Lily -part 1 (Horrible Marriages Collection)

            Roger sat silently in the dark kitchen with the shotgun resting over one knee.
He was perfectly still in the hot, black air. The sweat dripped ticklish down his neck but he didn't flinch, didn't take the barrel of the gun off his mark, and kept his index finger so gently against the smooth black steel tab that he could feel the blood pulsing in his fingertip.
The kitchen got hot in late June. By early July it was nearly unbearable.
The air conditioners were still in the basement, where they'd been the day the signed the papers on the house. As far as he knew, they worked, but he hadn't bothered.
She'd warned him. He'd ignored her.
He hadn't bothered; hadn't bothered much of a job either, or kids for that matter. He hadn't bothered with a paint job for the kitchen, which needed it badly. Eight years of high-gloss banana yellow. It peeled about an inch each July, from the top down. He'd measured it once. Beneath the yellow was something lime-green possibly paisley, maybe mold - it didn't make a difference - during the day it made an uncaring man wince.
She'd warned him. Enough was enough.
"Earl, you're deaf to reason. I can't ask you again, if I ask you again, you're on your own."
In the dark he allowed himself a grin. She'd called him Earl from the day they had met. "Your parents were fools to name you Roger.  There's not a speck of Roger in you."
He called her Angel. That was the front and back of his romantic side. He hung onto the pet name more out of laziness than anything else. Her name was Lily. At thirty-five, Lily suited her as well as Angel. Tall, strong, smooth-skinned and topped with a wild mop of flame colored hair; he had no defense against such a creature. They'd arm wrestled during their courtship. If he was drunk enough she'd beat him. If she was drunk enough she'd let him wrestle her into the bedroom.
No one was there for the wedding at the county clerks office. The secretary was the witness. It was a hot day in June when they tied the knot.
She'd warned him. And now he sat with a finger on a smooth tab of black steel, waiting for revenge, a last resort, the result of laziness more than lack of caring.

End of part 1


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