SYNOPSIS: Delilah Fisher, a committed housewife who has been consistently misguided by her mother’s pestering voice, murders her husband on the night of their two-year anniversary and recalls their time together. Trigger Warning: Graphic Details
Delilah Fisher was a committed wife and obedient daughter who often felt unappreciated. She held control over very few things in her life, resulting in an overhead cloud of taunting weakness. Exhausted of this cloud of toxicity, this cloud which contained the perpetual expectations and commands of others, she finally made the choice to swat it away. And, looking down at the ghastly mess she made on her kitchen floor, she felt satisfied.
Delilah looked down at the mess she made. The china-white marble that expanded across their kitchen floor was draped in thick, red and pink blood. She found it kind of funny to think she’d spent weeks selecting the kind of tile she wanted for her kitchen, making sure every single detail, from the design of the tile to the pricing per square foot, was absolutely perfect only to have it destroyed and stained under an hour with a lifeless body floating above it. Make sure you always scrub your floors until they sparkle and gleam, her mother always told her. Delilah stood with her hip pressed up against the island granite counter, gripping the knife’s blade, her palms red and sticky.
The knife, a Global 8-inch Chef’s Knife that was both lightweight and sharp, had been given to her as part of a set for her two-year anniversary gift. Delilah had been immensely disappointed when she opened it. Despite her love for novels and music and concerts, her husband Michael thought a brand-new set of sharp kitchen knives was the gift best suited for her. Or better yet, it was the gift best suited for his meals when she cooked for him.
“It’s one of the sharpest, most expensive knives out there,” Michael argued when he witnessed her immediate frown,“And I know how much you love cooking.” She hated cooking.
Delilah spoke aloud to herself. “You never listened to a word I said.”
Michael was able to personally experience just how sharp this affordable knife was. And this brought a smile upon the housewife’s pressed, thin lips. She scanned the floor, looking down at her husband who stopped breathing a few minutes prior. His favorite work shirt, a powder-blue button-up, was drenched in a dark, sticky substance and multiple tears adorned his stomach and chest area where the knife had entered. Fold your laundry gentle enough so there aren’t ever any wrinkles, her mother always reminded her.
A pool of blood dripped out from his wounds and gathered around his body, soaking his t-shirt and his dark blue boxers, turning it black. The blood leaked from the center of his body and trickled down towards their freshly scrubbed dishwasher, slowly making its way towards their freshly set kitchen table.
Some of his blood was starting to dry against the floor and clot. Michael’s fully round, green eyes were wide open, still in shock from the events which took place at dinnertime. Whistling the tune to Frank Sinatra’s song, “My Way,” Delilah bent over her husband’s body. The hem of her pale pink dress dipped into his blood and with her free hand she gently closed his eyes. She then lifted his chin and shut his blood stained, O-shaped mouth. She preferred it when his mouth was shut.
Delilah walked over to the little mirror she hung above their kitchen sink. Dollops of blood and swabs of nude lipstick smeared and dusted her cheeks and chin. Her caramel-skinned chest and shoulders were sprayed in layers of red mist. Her pale pink dress looked as if someone had splashed buckets of blood upon it and her long, dark hair was wet and tacky. Makeup, hair, and dress must always be flawless, her mother always told her, otherwise your husband will find it somewhere else. She also needed to maintain her weight of 140, no matter what it took. This deprived her of the many meals she was expected to make for her husband.
Delilah continued to stare at her unrecognizable reflection. She thought she looked like a Latina version of Carrie on prom night. She immediately became saddened to think that her husband wouldn’t have understood the reference. He wouldn’t have cared to ask what she meant by it either.
Delilah dropped the knife in the kitchen sink and as she washed her hands, she noticed the smell of the room grew stronger. The entire room filled with the strange, combined scent of heavy rust and sugar from the smoking brownies atop of the oven’s cooling tray.
Creating her own rules, Delilah decided, “I’ll eat first and clean up later.”
She walked over to the beautifully set table with Michael’s favorite dish, roasted Cornish hen with wild rice and steamed vegetables, on top of a freshly cleaned white tablecloth. She never let food go to waste. Make sure you learn to cook his favorite meals and always allow him to eat first, her mother’s voice rang out. She sat down at their empty table and neatly placed a cloth napkin on her lap, the one area without blood. She speared a steamed carrot and popped it into her mouth, smiling as she chewed.
For tonight’s dinner, she didn’t have to wait for her husband to have a drink and eat first, signaling her own approval to eat. For tonight’s dinner, she made her own rules, her own way. Digging into the Cornish Hen with her fork, Delilah wondered whether this could have been avoided. She glanced over at her husband’s bloody corpse on their freshly waxed marble floor.
“What do you think, honey?” She asked him.
The contrast of her husband’s wine-red blood upon the white marble was horrifyingly messy. Her husband would’ve killed her if he’d been alive to see this. Her mother too. And this made her laugh.
Delilah was raised as an only child by her single overbearing parent, Rosa Santiago. Throughout her entire life, she was repeatedly reminded she needed to find a husband who would support her and help her produce the many grandchildren Rosa wanted. She needed a life where she would never have to work double shifts or scrummage through the cushions for quarters and nickels for an extra cheeseburger at McDonald’s as they did. Delilah needed to fulfill her American dream, even if it wasn’t her own.
Growing up, her mother would grab her by the face and repeat the mantra, “Be grateful that God made you beautiful so that you could fill his world with your children. Remember, pretty girls always get the life they want. This is what you’re here for.”
Pouring herself a glass of white wine at the table, Delilah turned to her husband’s corpse. “Pretty girls do not always get the life they want.”
Keeping her mother’s advice plugged within the wide hole in her heart, she kept her eyes open for a suitable husband. At 29, she found Michael, a six foot-two, all-American man, deadly handsome with broad shoulders and eyes the size of saucers and the color of freshly cut grass. Without her permission, he had touched the curls of her long dark hair and rubbed the back of her hand with the tips of his fingers. He called her Princess Jasmine and told her she was the sun in his life, vital to his soul, vibrant, and beautiful. And, believing he was the candle in her darkness, Delilah married him and moved out of her mother’s insufferable two-bedroom apartment, a few days short of her 30th birthday.
Delilah Santiago changed her name to Delilah Fisher and together they moved into a two-story home inside of a polished, gated community with a 10-foot deep, in-ground pool and their Labrador mix, Polly. It was the largest, most stunning house and neighborhood Delilah had ever seen and at times she had to pinch herself because she was in such disbelief she was the one living in it. However, it was in this magnificent castle that Delilah eventually came to the conclusion she despised her husband. She found him to be nothing more than a hollow image, a cardboard cutout, of the word, husband.
Running on an endless hamster wheel, everything Delilah did was in service of her husband, one of the many misplaced values taught by her mother. She woke up hours earlier than her husband to attend a spinning class, complete her hair and makeup before he’d awaken, and prepare his lunch. Once he left for work, she cleaned and ironed and folded his clothing, she prepared his lunches and baked his complicated dinners, she dropped off and picked up up his dry cleaning, scrubbed the floors and dusted the walls, tested out paint swatches, and supervised the remodeling of each room. There was no time or energy to hold down a job or attend to her own needs. She felt she was nothing more than a legally tied-down assistant with a pretty face.
Always cook and clean for him, make him believe he cannot survive without you. Pretty girls always get the life they want. This is what you’re here for.
Chugging her glass of white wine, Delilah scrunched her face in disgust. “Everything I ever did, I did for you.”
Each miserable, mundane day bled into the next. He never asked about her day. He never listened when she talked about her favorite books by Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates, he refused to watch her favorite Wes Anderson films, and he walked away when she tried to pull him into a dance, listening to Frank Sinatra on her Bluetooth speakers. He simply didn’t care.
Men never listen, listening isn’t hardwired into them, and that’s okay. Pretty girls always get the life they want. This is what you’re here for.
Pouring herself a second glass wine, Delilah let out a loud burp. “And, you couldn’t even pretend to be interested for more than a minute.”
Despite his neglect, she listened to his philosophical rants on the commercialism of religion and societal dependence of anti-depressants and the twisted definition of love on a nightly basis without response. She listened to his arrogant speeches about how women threw themselves at him when he was younger. Something she never believed. She remained quiet during his many dull work stories in order to avoid being berated in a condescending tone. One day he told her she wasn’t educated enough to develop her own reasonable opinions to his prodigious-like statements. By the time Michael starting to press on about children, something further pressured by her mother, Delilah’s soul was starting to painfully chip away.
Men find smart girls intimidating, always agree with what they say even if you know it isn’t true. Pretty girls always get the life they want. This is what you’re here for.
In the midst of trying to bear children Michael held the delusion Delilah was intentionally preventing the pregnancy with her “negative mindset” and arguments between them grew faster than wildfire. At first they were small, a snarky comment on her overcooked chicken or seething at an unseen stain on his favorite work shirt she hadn’t caught. Sometimes they would argue over the gender and actions of their nonexistent phantom children in her womb. Eventually, the arguments circled around her inability to become pregnant and she was blamed for their lack of conception. You’re not eating healthy enough, you’re working out too much, you’re moving around too much, you’re not enjoying the sex, it’s your fault, your Latin genetics, you’re not smiling enough.
Delilah began to grow angry at remembering everything she was blamed for. She finished her first plate of food and started to fill her second plate. “Pendejo,” She muttered under her breath.
Each day Delilah defended her body, she felt herself sinking deeper into the quicksand of madness. Each day after her workout, after her shopping, after her laundry, her cleaning, her scrubbing, and her cooking, Delilah and Michael would argue over her perfectly cooked, immaculately-set dinner and she’d find herself closer and closer to the brink of hysteria.
Be grateful for your beauty, you don’t need to know how to do anything else but be a good wife. God made you beautiful so that you could fill his world with your children. This is what you’re here for.
Tonight, the night of their two year anniversary Delilah Fisher did everything she was expected to do for her husband. She prepared an old-fashioned for him, ready to drink upon his arrival from work. He criticized it, claiming it was watered down as if she was some sort of cheap bartender. She ignored his comment and continued setting up the platter of Roasted Cornish Hen with her lightweight 8-inch knife and felt her heart rapidly gallop against her chest.
Delilah sprinkled a tablespoon of salt on his Cornish Hen and set the salt and pepper shakers closer to his end of the table, the way he liked it. Michael then told her he bumped into a woman he’d slept with many years ago whose heart he’d broken, and how she allegedly showered him with compliments, hinting she wanted more. She ignored his comment and continued sprinkling the salt, gripping the knife tighter, her palms growing sweaty and her vision swirling white.
Delilah placed the bowl of salad directly in the middle and examined her trimly set table. Michael then dropped his steuben glass, a beautiful glass part of an expensive gift set the two of them received for their wedding, onto the freshly scrubbed and waxed marble floor, the new floor Delilah spent weeks selecting and hours cleaning. The glass exploded and shattered, scattering the pieces every which way, scratching her flawless floor. The alcohol shot out of the glass and formed a brown pond around Michael’s dirty shoes, which he had forgotten to remove on his way in. Michael looked down at his spilled drink and began to laugh. Delilah swiftly turned around and stood there blankly with the knife in her vibrating hand.
Michael raised an eyebrow. “Well? Aren’t you going to clean it up?”
This is what you’re here for.
Delilah’s rationale for her reaction is the glass could have knocked out Polly, it could have sliced open her paws, or worse, it could have cracked the skull of their phantom babies, had they been born. Truthfully, Delilah was drained of her mother’s constant, piercing voice at the back of every decision. She was crippled by her husband’s selfish, domineering commands. She was angered by his disrespect when it came to her freshly, scrubbed floors. The one area she’d been allowed to learn and reign with full authority. Trembling with years of repressed resentment and rage, she gripped her knife and started to violently stab him. Delilah was surprised to feel how smoothly the knife went it. It was like slicing through hot butter. She stabbed him over and over and over again. She’d counted 32 times, symbolizing her age, the same age he’d throw in her face each time they failed at becoming pregnant.
Sticking the knife in and out of his stomach, Delilah found her voice and screamed at him. “Am I moving around too much for you, Michael? Am I not smiling enough? Am I somehow causing nonexistent miscarriages for nonexistent phantom children in my womb, Michael? Are my comments too derivative and uneducated, Michael?”
And she found it to be more satisfying than the few orgasms he’d given her, more satisfying than anything else she’d ever done in her entire life. It was over quickly and Delilah stood there stunned for a few minutes before eating the beautiful dinner she’d made.
Delilah had been replaying this last scene, recalling his bloodcurdling screams and his desperate attempts to grab the sharp knife from her, further slicing up his own hands, as she finished two full plates of Cornish Hen with wild rice. She was happily unconcerned about how much she was eating and whether it would hurt a possible pregnancy. Michael’s blood continued to seep down the marble floor towards the kitchen chairs where Delilah’s legs were swinging and dangling.
Delilah kicked the blood with the tip of her french-tipped toes. “This couldn’t have been avoided.”
Ignoring her mother’s command, Never leave out dirty dishes, Delilah triumphantly left her dirty dish at the table and walked over to the sliding glass door to the backyard and let Polly inside. Ignoring Michael’s well being, Polly started to lap at the blood on the floor, cleaning up Delilah’s mess at her Delilah’s urging. Delilah took in the entire scene with a grin on her face and walked to her pantry where she kept her best cleaning supplies. Always leave the floor spic and span, her mother’s voice started to fade off into the distance. She removed her own sterile, concoction of powdered detergent and bleach inside of a plastic jug, used specifically for blood stains, and waited for Polly to finish before she poured it around the kitchen floor.
Delilah grabbed the bloody knife from the kitchen sink and used it as a microphone. She sung aloud at the top of her voice, for the first time unafraid of Michael, the last few lyrics of her favorite song. “The record shows, I took the blows, but I did it my way.”
And as the bleach set into her husband’s blood, Delilah removed an empty swamp-green jug from the pantry and turned it upside down. A package of 30 pills dropped to the floor, each column labeled with the day of the week.
Always make sure your house is spot-free and so clean it twinkles like a star in the night. Everyone loves a clean home. Pretty girls always get the life they want. This is what you’re here for.