Nathan had never liked his wife, and thought it hilarious that Janet doted on him. He hadn’t wanted to marry her at all – she was a bit of a toad. But the woman had been unfairly blessed with a very rich, adoring father. The old man died and left his daughter enough money that even Nathan couldn’t spend it all.
And he tried.
Janet never much cared when he dropped ridiculous sums on clothing, champagne, night clubs and so on. Nathan sulkily suspected she enjoyed the startled envy of women more blessed with looks and charm. There was a solidness to Janet that ensured she would never become one of the “beautiful” people. While he wallowed in the gorgeous life money could buy, she hovered like a troll in the background of his escapades. He knew she was always watching, sucking the pleasure out of his activities, as if he were the main actor in a soap opera that she had bought, hook, line and sinker.
His passive dislike oozed into active hatred. All the money should be his – or at least half. He had stupidly signed a pre-nup so that he got almost nothing in a divorce, and about the same for her death.
Insurance of every kind her father said, for kissing the toad.
If only she would stop watching him! There was that sultry executive in her office that was sending out lures. He knew of a yacht that would be perfect for a long cruise with a bevy of beautifuls and a hold full of champagne and caviar. Nathan practically ached with longing.
But Janet just looked at him and shook her head. “Enough is enough, Nathan. Not going to happen.”
She wasn’t even unfair. She insisted her stupidly loyal staff cater to him as they would to her. Then Janet offered him a director’s seat in her family’s charitable foundation, but he scornfully told her that charity wasn’t his thing.
She smiled and murmured, “Unless you’re receiving it.”
He hated her even more. Sometimes now he had nightmares that no matter what he was doing, she was watching and watching. He was going crazy. She had no right to make him insane, and so he began plotting.
“We need to have a better relationship,” he told her on the first morning. He plopped the tray table on the bed. At his insistence, the old cook had come up with an elegant, delicious breakfast. The cook, of course had been unaware of the drops in the orange juice.
Janet watched him, face over the rim of the glass, while she took a sip. “Are you going to join me?” she asked.
“No…I snacked in the kitchen while this was being prepared.” He forced a wide smile across his face, the one that had originally caught her attention. He knew how handsome he was – checked it every day in the mirror – and used it for all he was worth.
“We’re going to make changes,” he promised. “You won’t be watching me run around any more.”
He could hardly contain his laughter when he jumped into his sports car and sped off to join some friends – much more entertaining friends than his dreary wife.
Daily, he brought her that “special” breakfast. She would not be watching him any longer…maybe three weeks. The tension was giving him a headache that wouldn’t quit. Life would be about perfect when his guaranteed irreversible treatments took effect.
Exactly eighteen days later, Nathan woke up screaming. His head felt like someone had sawn off his scalp. And the room was dark…too dark.
“It’s okay, darling.” Janet laid a cool cloth over his forehead. “The pain will ease off in a few hours.”
“I can’t see!” Nathan screamed. “What have you done? What have you done?”
Janet pressed a sticky kiss to his forehead. “Sauce for the goose,” she murmured. “I won’t be watching you drool over those other women any longer, just as you said.”
“I can’t see,” Nathan whimpered. “It’s not fair, Janet…I can’t see…”
“Never again,” she agreed cheerfully.