Written by Rebekah Postupak
It was Eva’s first day in her new marriage, and she was determined to make this time different.
3) No nagging.
4) No spying.
5) No throwing of heirlooms.
6) No taking money out of his wallet without asking first.
7) No burying of his memorabilia in the backyard.
8) No reworking his expensive tuxedo into a gown, no matter how clever/fashion forward.
9) No cutting holes in the bedroom ceiling for a skylight.
10) In fact, no power tools at all.
Rereading the list, Eva sighed loudly. She’d only started it today, but already it hung heavily over her like one of those cornucopia hats people used to wear before they learned about ergonomics. So many things to remember! The morning had gone so swimmingly, too.
“Have fun today, Mrs. Martin!” Antoine had said, kissing her head in a way that was cute now but would probably be horribly annoying later. “I’ll be home at supper.”
Then he had lingered at the door looking pathetic, and Eva eventually realized she was supposed to respond.
“Have fun yourself, husband,” she said, tossing a pillow at him. Tossing pillows, she had discovered some years ago, made her come across as light-hearted and playful.
“You know this board meeting is mandatory,” he said. His voice reminded her of a puppy mewing at the door when it has to go potty.
“Of course I understand. You could lose your job if you don’t go.”
“We’ll leave tomorrow instead, I promise. As soon as I get to work, I’m having Jessica change the tickets.”
“Right—my assistant. You remember her from the wedding?”
“I remember lots of women at our wedding.”
“Yes. So many people came! They all loved you. –But I really have to go now. You’ll be all right?”
“Of course. Don’t be silly. It’s not like I’m going to light a fire in the living room to test if the carpet is flammable, and accidentally burn the house down and barely escape with my life.”
Antoine had laughed, kissed her again (annoying) and left.
She really had been thinking about the carpet, though, which was hay-colored and reminded her vaguely of those blazes they always seemed to be having out west.
“No setting fire to the carpet!” she wrote emphatically as # 2 on the rapidly lengthening list.
The hours slunk past.
“I’m supposed to make dinner!” Eva remembered in sudden panic at five o’clock (by now the list stretched to an impossible 327). She only knew how to make cheesesteak sandwiches, but she made them well; she was very good at doing things with knives and never, not once in all her life, had given herself a steak knife papercut.
Antoine was halfway through his sandwich (“These onions are seriously good”) when he collapsed. Eva wondered belatedly if she had somehow seasoned with arsenic instead of pepper.
She stared at the list in despair. And to think she’d started the day so hopeful!
1) No killing of husbands.
500 words exactly, inspired by this week’s Finish That Thought flash challenge and incorporating a variation of the mandatory starting sentence and optional three Challenge words (skylight, gown, papercut) within the 500 word count requirement.
Dedicated to all men everywhere who marry unbalanced women and tolerate them with grace, patience, and a heaven-sized portion of good humor.
PS. I am talking about my husband.
PPS. He is still living.