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Delilah

I don't know why I did it. You were a good husband. I can't deny that. Maybe you were too good. I had married you so young, we were both so young. Maybe I just wasn't ready to settle down, to live in a nice old terrace house with an apple tree in the garden, and kiss a nice man goodbye every day before he goes out to work. No, that's nonsense. There's no thing as ready or not ready. There are only people who can do marriage, and people who can't.

And you were so gentle. That's the scariest thing, you were so gentle always. Loved me so much. Too much, perhaps. My mother used to say a girl wants to win her man, she doesn't want him to fling himself at her head. Perhaps I felt stifled, as celebrities say on the telly when they're getting divorced.

I met Matthew in a bar. It was a by-the-book flirtation, a by-the-book affair. The funny thing is I can't remember any of it, now. Not when the first time he kissed me was. Not when we were in bed together. He had a nice car, drove it very fast. Quoted romantic movies. Bought me pretty things. Because he was rich, and we were poor, and you never bought me anything. Even though you said I looked lovely in anything. That I was beautiful. You worked to pay the bills and he bought me diamonds. You never asked where I got the jewellery, you just said I looked lovely. You were so naïve.

And I was guilty. Believe me, Johnny, I was guilty as hell.

The night before you found out, you told me that you'd saved up for a holiday to Spain in the summer. You nearly killed me, then. I couldn't say anything, my mouth was too dry. Oh, Johnny, I must have looked guilty all over my face, and you never guessed, did you?

You kissed me good-bye before you went off to the conference in Brighton. "Darling Delilah," you called me. "My Delilah." But I wasn't your Delilah. I wasn't your Delilah any more. It was that guilt that drove me to Matthew's arms that night.

I was careless that night. Did the conference finish early or something? I never had the chance to ask.

I have never been as terrified as I was when you burst through the door. I had never seen you like that before. You had a knife in your hand and I knew as soon as I saw the look in your eyes that you were going to kill me. You didn't say anything. It would have been better if you had. If you had sworn at me, yelled at me, cried, anything. But you lunged at me with that knife in absolute silence. You looked more like a ghost than a man. And your eyes. So much pain. So much cold, murderous rage.

Matthew? He ran. Straight out the door, away in that fancy car.

I think I screamed. I don't remember. I don't remember if I pleaded, if I fought, what the knife felt like, if it was hot or cold. That sounds silly. Who can't remember her own murder? But I was just looking at you. Next thing I knew, I was lying in a pool of blood and knowing it was mine. And I knew that you'd killed me. You were my husband, Johnny. You were meant to look after me. Did you pity me at all? Did you feel sorry? Or were you happy? Did you feel avenged?

'Til death do us part. That was what you said when you married me. I said it too. I just wasn't expecting death to be quite so… immediate. Is everyone as happy as we were, Johnny? Does every bride stand at the altar and wonder how she can ever look at any man other than her husband? Does everyone think it'll last for ever? And they lived happily ever after…

And we were happy. That's the worst thing, now.

Forgive me, Johnny. I just couldn't take any more.