‘Why was Easter Bunny held up with deliveries this year?’
Zoe paced up and down the kitchen. If he wasn’t home in another 10 minutes, that was it. She’d leave him. Acutally, she’d make him leave her. She couldn’t up and take Adam away from his home, especially when he wasn’t settling into school that well.
Nine minutes. Maybe she was just over reacting. Maybe he really was working late all the time. He’d just been promoted to director, she knew it meant more work – evenings, the occasional weekend. It was part of the job. It had to be. But so many evenings? So many late nights? So many weekends? And most of the time with Sharon?
Sharon? What a trampy name. She sounded like a slut. All Essex and Birds of a Feather. Bitch. She hated her. Even though she’d never met her, she found it easy to hate her. Home wrecking cow.
Zoe sat back down at the kitchen table and took another slug of wine.
Could she really live without Sam? They’d been together ten years. Ten years. She couldn’t remember life without him. And was it so horrible to take Adam’s dad away from him? Maybe she could put up with Sam’s infidelity for Adam’s sake.
Was that the door? Zoe stood up and walked to the sink. She held her breath, and Sandy walked in. Damn cat flap.
That’s it. His time was up. As soon as he walked through the door she was going to have it out with him. She couldn’t take the humiliation any more. She wasn’t going to let him do this to her any longer. She’d been letting him get away with it for too long now. She poured the last glass of wine out the bottle as she wiped the tears from her eyes.
Twenty one minutes later she heard Sam’s key in the door. It took him a while to make it to the kitchen and by the time he had she was wavering. She loved him so much…
NO! He was making a fool of her. Zoe made sure she was standing at the sink with her back to him when he opened the kitchen door, she wasn’t sure she could hold the tears back. Just the thought of asking him where he’d been, or telling him to get out made her feel violently sick.
Sam came into the kitchen and without saying a word slowly pulled a chair out from the table and sat down. Maybe he realised he’d pushed it too far. Zoe didn’t think she’d have the strength to say anything without her voice breaking and Sam didn’t say anything. The silence stretched over a minute, two, three.
Eventually, after what felt like 30 minutes, but was probably more like four, Zoe gathered all the strength she had and turned round. Sam was sat upright staring at nothing on the table top. He looked terrible. He was as white as a snowman, his hair was messed up, and his eyes were bloodshot. Had Zoe not known him better, she would have sworn he looked like he had been crying.
‘Sam, what’s wrong?’ she said before she could stop herself. He continued to stare at nothing, then slowly, slowly looked up at Zoe. A solitary tear fell down his cheek. He grabbed Zoe’s hand and pulled her towards him, burring his head in her stomach.
What the hell? Seriously, Sam never ever cried. She put her hand on his head knowing Sam needed her, and whatever she’d been thinking ten minutes before would have to wait. At the back of her head something shouted he was taking her for a fool, but she loved him, she couldn’t see him suffer.
‘Sam, what’s wrong?’ she repeated.
‘I was…’ His voice was muffled from being pressed against her body. He moved his head to the side and she felt him swallow. ‘I was on my way home.’ His voice wobbled a bit. ‘And I hit the… The… God this sounds stupid, but you have to believe me.’ He pulled his head away from Zoe and looked up at her. ‘You have to believe me, ok? OK?’
‘Ok, of course,’ she assured him nodding her head.
‘I hit the Easter Bunny… And killed him.’ Zoe took a second to process that, then burst into hysterics. She quickly recovered.
‘Shit, I’m sorry. I thought that… Shit I’m sorry. You killed him? The actual Easter Bunny?’ Sam nodded his head.
‘The Easter Bunny is a girl. Was a girl. Oh god. God, what have I done? I can’t believe it.’ Another tear fell as he told Zoe about the terrible rain that made visibility on the northern bypass horrendous. About the shape he’d seen in the road, but too late. About the yowl as he hit the thing. And about finding it was the Easter Bunny. About not believing it, but other people around that confirmed it.’
Zoe felt terrible. He’d killed the Easter Bunny. Easter would never be the same again, the kids around the world would be devastated, and all she could think was thank god that was why he was late home.
After he’d calmed down and had a brandy for his nerves, he remembered Zoe’s reaction on hearing about the crash.
‘What was that about? You said you thought something?’
‘Oh,’ she laughed, relaxed now. ‘I thought you were having an affair.’ When she turned to face him to pass him another drink, she dropped it. His face was as white as a snowman again.
‘How did you know?’
This story comes from the prompt at Fiction Friday last week (Friday 22nd April). I’ve been slowly writing it since Saturday, but the idea came to me as soon as I read the prompt. I knew I had to do something and dedicate it to John Pender for giving me the idea. Why? Because of his comment on the last Fiction Friday prompt that used this idea Why Did The Tooth Fairy Fail to Deliver Coins One Evening? Hope you enjoy it.