The house was empty. I snuggled on the sofa beside the window. Wiping the glass with the arm of my sweater, I saw a curtain of rain isolating me from the rest of the world.
Cherie was back at the university. She would get used to the loss of a parent. The well-wishing friends, relatives, and neighbors finally decided to honor my request. They left me alone to handle my grief. The new widow needed to mourn the loss of her beloved of thirty years, they said. I nodded and sniffled with swollen, teary-eyed, blotched face.
The scent of hot, bitter coffee warmed me. Taking a sip, I placed the mug on the side table. The movement caused the leather-bound book on my lap to fall to the floor. Not once did I know Ron maintained a diary. The half-empty last page mocked me. My unannounced entry into the room one night might have stopped his writing, but not his ideas. I sighed resting against the cushions. I did what I had to do. Like a dutiful wife, I helped him execute his plans.
The surprise holiday trip to Blue Hills three months ago was a success with a minor twist. Ron wanted to show me the marvelous sunset when he slipped on the secluded, rain-drenched rocks. His body was found in the valley below after two horrible days of wait. Cherie was devastated. Losing a father was never easy. Still, she tried to console me. Would I be able to live without the only man I ever loved, she wondered.
Even as the police declared it an accident, the insurance company began its inquiries. They had to shell out millions after all. Time has come to destroy the diary. The check was credited two days ago.
Dumping the remaining coffee in the sink, I watched the greedy flames of the fireplace devour the secrets of the diary. The sight made me smile. The realization that no one would accuse me of smiling made me giddy. My laughter echoed in the house. I was free from the tears, the drama and the sympathy. I twirled humming my all time favorite song about true love. The diamond ring, Ron’s gift, glittered on my finger. It represented who I was- sparkly, durable, hard, and frigid.
Dousing the dancing flames, I gently scooped up the ashes. The drain was overflowing. The gushing rainwater washed away the sins. I took it as a sign.
Trailing my fingers on his photograph that now hung on the mantel, I blew him a kiss. I had nothing left for him. Cherie would later inherit all that belonged to him, to us. Her future was secure in my hands. One day she’d know the truth.
Meanwhile, Ron’s young girlfriend would trap another man. I heard she was already on the hunt for someone with more sense than to write his lust confessions and wife-killing schemes in a diary. I wish her ill-luck.