Jacob dropped the knife, it landed with a loud clatter. Frannie was on the ground, moaning softly, one hand on her stomach, trying to stop the bleeding.
“Oh god I’m sorry, I’m so so sorry.” Jacob dropped to his knees beside her, he placed his hand over hers, he could feel the blood beneath them, warm and slick. There was too much of it, too many wounds. Her breathing came in high pitched whoops, he needed something to stem the blood. He grabbed a kitchen towel from the table and pressed it against her, “You’ll be ok, you’ll see, it’ll all be ok, I promise.” He needed to call someone for help, “Hold this, as tight as you can ok? I’m going to get the phone, I’ll be back.” Jacob ran from the kitchen and into the hall, he picked up the phone, he started dialling, then stopped and slowly put it down again. If he called someone, they’d arrest him. They might believe that once was an accident, but it hadn’t been just once. He tried to think back, to count but he couldn’t, all he could remember was the feel of the knife sliding inside her, the first shocked noise, then the heat of her blood on his hands and the satisfying way the blade went in and out. He walked back to the kitchen and knelt down beside her, he pressed on hand against the towel again. “Don’t worry, help will be here soon, I promise.” She looked at him, her eyes hazy and unfocused, she hadn’t said anything, not since she had dared him to do it. She didn’t think he would, he didn’t think it either. Not until it happened.
They had been having an argument, there was nothing new there. She had been screaming, but so had he, the words lost in a cacophony of noise. At some point the knife had been in his hand, he didn’t even remember picking it up. They had been making dinner, maybe he was holding it before they even began yelling. She noticed the knife at the same time he did, his eyes drawn to the strange weight. “Oh, what are you going to do with that huh? Think you’re a big man, need a knife to protect yourself against me huh?” She had poked him in the chest, “We both know you’re not going to use it, what the hell is wrong with you? Why would you even threaten me like that? My mother was right about you, you’re broken and nothing can be done to fix it. No wonder Alice left you at the altar, I’d have done it too, you’re just a psycho, go on and do it then, I dare you.” She took a step closer, “You’re pathetic, you-” He wasn’t thinking, he just wanted silence, for one moment, then his hand seemed to move of its own accord, plunging forward again and again.
Jacob stood from the kitchen floor, his legs cold and stiff. He had sat there with her until she died. He didn’t know how long ago that was, he hadn’t the energy to stand, to move. What would he do? What could he do? People would notice she was missing, he wouldn’t be able to just explain this all away. He needed to think. First things first he needed to shower and get rid of his clothes. He went upstairs, he would need to get rid of the body too, but how could he do that? He had a car sure but there would be blood all over it, even then where could he dump a body? Shower first, he could worry about that afterwards, he couldn’t go out while he was covered in her blood.
He looked at himself in the mirror in the bathroom, his skin was pale, his eyes looked sunken. He turned on the shower and stepped into the water, not waiting for it to heat. He grabbed soap and a sponge and started scrubbing himself, over and over again. When he finally stopped his skin was bright red and tender to the touch. He was clean now, he had to be, he scrubbed every inch of himself. He stepped from the shower and wrapped himself in a towel, not even looking at the pile of bloody clothes. He dried and dressed quickly, he knew what he would do. He’d leave, come home then call the police, say someone had broken in or something. Frannie had that psycho ex that wouldn’t leave her alone for a while, he could cast suspicion on him.
He closed the door behind himself gently and got into the car, wincing at the noise of the engine as it came to life. He reversed out of the driveway and started driving. He needed to go somewhere, somewhere with cameras. As he drove he repeated his story to himself. They got into an argument, the neighbours would have heard the yelling, and he left to go cool down a little. He went for a drive and stopped off somewhere for food. Surely someone couldn’t eat after a murder, his own stomach felt tight, he knew if he tried to eat anything he’d throw it back up. That left him with the option of drive through. Order, drive off then throw it in a bin somewhere.
Jacob looked out at the water, he could just about hear the gentle sound of the waves lapping against the shore in the car. It was too windy to walk along the beach, but he did like to come here to think. He nodded to himself, he’d say he ate here and then he just sat, enjoying the view. After a while he turned the car on again and pulled out of his spot. On the way home he threw his bag of uneaten food into the bin. There was still the small bag sitting in the backseat. The bag containing his bloody clothes. He needed to dispose of them somewhere, but it couldn’t be along the route he’d normally drive.
Jacob walked to the bin calmly and put the bag inside. He focused on his breathing, he needed to look relaxed, calm. He could feel eyes staring at him, but he knew it was in his head. That was all. He was almost done, soon he’d be safe. He had cleaned the handle of the knife before he’d left and he’d unlocked the back door. Their back garden was against a laneway, whoever it was obviously came in through the backdoor then left. He nodded to himself. Yes, it was obvious. Who ever it was had broken in and taken her by surprise, before she could do anything they had attacked. He pulled into the driveway and shut off the car. He couldn’t open the door. He took a deep breath and willed himself to reach for the handle, but his hand wouldn’t move. “C’mon, you can do this. It’ll all be over soon. It was just an accident, a mistake. No one will believe it was you. No one could.” He clenched and unclenched his hands a few times, then opened the door.
Jacob unlocked the front door and stepped inside, he had left the porch open, “Hey, I’m back. Look, I’m sorry about earlier. It was a stupid fight, it was all my fault. You were right, I should have started dinner before you got home.” Ahead of him was the kitchen door, still closed. The walk down the hallway seemed endless, he gripped the doorknob and turned it. His heart thudded heavily in his chest, he knew what he would see but part of him hoped that it was all some dream. That Frannie would be sitting at the table, sipping a glass of wine, or making dinner, or doing anything but lying lifeless on the floor, covered in blood. The door swung open, revealing her body. His stomach clenched, he rushed over to check her pulse, everything had to seem real. Her skin was cold beneath his finger tips, it had an almost waxy feel to it. Slowly he stood and went towards the phone. It had to look real. He could feel tears spilling from his eyes, each one hot as it seemed to burn its way down his cheek. He picked up the phone and started dialling.