Ending In V

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
On the sixth anniversary Violet and Gideon, two polar opposites, should never have married. She spends her days in the bliss of denial, he spends his trapped in misery. When Gideon has finally had enough, he realizes their is only one way out - ending in V.

Submitted: January 22, 2017

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Submitted: January 22, 2017

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Ending In V

 

9:00 a.m.

 

“Violet and Gideon,” she mused, pulling a bread knife from the drawer. It was her most cherished day of the year, the anniversary of the day they became one. The entire world around them could crumble as long as she was with her beloved Gideon. “Oh, that man is adorable,” she whispered, dropping the slices into the toaster. “and charming. He is certainly charming. But most importantly, he keeps me laughing!”

 

Gideon felt differently. “Oy.” he mumbled, dragging a chair to the table. Look at her, he thought. Like an idiot, staring into that toaster. “Something's maybe in there that you don't know?” he quizzed.

Violet laughed. “Good morning, darling. How did you sleep, dear?”

“Like a prisoner, what else?”

“Here you are my sweet, I'll pour the champagne and we'll have a lovely anniversary breakfast.”

“Champagne in the morning? I'll get gas. I'll get nauseous. I'll get drunk . . .” He paused for a moment listening to his own words, then tapped a finger on the rim of the fluted glass, “fill 'er up!” He looked down at the plate as she carefully placed it before him. “The eggs, even? Formed into a V? Another V?” He shook his fist. “You cut my foods into a V shape on every anniversary!

 

You're pressing! Didn't I warn you about – ”

“It's fun! Isn't it fun, dear? That way you'll remember your sweet Violet all day long.”

“If only I could forget . . .you think maybe I could forget?”

Gideon felt the blood rush to his face. He snatched up his fork and began mixing the food around the plate until there was no trace of the infernal V. “You're a crazy woman!”

Violet smiled, “To think that I might have missed all this when, six years ago, I nearly said, 'No'.” She raised her glass. Gideon held his head.

“A morning toast . . . to six years of wedded bliss! It seems only yesterday that – ”

“ It seems an eternity!” he barked.

“ Oh Gid, now don't start that, that silly way you have of trying to humor your way through an intimate moment. Are you so embarrassed by my proclamation?”

“You've got me figured.”

“ Okay sweetums, this is the part where – ”

“ I know! I know! The part where we convey our dying – ”

“Undying, dear. Our undying love.”

“Of course, it would be foolish, two people should spend an eternity together in a dying love. Let me try again. You . . . well, you intoxicate me.”

“ Oh, Gid, you'll bring me to tears.” Vi said softly, reaching for his hand.

“ No, you misunderstand. That was not a proclamation, it was an order. Intoxicate me! Bring me the entire bottle, I should soften the blow of eight years of marriage.”

“ Six,” she corrected in a soft tone, with a hand on his shoulder. “That's six years of marriage, and it'll be eight sooner than you think, darling, so don't wish our years away.”

 

“ Ya been readin' my diary, again, haven't you?”

“ Oh, my snookums.”

“Yes, my lumpy sack-o-nickels?”

“Why, If you don't already know, you're the butter on my toast, and the jam that tops my butter.”

“ And you're the fat on my meat!”

“ Oh, how sweet.” she bubbled. “You're trying to say that I bring flavor into your life, aren't you? Well, I can play, too. You're the cream in my tea.”

“And you, the lemon in mine.”

“But you hate lemon!”

“ Consider that your alarm clock. I gotta hurry; only an hour to get to work and you know how the boss rides me.”

“ But you work across the street – you own the store!”

The door slammed behind him, and he stopped momentarily to wipe the tiny beads of sweat that formed above his upper lip. He was rattled. “That hollow-headed shiksa! She could mistake a mugging for a honeymoon. Oy, such troubles I have – as if I'm married to Helen Keller!”

 

In a twenty-by-eight-foot space, he began his work day repairing a toaster for a neighbor who didn't bother to shake the crumbs. It was expected, for few would clean their items before dropping them on his counter, along with excessive details of life's latest woes. There must be some unwritten rule that says a repair man cleans, and psychoanalyzes, he thought.

 

 

 

For twelve years he worked to save dying appliances which, mostly, he did. He sold new ones when there was no hope of reviving the mechanized helpers, but he repaired far more than he sold new. His work was a relief. It took all of his attention, allowing him to forget everything else for ten hours a day, six days a week.

 

 

10:00 a.m.

 

The phone rang. He received more calls from her, than patrons.

“ Giddy's!” he gruffed.

“ That you, sweetie?”

“ Who else?”

“ Okay, just wanted to make sure you're alright. I'll bring you some lunch at twelve. Need anything, darling?”

“ The bicarbonate; bring that, too!” And a knife on the side, he thought. “Look, I got a lotta work to do, or we won't eat. Don't call again. You should leave the lunch on the doorstep, and no one should see you. Got it?”

Violet roared with laughter, “Oh, good heavens, you do keep me in stitches you funny man, you!”

“Don't give me ideas!” He laid the phone on the counter. Why didn't I rent a space in a tall building? Why isn't she six feet under – with the worms?

 

 

It was the same anniversary, year after year. Seven years ago his friend Abel told him that marriage was bliss. “Try it,” he said. “you'll want for nothing else – trust me.” Then he introduced Gid to his sister, Violet. A visit with Abel was long overdue. Now, let's see . . . what's that number, again? “Operator, I need a listing for Abel Rattnaster in Weehawken, New Jersey.” He scribbled it on the counter and glanced up at the Junghans regulator wall clock. “Happy anniversary – in deed,” he grumbled. He drew a brown bag from under the counter and pulled a small box from inside. A quick

look at the clock again, then he pressed a towel to the sweat on his forehead, and began loading the 16 gauge shells into the shotgun.

 

11:45 a.m.

 

Gideon went about his day in the usual manner reviving clocks and toasters, mostly. Some he could fix, others were simply hopeless. Toasters were simple, but he could repair most anything that he could take apart. He threw back a last gulp of bitter coffee.

The swinging pendulum of the dusty clock was all that could be heard. He looked down at the gun, then another pat on the forehead. Unusually hot, he thought. Those little beads of sweat returned to tickle his upper lip and he wiped again. The clock chimed at 12 noon and the door swung open, catching the little bell to announce her arrival.

“Happy anniversary, Giddy! Such a lunch I brought for you, dearest!” Her smile quickly faded to surprise.

“Is that a gun, Giddy? Are . . . are you fixing someone's gun?”

 

 

“Oy, the stupidity. How can so much stupid be in such a small head? I hate you, are you listening? I HATE YOU!”

 

For the first time in six years, it appeared that Violet might be listening. It was a rare moment when she was silent. Her face was frozen and though his words tried their best to penetrate, denial took a familiar place.

She looked around the store, took a deep breath and let it out, slowly. Violet looked back at Gideon. She looked into his eyes. After a momentary pause, she rested her hand over her heart exposing her wedding ring. “I cleaned it, Gid. Look how it sparkles. Doesn't it sparkle like the day you placed it?”

Gideon said nothing. He felt hot. His face was dripping and the salty sweat burned his eyes. He was a thread away from breaking.

She moved closer and when he swiftly raised the fowling piece, she burst into laughter. “I gotta say, Gid, this is your funniest moment yet.” she tittered, shaking her head.

It was all he needed – all he could stand. Every stupid smirk, giggle, laugh, snort, even her faintest nuances over the past six years, had cultivated the loathing and rage he felt. What ever was I thinking? He took quick aim, then pulled the trigger without hesitation. Her small frame was thrown into the wall, then dropped to the floor while her arms and legs flopped like a rag doll.

 

Gideon waited and watched for several moments. He wanted to be certain. He needed to know it was an end. He called Abel and after skimming the usual formalities he got to the point. “. . . that's right, we want you to come for dinner. It's our anniversary as you know, and we have you to thank . . .”

 

Calmly, he placed the phone back on it's cradle, poured a fresh cup of coffee, and perched on the wooden stool behind the counter. It'll be a nice visit, Abel.

 

* * *

 

Gideon looked across the room were she came to rest. Ironically, her body had fallen behind several boxes and only her legs could be seen, resting upright against the wall – in a “V” formation. “Now, that's funny!” he howled. “Yes, my dear Violet, this you should see!” He took another sip of coffee, rested the gun across his lap, and waited.

 


© Copyright 2019 Michael Bussa. All rights reserved.

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