Author : Edward Turner III

This isn’t really about the divorce now. Nor is it about the cheating, I am coming to terms with the fact that he truly wants me to die.

He is still speaking, running his mouth, pretending to be the good guy. He is smiling a big toothy grin as he speaks, “I don’t give a damn what happened between us anymore. I don’t ever want to hurt you, I just want everything to be as fair as it possibly can.”

“Fair? How is this fair at all?”

The local Magistrate, sitting in on our divorce proceedings speaks up, “As you know, the law states that this is what must happen to proceed with your divorce. Your husband has not specifically chosen this punishment ma’am.”

I shake my head, “All right, let’s get on with it.”

I look down at the contract between us. The Magistrate speaks softly, “One berry and freedom from marriage will be granted. You will receive 80% of all money and property.”

I look up at him, “What about the children?”

My husband scoffs, you know that sound someone makes as though you are being nothing but ridiculous, “Don’t worry about the kids, if you survive, you can have them.”

The Magistrate nods and adds this to the contract. His pen leaves a shiny sheen on the paper as though it will never dry. He turns the contract around, “Please sign.”

I do and then my husband takes it into his bony hands. He reads it again as though it has changed in the last seven minutes.

The Magistrate open\s the box before us. The box is adorned in gold and beneath the lid three small blackberries sit on top of three tiny exquisite pillows. Lace is even sewn into the edges of those pillows.

I look at my husband, “You really don’t care at all do you?”

The Magistrate tries to keep the peace, “This really is standard procedure when one party is found to have committed adultery.”

The tears are beginning to show. I pick up the third berry. Supposedly you feel nothing in the three minutes it takes to kill you, drowsiness and then death.

With that you are, gone forever from the life and the world we live in. I pop the berry into my mouth. I bite down, it is too acidic and suddenly I know I am going to die. I am sure I can feel the fatigue coming on.

I should have chosen a different berry. I don’t want to die.

The Magistrate has already flipped over the timer. I am supposed to watch as the final 180 seconds slip from my life.

I cry into my hands.

I wipe my tears and as the final grains of sand fall, the Magistrate says, “You are safe, it was the second berry.”

A loud bang scares the hell out of me. My husband is staring at me. He has hit the oak desk hard enough that I wonder if he broke his hand. The Magistrate gives him a stern look but says nothing.

The Magistrate stamps the bottom of the contract and lists the results with that pen.

The house is mine, the kids are mine, I won.

I stand up and say, “Thank you so much.”

My husband grabs my arm, “You don’t deserve this.”

I yank my arm from him and I say, “Maybe I don’t, but neither do you.”

I walk out of the room, tears filling my eyes. I made it.

I made it.