Anger and hatred had infected George’s mind. He sat there seething, and spoke to the empty room, “How dare he! Who does he think he is? What kind of man steals his best friend’s wife? I can’t believe he’s in my house now!” George looked down at his cell phone. The webcam he had hidden in his bedroom fed the live stream to his five-inch screen. George’s stomach felt hollow and churned inside. His right thumb subconsciously flipped the safety on and off on his forty caliber pistol. George watched the pair finish dressing and leave the bedroom. George looked his watch. Lewis would be home within the hour.
George turned his attention to the pile of love notes that sat on the table in front of him. Janice thought she could get away with the affair because they had gone back to basics. Instead of exchanging texts they exchange short love letters. George smiled at her cunning. I have to give it to them, he thought, nobody uses love notes these days. The smile left George’s face as he read Janice’s intimate details of the things she planned to do to Lewis’ body. The gun trembled in his hand. George stood up and started walking around.
Above the mantle sat three photos of he and Lewis on their getaways to the beach. George began to wonder how long Lewis had cheated with his Janice. He walked down the hall and into Lewis’ bedroom. George furiously opened dresser drawers. The bottom drawer was filled with women’s lingerie. A bottle of Janice’s perfume sat on the side. George pulled the drawer out and flung it across the room. The drawer landed with a thud into the drywall and then fell to the floor. He then turned and tore the bedding off the mattress.
George searched Lewis’ nightstands. He found a nine-millimeter pistol inside the piece of furniture on the left. He pulled out the magazine and emptied the round in the chamber. George spoke to the empty room, “There’s no reason to give him a fighting chance.”
George went back to the living room, slid his gun into his waistband, sat down, and waited. A few minutes later the knob on Lewis’ front door began to move. “Hello?” said Lewis as he poked his head through the door. “Oh, George, you frightened me. How did you get in?”
George forced a smile, “My key. You know, we have keys to each other’s place to keep an eye on things.”
Lewis laughed, “Of course. I’m sorry, I’m a little distracted. You would not believe how crazy work was today. What brings you by?”
George noticed Lewis’ eyes glance over to the stack of love notes. George stood up and walked over towards Lewis. “I wanted to show you something I found on the internet. It’s pretty interesting.” George handed Lewis his phone and replayed the stream from the webcam.
Lewis began to quickly back up and raise his arms in front of him. “Now, George. Try and understand. We didn’t mean for it to happen.”
George’s fist tightened at his sides. “How long?”
Lewis backed up until his body pressed against the wall. “What?”
“How long have you been sleeping with my wife?”
Lewis was quiet, and George wondered what story Lewis was trying to make up. He finally answered. “Around a year. We started seeing each other when your job took you on the road six days a week, and I lost Sheila to cancer. Janice was trying to comfort me, and I guess we were both lonely. I should have never talked to her when I was vulnerable.”
George stood there a moment. Lewis had a point. He was gone a lot, and then there was Sheila’s death. Lewis and Sheila were talking marriage when she got the news. The cancer was exceptionally aggressive, and Sheila was dead within six weeks. George couldn’t kill Lewis, but he was not sure what to do next.
“Do you love her?” asked George. He could feel his heart breaking as the words escaped his lips.
“I don’t know. I mean, I thought so, but now, I don’t know. I mean, you’re like my brother. I love you like a brother. I can’t decide. Why? Are you going to let her go?”
George looked down at the floor and spoke in a raspy voice. “I’m letting her go alright, and she’s going to pay. I’ll make sure I get every penny the law allows, and I’m going to drag out the divorce as long as possible.”
“But why?” asked Lewis. “I just told you what happened. How can you blame her?”
George looked up and glared at Lewis. “I understand your grief doesn’t disappear, but I stopped going out on the road two months after your whole affair started. If she was just lonely, she could have cut things off then. Not only that, she moved some of her things over here, that isn’t a lonely woman.”
Lewis started to say something, but then rushed pass George to the bedroom. George walked over and leaned against the counter. He felt his world spinning out of control. His best friend had made a mistake, but Janice had taken advantage of the situation. Did she ever really love me? He wondered. The sound of Lewis woke George from his thoughts.
Lewis emerged from the hallway into the living room. His nine-millimeter was extended with both of his hands holding it. He aimed it squarely at George. “Why did you have to ruin things, George? Why couldn’t you let us be happy? I can’t let you torture Janice with a long drawn out divorce.”
“So you think murdering me will solve your problems? Were we ever really friends?”
Lewis nodded, “We were, until Janice. I can’t lose her too. I’m sorry.” With a pull of the trigger, the gun clicked once, twice, three times. Lewis looked down at his pistol confused.
“Doesn’t it feel a little light?” asked George
Lewis pulled back the chamber to find it empty and flipped the gun over to find the magazine missing. He reached into his pocket. “How many rounds are you planning to shoot me with?” asked George.
Lewis clumsily pulled a spare magazine from his pocket and slid it into the butt of the pistol grip. Lewis’ head raised up to aim the gun when George’s weapon discharged and the sound reverberated around the living room. Lewis’ lifeless body hit the wood flooring with a thud. George shook his head, and then spoke to Lewis’ corpse, “Self-defense.” George pulled out his phone and dialed 911.