by Fred Brown
The call came at ten. He was angry again, screaming profane reasons he should hunt her and her boyfriend down and kill them, but at least he had agreed to return her car. His drunken threats used to make her call the cops. But after eight years of marriage and thirteen restraining orders, she filed for divorce instead of picking up the phone. The final papers were two months away, but she had already moved on.
The plan was for him to drop the car in the parking lot at Wal-Mart. He’d have it there by noon, and she’d ask someone from work drive her by to get it. He knew who she’d ask…slut.
She and her boyfriend stopped by the house first to let the dog out and grab the car keys. They were in the woods behind the house, watching the dog paw at the light and shadows when they heard him ready his gun. She begged the way she had for years; the boyfriend ran.
Later, the boyfriend told police he was running for help, hoping his girlfriend would follow him. Halfway to the house he heard the shots and ran back to the woods to find her face down in the dirt—five bullet holes in her back. The report got filed, and he was a hero on the local news.
He mourned in public, waited six weeks as arranged, and then made the call. Her husband answered.