The Perfect Wife. Short Story.

Stacy opened the hot press and placed the folded towels carefully inside. She closed the door over and took a moment to remember what she was doing. Washing. Yes. That was it. She went downstairs to the washing room and moved things into the dryer, she turned it on then turned to a basket full of clothes. Stacy picked out a t-shirt and started folding. She liked folding. It was peaceful, relaxing.

Her hand groped along the bottom of the empty wash basket. Huh. The folding was done. That was a little sad. She picked up the folded clothes and carefully placed them into the basket. She glanced at her watch, then shook her head. Stacy would have considered unfolding everything and refolding it if she had the time. She brought the clothes upstairs and put them away. Downstairs in the kitchen she took out the broom and started to sweep. Sweeping could be kind of nice. It wasn’t as nice as folding, but it was still relaxing. Once she had finished sweeping she took out the mop and bucket. She did like mopping. The mop felt nice when it swished across the floor.

Once the floors were clean it was now time to clean the counters. That wouldn’t take too long. Stacy cleaned the counters daily, the floor was only once a week. Then once everything was cleaned it was time to make dinner.

Stacy looked at the clock, she still had plenty of time to start on dinner. It was to be steaks tonight and mashed potatoes. Freshly mashed, nothing frozen. Stacy put away the cleaning supplies and put on her apron, it would help keep things tidy.

Stacy put the finishing touches on dinner and carefully put the plates onto the table, then she went back to the kitchen, took down a glass and poured a drink for Tony. He would be home any second. She took another look at the table, the cutlery was laid out, candles were lit, everything looked perfect.

It was an hour later, the food was cold and the candles had been extinguished. Occasionally Stacy would carefully dab at her eyes with her napkin. She was just being silly. Tony was a very busy and important man, sometimes he was late. She should know that. She took a sip of her glass of water to help calm her a little. He would be home when he was home. She stood from the table and put the plates into the oven. She’d have to reheat everything. It would still taste nice, but it wouldn’t be the same.

Stacy sat at the table, her stomach occasionally giving pangs of hunger. She didn’t want to eat without Tony. It wouldn’t be right. She stood from the table and went towards the basement door. Perhaps Tony had come back during the day and she hadn’t heard him. He liked to go down there and tinker with his projects. She knocked gently on the door, “Tony?”
There was no response. Stacy opened the door and went down a few of the steps, “Tony?”
She continued down, perhaps he was just too caught up in what ever he was doing. That happened sometimes and he never left the light on when he left. She made her way downstairs, pausing and calling out every few steps. When she reached the bottom she looked at the thick, metal door. She wasn’t supposed to go in there, Tony always told her that. But what if he was inside? He wouldn’t be able to hear her. She knocked on the metal door and heard something move. “Tony? I’m sorry to disturb you, but dinner has been ready for a while now.”

She put her hand on the handle, should she go inside? Tony would be angry, but maybe he wouldn’t, maybe he’d be thankful to be reminded about dinner. She stood for a few minutes, trying to decide. Stacy took a breath and opened the door, “Tony?” it came out as a whisper. She shouldn’t be doing this. She shouldn’t be opening this door. It swung open easily, she had expected it to be heavy and hard to open. Stacy stepped into the room and looked around. It was exactly like it had been the last time she had seen it, but that had been years ago. Everything was still bright and shiny. He kept the place very clean. Stacy turned and looked at the woman chained to the wall. The woman was naked, her mouth covered with tape, her eyes wide as she tried to cry out. “Oh. Oh my.” Stacy took a step towards the woman, then a step back. “I’m…I’m sorry. Have you seen Tony?” The woman shook her head frantically, “Oh. Ok. I didn’t mean to disturb you.” Stacy turned and left the room, closing the door behind herself. She didn’t turn off the lights. Tony would have left them on for a reason if he wasn’t here. She smiled slightly to herself. She remembered when she had been like that woman. Afraid, alone. Tony had taught her better. Showed her how to be a good woman, showed her what love was all about. At the top of the stairs she closed over the basement door. Tony was just late, that was all. Usually he rang to let her know, but maybe he had just forgotten. He must be doing important things out there.

Stacy sat on the dining room chair, Tony wouldn’t be too much longer. He loved her and she loved him. He would always come back to her. The dinner would be reheated and Tony would understand that it wasn’t her fault. He would thank her for making dinner as he always did, then he would kiss her gently. She glanced at the clock, she hadn’t made anything for dessert, there was just ice cream, but if he was going to be late, that meant she had a little more time. She stood from the table and went into the kitchen. She could whip up something for him, it would be better than sitting around doing nothing. Smiling, Stacy put on her apron again and got to work.



About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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