The Contract

Gerry is dead and I am rich. In a short space of time I would have been rich anyway, but not as rich as I am now that he’s dead.

A cold chill runs down my spine as I recall the events of yesterday. Domino heaves his heavy bulk from his position at my feet and with a concerned whine, places his head in my lap. “It’s okay, Dom,” I tell him and stroke him gently.

If I hadn’t loved Gerry, I would never have agreed to the farce that was our marriage. I really thought I had a good chance of a ‘happily ever after’ life because, after all, Gerry and I had been friends for a long time. Friendship, I reasoned, was a good base upon which to build a loving relationship.

For twenty-four months and twenty days, Gerry was a kind and considerate husband. He played his part so well that not one member of our families, not one friend or acquaintance, had the slightest inkling that our marriage was not made in heaven. Even I was lulled into thinking that our pre-nuptial agreement would be scrapped; that Gerry had found a small place in his heart for me.

Was it so naïve of me, I ask myself as I turn over the pages of the last two years; was it so naïve of me to take all those little signs of affection, the surprise gifts, the flowers and gentle caresses, as an indication of a growing love?

Why, I wonder now, did he put on all that unnecessary display if he felt nothing for me? Perhaps he thought he needed to create an illusion of hope for me in order to keep me content with my lot. Whatever his reasons, he gave me no cause to suspect his evil intent let alone the evil that lurked in his heart.

He could have trusted me because I would never have done anything to hurt him. I entered into our partnership with my eyes wide open and was prepared to be paid off at the end of the contract, even though I clutched at the faint hope that sometimes dreams do come true. The million dollars that was to be mine at the end would have gone a long way to ease the pain of a broken dream.

Gerry must have had a cruel streak in him that I had not detected. He knew I loved him and he deliberately played with my emotions for the pleasure of seeing me shattered and broken. His father must have known and added the proviso to his will in the hope that a miracle would happen to change his son’s character.

You will inherit the whole of my estate, my beloved son,
provided that you marry a nice girl and stay married for
two years. Should you remain single and fancy free, then
the whole caboodle goes to those nominated below.

If Gerry had not played his cruel little game we would have ended our contract and gone our separate ways. I with my million dollars and he with his multi-million dollar legacy. If it hadn’t been for domino, it would have been my broken body at the bottom of the cliff. At the thought my teeth begin to chatter and Domino nuzzles me and whines softly.I look down into the soft dark eyes.

“It’s been nice knowing you, sweetheart, but it is over. There’ll be weeping and much sympathy for me,” Gerry said as he reached to push me into oblivion.

Domino made his silent rush, rising up to place two massive paws into the small of Gerry’s back, sending him over the edge while I toppled backwards to land awkwardly on my behind. I sat there for a space of time – time when the world spun around me and Gerry’s words an endless repetition in my mind.

Gerry told me he had an appointment on Tuesday with Shack, Shack and Shack, Attorneys At Law, to arrange for our divorce and the settlement to me of my one million dollars. He lied, because there was no such appointment and now I wonder just when he planned my ‘accident’.

Now, on Tuesday, there will be a solemn church service with an equally solemn funeral procession, followed by a tasteful wake. After that, with Gerry’s millions washing over me, I will concentrate in dealing with my grief and mending my shattered dreams.

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