It was a tiring day for Paige. Her new boss had been trying to make her life miserable with the endless deadlines. She would have been happy to take up all the work if it was thrown at her on authentic grounds. However, that was not the case. It had all begun when he had casually invited her for a dinner and she had refused. With a tall frame and a voluptuous figure, it was not a different thing for her. Even though she hated such attention, she had gradually gotten around to accepting it and ignoring it.
He had made other advances on her after that, but she had totally rejected the idea. She was afraid that future promotions might become impossible for her in the same firm as long as the same guy was sat on the chair. What she didn’t know was the limits to which he could drop down to make her pay. For the past couple of months, she had tried hard to bear with it, but today, she felt like she had waited long enough.
Dexter, her husband opened the door when she reached home. He greeted her by hugging her and kissing her forehead.
“How was your day?” he asked.
“A bit trying,” she reverted, diving into the couch. “Can you run hot water in the bathtub, Dex? I could really use a hot bath right now!”
“Sure, I will. Oh and by the way, I am making you Pasta tonight,” he said walking towards the bathroom. “White sauce. And of course, some garlic breads.”
“Thank you honey,” she said and then began sobbing.
Six Years Ago
“Why would he ignore me like that?” Paige asked her friends. “Look at me! I am the dream every guy watches. I have dated the most handsome studs in this college. When they could not say no to me, how can he?”
“He is not into girls, I think,” one of her friends reverted. “It’s not like he is gay, but he is a geek and what do you expect from geeks? He will always love his literature books more than anybody else. Why are you so hell bent on dating him? I mean, I get that he is cute, but how does it matter? You are going to leave him in probably a month or two anyhow.”
“You always want what you cannot get,” Paige explained.
“Hey, what happened?” Dexter asked when he returned.
“Nothing, I’m fine. It’s just the work,” she said wiping her tears.
“Is something bothering you, love?” he said worried.
“I want a break Dex. I just need a fucking break from work. My life has been hell for the past two months.”
“Then quit your job!”
“And do what Dex? Sit at home like you?” she shouted at him.
Dexter was hurt by her retort and chose to stay quiet. When she did not say anything, he got up and walked towards the kitchen. “Your bath is ready. I’ll have the dinner table ready by the time you return. Oh and I have kept a glass of Chardonnay in the bathroom. I thought it might help you,” he said politely.
Paige cursed herself under her breath. She got up from the couch and walked towards the bathroom. “Should I tell Dex about my boss?” she thought. In her heart, she knew that he would help her, but she did not want to go that way. She climbed out of her clothes in the bathroom and picked up the glass of wine before getting inside the bathtub. “There’s nothing a sip of Chardonnay cannot cure,” she used to say to Dexter and clearly, he remembered. There was no reason for him to forget about it after all.
As she leaned back in the bathtub and sipped in the wine, her mind relaxed and she could focus on her dilemma. Her mind raced back to the past, to the day she had committed the most foolish mistake of her life.
Five Years Ago
“Are you sure you want to do this?” The woman asked. The whole place looked a bit eerie to Paige. Tiny skeletons, unusual flora, wooden artifacts and creepy little dolls with pins inserted in them were a few scary things she had noticed so far. She had never been to such a place and in fact she never believed in the black magic. However, over the past year, she had actually fallen in love with Dexter. He had continued to ignore her and that rejection had caused turbulences in her heart. She wanted to be loved by him. The infatuation had turned into obsession before she could realize. “You cannot undo it ever,” the woman said, breaking her out of her reverie. “He will continue to love you endlessly, no matter what!”
“Yes, I want that. I love him,” she pleaded.
“Have you brought the money?”
“Yes ma’am,” she said, keeping a parcel on the table that contained $10,000.
“Have you brought anything that belongs to him?”
“I have his handkerchief.”
“Good. Take this,” the woman said, offering a tiny bottle to Paige. “It’s tasteless, he would not be able to recognize it. Just mix it in his food or drink and I’ll do the rest of the work. On the next new moon, he will be yours forever.”
She had spent longer than expected in the bath tub, but she had finally made up her mind. It was wrong, she knew, but her boss had left her no choice. She wrapped a towel on her body and wiped her feet before walking out of the bathroom.
“I had to re-heat the food. What took you so….” he could not complete his words. “You look absolutely stunning,” he said gazing at her. “I like your hair untied.”
“Thank you,” she said, walking with him to the dining table. He drew out the chair for her to sit and she obliged. “You must be famished by now,” he said, kissing her head.
They ate over a usual chit-chat and he admired her a lot more than natural in between. “I have to tell you something,” she said.
“I thought so,” he said, smiling. “You looked quite worried today. Why don’t you go to the bedroom and I’ll join you after cleaning up the dishes.”
He came in after a few minutes and sat alongside her, taking her into his arms. “Tell me now love. What has been bothering you? Or is it a who?”
She opened up to him incorporating every details that mattered to her. He was enraged by the time she ended.
“Why didn’t you tell me earlier?” he asked.
“I thought I could handle it on my own,” she reverted meekly.
“Ah, my baby girl! Don’t worry, I will take it from here. That bastard deserves to die.”
She nodded as he embraced her in his arms. “You should start opening up to me. You know I love you and I won’t let anyone harm you in any way,” he said, kissing her neck.
She hugged him back and noticed the mirror on the wall. A tear escaped her eyes as she found herself making out with thin air in the mirror.
Two Years Ago
It was her birthday and Dexter was speeding past the traffic on road to get home early for a big surprise he had planned when a loaded truck had collided with his car. She had rushed to the hospital as fast as she could, but he was no more. They said that he had died even before reaching the hospital. She was shattered to see his dead body.
Her friends have tried to console her, but they could not help. She needed some time alone and had returned home, but she did not know that one of the strangest surprises of her life was waiting for her in her own home. It was Dexter. He was alive and standing right in front of her. She had run away in fear at first, but when she found him waiting for her on the next day as well, she had realized the truth. The woman’s words had echoed in her ears.
“He will continue to love you endlessly, no matter what!”