Was it utterly naive of me to think it impossible to become a widow at the age of thirty-three?
I’m too young for all that black shawl, damp hankie stuff, right? Thirty is the new puberty or so they say. I should be in the prime of my life-- laughing it up somewhere with other pubescent thirty-somethings about how we managed to stave off adulthood for one more decade.
Here I am.
It’s been going on since Christmas, but I’m only just now coming to terms with the terrible events of those nights. I introduced him to “The Game” in the first place, and the culpability for what happened next has weighed heavily on me ever since.
Now I go to bed alone, hearing the echoes of what went down in that alley—what goes down in alleys just like it every night all over the world—reverberating through the dark corridors of my conscience. I sigh heavily into the lonely night, and clutch his pillow before drifting to sleep, waiting for footsteps in the hallway that I never hear coming.
I dream about the garbage strewn streets, the sound of the car as he navigated uptown, downtown, mid-town, in search of the next mission… In search of an escape. I’d sigh heavily in his ear, but he didn’t notice. He was too busy becoming a master of things that didn’t fit our little suburban world. Of outsmarting the police. Of slipping in unnoticed, getting the job done and slipping out like a wraith in the night.
And that’s what he has become to me.
The people around us tried to warn me. They explained to me that once you introduce a man to things such as this game, he would be lost to it forever. But he seemed to eager to learn the ins and outs of how things worked. I thought it would be fun for a while. An escape from our usual pick-up-the-mail, dinner for two, clean the closet on Sundays lifestyle. He was getting bored, I could tell. He’d stopped hanging out with his friend Mario weeks before. I thought this might add a bit of excitement to our lives.
Then, the inevitable happened. The image has burned itself into the forefront of my memory.
Shot down in the middle of the day. Executed on the street like some worthless animal, and for what? Was the life of this otherwise decent and wonderful man worth this? I say no.
The official story is he was in possession of a small sack of diamonds belonging to the Russian Mafia, but I know the story runs much deeper than that. Someone was sending a message. His screw-up cousin Roman owed money to powerful and merciless people. Was it a case of mistaken identity? Perhaps.
Personally, I believe it was payback. I think this was an act of retaliation for the time the men he worked for sent him into Fu’s Chinese Restaurant to assassinate the powerful and malignant Mr Fu himself. You don’t just get away with things like that, you know?
All I have left of the man I love is this photo I took just before it happened….
That’s right, Ladies and Gentlemen. I am a Playstation Widow.
Don’t cry for me, I brought this on myself.
After all, I did buy him the damned thing for Christmas.