Elizabeth and Richard


She set the knife back down and looked at him earnestly, “Oh, I’m sorry,” she said, “do you have a problem with this?”

“Maybe just a small one, Elizabeth,” Richard replied as he struggled with his bonds.

“Small being the operative word, eh Richard?” She picked the knife back up, tested the edge, ran her eyes up and down his body, and grinned at him. He noticed that her eyes didn’t smile though. That worried him just a bit.

He had woken, when she poured the cold water on him. He was lashed to a chair about three feet from the foot of their French Provincial mahogany dining table. The one Elizabeth had had to have. Coils of rope held his legs to the sturdy front legs of the chair and his arms were strapped to the back legs and back. His leather “Harley Davidson Belt wrapped around his chest and the chair back to keep him from leaning forward. He was effectively immobilized and his chair was sitting on the shower curtain. The one from the guest bath. It was torn where it had been ripped from the rings.

“You’ve had your way for years, Richard and I was too weak to stand up to you. I just took it because I was trying to be ‘The Good Wife’. Today, that all ends.

“I drugged your single malt last night you know, but I must have used too much. You were out a lot longer than I thought you would be. Sorry about the pan of water, I was getting desperate. I was afraid you wouldn’t wake up before our guests arrived. This is something we don’t want them to see.”

She set the knife back down at the head of the table and turned, pushing through the swinging door into the kitchen. He took the opportunity to look around him. Today was Thanksgiving and the table was set for 12 with the fine china and the good silverware. Linen napkins were rolled and cinched with the pewter napkin rings that she had bought at Crate and Barrel.

The old Regulator wall clock told him that it was 10:30. Her parents and her sister’s family would be arriving soon. So would his brother and sister-in-law. The kitchen door swung open again and Elizabeth was right behind it. In her hands was the turkey, a 27 pound masterpiece, roasted to perfection. The skin looked golden brown and juices were pooling up in the platter. She set it on the sideboard and then removed the setting at the head of the table. His setting, he thought. He was worried. Elizabeth smoothed her apron down and picked up the knife again. She came around the table and checked that he was still secured to the chair.

“Elizabeth,” he begged, “let’s talk about this. You don’t really want to do this. I know you don’t. This is something that men do. It’s expected of us.”

“Shut up Richard,” she said calmly as she studied her reflection in the blade. “You have no idea what I want or don’t want and, I don’t think it’s something you’re ever going to do again. You’ve never done it right anyway. You never took the time to learn to do it properly, or listened to suggestions.” She continued her circuit of the table and when she reached the head she pointed the knife at him. She didn’t speak. Then she lifted the turkey platter and put it where his place setting had been.

“I’m going to carve the turkey today, Richard. I’m going to do it. You make a mess of it every year but not this time. No, not this time, and you’re going to watch. Don’t you dare look away. Try to learn something.”