He loved her in his non-committal way, always said so in the morning, as he moved briskly through the door towards the gate, then half way up the path he would say, “See you later” and wave his hand to add an emphasis to this routinely spoken comment.
He loved his wife, more expressive, some might say, than him: she with just that edge of manicured hysteria which marked out the gifted, so she thought, from those who munched their way blindly through life, like soulless cattle standing at the trough.
“He does not love me, where’s the hunger ?” had been her silent cry to any lover, but still he looked after her in every material way and her wardrobes spoke of everything but neglect, but she, clinging to her version of lament, was past noticing truths revealed in humdrum details.
Alfonso, her new landscape-painting tutor, whose class she joined two months or more ago, searched her soul with brazen soulful eyes, and ravaged her composure with those words of his which cut through her hardened boredom, “Love has no boundaries and no government. It sweeps all before it. It sculpts us with its passion”
“Oh yes” she Karen, for that was her name, ” Oh yes, what depths this man from foreign climes possesses. He is both painter and a poet” and so when he suggested she showed a raw if untrained genius with her brush and in her manner, and he would coach her privately at home, she had agreed without hesitation and soon, with deft loosening of her clothing he had proved that love indeed had no boundaries, and possibly no morals, but in the urgency of the moment that detail had remained un-investigated.
Two souls lost in the sublime: two fragile beings trapped within this dull suburban landscape. Oh how they longed for a more glorious backdrop, with moonlight and the scent of tropical flowers to celebrate their new-discovered urgency, but both of them lacked resources, which stifling fact threatened this hallowed moment, when together, she knew, they both had found eternal joy and beauty.
Lying in bed awake, some time after her husband had performed what he considered his marital duty she said to herself, “No more of this” and determined to remove this dull pedantic obstacle from her life. “You are not worth a life or soul” she said silently to his sleeping figure and filled her delicate heart with chilling purpose.
Keeping her plans to herself she investigated poisons which could kill, and yet leave no trace within a couple of hours. Impressively, she managed to obtain some after requesting help of the selfless Alfonso, who recognised their life and love required a larger canvas. Her husband, they agreed could show no greater understanding of his wife’s frustrated genius than, however unwittingly, making her dreams possible.
As it happened, the husband, dull to the point of no return in her opinion, and possible lacking in imagination, if not loyalty, tasted something odd in his first mouthful and raising his eyes, saw her fearful pounding gaze stare back at him. Somehow he understood and grasped her plan, and sadness more than anger filled him. He loved her dearly but she could be sometimes be a trifle silly. Now she clearly wanted free of him, if not his wealth.
With calm deliberation, he filled his spoon again, and looking back at her said, “I am sure, however long I live, this will always be the finest soup I ever tasted” She opened her mouth to tell him “Stop,” but he had already swallowed the noxious liquid. His dry acknowledgment reminded her of his unspoken qualities, but now the die was cast, and his eyes, first full of love, dulled, then ceased to shine as he tipped sideways off his chair without adding further comment.
“Heart attack,” the doctor said. Truth be told his own mother was ill and he, distracted and not that fussed with this routine event, allowed Justice to sleep a while longer, allowing this romantic pair to set off on their enchanted voyage of self discovery. In time our heroine sat quietly on the beach while Alfonso, her new husband, reminded his growing class of ever younger ladies how “Love has no boundaries” and neither, so it seemed, did his appetites.
He seldom made comment on matters practical but if pressed he might remark, “Behave as you like, and nature demands, but never let you wife do the cooking”