Steven was always good at playing hide and seek as a child. Keeping very quiet, listening for sounds of his mother and sister.
He always enjoyed playing the game and now at 38, he was still quite good at it. Silent. Patient.
Straining to hear the others in the house. Trying to hear what they were saying, what they were doing. The teasing laughter, the sensuous sound of forbidden kisses, the creek of the wooden stairs as the couple made their way upstairs.This was no childish game. This was reality. The adult version of the innocent childhood game with his wife Marie, the whore. Steven had suspected her for some months now, but had never been able to prove anything.
The interrupted phone calls as he entered the room and the distinctive smell of men’s after-shave in her bedroom. But she would always make an excuse and would say every time ‘you’re just being paranoid’.They had separate bedrooms now. Separate lives. That’s the way Marie wanted it. The concept of love was over to her. Maybe that’s why he started to suspect things, even imagine things.
They had no children to bind their marriage together. He always wanted children, a girl and two boys he imagined himself fathering, but birth control was too easy for women these days and men had no way of knowing.Marie had decided her life was too busy for children and based it around work or her ‘career’ as she called it.
She was even to idle to clean the house so they had a cleaner, Kelly, a lovely girl, always happy and cheerful. Marie was also very flirtatious, encouraging the obvious males around her. They all played her game.
Who wouldn’t, she’s an attractive woman in her 30’s. they were all predators in her sexual game.For a long time he ignored the obvious signs. His wife working late at the office or having to ‘wine and dine’ special clients. He told himself he was being paranoid.
But now he knew. It wasn’t his imagination, for his wife had fell into his trap. Sometimes he wishes he had just gone on pretending everything was okay. But deep down he knew there was no point kidding him-self. Marie wouldn’t change.
Once a whore, always a whore.It was the same when they were at school. She couldn’t resist the temptations even then. Making other lads faces light up with desire, but what she really liked was when she knew Steven was watching her. Keeping his jealous eye on her.
Nothing changed when they got married as he expected. It was like it added that extra touch of spice for her. But this time it was different. Steven had been extra careful.
Extra clever. He had told her he was going away on a business trip and even booked into a hotel. He knew she would phone and check up on him so he made the point of chatting to the girl on the front desk at reception before he went back, making sure she’d remember him.
It was easy for him to drive home the following afternoon. He hid in a cupboard in his own room. He knew she never went into his room as all the housework was left to Kerry who visited 3 times a week to do the cleaning, while Marie did the ‘more important jobs’.
But she wouldn’t be coming tonight, he overheard her on the phone arranging to meet up with her a lad she had recently met that yearHe had been in the confide space for nearly 2 hours in semi-darkness watching his watch tick on and was beginning to wonder if his wife would show up at all when he herd the sound of the car outside. It was she. It must be her. Coming home and bringing her ‘extra homework with her by the sounds of it’. He stood silent not daring to even breathe. It brought back childhood memories as he listened to the muffled distant voices and the front door slam shut. Two voices.
Male. Female. Laughter that later led to foreplay. Steven barely managed to control his anger as he listened to her and her companion mount the stairs. He knew he must wait.
Control his temper. Stick to his plan.He could picture them in the bedroom now, her bedroom, the bedroom, which once had been theirs. He heard the woman tarty laughter and the man’s voice tense with desire. Opening the cupboard he felt the night breeze fly past on his steaming face. He moved out on to the landing, taking form his room the can of petrol he obtained earlier that day. He had already locked the double-glazing in her bedroom and he now turned the small iron key in the big oak door locking the couple in their love nest together.The sounds steamed through the door as he saturated the carpet on his side, the safe side, along the landing up the curtains and walls then down the stairs until the can was empty.
Standing at the bottom of the stairs he lit the match and with satisfaction in his eyes he watched the flames creep quickly upward like a flood of fire acceding to heaven. He was tempted to set fire to the blue ford outside on his driveway. Obviously his wife’s lovers who probably believed it would be safer to take this instead of Marie’s expensive Mercedes.He realized it was too dangerous to stay around too long, as the fire was obvious to any passer by and the place would soon be buzzing with firemen and police. As he turned to hurry away he herd the screech of breaks and a sleek black car came to a stop just a few feet from him. It was a Mercedes.
His wife’s car driven by his wife. The smile rolled off his face as he dropped to his knees. Only then did he realize the couple imprisoned inside the blazing fire were the housemaid Kelly and her latest boyfriend.