Thomas entered the house in his usual quiet manner, resting his suitcase by the door and leaving his shoes next to it. Even as he crept on the plush Skyway carpet in his Armani socks, it was apparent that Carroll still heard his footsteps. Thomas smirked, already accustomed and mentally prepared for her usual intemperate behavior. In a matter of seconds, Carroll came storming out of the bedroom wearing her usual pink cotton robe, matching bed slippers, and hair a tangled mess. Her arms remained folded over one another as she tapped her right foot, lips tightly pressed together, unsuccessfully trying to hold back the anger she was attempting to control. Despite his wife’s dramatic entrance, Thomas smiled and gave her a gentle kiss on her left temple, ignoring the distinctive scent of gin on her.

“Good afternoon sweetheart. How was your day?” His voice was liquid velvet, working to dissolve the tension in the room with only a few words.

“Good afternoon? You mean goodnight?” she yelled, her arm extended and finger pointing towards the grandfather clock in the living room that indicated that it was after midnight.

“You’re right honey. Goodnight is more appropriate,” he said, side-stepping around her, struggling to keep a straight face. Thomas never took Carroll’s antics seriously, considering her, yet another bored suburban housewife. Like most of them, she took-part to the morning Bloody mary's, country club cocktails, and the evening night caps.

“None of your jokes! Where were you?” she demanded. Thomas turned to face her, still wearing a smirk. He let the silence linger for about a minute but his amused expression never faded.

“I was working late, Carroll, went out with some co-workers, and lost track of time,” he offered. Her face hardened as he finished his explanation. Alcohol made her argumentative when normally, she would have greeted him, arms opened, glad to have him home after a long, lonely day.

“I’m sorry. I should have called,” he added.

“Some co-workers? Who?”

“Tom, Bill, and Eric.” He knew the generic names would mean nothing to her. After three years of marriage, she had never met any of his co-workers.

“Then call them! I want to hear them admit that they were with you!” Carroll screamed. Thomas shrugged in response.

“I would love to, sweetheart, but as you pointed out, it’s after midnight. It would be insensitive to call at this hour and wake their families just to support my alibi.” Sarcastically said as he snuck a quick glance at his briefcase before walking down the hall to the master bedroom and began to undress.

“Insensitive?” she continued as she followed behind him. Her tirades were more drawn out after a few drinks.

“It wasn’t insensitive to let me sit here worrying about you for four hours?” she screeched.

“It was very insensitive, which is why I apologized. Like I said, I should have called. I’m so sorry.” His words were so calm, his voice never changed in tone or volume. High emotions and alcohol

is an exhausting mixture Carroll’s shoulders had already begun to drop as her facial expression relaxed, revealing the tiring effects of this argument. She still attempted to still act mad but he saw through her façade and lovingly stroked her hair.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, sending shivers down her spine. She looked up at him with glossy eyes exposing how close she actually was to passing out. He knew at this point that the argument was over; on to more important things.

Thomas left the bedroom for his regular midnight snack, fully aware that Carroll would begin examining his clothes, inspecting each article for lipstick stains and lingering scents of perfume. After retrieving his briefcase, he sat at the kitchen table whistling a happy tune and with a pink dishtowel, wiped the remnants of blood off of his Cartier bold point pen. Walking back into the bedroom, he quickly glanced at his Hyundai Genesis sedan in the driveway. He would destroy the rest of the evidence tomorrow.

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