Model Citizen

The squalling of the rusty hinges followed by the slamming car door tore him from his sleep. His body was soaked from the heat of the Carolina summer, and he stood up quickly when she looked down at him with trepidation swimming in her eyes. “It’s just my husband dropping of the kids,” she said. Just her husband. He knew better to than to get involved with a married woman. In his entire life, he never had so much as a parking ticket. As far the state of North Carolina was concerned he was a model citizen. Now here he was having an affair with a married woman. “Just stay here and be quiet,” she told him.

He could hear her husband ask if she had someone with her in the trailer, and he could hear her lie despite his Pontiac being parked out front. This was going to get ugly. He searched the room frantically for a weapon, and happened upon a .38 revolver in her nightstand drawer. The chambers were loaded. He clicked the revolver shut and that was all it took to give him away. Her desperate pleas were unheeded as her husband tossed her to the floor like a rag doll. She could have done more to prevent her husband from making his way to the back bedroom. Instead she curled up on the couch and waited for the inevitable scuffle.

They were roughly the same size, but he backed away from the door as her husband kicked it open. He pointed the gun at her husband’s chest, but it was clear that her husband was angry and wasn’t scared. Any doubt that the whole thing would end peacefully was removed when her husband lunged at him. Instinctively he discharged the weapon, completely forgetting the children placed throughout the trailer like pieces on a chessboard. He watched as blood bloomed on her husband’s white t-shirt like crimson roses and stood in a mild state of shock as the man staggered down the hallway toward the living room.

The moment he heard her scream he knew death was near. He heard her dialing 911 as he raced for the back door, throwing it open violently against the trailer and making a dash for his car. This couldn’t be happening. He didn’t have so much as a parking ticket on his record, now he was a murderer. As he pulled the car door shut behind him he hurriedly shoved the keys into the ignition and threw the transmission into reverse. He slammed on the brakes, shoved the vehicle into drive and sped into the afternoon sunlight, throwing up gravel and dirt in a rooster tail behind him.





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