‘Yes,’ he whispers, ‘yes.’

Copyright © 2007 by Gloria Watts

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