Scott' Last Cigarette by Jessica Grace Coleman (498 words)

“Put. The. Gun. Down.” His voice was calm, collected. He almost sounded bored.

“You don’t think I’ll do it?” My voice was hysterical in comparison; high-pitched, screeching. I hated myself for it. I hated him for making me hate myself.

“Of course not. You don’t have the guts.” He looked me up and down, shaking his head. “You never did.”

My hands trembled and the gun dropped down by about an inch.

He barked a short, sharp laugh. “You’re pathetic.” He saw the tear roll down my cheek. “See? Who wants to be with a woman like that?”

I shook my head, raising the gun up again. “You did. Once.” I took a deep breath, avoiding his eyes. “How long has it been going on?”

He laughed again, the humourless sound echoing around the silent kitchen. “It depends which one you’re talking about.”

The gun dropped down an inch again and I found my eyes locked back on his. “There’s more than one?”

Scott shook his head as he took a familiar packet out his pocket. “About one a week, on average.” He took out a single cigarette, pushing the packet back into his coat. “You really didn’t know?”

Something exploded inside me. That cruel, lying, two-faced, son of a…

“Don’t even think about smoking that thing.” I gestured at his cigarette.

His grin came back. “Or else… what? You gonna shoot me for lighting up?”

“No, Scott. I’m going to shoot you for crossing me!”

He drew a lighter from his other pocket. “We both know you’re not. See? That’s the way things work around here. I get to do whatever the hell I want, and you get to pretend everything’s fine.”

I raised the gun up to its original position. “I’m tired of pretending, Scott. Put. The. Lighter. Down.”

“No. It’s not in you to be a killer. I think I’ll have my cigarette now.”

Three shots punctured the air. Eyes wide, he slumped to the floor, his cigarette hanging limply in his hand.

It was that simple.

Silence followed. A silence which should have been filled with guilt, grief, regret. I felt none of those things. Instead, I felt a rush. Triumph. Power.

Not a killer? Well, I’d show him. I’d show him ‘pathetic’.

I’d show every single one of his mistresses as well.

Stopping only to grab his phone off the counter – a device on which he stored all of the numbers and addresses of his friends and acquaintances – I left the house.

Before walking off down the garden path, I took a quick glance back at the kitchen, taking in the leftover washing up, the post still scattered on the table, the dead husband on the floor.

I didn’t bother locking up. In fact, I left the door wide open.

What was the point?

I didn’t care who found him, and besides… I wouldn’t be coming back.

There was nothing here for me now.

I had more important things to do.

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