“You’re adorable my baby girl, yes you are my beautiful Megan.”
I was softly speaking to my three month old daughter, calming her after I heard her screams through the infant monitor.
It was Saturday morning and I had been explaining to my eight year old son Brendan that I could not toss around a football with him because I had to be in hearing distance of the baby monitor. The baby monitor was an important part of caring for Megan since I was a single father and worked as a freelance Digital Graphic Artist from home. Therefore I could work quietly at my computer and if she was in trouble I would know about it and could resolve her problems quickly.
Today it had been nothing complex, she was hungry and needed to be changed. After she ate she needed to be burped, then went off to sleep. Usually no big deal, but today she was obstinate and every time I stopped talking to her and went to lay her down in the crib she started crying again. This last time, I placed her in the crib and kept talking and she quieted down. I thought she was asleep and I started to tiptoe out the door.
No such luck, Megan was as demanding as her absentee Mother. I hoped she was a little more trustworthy and would not grow up to be an unfaithful slut like her Mom.
Returning to the crib I cooed to her and she once again quieted down and her eyes closed.
I smiled and I decided it would be fun to tell her all about her adulterous Mother in the same monotone voice. Hell, she was three months old, wouldn’t understand a word. I don’t think infants remember conversations when they are old enough to repeat them that they hear as they go to sleep at three months.
“Megan, my sweet child, your Mother was beautiful, full of life and an absolute whore.
“I knew she was on the wild side when I met her ten years ago and knew she still liked to flirt and tease when I married her nine years ago. I thought it would end after the marriage, but it did not my little angel, she continued as if the wedding and then your brother’s birth never happened.
“Age and any other factor made no difference, your Mama chased them if they had pants she could entice off… and entice them off she did.
“About a year ago, when she announced that she was pregnant with you, I had no idea whether I was your Daddy or not. When I asked this searching question she assured me that of course I was, but my sweet Megan, when I saw you for the first time it made no difference.
“Things went well for the month after we brought you home from the hospital and then your Mama was back to her old ways.
“When you were six weeks old, I had to go into the city for discussions with a new client. Things went well and I was on my way home much earlier than I expected. As I was pulling up to the house, I noticed a strange car in the driveway so I parked a block away and walked to the back of the house. I quietly entered through the rear door and tip-toed to the foot of the stairs and listened.
“Megan, my beautiful daughter, from the sounds and words that reached my ears I could conclude unequivocally that your Mama and the guy she was with were not discussing the recent increase in school taxes.
“I backed away from the stairs and waited. It wasn’t a long wait. I heard the guy say ‘Oh hell, I’m late; I’ve got to get back to the office. Can we do this again next week, baby?’
“Your Mama assured him that they could and he dashed out the front door and drove away in the car I had noticed in the driveway.
“I slid into the kitchen and waited. Your Mama, who had come down the stairs behind her lover of the day, came into the kitchen. She was as naked as you were the day you were born.
“She spotted me and was about to scream when I hit her with a very handy ten inch aluminum meat hammer. It weighs about a pound, honey, and it only took one whack and your Mother was probably dead, but just to be on the safe side I wrapped my hands around her throat and squeezed until I was certain she wasn’t breathing.
“Then sweetie, I double wrapped her in those large commercial garbage bags I use for getting rid of junk, collected all her belongings from her closet and drawers put them in another set of garbage bags, got the car, stuffed her and her things in it and drove off smiling.
“Now here is the cool part, Megan, I drove out to the wetlands. Along the way I stopped and bought two fifty pound weights at the sporting goods store and some chain and a lock at the hardware store.
“When I got to the wetlands, I knew exactly where the deepest softest swamp was. I remembered it from the maps I had used to take Brendan and his friends on a school outing to study wild life of the wetlands.
“After getting the chains around your Mama and her belongings and attaching the weights, I rolled her into the swamp and stayed for about fifteen minutes to make sure she sunk and stayed sunk.
“I told the neighbors and your Grandma, Aunts and Uncles that your Mama apparently ran off with her last boy friend. No one was surprised and all felt sorry for the three of us.
“So over the next twenty years, when you and Brendan talk about ‘one day Mama is coming home’… she ain’t.”
I smiled down at my little Megan who was now sound asleep from the lulling drone of the monotone tale. I do hope that in fifteen years she is not plagued with nightmares about that little tale and wonder where they’re coming from.
As I turned to leave the room, I realized for the first time that the light on the baby monitor was red indicating it was on.
I ran downstairs hoping that Brendan was not sitting in front of the receiver in my office listening to the ‘A tale of one dead Mama’. I breathed a sigh of relief, he was not.
As I went looking for him, he emerged from the den smiling and proud as a peacock.
“Pop”, he said, “we can go out back and play football. I connected the baby monitor to the stereo speakers in the back and turned the volume full up so we can play and you’ll hear Megan anywhere in the neighborhood if she cries.”
My mouth dropped open and I looked out the front window. Every neighbor within three blocks was in front and on the sides of the house and as I stared, two police cars pulled up in front, all lights flashing!