My Husband Left Me a Note

The floor was strewn with construction paper, glue sticks, and glitter. In the center was Emma, her hands on a pile of jagged, misshapen hearts.

“You should make a Valentine for Daddy,” she said.

“Daddy and I don’t really do… handmade valentines cut out of construction paper.” And I had too much on my mind for stupid crafts. Jack was mad at me – Cat, I’m supposed to get a call from a very important client. Don’t nag me! And where was Mr. Whiskers? If he ran away again –

“Why not?” Emma said, her scissors cutting wildly into the paper.

“It’s more of a kid thing, honey.”

Her face grew red, and she smeared the glitter with newfound ferocity. “I’m not a kid! I’m eight years old! Eight!

No, no, please don’t have a tantrum. I rushed to pick up a piece of construction paper.

I froze.

Underneath were several small pieces of paper.

I turned them over, and began to read. As expected – they were notes from my husband. He constantly left notes around the house, whether it was to warn us about the broken toilet seat or to tell us he loved us. The handwriting was much sloppier than usual, but still legible.

Together, they said:

CAT

I ALREADY GOT THE

CALL.

I’LL KNOW IF YOU

PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN

IN THE BASEMENT WITH MINE.

TONIGHT, I WANT YOUR BODY

I blushed, and grinned, and even suppressed a giggle. He’d been complaining, recently, how we were always glued to our phones, how we never interacted with each other… I didn’t realize he was talking about sex! And what a romantic idea – to lock away our phones, and have the night all to ourselves, without any distractions…

“Mom, what’s that?”

“Nothing,” I said, stuffing the notes into my pocket. “Uh, I’m going to look for Mr. Whiskers, okay?”


When Jack finally climbed into bed, I curled up against him. “I’ve been looking forward to tonight,” I said, in the best sultry voice I could muster.

He smiled at me. “Yeah? Why’s that?”

I let my hair brush against his neck, the satin chemise touch his back. “I got your note.”

“My note?”

“The one you left me in the dining room.” My fingers trailed up his leg, but he yanked it away.

“What are you talking about?”

Annoyed, I stood up, picked up my jeans, and fished for the note. “This one,” I said, throwing the crumpled pieces of paper onto the bed.

He eyed me cautiously, then picked up the notes – and frowned. “Cat, I didn’t write this.”

“Who did, then?” I said, my voice growing louder. “A ghost?”

Shuffling the pieces in his hands, his eyes grew wide; his frown grew deeper. “I think you read them in reverse order.”

“So?”

He stepped forward. In the dim light, he was white as a sheet. Hands shaking, he laid the pieces of paper on the nightstand. I walked over, my heart pounding, and read them slowly:

TONIGHT, I WANT YOUR BODY

IN THE BASEMENT WITH MINE.

PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN

I’LL KNOW IF YOU

CALL.

I ALREADY GOT THE

CAT

“We need to call the police,” he said, grabbing at his pocket. “Wait – where’s my phone?”

I backed away, staring at the floor.

“Cat? Where’s my phone?”

My heart pounded, and I heard ringing in my ears.

“I put our phones in the basement.”

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