They have been married for almost two years now, a really great two years of a perfect life with the best husband in the world, as she thought. She knew he had been married once before for a couple of years. His previous wife left him. For no apparent reason, one day she just asked him to drive her to the train station. Then, she asked him to buy her a one-way ticket to her mother's, and then she asked him to leave her alone at the station, go back home, and never wait for her to come back. The whole village knew the story. Even children could tell you the story word for word as it was told by the man who was left by his wife. Nobody ever heard anything from his first wife again, as if she disappeared from the surface of the Earth.
He was a great gardener. His garden looked like a perfect picture that came alive. All these cherry trees, apple trees... Peach trees. Mandarin trees. Mango trees? Banana palms? It really depends on the local environmental conditions. For macadamia nut lovers we can set this story in Hawaii. So, all these macadamia trees... And what a beautiful burgundy rose bush was blooming under her bedroom window. The bush was a fairly new addition to the garden. He planted it in the memory of his first wife. She didn't like his first wife for being here first. The thought of him making love to another woman in her bed made her angry, so she tried to ignore the fact that it happened by pretending that it didn't. She was fairly successful in doing that and could be hardly ever caught thinking about his first wife. Instead, she was very busy thinking about how beautiful she was to deserve a husband like that, how smart she was to choose him, and how stupid a woman should be to let a man like him go. But she liked the rose bush and its sweet smell, especially in the morning after a rainy night.
Yesterday, he asked her if she would like him to plant another rose bush under the bedroom window, and she happily agreed. She thought that would be nice to have two rose bushes, maybe she would get twice the smell. So, early this morning, her husband went to the market and got a very pretty rose bush. He said he would plant it the next morning. And tonight he was cooking a dinner for her. She didn't even know why. What was the occasion? It didn't matter. She was so happy, so pleased to be such a lucky woman who had the best husband in the world. She would never leave him. He was perfect, he was what any woman dreams about. And he was all hers!
She woke up feeling there was not enough air for her to breathe. His hands were around her throat. Her last thought was something about his love for jokes. This was one of his jokes. Wasn't it?
* * *
They have been married for a couple of years now, the best couple of years of her life. Does this sound familiar? If it does, it's just a mere coincidence since this is another woman we are talking about. It was the best years of her life because she got to spend them with the husband that was so good there was nobody equal in the world, as she thought. She knew he had been married twice before and both of his previous wives left him. Also, she knew that to leave a man like him they both had to be pretty dumb. The whole village knew the stories, even children could tell you the stories word for word as they were told by the man who was left by two wives. They both told him to never wait for them to come back. Nobody ever heard anything from his wives again, as if they disappeared from the surface of the Earth.
There was no greater garden than his in the whole world. It looked so perfect as if a picture that came alive. Who would paint a picture like this? Thomas Kinkade would. And two such beautiful burgundy rose bushes were growing under her bedroom window. The bushes were a fairly new addition to the garden, he planted them in the memory of his wives. She liked the rose bushes and their sweet smell in the morning after a rainy night.
What his thoughts were she didn't really know, and she didn't exactly care as long as he was such a good husband for her and for her alone. Who cares why those women were so unhappy with him, if she was happy? Who cares how he treated them, if he was treating her well? She didn't spend even one minute thinking about why she got to be so lucky where other women failed. She thought how pretty she was! She thought how special she was! She thought how lucky she was! She thought too much of so little.
Yesterday, he asked her wouldn't she like him to plant another rose bush under the bedroom window, and she gladly agreed. She thought how nice it would be to have three rose bushes, so she could get more of that nice smell. So, early this morning, her husband went to the market and got a lovely rose bush. He said he would plant it the next morning. And tonight he was cooking a dinner for her, she didn't even know why. What was the occasion? It didn't matter as long as she was so happy having the best husband in the world. She would never leave him. He was perfect, he was what any woman dreams about. And he was all hers...
* * *
He opened his eyes, it was dark in the room. He turned on the light, looked at the clock, it was five in the morning. He couldn't sleep anymore, he just had that dream again. He dreamed he had been married three times, but he knew he had not been married even once. He dreamed that for no apparent reason he was very unhappy about all his wives, so he killed them one after another burying them under the rose bushes. He'd had that same dream over and over for at least a year now. He wished this would stop.
He got up from his bed feeling exhausted, slowly walked to the window and opened it. There they were right under his bedroom window - three stunning burgundy rose bushes. He remembered how he himself planted all of them, one after another. The last one he planted just over a year ago and this Summer it was blooming for the first time. All three of them were emitting such a sweet smell, especially in the early morning after a rainy night.
He put his clothes on and went outside. Standing in front of the rose bushes, looking at them, he was unable to hold on to a single thought long enough even to recognize the images flashing in his mind until one image came to stay. It was the image of him sleeping through the night without waking up from bad dreams, something he wanted so much, and there were no rose bushes under his bedroom window. Not a single one.
He went into his garage, picked up a shovel, and returned to the bushes. After considering for a second which one of them would be the first, he decided to start with the oldest bush since it was the biggest and therefore the hardest to remove. He started digging. After a couple of strokes his shovel hit something... Was that a root of the bush?