SAMANTHA EVANS - CASHEW
Samantha Evans is currently a student at Full Sail University studying for her Bachelors in Creative Writing for Entertainment. She is involved in the Woman at Full Sail which is a group that addresses and discusses issues that affect all woman. She has submitted poems and short stories to numerous literary magazines. She has been writing since she was 16. She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with her family.
The paper clip in his hand was a twisted mess. It was either the paper clip or her face. He was sweating and the shadows underneath his eyes were darkening. It was hard to hide them in the brightness of the Palm Beach sun.
“Say something, Erich. I know this is a shock. I had no choice,” Melody said.
“How can you drop this on me? Then have the nerve to tell me that you had no choice?”
“What was I supposed to do? I knew you would want to keep it. I knew you would have been willing to throw it all away for a mistake.”
He could not look at her face. Instead, he focused on her lips that were shimmering with that orange-colored lip-gloss she always wore. He never told her it tasted like crayon wax.
“How can you say it was a mistake? And, yes, I would have left my wife. I would have given everything up for what you call a mistake,” Erich said.
“I knew you would. That’s why I didn’t tell you. I made up my mind and did what I felt was the right thing for both of us.”
“How dare you? I thought we promised to be truthful with one another.”
Melody sat silent. She picked a piece of lint off her pants, looked at Erich and shrugged.
Erich stood up. He grabbed her glass and threw it at the wall. “You bitch! Who gave you the right to play God? What gave you the right to decide to murder?”
Melody scrambled to her feet and ran from the patio into the room. The cheap $60 a night room with the ugly yellow and brown comforters that smelled of other people’s body fluids and cheap cologne. The old stain on the shag rug was an accusing reminder of their afternoons together. He was punching the wall and his knuckles were getting bloody.
“Erich, stop! You know how jealous my husband is. He would have killed us both if he found out. I had to make a choice. The baby or us. Do you think it was easy for me? I love you. Do you understand? We would have been dead and the baby would have been dead too. Now we can be together. No baby to ruin it.”
Erich stopped and leaned on the wall. The blood from his knuckles already coagulating. His breathing heavy from the struggle.
She went to him and rubbed his back. “Erich please calm down. You are scaring me.”
He turned around and looked past her. “What did you tell Father Farris on Sunday after you did it?”
“What did you tell Father Farris?”
He grabbed the chain around her neck then. The one that had Jesus hanging on the cross. “Did you confess to murder? Did you ask for absolution?” He ripped the chain from her neck then and threw it at her feet.
“No. I didn’t tell anyone. You are the only one who knows.”
“The baby knows.”
“The baby didn’t feel anything. The nurse told me it would feel nothing. It was just the size of a cashew. How insignificant is that? It’s better this way. After you think about it you will agree with me. I know you will.”
“Get on your knees. We need to pray. We need to ask God for forgiveness for your sin.”
He pulled Melody by her hands until they were both on their knees.
“Don’t do this Erich. This is crazy. I don’t want to pray.”
He looked into Melody’s face. She looked ragged and old. She was no longer the beautiful girl that he had lusted after, fell in love with.
“Where is it?” he asked.
“Where is what?”
“The baby? It’s gone. The doctors got rid of what was sucked out.”
He slapped her then. He couldn’t help himself. Physical pain was something different from emotional pain. Her cheek would heal. The red heat of the slap would cool.
“You have broken my heart. You are eating it in front of me. All you need is a glass of champagne to wash it down,” he said.
“Erich don’t be so melodramatic. We can try again, if you want.”
He focused on the fruit basket filled with fake bergamot.
“I am leaving you,” Erich said.
He slowly rose from the floor. He put on his wool scarf and coat. He got to the door and turned around. He grabbed her bag off the bed, started rummaging through it.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“I’m taking my keys back,” he said.
Melody got up and grabbed the bag from Erich. “No. No. I did this so we could stay together. You are NOT leaving me.”
They play tug of war with the bag for a minute. Erich gets the upper hand. He finds what he needs. He shoves her and she falls on the floor. She starts to cry uncontrollably. “Please. Don’t leave me. I can’t do this on my own. I need your help.”
“You should have asked for that before you committed a heinous act ,” he said.
“Please. Erich? PLEASE? Don’t go.”
“If you come after me I will kill you. Understand? I will kill you.”
He walked out of the room and left her crumpled on the floor like melted candlewax.
Closing the door behind him his anger turns to hunger. He realizes he wants a hamburger with all the trimmings. A vodka on the rocks. Maybe even a drive up the coast. He knows the perfect place to drown.
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