“Come on, honey. It isn’t as dramatic as all that.” Charles was poised with his back against the wall. Charlene stood there with tears falling down her cheeks. In her right hand was a large Shun chef’s knife. It had been part of a kit that was given to them as a wedding gift five years earlier. In Charlene’s left hand was a pair of women’s pink lace panties that did not belong to her.

Parts of Charlene’s long auburn hair stuck to her wet cheeks. Anger and grief had changed her normal porcelain skin to a bright red. Her blue eyes flashed, and she screamed. “Don’t honey me! I find these under my bed, our bed, and you tell me it isn’t that dramatic? Do you think I’m afraid to use this knife?” Her right arm swung quickly through the air.  Years of aerobics and other exercise regimes had made her body firm and quick. Charles tried to press himself into the wall as he felt the tip of the knife barely touch his polo shirt that was loosely hanging off his body. “Who is she?” demanded Charlene.

Charles held up his hands, “She was a mistake, it was a long time ago.”

“How long?”

“Six months ago, when you went to visit your parents.”

“Do you think six months is a long time? How many women have you been sleeping with?” Charlene held the tip of the knife up to Charles’ throat and in a blink of an eye pulled back her arm. Charles trembled inside. Years of desk work had taken him from the muscular man he used to be to a flabby desk jockey. Charlene was faster and possibly stronger than him.

Charles stood there fearful. Instead of calming her down he was making it worse. He had forgotten about Sophia’s lingerie the night she left. They had spent two days together in bed. Her olive skin, raven hair, and lustful needs were everything Charlene was not. Sure, he had cheated, but it was over as quickly as it started. Sophia wanted “serviced.” There were no expectations. In Charles’ mind, there was no harm and no foul. At least not until today.

“Please,” pleaded Charles, “lower the knife, and I’ll tell you anything you want to know.”

Charlene took two steps back and lowered her knife. Charles sighed and took a step forward. Charlene’s blade shot up in front of her, “I didn’t tell you that you could move.”

Charles nodded, stepped back against the wall, and Charlene lowered her knife. He took a deep breath and spoke slowly and quietly, “Honey.” Charlene’s knife came up in front of her. “Sorry,” said Charles. “Charlene, it was a mistake. Sophia from work dropped by and was distraught over some family matters. I had drunk a couple of beers before she showed up. I had no idea she would be here. The next thing I know, I’m hugging her and telling her everything will be okay, and then we have our clothes off. It was over before it started.”

“Don’t try to Disneyfy this. I didn’t find her panties under the couch, I found them under our bed. How could it be a moment of passion if the clothes came off in the living room? Her panties ended up under the bed, stuck between two boxes of winter clothes.”

Charles knew he was in trouble. “I have no idea. Maybe I found them and threw them under the bed. I honestly can’t remember.”

“Give me your phone.”

“What?”

Charlene raised the knife again, “I said, give me your cell phone out of your pants’ pocket.”

Charles nodded, reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. Charlene dropped the panties and quickly swiped the phone from Charles’ trembling hand. “Password,” demanded Charlene.

“5563” responded Charles.

Charles prayed he had deleted his text history, although he was sure the past two days were still present. Charlene began to scroll, and her voice became angrier as she read off the first few names, “Who are Michelle, Denise, Chloe, and here is Sophia again. You were texting her today?” Her hand shook as she opened the text. A semi-nude photo of Sophia appeared on the screen. Charlene dropped the phone and began to sob.

Charles saw his chance. He ran up behind Charlene and wrapped his arms around her biceps and chest. “Honey, calm down. This whole thing isn’t worth you going crazy.”

Charlene mumbled through her sobs, “You’re right.” With a swift motion, Charlene’s forearm rose and came down. The knife easily sliced through Charles’ khaki pants, into one side of his thigh and out the other. Charles released Charlene and stumbled as he retreated towards the wall. He stopped and looked down. Blood was beginning to soak his pant, but the knife did not hurt as badly as he thought it would. In fact, it barely hurt at all.

Charles reached down and pulled the knife out. A sharp flash of pain filled his mind, but then quickly disappeared. The warm flow of blood down his leg felt good, even soothing. His eyelids narrowed, he raised the knife in front of him, and fear flashed across Charlene’s face. “Well,” said Charles with a half-smile. “How the tides have turned. You stupid witch, you couldn’t just leave well enough alone, or even just leave. You had to go all crazy on me, but now it’s my turn. Maybe I’ll stab you in the chest and claim self-defense. Better yet, why don’t I just divorce you for spousal abuse and leave you destitute. Then you can watch me romp around town with my girlfriends.”

Charles started to feel a little dizzy. The sides of the room seemed to be getting dimmer. He noticed Charlene had crossed her arms and was grinning. Why is she smiling? He thought. Charles felt light-headed, stepped back into the wall and slid down to the floor. That is when he realized he was sitting in a large pool of his blood. She must have hit an artery, thought Charles. Then the entire room went black.

Charlene was smiling as she reached down and picked up the phone off the floor. She counted off another sixty seconds before calling 911. A woman on the other line answered.  Charlene spoke quickly, “This is Charlene McMurray. I need the police and an ambulance. My husband tried to attack me with a knife when I found out he was cheating on me.”

“Are you alright ma’am. Where is your husband?”

“He stabbed himself when we wrestled for the knife. He’s lost a lot of blood. Please hurry.”

“I’m dispatching them now.”

Charlene hung up the phone, tossed the panties on the bed, and ambled towards the living room to wait for the police.

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