The Perfect Match
by T. Kent
I’ve been watching my husband have sex with other women. I know, it sounds kinky. But before you judge too harshly, let me explain. After ten years of marriage, we’d become ‘Byron and Elise,’ the poster couple for toxic relationships.
Our love had turned ugly-criticism and sarcasm, the only language we understood. Public snark attacks were the worst. All it took was for someone to ask, “How long have you two been together?” and we’d be on a roll.
I’d say, “Ten years.”
Byron would say, “Yeah, two of the best years of my life.”
Then I’d say, “And he’s got me beat by a year.”
We were miserable, but neither of us was leaving.
Byron stayed because he coveted the spoils of my trust fund. He’d grown up in a sad little white-trash trailer park in South Georgia and wasn’t about to give up the Tudor-style brick home overlooking the golf course, the three-car garage with matching 328’s and a Range Rover, the trips to Aruba and Paris.
I stayed because I coveted Byron. He was the perfect trophy husband: Jerry Seinfield funny, George Clooney gorgeous, and when he wanted to be, a lover right out of the pages of my trashy romance novels.
The crazy thing was, despite my participation in our mutual animosity society, I still loved him and wanted us to be happy again. And I knew that, deep down, Byron loved me too. If I could just get him to tap into those feelings, I was sure I could save our marriage.
What I needed was a plan, something big to jolt him to his senses. They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Byron needed to think I was gone.
I spent weeks crafting a sentimental, conciliatory goodbye note. I reminded him of the sheet-clenching, toe-curling, panty-melting sex we used to have, the days we played hooky from work to go to the museum, the way we always had each other’s back when his deadbeat dad, my overbearing parents, or the world in general threatened our utopia.
It was the perfect note for the perfect faux suicide.
On a sunny Wednesday when I knew Byron was coming straight home from work to change for tennis, I put my plan into action. I took a few sleeping pills and flushed the rest of the bottle down the toilet. I drank a glass of bourbon and put on my sexiest Agent Provocateur lingerie. Then I lay down and slept.
I misjudged two things that day: the amount of pills and alcohol it would take to kill me and what Byron would do when he found me. I never dreamed the jerk would leave me there to die.
I knew he was an asshole. But a murderer? Seriously?
Fortunately, one door never closes without another one opening, and as I watched my husband whistle a merry tune while primping for my funeral a few days later, it hit me. I was dead, but I wasn’t gone!
I did a ghostly imitation of a happy dance with one thought in mind. Game on.
There was no instruction manual for becoming a ghost; I had to learn the ropes through trial and error. By the time Byron started bringing women home three months later, I knew a few things. Like the fact that I couldn’t leave the bedroom where I’d died, and the fact that I drew my power from the energy of humans. I also had a few ghostly tools at my disposal, but I could use them only when my strength was at its peak.
That’s when I started watching Byron have sex, because a ghost can draw a lot of energy from two sweaty humans going at it like animals. At the point of climax, I’d feel an amazing jolt of static electricity ripple through me, and that’s when I could do things.
Did I enjoy watching Byron with other woman? Heck no. It made me crazy with jealousy. But it was a means to an end, a way to even the score. Not that the score could ever be evened; I was dead, he was not. But I did take some amount of comfort in shaking up his little world. He may have won the war, but I was like a pocket of resistant rebels; I was winning the skirmishes.
My favorite pastime? Scaring off the bimbos he brought home.
Like the model, Alexis: tall, dark, and high-maintenance. An only child and a whiner. “Byron, why don’t you take me out more often? Why don’t you sell this house?”
Uh, because it belongs to my trust, Alexis.
She even whined during sex. I’m not kidding. The worst punishment would have been to let him keep her, but I had no patience for the long game. All it took was one look at my shimmering apparition over Byron’s left shoulder when he was pumping her full of his love juice, and she was out of here.
Then there was Rebecca: voluptuous, redheaded Rebecca. That was the day I realized that if I focused all my energy on Byron, I could fill his head with my image. Timing was everything. Rebecca wasn’t too happy at the moment of truth to hear him yell, “Oh, God... Eliiise.” Never saw redhead again.
The last one was Evelyn. When he showed up with her, I’d just figured out how to make my trademark fragrance — Juicy Couture — permeate the bedroom. They were pretty hot and heavy when she smelled it and thought he’d been cheating. We’ll miss you, Evelyn. Not.
There hadn’t been any other girls for a month, but Byron was bringing someone home tonight. He’d put on his black briefs this morning. That was a sure sign.
But something happened that had me on edge. I was hovering at the open bathroom door, watching him towel off from his shower. I still enjoyed seeing him naked, so sue me. Anyway, he stepped over to the steamy mirror and wrote with his finger, Elise, I’ve got a surprise for you tonight. Then he wiped it off slowly with a towel and smiled so big his cheeks were probably hurting.
What. The. Hell. Byron was obviously onto my game.
I’d been rippling with anxiety all day.
He came home at around eight with company. From downstairs, I heard their laughter intermingle with a Prince song from our old ‘Date Night’ playlist. Grrrrr.
An hour later the bedroom door finally opened, and he ushered his new girl in.
This one had long black hair and dark-rimmed glasses. She looked like a schoolteacher, a beautiful, sexy schoolteacher. I hated her instantly.
Byron stopped inside the door and pulled her close, kissing her deeply.
Oh, jealousy is a crazy mistress. I was foot-stomping, plate-throwing mad, but couldn’t do a damn thing about it. Enjoy it while it lasts, buddy.
I watched as he walked her backwards to the bed and pushed gently so that she sat down with a bounce. He grabbed a wrapped gift box from a dresser drawer and brought it to her.
“For me? What’s this for?” she asked in a gaggingly sweet voice.
“Just for being you. Go ahead, open it.” He sat down next to her on the bed and placed his arm across her shoulders.
She tore into the paper and squealed, “Juicy Couture. Oh, I love this fragrance.”
Juicy-Effing-Couture. That was my fragrance, not hers. I felt my essence tremble as she sprayed a liberal amount on each of her wrists, then a final shot down the front of her dress. She giggled when Byron leaned over and rubbed his nose in her cleavage.
“Here let me take this off of you.” Byron slowly lifted her dress over her head and tossed it on a chair in the corner. Then he pulled her glasses off and set them on the side table.
“Byron, wait. You know I can’t see two feet in front of me without my glasses.”
He held her head tenderly between both hands and kissed her again. “Everything you need to see in this room is right in front of you.”
I was fuming. But that was fine. When the time was right, I was going to sear myself into his brain. He’d scream Elise so loud it would wake the neighborhood. Let’s see how schoolteacher liked that.
Byron removed the rest of her clothes and then his own. He scooted himself back on the bed and pulled her onto his lap, facing him. I could see his face plainly over her shoulder when he said to her, “Elise, what a pretty name. I think you’re the perfect match for me.” Then he looked at me and winked. I’m absolutely sure of it.
The half-blind, Juicy Couture-wearing bitch named Elise giggled again.
That. Dirty. Rat.
Copyright © 2015 by T. Kent