Saturday Nights in Suburbia

 By Tanielle Dlamini 


     “I should’ve left you on that street corner where you were standing,” the woman said, her voice a dangerous whisper. 

     “But you didn’t,” replied the man, his snide remark fueled the woman’s anger, her face turning bright red.

     “But I should have. You’ve brought me nothing but hell, Markus.”

     “And you have brought me nothing but heaven, Clara.” Markus’s hands snaked around Clara’s waist. He towered over her, like he always did, leaning down for a kiss. Before their lips could collide Clara’s foot came in contact with his toes. 

     “Goddamn it, Clara!” Markus clutched his throbbing foot.

     “Sex will not fix our marriage, Markus!”

     “No, but it will make it more bearable. What happened to the woman I married, huh? She actually loved me.”

     “She died when you met her.”

     They stared at each other both seething with rage. Silence fell. I knew they missed what was—and often wished for what could be.

     “Why don’t you love me anymore?” Markus whimpered. His eyes were sad, matching his all-black suit. He always looked as if he were mourning the woman he married, now being stuck with this she-beast. 

     “I don’t know. Go ask Clarisse, maybe she knows.” Clara looked like was restraining herself from yelling for the sake of their children, but I was sure it wasn’t working. I didn’t want it to work. This is about to get good.

     “Leave Clarisse out of this.”

     “Why should I? She clearly knows you better than I do. She ‘gets you’ right?”

     “Clarisse did nothing wrong. She only did her job.”

     “Her job was to babysit the kids, not screw my husband!”

     Clara’s breath was loud and ragged as they let silence fall once more. I watched this happen much too often. It was like a weekly board meeting, everything could be said in a simple email, but I enjoyed watching the back and forth yelling—and sometimes crying children. It was a horrifically horrid display, not to mention the beautiful hoarse voices you could wake up to.

     “She’s only twenty. What was so special about her? What did she have that I didn’t have?” Clara muttered, her voice steady. She sat down now. Not that she needed it. With her job, she could do this all night.

     “She loved me, cared for me, needed me,” Markus answered, his voice louder than hers. His hands flailed to accentuate his point, but the point was the same every time—it was for every man. “You don’t do any of those things. You haven’t in a long time.”

“Then maybe I should leave. Let you be with Clarisse.” Clara got up to go somewhere. I hoped she would come my way. She was still in her work clothes, and God, does that woman look good in a suit.

     “I don’t want Clarisse, I want you.” Markus wrapped his arms around Clara’s waist, kissing her neck from behind. It was a partial lie, I knew, he knew, she knew. He would say anything to make her stay, and every time she did. “Clarisse was a mistake. Believe me, baby.” Markus’s voice had dropped a few octaves. Clara’s eyes clouded as her mind went foggy. “I only want you. Clarisse doesn’t matter to me.” Markus left a trail of kisses leading from her neck to her collarbone.

     Clara turned to kiss him back. Angry, passionate kisses were shared under the dim light in their kitchen. They lasted not too long, but long enough for them to be distracted by a chime from Clara’s phone. 

     “Ignore it,” Clara said between kisses.

     “Could be from work, you did just get that promotion,” Markus countered, picking up the phone. This is the fun part. 

     No one’s home
     come over, my love

     The text read. Markus stared at it for a moment before reading the contact. It was unsaved, but it should have been an easily recognizable phone number—myself.

     “You’ve been on my ass about this, now it’s you too!” Markus boomed.

     “Quiet down, you’ll wake the kids,” Clara warned.

     “I couldn’t give a damn about the kids. Clarisse, Clara, really?” Anger and hurt flooded all of Markus’s senses. The sight made me let out a quiet chuckle.

     “It was just one time, Markus, unlike your whopping record of-what-thirteen, maybe higher.” Clara crossed her arms and began to head toward the door.

     “But now you’re going back.”

     “Just like you did. Doesn’t feel nice, huh? I want a divorce.”

     Markus’s face went white, a look of utter shock. “Clara, think this through.”

     “Think what through? I’ve thought about this long enough. I’ve only stayed for your money. With this promotion, I don’t need it. ”

     “Clara, please.”

     “Don’t ‘Clara’ me. You can get with another one of your gold-digging whores. When the kids are eighteen, I want a divorce,” Clara said nothing more, walking out of the house.

     Markus stood in defeat for a moment. Then he trudged toward the bedroom, probably going to call one of the ‘gold-digging whores’.

     Clara walked close to my spot near the kitchen window. Something along the lines of joy, maybe pride, filled my heart as the marriage died right before my eyes.

     Yes, it was wrong, but it felt so nice— the destruction of what seemed utterly perfect. It always excited me, like a child with new toys. I owned the store, breaking them was my game.

     I giggled as I ran off to hurry back to my home. I had to get there before Clara as it was only a few blocks down. I would have to be quick, though. I had other homes to wreck.