Starting Over (a little piece of fiction)

She was growing more and more tired.  It seemed as if she was trapped in an endless cycle of work, eat, sleep.  There was never time to do the things she wanted to do.  No time for hobbies.  No time for friends.  No time for exercise.  Not time for shopping.  There just wasn’t any time for any thing!

“We’re working towards something.”  That was the answer she was given when she asked “How about a vacation this year?” or maybe even “How about a weekend to just get away?”

What were they working towards?  Retirement.  The ceaseless need to put away every dime they could.  “We’ll do all those things then.” he said.  But she wondered “Would we?”  Will we even be physically able to do those things?

As time passed, life became a nonstop marathon of work work work.  It left little time for her to even have a day for herself.  She became resentful, rebellious, and quite cranky.  All she saw stretching before her were years and more years of the same.

So she devised a plan.  She opened an account at another bank.  At first it was just to be able to save up a little at a time for that new outfit or maybe a pedicure squeezed in at lunch.  But then the bank account became her obsession.  She began to see her way out of this rat race.  A chance to start over somewhere, foot loose and fancy free.

He never looked at her 401k statement.  So she stopped those contributions and started socking that money away in her new bank account.  As time passed she watched her nest egg grow and grow.  But sadly, she knew that she wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon at this rate.  Then she remembered the life insurance policies.

They each had a $1,000,000 dollar policy each.  They had had them for the entire length of their marriage.  Thirty years.  As she was mulling over the possibilities in her head, she remembered the double indemnity clause.  An accidental death would double the policy.  $2,000,000!!

But how to cause an accident.  She could cut his brake lines.  But that would require an internet search.  She knew from watching the news and episodes of “Snapped” that would leave a virtual trail right to her door.  Maybe she didn’t need two million.  After all, she knew how to scrimp.  She had been scrimping all her life.  So $1,000,000 would have to do.

Death was the easy part.  She watched television.  She knew of ways to execute her plans.  Ways that didn’t require the need for an internet search.  After all he loved Gatorade.  She couldn’t even count the number of programs she had watched where death was accomplished through antifreeze.

thShe didn’t even have to make the lethal purchase.  After all, he was so good at keeping those sort of things stocked up so that he would have them when he needed them.  So she came home with some lime Gatorade.  “I found these on sale.  I know you like them.”  She knew he always loved a “good deal”.  It was simple to replace some of the Gatorade with the antifreeze.  He wasn’t very observant after all.  He never even noticed that the seal had been broken.

He was sick by the next evening, hospitalized, and dead by Friday.  As the events began to unfold, she had knots in her stomach.  The one thing she worried about was an autopsy report.  “Do they have to look for that specifically?” she wondered.  She couldn’t ask anyone.  So she waited on pins and needles to see what would happen.  Nothing happened.  She was free and clear!  The doctors puzzled over it for only a short time and just chalked it up to one of those unknown things.

Just a funeral to plan and then back to work.  She had to take it slow.  She didn’t want to appear too eager.  But within six months she had her $1,000,000 in her bank account.  She was free.  Free to go and do what ever she pleased.  She could start over anywhere.  She fantasized about her options.  The Mountains? The Beach? West Coast or East Coast?  Condo in a bustling downtown area or maybe a cabin on a lake.  The very ideas made her head spin with possibilities.

But first things first.  She quit her job and started selling off things.  After all, they had accumulated quiet a few things in their 30 plus years of marriage.  Once those things were whittled away, she turned to putting their home on the market.  After sleeping in that morning, she rose and took a nice long hot shower.  She took her time selecting something from her new wardrobe to wear to the realtor’s office.  She happily applied her new, expensive makeup.

Just as she was collecting her designer purse and making sure she had her keys, she heard a knock at the door.  When she opened her door there stood two men she had never seen before in her life.  But they knew who she was.  They addressed her by name and stated “We have a few questions for you about your husband’s untimely death.  You’ll need to come with us.”

Needless to say she did not get to start over leisurely at any of the spots that she had daydreamed about.  But she was able to start over.  She started over at the Women’s State Penitentiary.  She also had no need to worry about her retirement.  After receiving 99 years to life, the state of Texas was prepared to take care of her retirement.

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