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6:05 PM


I hand him the envelope as soon as I’ve closed the passenger door. “Count it. It’s all there.”

He raises an eyebrow. “Good morning to you too.” The stack of bills is counted in no time, which doesn’t surprise me. He’s probably done this several times before. A slight nod of his head indicates it’s the correct amount. “Dude, I gotta ask you: are you 100% sure you wanna do this?”

“Yes. My mind is made up. I can’t live with her any more. She’s cold, demanding, and controlling, but I can’t leave her, either, because I’ll lose everything if I do. I’d rather burn in hell.”

He raises a hand. “All right, all right, I got ya. I just wanna make sure because once it’s done, it can’t be undone.”

“I’m aware of this.”

“And you can’t do this yourself…”

“I told you: I’ve tried but keep losing my nerve.”

He shrugs. “Okay then. So let’s go through this once more: dinner’s at 6 sharp. I ring the doorbell at 6:05. Then one clean shot to the head, execution style.”

“Yes, please. Quick, and hopefully painless.”

“Thy will be done,” he says, and we shake hands.

My wife and I are eating dinner accompanied by our usual silent tension, eyes on our plates instead of each other. I’m surprisingly calm; not even flinching when the doorbell rings. As she pushes back her chair to get up, I stop her with an outstretched palm.

“It’s okay.” A quick glance at my wristwatch tells me it’s 6:05 p.m. “I’ll get it.”


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