The piece was written as a stand alone piece, but a lot of people were asking me what happens next. I know it's been a long time coming, but here it is, a follow up to the original piece!
If you missed the original, or you want a reminder, you can read it here: http://myrandommusings.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/the-serial-husband-short-story.html
And to continue to The End, you can click here:
The Serial Husband – A Follow Up
My eyes flutter open. The light is bright, so bright it’s blinding me. I screw my eyes shut.
‘Mr. Parker, your wife is awake,’ I hear a woman say. The nurse? I don’t know. I don’t know anything except how much pain my eyes are causing me.
Still I force myself to bear the pain and open them when I hear footsteps approach the bed. There he is. My Matt. My husband. My soul mate. My would-be killer. Still, my heart skips a beat as he smiles that charming smile at me.
‘You’re awake,’ he says, pushing my hair back off my forehead. I thought I’d lost you.’ His voice cracks on the last word.
My head spins with images. Him attaching a drip to my arm, filled with god knows what. Something that would kill me, of that I have no doubt. The nurse, a cute little red head, barely in her 20s, flirting with my husband over my inert body. Him lapping it up. Her giggling and tossing her hair. Him winking and touching her arm a second longer than he should.
Then something changed. I don’t know what, but suddenly, they are cold to each other. No more giggles or touches. She is cold, professional. He is stern and treats her with such disdain. And me, lying there, helpless. A silent witness.
Then flashes of that night. They argued. He grabbed her by her throat, shaking her. She tried to fight him off but he was too strong. The fight eventually went out of her, and her face turned from red to purple. He let go of her and she dropped like a stone to the floor.
He disappeared, and returned carrying a tarpaulin. He rolled her in it, and dragged her away. He came back, bucket and cloths in hand. The smell of bleach. Him telling me he was sorry, how much he loved me. Carrying me downstairs and putting me on the kitchen floor. The paramedics arriving.
It’s all so messed up in my head.
I’m jerked back to the present, as the door slams shut.
‘The nurse thought we should have a bit of private time,’ he says. ‘I’m so glad you’re ok. Do you remember what happened?’
‘I…’ I start, but I don’t know how to go on. It’s ridiculous. There is no way he confessed to killing his first wife, then decided to do the same to me, changed his mind and killed a nurse instead. It’s too ridiculous!
‘It’s ok,’ he soothes. ‘I came home from work and found you collapsed on the floor. I called an ambulance. The doctors operated on you and removed a tumour from your brain.’
The look of horror must be evident on my face. ‘It’s ok,’ he hurries on. ‘You’re ok now. They put you in a medically induced coma to give your body time to heal.’
‘I remember,’ I say quietly. Then I go on, forcing the words out. I have to know. ‘You’re lying. You tried to kill me, then you changed your mind and killed her instead.’
‘Karen,’ he says. He looks at the floor, then back up at me. ‘The doctor warned me you could have some serious delusions because of the tumour. I love you. I would never hurt you. You know that.’
Of course I know that. How could I think for a second that any of that actually happened? My sweet Matt. My soul mate. My one true love.
‘So, it’s not true?’ I so desperately want to believe him.
‘Of course it’s not true.’
‘You saved me,’ I say, relieved. If he hadn’t come home from work when he did, I would be dead now. The nausea, the dizziness, they were symptoms of the tumour. ‘I’m so sorry I doubted you. It all felt so real.’
‘It’s ok,’ he says. ‘I understand.’
He reaches for me hand and caresses its back with his thumb. ‘Probably best to keep this conversation between us. You don’t want the doctors thinking you’re crazy.’ He grins.
I find myself grinning back. He’s right. The last thing I need is someone thinking I’m crazy!
‘When can I come home?’ I ask him.
‘Soon,’ he responds. ‘You just worry about getting well again first.’
The door opens and the nurse bustles back in.
‘You’re wife needs her rest Mr. Parker, go home, get some sleep and come back in the morning.’
Reluctantly, he stands up. ‘I’ll see you tomorrow,’ he says kissing me.
As he reaches the door, I feel an over whelming surge of love for him. He was so understanding. The stuff I had just accused him of and he just took it all in his stride.
‘I love you,’ I say as he opens the door.
He turns back ‘I love you too,’ he responds.
‘He’s a keeper,’ smiles the nurse. ‘He’s barely left your side. And boy is he cute.’
‘Yeah, he’s amazing,’ I respond.
‘I have to go check on another patient, the doctor will be here any minute. I’ll pop the TV on for you should I?’
I smile and nod. She turns the TV on and goes hurrying off.
Adverts. Typical. I start to doze off. I jerk back awake, and glance at the TV. There’s a woman and a man. She is crying as he appeals for the public’s help in finding his daughter. She’s been missing for a week now.
I feel so sorry for them. There’s no way she’s alive now is there? Someone would know where she was.
Her picture flashes up on screen. My eyes fly wide open, and I am fully awake. Early twenties, red hair, cute. It’s her. The nurse from my hallucination. Only it wasn’t a hallucination obviously.
The door bursts open. My nurse. ‘Mrs Parker, you are as white as a sheet. You look like you’ve seen a ghost,’ she exclaims, hurrying to my side.
‘Oh it’s nothing,’ I say, forcing a smile. ‘I thought I recognised that girl but I don’t.
‘Terrible business. She’s been missing a week. She was a nurse you know.’
Yes I know. But I love Matt and he loves me. This is our little secret. I wouldn’t want anyone thinking I am crazy.
I hope you all enjoyed the story! Let me know what you thought!
Follow me on Twitter @randommusings29 and feel free to comment :)