Why do good girls do bad things?
I am a faithful woman but the lust of this man combined with the loneliness I receive from my husband has my stomach curding like cottage cheese. He is forcing me to do this. I justified my actions thinking of the all the late nights I waited up for him. I cooked a special dinner every night but he barely made it home for breakfast the next day. I never questioned why he worked so late or spent all his spare time with his friends. I tried. Thinking that if I kept telling myself that, it would explain what I was doing. I knew he had fiascos with other women. I stayed home with his kids, just like he wanted me to. I did everything to be the perfect wife. I used to press his clothes on Sundays but I stopped that two years ago. He never noticed a difference. He never noticed anything. I changed my hair but he never mentioned it. I lost almost fifty pounds. The only thing he mentioned was the fact I was spending too much money on new clothes. After all the money was his. He treats me like a child with an allowance I complained. My husband has not touched me in almost three months. He claims it is old age. But my girlfriend’s husbands perform fine. He does not even want me anymore as a woman. He only wants me to mother his child. The Martha Stewart wife I have become is killing me. All I do is laundry, cook, clean, drive kids around, and sit lonely when they sleep. Here at his convenience I am a miserable wife. I deserve a little adult companionship, attention, and affection.
This man have known for over ten years. He is the closest companion to myself and my husband as well. They went to college together. He says I deserve better but he won’t leak the secrets from his mouth that I know he has locked in his head. A handsome man, he’s always been. Taller than my husband and probably twice as strong. His arms were thick like pudding and his chest was warm like an oven. I cried on it many times. It wasn’t until recently that he embraced me in an affectionate way. I felt a tingle in my panties like a little girl hitting puberty. Now I enjoy the way he runs his fingers on my naked back as I lay bare on the hotel sheets. His lips touch my spine and kiss my hips. His attention to detail is much stronger than my husbands. With him I don’t feel tied down to kids and reasonability. I feel sexy and free. Even though we only meet an hour a week at local hotels, I see him when he comes to play poker. We barely talk but his eyes watch me more than my husbands. I should feel guilty when they sit across from each other and I serve them both beer. But I do not. I feel complete. I have my husband, father to my children, and my provider. I also have my lover, my comforter, and my companion.
“If I could lynch all of them niggers I surely would.” Under Gabe’s white hat his eyes were dark and serious. He spit his chewing tobacco on the dirt so that it bounced up and dusted his boots with orange clay mist.
He stood with all his “brothers” watching the flames. Fortunately there was no black skin hanging the cross. These men seemed to get an adrenaline rush from the thick dark smell of burning flesh. As dumb as they were one man said if they were to burn a white man the smoke would be white not black. All of the redneck men smiled between their gapped teeth with agreement. When they would catch a black man and burn him up, they would chant. “Nigger skin makes nigger smoke it’s so black no one know.”
After way too many cups of bathtub moonshine the flames began to die down to a slight sizzle. Chunks of ash flew with the wind. The men made their way to their pickup trucks. Headlights wandered in different directions like drunk fireflies. Gabe got into his rusty orange ford but not before he threw up some of that sweet liquor. He was seeing double when he leaned on the tree to pee afterward. Sliding in the cloth seat he set his white pillowcase mask on the seat next to him. Without a seatbelt or headlights Gabe drove through the pasture and out to the winding roads of the Georgia mountains.
The night was clear, warm and musky, but it was a good night. There was no fog as there often was in the evening going up the mountain. It was not season to snow. The trees were shedding beautiful colors everywhere like a calico cat. The wind was breezy but not strong enough to sway the tops of the tall pecan trees. The sky was clear. Like a panoramic view. The oval between the tree tops showed the stars and the moon staring in Gabe’s windshield. With him seeing double he swore there were more stars in the sky that night than any other night.
Gazing at the scenery and glancing at the double lines Gabe hit a swerve in the road. He was too late. His driver door swiped the small car coming towards him. Spinning out of control the red Chrysler finally stopped in the ditch alongside of the mountain. Gabe sat for a minute slightly dazed before he quickly sobered up. He did not see the car in the rearview mirror. He jumped out and ran to the side of the mountain where the tire tracks left a black skid mark. Seeing the car down the mountain he began to panic.
Without a second thought Gabe ran down the mountain and pulled opened the driver door. A white woman with a round face and red hair was collapsed on the steering wheel. She was bleeding from the head. He pulled off her seatbelt and drug her heavy body out of the car. He left her laying there when he heard the baby scream in the back seat. He ran around the car and pulled the baby’s car seat out. He grabbed the blanket and covered the car seat. Car seat in hand he ran back to the lady who was now on her side spitting up blood. Her eyes were rolling. Gabe was trying to get her attention.
“Ma’am please, are you okay? I have your baby.” He spoke loudly as he stood above her. “Please wake up.”
He set the car seat on the ground next to the woman who was barely breathing. She reached her arm over and rubbed the baby’s leg from under the blanket. After a few seconds she started to sit up. Gabe was still standing there rubbing and shaking her for life when he saw the red and blue lights dancing off of the trees up the hill.
She stood up and looked at Gabe in his white robe and bloodshot eyes. “Get away from my son,” she screamed “You fucking KKK you tried to kill us. Get away from me. Get away from my son.”
She grabbed the car seat, wiped the blood from her head, and spit stomach acid through her teeth. She must have also saw the light because she ran as hard as she could up the hill with her son.
When Gabe got up the hill she was already talking to the paramedics. She lifted the blanket off of the baby. His dark hair afro sat perfectly in the middle of his head. His black eyes were wide. His lips and nose wide like bell peppers. He was a mixed baby. Gabe knew as soon as he saw the flashlight hit the baby’s skin. The woman looked petrified. Gabe was young, naïve in many ways, but far from dumb. He stood pondering for a minute.
The police called for him but he kept walking to his truck. He knew he would have saved them regardless of their race. He pulled out his face mask and unzipped his robe. Stuffing the robe in the hat the woman and Gabe’s eyes were locked the entire time. He pulled a metal flask from him pocket and poured the remains on the white pile of cloth in his hand. Still watching the woman as hard as she watched him. He lit the cloth and it sparked instantly. He dropped it on the ground and watched it burn to ash before returning to talk to the police.