Thursday, December 10, 2009

#fridayflash -- Slice of Cake

Slice of Cake
by Eric J. Krause

The slice of wedding cake thawed. She watched it. In the freezer for a year, and now out to find its final moments. She laughed at the irony, the similarity. That way she wouldn't cry.

Through this first year, their newlywed year, she smiled each time she popped open the freezer and saw their cake waiting to help them celebrate year one. Rick admitted he did the same. For the first six months, he couldn't have been a more perfect husband.

Then the late nights started. At first she understood. He brought home good money, better than good money. Enough so she could quit her stupid dead-end job to focus on being a mommy. Too bad he was shooting blanks.

Strike one.

Not to say she couldn't deal with it. Adoption was an option. Or a sperm bank. But it was still a blow to her happiness. A minor one, it turned out, to what she'd soon learn.

As part of her perfect little housewife routine, she did all the laundry. Rick knew it and should have been more careful. She couldn't decide if she was glad or not that he was too stupid to remember. How could he bring home a tiny leopard-print g-string that smelled of sex?

Strike two.

She didn't confront him. He always said he enjoyed that she didn't bring the drama, so she wouldn't start now. Anyway, it was better to wait until he created more rope to hang himself with. And preferably enough to hang whoever the slutty whore was he was banging.

Not long after that she realized he was too dumb to cover anything up effectively. For the first six months of marriage, not to mention the year they'd dated, he couldn't keep his hands off her. Pretty good, she realized now, for a guy who didn't have enough fish swimming in his pond. About the same time she discovered his secret, their loving dropped to once a week, twice if she'd hit the sexual jackpot. Gee, could those damp panties he brought home in his pockets way too often have anything to do with it?

She could live with both of those. Rick still provided her with a nice life. She had options. Adoption, her own affair, plenty of shopping. She could make due. Not just make due, but have a nice life. And since he thought he was hiding it all, he still treated her like a human being when they were together.

But what would she do if that respect dropped out altogether?

Strike three.

He stumbled home at seven AM on the morning of their anniversary at the exact moment she took it from the freezer. Their wedding cake. Their symbol, defrosting on the counter as she'd hoped their love would that night in the bedroom.

But here he was, twelve hours late, hung over with dried blood under his nose, lipstick on his collar, and who knows what kind of fluids in his undershorts. If he even managed to pull them on.

He mumbled something and somehow found his way to the stairs. With no need to have him call in sick to work, a perk to the millions he pulled in for his company each year, she let him go up to grab some sleep. And she turned her attention back to their cake, her cake.

Now, with dinner over, they looked at that slice of cake. Like their marriage, she'd dressed it up with a fancy serving dish and a new heap of frosting. Rick took a bite and wondered what the strange taste was. She could only shrug and suggest that the freezer added some interesting flavors.

She didn't mention that Drano, rat poison, and bug spray probably didn't taste so great, either.