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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)

TITLE: If He Only Knew
By Susan martin


For the twelve years of their marriage he constantly told her how stupid she was, and as she sat waiting for him to come home, she could finally prove otherwise to him.

She had already figured out whom the other woman was that he was staying with until late into the evenings; even sitting patiently across the street from the motel that he eventually pulled into for a brief encounter with her. That had really hurt, but the pain was less when she was finally able to call him there, knowing she was interrupting something, just to let him know that he couldn’t fool her this time.

The effort of going through his car every morning while he was taking a shower had paid off in her finding his approved request for a day off. That is how she found out every little lie he told and secret he tried to keep. She knew her name, where she lived, and always where they had dinner and spent the evening the night before. He had no idea because by the time he got out of the shower, she was back in bed pretending to be sleeping.

He had told her that he needed some time away by himself to think thing over about their marriage, and was going up to Mammoth Lakes to go fishing and camping. This time; however, she was really going to have him wondering.

She had gathered all his gas receipts and marking off the different cities that him and his girlfriend stopped in to purchase gas on the map, then returned them all just the way she found them back in his hiding place. For a moment she had to laugh because of how naïve he was to never realize that every time he was in the shower she was going through his special hiding places.

Finally the moment had arrived as he walked through the door and sat down across the room from her. She slowly opened the map marked up from his journey and asked him for an explanation for his lies about camping, but words could not come out as he starred from the map back to her now saddened face.

It was now her turn to finally ask him to leave; she even had his suitcases packed. As he was walking out the door and her life for the last time he asked her how she was able to afford a private investigator. She looked him right in the eyes, just as he did the night he told her that he didn’t love her and never did all these years, shook her head and said “you always were only able to see how stupid I was, but you never looked past that to see how smart I truly am”, and with that, she quickly closed the door so he wouldn’t see the tears streaming down her face.

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This article has been read 641 times
Member Comments
Member Date
julie wood04/12/07
Beautifully written story! Effectively intense--the main character's pain comes through clearly.

Sentences could be a little shorter and more dialogue added.

Great, thought-provoking quote near the end about the woman being smarter than her husband assumed. This really brought both characters to life as interesting individuals!
LaNell Koenig-Wilson04/12/07
I though I was reading a page out of my own life! I, too, did those things when my "minister" ex-husband had affairs, etc. and that I was to studpid to know. Bless your heart.

Your writing was wonderful and very vivid.
Jennifer Wetter04/13/07
Beautiful article. Very well written, interesting thought for a mystery.
Rita Garcia04/16/07
How inspiring that the woman stood up for herself. Good job!
Joy Faire Stewart04/17/07
Loved this ladies attitude...good for her!