One Bullet

by Corey Whitsett

A man comes home from work early to surprise his wife with flowers and candy and finds that sheís already got something plannedÖthe computer is on and there is note written on it. He sits down in front of the computer and notices his handgun on one side of the computer and on the other side, an empty container of pain pills. He reads the message:

By the time you read this I will already be dead, so donít get too excited. Donít bother looking around the house for me either. Of course I didnít want my body where my children may see, for they have already seen enough. They have already had to endure far too many years of seeing their mother being tortured by the man they are supposed to look up to. But even though I know I am going to hurt them dearly, I cannot live like this anymore. So, I am taking these pain pills, prescribed for the kind of pain you inflict and I am going somewhere to take a nap.

Donít bother looking for me, just sit there and do something that you havenít been able to do for the last ten yearsÖlisten to me. Now that I had to go and kill myself to get your attention, the least you can do is finish reading this letter. I have been writing it over and over in my head for years. Every time that you beat me I had to rewrite it to add to the horror. Besides I didnít want you to find me after I died because the thought of you touching me even after death turns my stomach. I refuse to let you touch me again, in life or death.

I chose to die because I promised God when I married you that I would love you for life. And since I am more afraid of him than you, I chose death. I cannot love you anymore so I have to leave this place. As I look around to this house, you know its funny but I can remember the good times that we shared together. Before the babies, before the drinking, do you remember? I do, and it was good back then. It was almost good enough to give me a little hope that we could get back to those times. And they were good times. I guess I have to settle with the fact that no matter whatís going on right now, you once loved me, and even you canít deny that. I think what hurts more than my ribs that are stinging me right now is the fact that I still love you. That realization is stronger than any fist you could ball up and hurl at me. Knowing that my love for you causes a stronger and more lasting pain is much worse than a swift kick in the groin from your steel toed shoes. But this is a pain that I can take care of, something that I can remedy. I am not into pain, even personally inflicted kinds, so I had to relieve myself.

Even as I stood in the mirror this morning admiring the black eye that you gave me last night I knew you would never touch me again. And as I sucked blood from my split, swollen lips I knew I couldnít stand another blow from you. Not because of the fact that you promised with tears in your eyes that you would never do that to me again. Nor the fact that you put your hand on the bible and swore to me that you were going to get help. Not even the fact that you got down on your knees and swore to God that you would never lift a hand to me again. Well your prayers were answered and no, you will not be touching me again. I guess I just had to play God and make sure of that myself.

Last night when I picked myself off of the floor and fell into your arms it wasnít because I wanted to, I just couldnít stand. It wasnít because I wanted you to hold me, as you may have thought. You picked me up carried me to our bed and lay on top of me and kissed my swollen face so soft and gentle. Even though you brushed my hair from eyes and kissed my eyelids, I didnít feel anything. And even though I may have moaned when you licked me between my thighs, I really didnít feel any kind of pleasure. And when you put yourself inside of me and I grabbed your butt and said your name a few times, I was just helping you get it over with. I moaned because your weight was on my stinging ribs. So what that you asked me what the fuck I was doing when I scratched your back, I felt the urge. And when you went to sleep, I laid there under you because I couldnít move. When you finally rolled off of me you were limp and you left your condom inside of me. The condom you searched all over for because you didnít want me to bleed on you like I did last time you kicked me.

I woke up before you this morning and cooked your breakfast like I always do. I hoped you enjoyed the piss in your oatmeal and the blood I sucked from my lip mixed in your jelly. I watched you spread it on bread that I wiped my ass with before I put it in the toaster. I donít even want to tell you what I did with those sausages. I spit in your coffee and watched you eat, noticing the look on your face because you knew something wasnít right. And when you got through with your breakfast, I put your dishes in the sink but I wrapped the knife you used this morning in a napkin and put it in my pocket.

After you left I laughed. I laughed all the way to the bank and took out every penny and took advances on all our credit cards. I donated half of the money to a womanís shelter, all one hundred and twenty thousand of it. Now, you can pay back all the other women like me, those who had the strength to leave their man. Let those women get a pool table or something, hell, they deserve it. I took the rest and put it away for my children.

I left some money for Greg so that he can pay for the counseling heís going to need to reverse the damage of seeing his father slamming his mother into the refrigerator. I sent the rest to Dana in college so that she would never need to come back home when she graduates. You are never going to touch my children again, I made sure of it. No, I am positive that you will not touch them again.

So, I figured that with me gone you would run over to your little womanís house and tell her the good news. So I went over there this afternoon and I killed the bitch. I stabbed her little backstabbing ass dead in her heart with the knife you used this morning. And since there was a lot of screaming and shit I knew that the police would be there soon so I took that nasty ass condom you left inside of me and stuck it up in her ass. I know you didnít actually kill her but you might as well have. Itís your fault that sheís dead, so why should anyone else take the blame but you. And since you killed her after you just got through fucking her it wonít seem premeditated so you will probably just get manslaughter and spend the rest of your life in jail. They probably wonít sentence you to death. But you will be ok. You got your high priced lawyers to defend you.

The same lawyers that bribed a judge when they had you on charges of embezzlement from your firm. Remember you gave me those documents to shred? Well, I shredded most of them. I got up this morning and mailed the others I had saved out in the garage to the Stateís Attorney. And since youíve already killed someone you probably are going to jail for a long time anyway, so those papers are probably going to do much damage. But I had already mailed them before I thought about it.

Damm, you havenít been this quiet in a long time. In fact, I canít even remember when youíve been so quiet before. I guess if all that I had to do was die to shut you up I should have killed myself along time ago. So, since I got your undivided attention, for a change, let me tell you what I want you to do. On one side of the computer screen there is a gun with one bullet in it. One the other side is the telephone. You could A: call the police, turn yourself in and go to jail for the rest of your life. Or, B, you can take that gun and join me. 0Itís up to you.

Donít worry about Greg, he is with your mother, you wonít seeing him again. You already killed your girlfriend so sheíll do you no good either. You are about to lose your business and you are going to jail. Your wife will be mysteriously found dead in your office tomorrow morning. My body is still bruised and battered from when you beat me and your skin is under my fingernails from where I scratched your back last night. So shit doesnít look too good for you now.

But as you said last night before you threw me into the wall I am a bitch. Well, ainít this a bitch. Oh, I know that you didnít think that I was going to die all by myself now did you? I already killed you motherfucker. You can either got to jail and get fucked up your ass for the rest of your life and have your nigga beat you around your jail cell like you did me. Until you die like me, after becoming the bitch you claimed me to be. Or you could take this gun and put one in your dome and kill yourself, it doesnít matter to me. Remember we said until death do us part right.

Moments pass. There is a click. One gunshot breaks the silence and his body hits the floor. The roses he brought begin to rise in a pool of blood that spreads across the floor like a fan. His wife steps out of the closet she was hiding in and calls the police. She steps over her husband, sits down at the computer and deletes the message on the screen. She brings up the suicide note that she wrote for him earlier. She gets rid of the empty pillbox and calls her mother Ėin-law to check on her childr en. She hangs up the phone and calls his other woman and hangs up. The women calls back several times but she didnít answer. The police will assume that husband must have called her before he shot himself. She practiced all the lines out loud. When she heard the police pull up she kneeled beside the man that had once promised God that he was going to love and cherish her and felt nothing. That man was gone long ago and this body belonged to someone whom she didnít even know. She didnít feel any pain besides the tingling of her ribs. She had no regrets either. She put him out of his misery and ended her own misery with just one bullet. Yet, she knelt there and screamed like her life was over.


One Bullet by Corey Whitsett

© Copyright 2001. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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