John and Wendy had always been the perfect couple. They had practically invented “happily ever after”. After eight years together they were the couple with everything; the perfect relationship, a lifestyle their friends envied and a future others could only dream of. On their anniversary Wendy always made their evening unforgettable. This would be no exception. She was up early to cook him a delightful breakfast, she gave him a kiss on the lips and straightened his collar before he walked out the door. She began to clean the house from top to bottom and with her shopping list carefully prepared she backed the car out of the garage and set off for the shops.
After stocking up at the super market and the butcher, Wendy picked up a special anniversary surprise, before she booked her appointment at the hairdressers. She wanted to look her best for him so he would always appreciate that he was married to the woman of his dreams. It was a wet and windy day, umbrellas were being blown inside out and people were huddling for shelter. Wendy’s hair was windblown and her face was wet from the rain sweeping across the railway platform. As the doors of the train opened there was a rush of cold, damp and flustered passengers filling the carriage. Seats were full and standing passengers were pressed up against complete strangers. This was how John and Wendy met. John apologised for splashing her and when she turned to reply she knew then that there was a connection.
In the months and years that followed their relationship strengthened but their lives took separate paths. Johns law career took off and his reputation and popularity soared. Wendy, however, found herself in his shadow. Her struggle to publish a novel was fraught with disappointment and missed opportunities. There talks were all of his clients, his cases and his victories. Her world was a solitary one, with little to celebrate.
The demands of his job increased, his hours at work consumed more of his time and she began to wonder what absorbed so much of his attention. His accounts of lunches with clients, weekend conferences and late night briefings contributed to her insecurity.She needed to find a solution to her dilemma. It was the evening of their anniversary. She poured him a glass of wine, a shiraz, his favourite year, the year they met. This would be an unforgettable vintage.”Darling lets drink to our future together”. He raised his glass and swirled the claret. “To us” he exclaimed and emptied his glass. The glass shattered as it hit the wooden floor. John grimaced and swayed – finally, falling to his knees, while clutching his chest. In an instant he was dead.
She cleared away the dishes from the table and wiped clean the kitchen top. There was a knock at the door. Stepping carefully over the lifeless body of her now former husband, she walked towards the door. She turned the latch, a cold gust entering the hallway as she opened the door. She switched on the light revealing the silhouette of a man. He whispered ” Is everything taken care of? I have the tickets.” She nodded giving away not ” Now we can begin our new life together. Get your bags”