People are oblivious. In my case, it was a good thing. As long as I kept up the normal routine, no one noticed that Marty had disappeared. Even after the sale sign went up in front of the house, the neighbors weren’t suspicious. “Where y’all headed?” they would ask. “Moving closer to the in-laws now that they’re getting up in years,” I’d answer. And that would be the end of it.
The human body has 206 bones, 79 organs, as well as muscle, connective tissue, and fat. Marty was a big man so he took a long time to dispose of. I started by draining the five liters of blood. It was a struggle to prop him up in the bathtub, but I’m a strong woman and the adrenaline was still pumping at that point. My hand shook as I severed the femoral artery.
After that, I separated the limbs and the head with my sharpest knife and wrapped them up in the freezer. That left the torso with it’s mass of organs and fat. I put my oven and my largest stock pots to work, cooking up a stew that fed the dogs for weeks. Still, nobody was missing Marty.
I kept the window washing business going all by myself. Sure it took a little longer now that I was doing it alone but I managed to keep our clients satisfied. “Where’s your other half?” someone would occasionally ask. “He’s off on another job,” I’d answer. And that would be the end of it.
Each time I went out —to work, to the supermarket, to grab lunch at McDonald’s, a small bag would go into the public trash can. That way, I disposed of a few of Marty’s bones at a time. They were dry and well wrapped so that no one would ever discover them in amongst the rest of the landfill debris.
It’s funny how fast I was able to recover our finances now that Marty wasn’t drinking away all our income. I was able to sell all the frivolous items he’d bought over the years too. The big screen TVs, the stereo equipment and the overpriced, underpowered “classic” Mustang he’d bought to restore. Even I knew the 90’s were a bad decade for Mustangs.
It took a full year. But it was time well spent. I slowly put everything in my name. It was easier than you might think. Even selling the house, I told the realtor my husband had to go on ahead to care for his sick parents and he’d left it all to me. It turns out you can have your contracts signed electronically which meant I could sign an approximate version of Marty’s signature for him. Nobody raised an eyebrow.
When it was done, I hauled all the furniture to an auctioneer and sold it for whatever I could. I packed the dogs and my clothes in the back of my old Jeep and drove west, not knowing where we’d land but knowing anywhere was better than here.
People are oblivious. No one ever noticed the bruises on my legs or the burn marks on my arms. Or how I kept my hair over one blackened eye or the other. For twenty years, I wished that someone would pay attention but no one ever did. Lucky for me, no one decided to start now.