Happily Ever After
“I don’t know why ya got me locked up in here, bub. I did nothing wrong.”
“Well, Mrs. Lakowski-“
“Call me, Nikki.”
“Well, Nikki,” the court appointed lawyer shuffled the papers about in front of him, “I um, can’t say I agree with you. You killed your husband, Nikki. Please tell me how that is ‘nothing wrong’.”
“Oh, Mr. Johnson,” she laughed, the cuffs around her wrist clacking together as she wove her hand to dismiss his comment, “Can I call ya Steve?”
“Well, Steve, ya just aren’t seeing the full picture! Yasee, what I did wasn’t killing nobody. I’d prefer to call it, my one, vigilante act for my life, I swear on my mama’s life, Steve. I wasn’t taking someone great from this world. Why would I do that? No no, I was taking matters into my own hands.”
“A vigilante act, Nikki? The law isn’t something that can just be played with, even if you promise to never break it again. But you do admit you killed your husband, Mickey Lakowski, Nikki? That’s a very serious statement.”
“Of course I admit to it. Steve dawlin’, why wouldn’t I admit to something like that? I ain’t stupid. Mickey was the worst thing that ever happened to me. My only regret was not killing the bastard sooner.”
“Mrs. Lakow- I mean,” he cleared his throat and adjusted his tie, “Nikki, do you want to go a bit more in depth about how exactly your husband was ‘the worst thing that ever happened to’ you? It could help your case and get you a shorter sentence.”
“Ya want the lie or the truth, love? I’ve got the lie pretty well memorized,” she chuckled half-heartedly at her own joke.
“Preferably the truth, Nikki. That’s what the judge will want to hear.”
“Figures. Well, Stevie, to tell ya the truth my marriage had been absolute shit for years. Which is saying something cuz we’d only been married for about ten. He hated Junior and baby Anna. Heaven forbid Anna made a single noise at night. He’d wake up like he was waitin for it, Stevie, then he’d just yell at her like them drill sergeants do on ‘Two Weeks in Hell’. He did the same thing with Junior, but I guess Anna doesn’t learn as fast as Junior did cuz Junior stopped cryin’ after a few months of being home from the hospital.
“But I kept goin with it, Stevie! After all Mickey was my husband! I had to love him. He knew better than me, right?” She paused waiting for an answer from the lawyer, who said nothing. “So one night, I was cookin dinner. Mickey was still at work. Junior was watching the TV and Anna was in her high chair, playin round with her Cheerios.
“The baked ziti is in the oven, Junior and Anna are both occupied, so I think to myself, ‘Oh what the hell? I’m going to read my goddamn magazine!’ So I go and sit down in the dinin room. All innocent right, Stevie? Well, bang! Mickey throws open the front door and comes storming in, yelling bout some awful assistant he got at work. Y’know he was the manager of Lakowski and Sons Construction? The biggest construction company in all of Newark, it was. Anyway, guess he had some shitty day at his shitty job where he does shitty work for his shitty salary. Then he finds me readin’ my magazine. Knowin’ Mickey, I set it down and get up to give him a lil sugar. But no no no! He starts bitchin’ bout how he smells something burnin’. Now I get up and smell the same thing so I go to check on the ziti and guess what, Steve? It’s a lil burnt. Oh no, whoopdy fucking doo.
“But knowin my ‘lovin’ husband,” her fingers made air quotes as she spoke, “I apologize real quick. But is that good enough for Mickey? No. So he hits me. A great right hook to my eye.
“I’m losing it now. Mickey has hit me before, but it wasn’t over fuckin’ ziti! So we’re yellin’ at each other and lil’ Anna is cryin’ and Junior’s locked himself in his room cuz he’s seen this same shit before. Mickey’s goin’ crazy, callin’ me names, and throwin’ shit. Now this stuff was normal when he gets mad. Lord knows how many damn IKEA lamps we’ve broken. But Anna is cryin’ in her chair and Mickey turns around and smacks my baby girl across her face.”
She stopped. Looking at her lawyer, whose face had turned white as a sheet.
“Nobody hits my baby when she ain’t even doing nothin’ wrong. I mean- ha- Anna has been cryin’ since day one, but Mickey never hit her until now.
“Over some burnt baked ziti.
“So I hit him. I finally did it, Stevie. I hit Mickey so hard my knuckles hurt. And, damn, did it feel good to finally do that. I was giving him what he’d been giving me for years,” she cracked her still bruised knuckles.
“And I just kept goin’. I couldn’t stop. Before I knew it, he was on the kitchen tiles, nose bleedin’, eyes barely open. Stevie, I didn’t even know I was that strong! Now I’m standin’ over him and I’m yellin’ about how much I hate him and I’m thinkin’ he’s knocked out and so I just say that I want a divorce. I felt like it needed to be said y’know? But I didn’t really feel like I meant it.
“But that sure woke him up quick.
“He smacks my knee and I fall down. Goddamn that hurt, Stevie. He knew I have bad knees. But now we’re on each other’s level . Me on my knees and him trying to stand up. So I just push him! Push him hard away from me. I just want away from him. And you know what he does?” she stared into the lawyer’s eyes, daring him to answer. “He falls over and cracks his head on the corner of the oven.
“I wish he didn’t die like that.”
“I wish I could have killed him better.”
“Maybe you shouldn’t tell the judge that, Nikki.”
By Hope Fletcher xoxo
Posted on September 26, 2014, in Short Stories and tagged abuse, dark comedy, dialogue driven, did he deserve it, domestic violence, don't take that shit, pg13, proud of this, Short Stories, short story, vigilante, what is justice, women empowerment. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.