It is late. But that’s fine with him, because it’s just him, all the strange peoples and his tea-cup in his world now. Three dollar with milk, but he always drink without, so it just cost him two.
26. July 2000
«Please, don’t hurt me, I promise you I’ll never do it again. »
«Oh, shut your mouth, I know you will. I have to do this, I have to! »
«Bruce, why don’t you just put down the gun, and let’s talk about it? »
«You hurt my feelings, and you have to pay for it. You know you can’t mess with me and this marriage. »
Bruce pointed nervously at her with his black, shiny gun. He pulled out the trigger with his shaking hand and looked around. Little Jennifer slept upstairs and dreamed about horses and good things. The neighborhood was quiet and everybody was sleeping, except a blue house which the lights were on, in the middle of the night. Something was making a big noise, and the neighbours waked up abruptly and immediately.
10. August 1996
«Dear diary. I just can’t hold on my feelings anymore. That’s why I bought this book. I’m so afraid that Bruce will find out about me and Aidan, and if he does, I can’t even think about what he’s able to do then.
I love Aidan in an other way than I love Bruce. I know he is my husband, but what’s going on between me and Aidan, that’s really love. Aidan and I have planned to escape to his grandmother in Germany, but now I think Bruce got a notion about it. I can’t take that risk, but I love him. Please God, tell me what to do.
A woman went through a revolving door and into the small store, just forty-five feet from her house. She worn a black hat, brown coat and round, white earrings. Sheila laid milk, bread and some carrots in her bag and went to the long row beside the cashier's stand.
«Mrs. Anderson? » A well-dressed man with brown hair stood at the end of the row beside her.
«Do you want some help? »
Sheila pretended to not recognize him, and looked at a magazine she was going to buy.
«I have to talk with you. »
«You can’t be here, Aidan, you know that. If Bruce finds out about us, he’ll kill us both, literally! » Sheila whispered.
Aidan was going to say something, but Sheila paid for her stuff, and began to walk away from him. Aidan shouted that he was going to call her later, but she was gone.
When Sheila came back home, Bruce, her husband asked where she had been.
«Oh, just at the store, darling. I bought you those carrots you wanted. »
«Good, what took you so long? »
«You remember Nicole, from my job? »
«Well, I met her. »
Sheila gave her husband a big smile, and went to the kitchen. She made soup for him, and afterwards she felt so tired. The night was long, and filled with bad dreams.
13. November 1998
«Dear diary. My feelings are much stronger for Aidan now. It’s been a month since last time I wrote. Bruce hasn’t found out about us yet, and I hope we can try to keep it that way, because it’s two years left, and we’re going to Germany. I look for it, and Aidan said that when we start our own life, he will buy me a ring! I’m so excited, but also afraid.
Sheila was on her way out, when Bruce came, and had a strange expression in his face. Sheila felt that her husband had much anger inside, and that he in one way had found out about Aidan and her.
«Where are you going, Sheila? » He said slowly and looked wondering at her.
«Oh, nowhere, just to Martha who live next door. »
Sheila knew Bruce was suspicious. She gave him one of her original smiles, and closed the brown door with a welcome sign on. A half-hour later she met Aidan in the park, and they talked about their life in the future. After an hour talking, they went home to Aidan and had a great time.
14. October 1999
«Aidan, I’ve been thinking. I really want to go with you to Germany, but maybe we should adjourn it? »
«No, why? » Aidan felt sad, but also shocked.
«I think Bruce really got a clue about us, and I don’t want you to be hurt, please, understand. »
Aidan was angry and didn’t know what to say.
«I don’t think we have a future together, because it seems like you don’t want to leave your husband. »
Aidan walked away from her, without looking back.
«Aidan, wait! I have to tell you something important. I love you, but the real cause is…»
Sheila hesitated, but she knew she had to tell him the shocking truth.
«I’m pregnant. »
Aidan’s heart almost stopped beating.
«What? But, who’s the father? »
«Remember that day in the park, and after that? »
«Yes, so you mean that I… »
They had fear in their eyes and knew that this was going to be a hell if Bruce found out about it.
Sheila and Aidan decided to say it was Bruce’s baby, and after a year, Sheila gave birth to little Jennifer Anderson.
26. July 2000
It was a beautiful Saturday and kids were playing at the playground. Women were playing with their children, and men worked hard in the garden. But what did this skeptical man with green eyes do on the attic when it was so lovely outside? In a box, beside the round window, he looked for something. Something that could give him evidence, something that could explain Sheila’s behavior. Bruce Anderson was a man who knew everything and he had a clue about Sheila’s secret.
«Finished with the garden, darling? »
Sheila came into the livingroom and saw her husband who watched a football match on TV. She went to the kitchen and started to bake pizza dough for her and Jennifer.
Two hours later, when the match was finished and Sheila had laid little Jenny in her bed, the doorbell rang and Bruce opened. It was a postman with red uniform and a black mailbag. He delivered a letter and went back to his mail van.
«Sheila! » Bruce gave her the letter and said it was hers.
Sheila recognized the handwriting and smiled.
«Oh, just another letter from my father in Ireland, I think I’ll go upstairs and read it, if that’s OK with you? »
Bruce saw that it wasn’t the same handwriting as all the other letters Sheila had got from Rupert, her father, but nodded and smiled kindly to her. He went over to their library and looked through all Sheila’s letters. Sheila sat in the meantime in her comfortable bed and opened the beige convolute.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t wait for you anymore. We have to talk with Mr. Anderson and tell him what’s going on. I miss Jennifer, and you know that I’m her father, so I’m coming tonight. I wanted you to know that, and don’t try to do something stupid, Sheila.
Lots of love, Aidan.”
Sheila hurried downstairs to get Bruce out of her house, but she couldn’t find him at the living room.
She looked around and saw him standing beside the coach and he wasn’t glad. In his hands he held a small, black book.
«Sheila, what’s this? »
«Where did you find that? »
Sheila gave him an insecure smile.
«Who is Aidan? » Bruce went threatening against her. Sheila was scared to death. Plenty of thought went through her head and she knew that Bruce had found out about her and Aidan.
«Where did you find that!? » Sheila tried to blame him for reading her diary.
«Don’t you even try to talk about something else, Sheila! It’s 4 years since you wrote the first page. Why? »
«You know, Bruce, I haven’t felt that you have cared about me the last years.
It has always been work, work and work. »
«Sheila, where do you exactly we’re getting our money from!? »
Bruce was so angry. He felt that he had to do something to get control over his body. If he didn’t, something wrong would happen. He took the car keys and slammed the door with the beautiful sign on. Sheila was terrified and wondered what Bruce was going to do. It wasn’t much she could do, so she took a nap on the coach and waited.
Sheila woke up and saw a face with a small nose and thin lips. That wasn’t Bruce, she thought.
«Aidan!? You can’t be here, Bruce have found out about us, and, and… »
Aidan looked Sheila in her eyes.
«Calm down, and tell me what’s going on. »
«NO! You can’t be here, Aidan, he found it out! Bruce can be here any minute. » Sheila was so afraid that she almost peed herself.
«I’ll come back later, and then we take little Jennifer with us, and leave!
I think it’s time now. »
Sheila looked after Aidan when he leaved, and just a second later she fell in sleep.
Sheila woke up again, and it wasn’t Aidan this time. No, it was an angry man with his hands inside his jacket.
«Get up! »
Sheila was awed and raised up from the coach. From his jacket, Bruce picked up a black, shiny gun.
«Where have you been? » Sheila dropped a tear and her hands were shaking.
The night was long, and something was making a big noise so the neighbours woke up abruptly and immediately.
«Sheila! » Aidan came running through the door.
«Sheila, where are you? I heard gunshot and… »
Aidan stopped. Bruce pointed at him with the gun and asked him to say good bye to Sheila, who was lying bleeding in the coach. She could nearly not breathe, but her eyes were up. She was shot in her stomach, and wasn’t going to make it.
«Now, want to say something? » Bruce laughed and looked at the poor boy with tears in his eyes.
«No? Well, I’m sorry that this happened, and I hope you now will learn from your mistakes. »
Ten seconds later both Sheila and Aidan were dead. Bruce’s plan did work, but what about that little girl in the stairs? Bruce didn’t have time to think, and shot her to. Afterwards he shot himself in his left arm, and called 911 and explained that Aidan came with a gun, and Bruce was the only one who escaped. With that story he avoided jail and bought a bigger house with his compensation money of his wife and child.
As the years past fast, Bruce got more and more lonely. He had the biggest and most beautiful house in the street, but what was that, when he was alone? He ate the same food, did the same thing, looked at the same programs at TV, and went to the same café every week. He was tired of life, and regretted everything since that horrible night.
«The same as always, thanks. »
Bruce had been at this all night café so often, and had ordered the same thing every time.
«Here’s your tea, sir, without milk. »
«Thank you. »
Bruce went to the same red chair beside a window with black curtains, and looked at the world over the rim of his tea-cup. His world wasn’t big. He looked at all the strange peoples in the café and every evening he wondered what they had done earlier in their lifes.