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by Espero
Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2288521
Was this the beginning of another 10 years?
Lacy sat at home, head in hands. Where had all the money gone? Nearly half the savings had disappeared; it was to be used for a new screened in porch. Panic set in but there was nothing she could do until Gary, her husband, came home.

That was another thing. Why was he always gone? He claimed it was work but there hadn't been any additional money coming into the household, or had there? Thinking about it further, she realized he had been cashing his check himself; prior to that she had deposited it.

She wandered aimlessly; then at 10:00 decided to retire. Not able to fall asleep, she considered driving down to his office but didn't. She fell into restless sleep only to be awakened at 2:00 when Gary crawled into bed.

"Gary, where were you so long. In fact, what have you been up to lately?"

"Hummm?" he replied. "What are you talking about?"

"I'm talking about a lot of things Gary, a lot of things. Missing money for one."

"Geez, Lacy, it's late, can we talk about this tomorrow? What missing money?"

"The money we were saving for the porch. Half of it is gone."

"Oh that, well I invested it. Now please Lacy, it's late. Can we go to sleep?"

"Sure Gary, we'll go to sleep, you will disappear tomorrow like always, and nothing will be discussed."

"Quit being dramatic, Lacy. That's what you always do, overdramatize everything."

You can bet your life they would talk about it tomorrow, even if she had to track him down. She had enough.

Early morning Lacy decided to take a calmer approach and made breakfast when Gary, looking perfectly put together, appeared.

"What's all this?", he asked.

"I thought I would make us a nice breakfast."

They ate in silence when Lacy said, "Gary, will you be home early tonight, I want to talk to you about some stuff."

"What stuff?"

"Well, you've been gone a lot lately, our finances are dwindling, and you seem distracted."

"Lacy, Lacy, Lacy. Here you go again, exaggerating everything. You know I've been gone a lot because I'm working late, our finances are not dwindling. I explained that to you last night. Sorry If I've been distracted."

"If you're working more, where is the extra money? I haven't seen it."

"Of course, you haven't dear, I'm investing it."

"But where Gary? Don't I have a right to know?"

"You wouldn't understand Lacy, it's way above your head."

"Way above my head, I resent that! Do you think I'm some kind of idiot Gary?"

"No, I don't, but this will have to wait. I'm going to work."

That evening, around 11:00 PM, Lacy decided to take a drive over to Gary's office. Just as he said, his car was in the parking lot. She felt guilty mistrusting him and quickly went back home. Unknown to her, Gary had alternate plans.

Taking a taxi over to his secret apartment he wanted to have a conversation with his young mistress.

"Listen June, Lacy is getting suspicious. This isn't going to work much longer; we have to come up with a plan."

"What kind of plan, Gary?"

"Well you know, I mean, I don't want to get stuck with alimony and lose the house and everything so there's really only one other option."

"Oh Gary, I don't know, maybe we should just call it off."

"Don't say that June, I love you. I'm not going to lose you, that's not going to happen."

"Whatever you're going to do, I don't want to know about it."

"Listen June, I'm not going to see you for a few weeks, maybe a month, but I will be back so just stay put here in the apartment."

"OK, I will but I really don't like this, not at all!"

Next evening, Gary was home at 5:00. Lacy saw his car and couldn't believe her eyes. Darn, she hadn't planned any supper, she'd stopped doing that months ago due to his constant absences."

Smiling, Gary came in the door, Chinese food in hand. "I figured you hadn't cooked so thought I would surprise you."

Amazed, Lacy secretly was glad that she hadn't gone racing up to his office looking for him. What a fool she would have made of herself.

"Lacy, Our Anniversary is on Friday; I bet you thought I forgot about it. I'm taking you to that snazzy restaurant down by the Riverwalk so dress up fancy. I'm sorry I cashed the checks without letting you see them; I won't do that anymore. I've been neglecting our finances because of work but I'll get right back on it."

Feeling like a nag Lacy smiled and touched his hand. "I'm sorry for jumping on you Gary, I truly am. I should have known you were handling everything for us."

Friday night at the restaurant they ordered food then Gary asked the waiter to bring a bottle of champagne. "We're celebrating our 10th Anniversary," he said.

Knowing she would run to the restroom he said, "Dear, I think you have a little lipstick smudge on your neck."

Thinking, a well thought out plan, he slipped a bottle out of his pocket and poured it into Lacy's champagne glass.

Back again, Lacy said, "I didn't see a spot on my neck, is it gone now?"

"Ah, I think so."

Tipping their glasses in a toast, "Here's to another great 10 years," he said.

That evening, Lacy went quietly to sleep, never waking again.

The sloppy coroner deemed the death to be of natural causes.

Feigning sadness and depression, Gary patiently waited one month then quickly hurried to the apartment. It was vacated! He found a note on the kitchen table. "You are evil, never contact me again!!!"

I guess his well laid out plan included a life with no wife and no mistress either. Happy Anniversary Gary!

999 Words
Prompt: Anniversary story that has a twist. Not typical flower and fancy dinner.
1st Place Winner in Contest
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