It came in the mail as I anticipated it would. A bloody red finger enclosed inside the brown wrapping paper belonging to my ex-husband, Nigel who was currently in Islamabad practicing to be a terrorist. I wondered when it would arrive. Nigel’s head was on a hunted list with a prize of $25,000 allocated to anyone slaying him and then providing evidence of it by sending me his finger in a brown box with butcher paper neatly attached and I would have to sign for the delivery, of course. Then the money would be wired into a secret account in the Cayman Islands.
I smiled…well, this was bloody good. The dog jumped up whining and I wondered idly if he recognized Nigel’s smell. I didn’t suspect that I had fallen in love with a terrorist until it was too late. By the time, the news crews descended upon my house, I was a major celebrity in my suburban neighborhood. The only story which riled mine was the homeowners two doors down whose house had been foreclosed on after they bailed their son out of jail. He had been convicted of murdering his girlfriend.
As I looked at the return address and there was just a big X in the corner with the note: see inside for directions. So, I fished around rearranging the bubble wrap until I found the note. Dear Deidre: You may not remember me but I remember you. I fell in love with you that day that you visited Raccoon Lodge in Bay Minette, Alabama. I hope that you will be able to move on with your life now that Nigel is no longer part. Regards, Robert. Robert, Robert, I thought of him remembering how he watched us that time we visited my parent’s trailer park. Although I had been told Robert was touched which was a polite Southern way of saying He ain’t right in the head
I remembered him peering at Nigel and me as we went next door to visit my parents in their trailer near the Bayou’s and then again, as we made love that night, I felt someone right outside the window. I remembered Nigel laughing at me and saying Come back to bed. Is it possible I thought that someone half deranged would be able to find Nigel’s trail and hunt him down like a predator. So, I breathed deeply in and went to my computer. I pulled up my Bank account, filled in the amount and then pressed send. I smiled and proceeded on with my life. I knew that the thumb belonged to Nigel because it had his particular cross tattoo which was a ritual he shared with his friends. Then, I took a trip the following week to Alabama and stayed in the same motel next to my parents. The next morning, I went out on the docks to greet Robert bringing in the crab cages. He turned, “Hello Eva.” Nigel waved as he withdrew an enormous crab.