A Smudge of Dark Blue Paint On Her Face by P.Kellach Waddle

A Smudge of Dark Blue Paint On Her  Face
by P.Kellach Waddle
    All Katherine wanted to be was alone. Alone with her grief, alone with her thoughts, alone with her painting, just.. alone. Alone is a very bad thing to want to be when you are married. Did she love her husband  at all anymore? She wasn’t sure. She just that knew since her daughter died, she wanted nothing to do with her husband and most of the time she hated him. She felt so guilty about this some of the time. But a lot of the time she didn’t.
     Andrew wondered if his wife would ever again be the cheerful and engaging person she was before their daughter died.
    What little communication Andrew and his wife Katherine had these days usually escalated to near-violence. A very bad situation when there were gun collections and knife sets around. Looking at those fancy knife sets on the kitchen counter just made him sad.  They used to be for the preparation of grand meals. Now they just gathered dust.  Neither Andrew or his wife cooked anymore. Neither of them did much of anything anymore for that matter. Just trying to get through every day was both painful and rage-inducing enough  for Andrew.  But he refused to go on the medications that were turning his wife into half zombie, half paranoid shrew. At least Katherine still had her painting, Andrew’s songwriting had completely atrophied since their daughter’s death.

Katherine was painting, but she realized the canvas she was working on was going to look  just like all the others she had done since her  daughter’s death.   All she painted anymore were Rothko-like blocks of dark colors that eventually bled together into nothing washes of blackness. She thought that’s what her life had become– nothing but a wash of blackness.

She laughed mirthlessly aloud, ” My life is nothing but a wash of blackness– sounds like some purple prose from a bad Victorian novel.”  Then she mediated some more on her black canvas.

Andrew stared at the music paper and his guitar on the floor. He didn’t pick them up because if he did he knew no words would come from his pencil, and no chords would come from his guitar .  The frustration and pain overtook him once again devolving into rage. He began tearing music paper to shreds and kicking the walls as tears ran down his face.

Katherine’s meditation on her painting was interrupted by a knock on the door downstairs. She screamed to Andrew  from down the hall,  ” Hey, can you stop breaking shit and get the door? ”

Andrew was too lost in his thoughts  to hear his wife’s hollering. He wondered again  what was the point of living like this. No music, no daughter, no wife that he recognized anymore. He stared at his gun collection and tried to remember which one he left loaded. He chose one of the revolvers and found  five live rounds in the chamber. He clicked off the safety.

As the knocking continued Katherine tromped down the steps. ” Fine, asshole, I will get it myself.”

She opened the door to find that whoever was knocking  had left, but a small box had been left with the familiar brown and yellow UPS tag on it.

For a moment she remembered how she used to be thrilled by unexpected packages. Was there anything more exciting  than to receive a box whose contents were a mystery? She picked up the package and without even looking at the label began to rip it open to see what was inside. It was a very expensive perfume.

    That Andrew knew she was allergic to.

Katherine realized this perfume was meant to be sent to someone else. Andrew evidently now had a someone else and he was so stupid he had  Miss Someone Else’s perfume  sent to Katherine by mistake.

She  had never previously believed rage could literally blind a person. She thought that was just an exaggerated  expression. Until now. Her vision began to actually blur as she went to get something from the kitchen counter.
Andrew held the loaded pistol in his hand. “Isn’t it a cardinal sin to take one’s life?”, he pondered.  “But isn’t it just as much of a sin to just exist, but to no longer live anymore?” He thought how easy it would be to just end it all….
    He was so lost in his thoughts he didn’t hear Katherine coming up the stairs into his room.
Katherine threw open the door to Andrew’s debris-laden room and threw the bottle of perfume at him as hard as she could.

“What bitch did you buy that for?  And how damn stupid are you to have it sent here instead of to her you piece of shit?”

Andrew stood there in shock as an unfamiliar fragrance began to emanate from the broken bottle. A bottle that had missed him by inches and crashed against the wall.

“What? What the hell are you screaming about now?”

Andrew had no idea which was more horrifying: the fact that his wife had turned into this screaming Mrs.Hyde, or the fact that she was  brandishing a very sharp chef’s knife at him. Another horrifying thing was that he was about to start laughing. Katherine had a huge smudge of dark blue paint on her face. This struck  him as hilarious. His wife had turned into a monster. A monster who was brandishing a chef’s knife at him.  And all he could do was laugh at the paint on her face.

As Katherine lunged with the knife she screamed, ” Don’t you laugh at me you sonofabitch !!!”

       As the knife made contact with Andrew’s jugular, the gun Andrew was holding went off.

Neither Katherine or Andrew was ever going be in terrible pain ever again.

FIVE YEARS EARLIER
Dressed for the Texas heat in nothing but cut-off shorts, Andrew strummed  his guitar in the park as his smiling wife  greeted him.

“Hi sweetheart ! I have a  new song I wrote I want you to hear!”, Andrew said as she came over to him.

Katherine smiled and asked “Well is it just for me to hear? Is it a song that 2 of us can hear?”

Andrew was puzzled, “But there’s no one with you.”

Then a grin so wide it made his cheeks hurt spread across  his face as he realized what she was saying.  Katherine exclaimed, “Yes.!! Yes !! I think it’s going to be a girl !!”

Andrew put down his guitar and swooped his pregnant wife up in his arms whooping with glee as he swung her around in a circle.

An elderly couple walked past Andrew and Katherine as they were loudly expressing their joy at their impending arrival.

The wife said, ” Wow, I wonder what they are so happy about? ”
The husband replied, ” Who cares? They are probably both on something.”

THE PRESENT

 Andrew and Katherine’s next door neighbor found their  front door slightly ajar. She called inside after pushing it open.

” Andrew? Katherine? Anyone home? I am sorry to bother you but the UPS guy just told me he thinks he left a package of some perfume I ordered here by mistake.”

THE END

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