straight down the line

The Ending That Wasn’t

…”admit it, Frank, you were lying there thinking of how to kill me.”

“And you weren’t thinking the same?”
“Yeah. I was.”
“See, we’re even.”
“Not even close.”
“Have a drink.”
“I don’t want a drink… we drink every night. I want to know what happened. I thought we were in love.” Cora rolled over and looked me in the eye. “I thought you loved me.”

The woman is maddening. Hadn’t I already told her I loved her? Hadn’t I already killed a man to prove it to her? I wanted to go she wanted to stay so we stayed. How much more love does this woman want? But by God, I was prepared to give it.

“We are in love. So what if we drink.” Booze put the woman to sleep. It was the only time we didn’t fight. Cora looked at me. Looked like she was searching through my soul. Like she was damn well weighing it with her own.

“Pass me the bottle.” I passed her the bottle. She turned behind her to pick up our glasses off the floor. She passed me a glass. She drowned her drink in one gulp.

“How would you kill me, Cora?” I asked, taking a swig.
“Poison.” She looked at me again. My head started to thump.
“They say that’s the woman’s murder weapon.”
“Well.” She smiled wryly, “I am a woman.”

And it all went black.


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