I found the hide-a-key inside a fake rock by her back door. I knew she wasn’t home yet, so this was the perfect opportunity. I let myself in and stood in her kitchen in the dark, listening. The house was silent. I made my way to the second floor; To her bedroom. She had a closet she never used. I slipped inside the closet and waited.

I heard her open the front door about a half hour later. She was talking on the phone as I heard her voice get closer. She was walking up the stairs, no doubt to her bedroom to get ready for their night out. I liked surprising her, and this was the perfect opportunity. She wouldn’t suspect a thing. I stifled a laugh as her voice entered the bedroom, still on the phone.

“Yeah…Quick…No, nothing like that…Just one shot…Mm-hmm…Trezzini…Right…8 o’clock…I’ll be right next to him…You’ll see us…”

Who the hell was she talking to? She mentioned where I would be. Just one shot? To the head, perhaps? It was no secret that we were having our issues, and some were really bad, but I thought we were past that. And that, you know, she still loved me.

I felt sweat prickle my forehead. She disconnected the call and threw her phone on the bed. I was going to surprise her. This was supposed to be a romantic evening. It was our anniversary, and it sounded like she wanted me dead. I did not expect this. The more I thought about it, shock began to overwhelm my system. Fear overwhelmed me. I couldn’t let her get away with this.

I emerged from my hiding place, surprising her like I had planned, but I was no longer stifling a laugh. My heart hurt. I could barely look at her.

“What are you doing here?” She smiled at me. Apparently, she thought my surprise amusing. “I thought we were meeting at the restaurant?”

Tears formed in the corners of my eyes as anger took over. How dare she. I didn’t know what to say to her, so I said nothing. Instead, I crossed the room and reached for her neck. Making contact, I squeezed as hard as I could, both of my thumbs pressing hard on the hollow of her throat.

Her mouth opened and closed like a fish out of water. Her eyes widened until they looked as though they were going to pop right out of her skull. I increased the pressure as anger filled me. She began to turn red, then purple. Her eyes became bloodshot. This was taking longer than I had anticipated, but finally her body went limp and I let her fall to the floor.

Her phone started to buzz as I heard the thump of her body hitting the floor. I reached for the phone. It was a confirmation message sent by text. I unlocked her phone and opened the message.

“Just Shoot Me Photography

Confirmation number: 09567423

Date: August 26, 2019

Time: 8:00pm

Location: Trezzini Restaurant

Price: $35.00

Paid in Full”

My hand trembled, making the phone shake as I read the message over and over again. I had made a terrible mistake.

I wiped the drool that was forming at the corners of my mouth. I hoisted her body onto my shoulder and placed her gently on the bed. After arranging her hair away from her face, I unbuttoned her shirt and laid down next to her. I guess we weren’t going to make it to dinner, but I still wanted tonight to be special. After all, it was our anniversary.