The Great Escape
Eddie had been planning his departure for ages. The incessant bickering which described his married existence drove him to drink. His spouse, Rita, a beauty in her day, changed once she had her claws on his back. She seldom bathed, let alone shaved her hairy legs. Her appetite never ceased, allowing her to blow up like a blimp. Yes, Eddie’s misery had lasted years.
Every evening, supper was from a different fast-food restaurant. Tonight was an In-and-Out-Burger night. He made certain everything was in place. After paying the Door Dash driver, he locked the front door with the deadbolt.
“Hurry, you useless piece of shit. I’m hungry.” His wife yelled from the bedroom. “Why is it taking you so long?”
Eddie rolled his eyes, but the butterflies in his stomach ensured he was more excited about his plan. What’re a few more hours?
He sauntered into the kitchen and opened the bags of food. “Give me a sec, honey. It’s all about the presentation. You want ketchup tonight or Ranch Dressing for your fries?” he yelled out to her.
“Surprise me.” She screamed.
Eddie plated the fast-food double-double burgers with cheese and the extra-large fries. He lifted the top off her chocolate shake and removed some whipped cream. The bottle of pills he had gotten from the drug dealer was in his pocket.
He crushed the pills into a powder. Rita wouldn’t notice any chunks as she sucked the dense liquid into the straw. Don’t forget to replace the whipped cream or the cherry. The plastic lid snapped back into place.
Eddie set up the food tray and put the plate, a napkin, and a rose from his garden he had cut earlier into a small vase. Nervous, he picked up the tray and drew a deep breath.
Sprawled out in the middle of the bed with her enormous limbs spread wide, she had propped herself on pillows. As Eddie paused in the doorway, he looked at her six-hundred-pound carcass. He realized he was doing a humane thing for both of them. This was no way to live.
When Rita started putting on weight, they both laughed it off. He told her he’d cherish her no matter what size she was. His choice of words were intentional so as not to hurt her. She promised him she’d work on a diet and start exercising. But nothing seemed to work.
After she had gained another one hundred pounds, Eddie happened upon a stash of hidden snacks. She’d been lying to him the entire year. Disappointed in Rita, Eddie disclosed nothing. If he confronted her, she’d become enraged. The wrath of Rita was something he avoided at all costs.
Like an alcoholic with alcohol, he realized Rita had a problem with food. He tried to speak to her one night while he rubbed her swollen feet.
“How’s that feel, babe?” he urged her as he rubbed lotion into her skin.
“You do that so right.” She replied to him as a moan escaped her mouth.
Eddie remembered how he loved hearing those sounds from her mouth back in the day. They performed a mutual sound as they savored each other’s bodies.
He hoped he could ease into the conversation by showing her he still craved her. He closed his eyes as his palms drifted up her legs.
“What are you doing, you perv?” She kicked his grip off her broad stumps.
Eddie jumped. “I’m sorry, my love. I wondered if we could fool around some.”
“Get off of me. Why do you think I’m so big? You disgust me.” She shrieked at him.
Eddie shrunk from her screeching voice and backed off. He swore never to touch her again. She could eat herself to death for all he cared. And so she did.
As each year passed, Rita grew bigger and bigger. She couldn’t do anything for herself anymore. No longer able to shower, go to the toilet, or dress, it was now sponge baths, diapers, and hospital gowns. With all the extra skin, she’d break out in yeast infections and rashes. This required Eddie to lift the heavy skin and smear a thick white ointment on the blisters. After a while, he employed caretakers to do the tasks he hated.
Eddie toyed with ending her life, but he needed an alternative to the usual methods to avoid getting caught. To google, getting away with manslaughter was risky. Rita wasn’t worth wasting the rest of his life in the penitentiary. Investigative Discovery ruined everything. He was already in prison, and he preferred to be free. Free to realize his dreams as a young fellow, wanting love and being in love.
When Nancy, the new accountant, introduced herself, they developed into quick friends. Nancy was a widow. She was sweet and listened whenever Eddie talked with her.
They ate lunch in the building’s cafeteria several times a week. Once, they snuck off to the movies on a Saturday afternoon. Afterward, they necked in Nancy’s living room.
Eddie decided it was time to get rid of Rita. It would have been easier to divorce her, but her entitlement to half of his assets didn’t sit well with him. It would be better for everyone if Rita passed.
When he met a local narcotic dealer, an idea hatched in Eddie’s head. He had seen an exchange between two men while he sat in his car. The following day, he drove back to that intersection, parked his car, and watched.
He didn’t know what drugs this guy was selling. If they were illegal, it would kill her in an excessive amount. The coroner would arrive after she was dead and determine a heart attack. Cremation is what she preferred and Eddie would carry it out. The evidence would go up in smoke – the perfect murder.
Eddie walked the tray into the bedroom. Maury Povich announced on TV, “You are the father…” as he placed the tray on the bed next to her.
“About time, slug.” Rita criticized. She didn’t mention the flower. Her plump fingers snatched a few French fries and stuffed them in her mouth. “Hmm, I’ve been craving this all day.” Bits of potato spit from her lip. Not seeing Eddie’s meal, she demanded, “Aren’t you eating?”
“Got some work to do. Gonna dine at my desk, love. Check on you in a few. Enjoy your supper and the show.” Eddie bent down and kissed her on the forehead.
Sayonara, you ungrateful bitch.
Three hours passed before Eddie checked on Rita. The milkshake cup, now empty, lay on her massive breast. Tip-toeing toward the edge of the bed, Eddie called her name. “Rita? Honey? Are you finished eating?” No reply. He leaned down to see if her chest was moving. Nothing. No sounds of life. He heard Maury tell someone else, “You are not the dad.” He hit the pause button on the remote, took out his phone, and called 911.
As predicted, the coroner ruled her death a natural cause. It had been a heart attack. He offered to do an autopsy, but Eddie answered no need.
The funeral home called for a crane to haul her body out of the house. They deposited her in a freezer until they could make a pine box big enough to cremate her.
The perfect murder.
Eddie was free at last. With the life insurance money, he purchased modern bedroom furniture. He hired painters to come in and paint the walls an attractive color.
The entire house called for a makeover. But he’d wait until Nancy moved in before making any major design decisions.
Six months after Rita’s death, Eddie had a strange dream. Rita came back to haunt him. She sat in the living room, and Maury was on the TV. The actor’s speech was unfamiliar and he seemed to talk to Rita. Eddie got closer when he couldn’t figure out what they were saying.
“You want me to tell him, or do you prefer to break it to him?”
“Oh, I’d love to inform him, if you don’t mind?” Rita responded to the TV.
“The pleasure is mine.” Answered Maury.
Rita turned to Eddie. Her face took on a pale, death-white look. Her eyes, sunken into their sockets, were dark holes. The teeth in her mouth were black and broken off.
Eddie fell back, but Rita’s arms were like rubber as they reached out and clutched his throat. The all too familiar screeching of Rita’s voice wailed out, “You ARE the murderer.”
* * * * * *
Eddie’s new bride, Nancy, awoke next to him in the morning. His arm, thrown over her waist, seemed heavier than usual.
“Good morning, my love. Time to get up.” She stated, patting his cold, stiff arm. No response. She rolled over to face him. “Eddie? Eddie?” Feeling for a pulse in his neck, she found none.
A smile crossed her lips.
The coroner stated Eddie succumbed to natural causes. He asked Nancy if she wished an autopsy performed, to which she answered no. They cremated him days afterward, and she dumped his ashes in the ocean.
All the evidence billowed up in smoke – another perfect murder.
Now Nancy and Carl, the new guy in the office, could start planning their future.