The Perfect Wife
By Joseph Logsdon
Gloria Hudson was the perfect wife. Rather than become an independent woman, Gloria decided to devote all of her time to her husband. She cooked for him, cleaned for him, and lived for him. Seemingly, it was the perfect marriage, but was it? One afternoon, Gloria was having dinner with her husband. Though they appeared happy, something was wrong. You couldn't tell by looking at them, but if you looked close enough, you would find that something was not right.
"How was work, Henry?"
"Oh, you know, same as usual," Henry stated as he sipped his water.
"Surely, something happened?"
"You're right, stuff did happen, but I don't want to talk about it right now, okay?"
"There's no reason to get angry, is there?"
"I'm sorry, Gloria, it's just that I've had a rough day. If I say something you don't like, don't take it personally," Henry stated.
"How else am I supposed to take it?"
"Look, I came here to eat, not to be badgered," Henry grunted.
"Henry, what have I done?"
"Why have you been acting so strange lately? Ever since we got back from Iraq, you've been a different person."
"It's nothing that I can put my finger on. You look like Gloria, you act like Gloria, but somehow, you're not Gloria. Do you know what I'm trying to say?"
"Frankly, I don't. Now, if you insist on going on with this foolish talk, I'm going to leave. From the moment we first married, I've been your obedient servant. I've nursed you, fed you, and clothed you. Like a dutiful mother, I've supported your every action, your every decision. I've been the perfect wife, but for some reason, you can't see that. Well, I'll tell you something, I'm not an animal. I feel, I think, and most of all, I listen. What else do you want from me? Well, whatever it is, I can't deliver," Gloria stated.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you. I'll tell you what, I'm going to take you to a nice restaurant," Henry stated.
"I'm sorry, Henry, you can't buy my forgiveness," Gloria said as she headed for the door.
"Where are you going?"
"The way I'm feeling right now, anywhere is better than here," Gloria stated.
Gloria opened the door, but to her amazement, there was a man standing in the doorway. He was intimidating, so intimidating that Gloria could barely keep herself from shaking.
"Who are you?"
"My name is Basil Bashar," he answered.
"Well, what do you want?" Gloria asked.
"I want my wife," Basil stated as he closed the door.
"I think you're in the wrong place," Henry stated.
"We'll see about that," Basil stated as he looked Gloria in the eye.
"Don't you remember me?"
"Why, of course not," Gloria stuttered.
"Surely, you must remember?"
"Sir, I don't remember inviting you," Henry stated as he approached Basil.
"I would advise you to keep out of this," Basil replied.
"You're not in a position to tell me what to do. Now, if you don't leave, I'll call the police," Henry threatened.
"Mr. Hudson, I'm very sorry to tell you this," Basil stated.
"Tell me what, exactly?"
"This woman isn't your wife," Basil stated.
"Why, that's absurd," Henry laughed.
"You and your wife went to Iraq recently, correct?"
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"If I'm not mistaken, weren't you involved in a bombing?"
"My wife was, but she managed to escape," Henry stated.
"What are you saying?"
"This woman isn't your wife, she's my wife. You see, after the bombing, my wife found Gloria's body. With a little plastic surgery, she became Gloria Hudson. Now, you're probably thinking, why would she want to create a new identity? I was a very strict husband, so she decided to leave me. I must say, I never expected her to do this," Basil laughed.
"How can I believe you?"
"Tell me, Henry, has your wife been acting strange lately? No matter how hard someone tries, they can't completely become another person. Sure, they might manage to mimic them, but at the end of the day, they'll never recapture their personality. So, I'll ask again, has she been acting strange lately?"
"Well, now that you mention it, she has been acting strange. At first, I just thought she needed some rest, but this explains everything," Henry stated.
"Henry, you don't believe this crazy story, do you?"
"I don't want to, but the more I think about it, the more convinced I become. Okay, Basil, I'll make a deal with you. If you offer me a good price, I'll give you what you want. So, what do you say, is it a deal?"
"Deal," Basil replied.
"Henry, how could you?"
"I knew there was a reason you weren't acting normal. Well, now that I know you're not my wife, there's no reason to keep you around anymore, is there?"
After paying Henry, Basil dragged Gloria to his car. Knowing that she was doomed, Gloria cried as the car drove away.
"I'm not your wife," Gloria stated.
"Oh, I know that, but your husband didn't. Honestly, I didn't think he would fall for it, I guess I was wrong," Basil laughed.
"Why are you doing this?"
"From the moment I saw you in Iraq, I knew you were going to be mine. Since I couldn't just kidnap you, I came up with my little scheme. You have to admit, I had him fooled, didn't I?"
"This is insane," she whimpered.
"Darling, the entire world is insane," he laughed.