This room was always his. Even when I moved in with him, it was always locked. In the 16 years of marriage, I had never even seen the key to the room. It had always been out of my reach. Until 16 months ago.
I was 19 when I first saw him and fell in love. He was 26. He was my first love. My first kiss. My first everything. He used to say he loved me during the first few years of our marriage. I used to believed him. Then I started seeing he didn’t really mean it when he said it. But I told myself he loved me, his own way. Then I admitted that I had been in denial. For 16 years.
It was never love.
It was settling.
He settled for me.
He had met his first everything. They had everything. His everything died in a car accident in her way to pick him up from the airport.
He lost everything. But he lived on. And met me. I grew up being told that if it felt like love, looked like love, smelled like love- It was love. I said yes, and we got married. We had a house in the countryside that he bought with some of his inheritance money. He retired on his 36th birthday and spent his time fishing or in his workshop, chipping away at wood, making furniture we didn’t need.
It was never my plan. I thought we’d grown old together. Cliché, yes. But I loved the cliché. I wanted the cliché with him. Looking at these glass boxes, I know I had never planned for this to happen.
First, I ordered an embalming agent from Champion. They recommended the reduced exposure fluid. I bought it in small quantities for a period of 14 months. I did intense research on how to successfully do this at home. Next, I had the glass boxes made. Then, I started adding rat poison to his food, increasing the dose over time. One Tuesday morning, he never woke up.
I finally had free access to the key. I moved his limp body into the office and left it there. Over the course of 3 weeks, I chopped his body into small pieces, balmed these pieces and put them into the glass boxes. I was going to make a museum. Mine. Of him, the love of my life.
See, the problem started when the curiosity about this forbidden room got out of control and got the best of me. I had managed to have the key made and when I opened the door once Saturday morning he had gone fishing, my whole world shattered into pieces. Nothing would have ever prepared me for what I saw in that room. I wished, for so many years after, I had never had the damn key made and opened that door.
It was a sanctuary. Her pictures were on one wall. Pictures of them. Beautiful of them together. Pictures where he smiled a brilliant smile I had never seen in all our years of marriage. I realized then that he had never been happy with me. It was always her. No one but her.
On another wall was a humongous art piece made of painted wood chippings. It was her face, smiling. She was a beautiful woman. A very beautiful woman. I remember I stood in front of the art piece for a long time, marvelling at the piece. It was so impressive, I couldn’t even hate it.
Slowly, in the past 6 years, I started toying around with the idea of having him in there, as an art piece, next to her. It was an evil plan, but you know, when you start dancing with the devil, his charms soften you up and he starts to appeal to your inner heart.
See, he was my first everything. He got everything. And me, since he had already loved I got what was left behind. His heart was never mine. Yet he had all of me. He wanted the one thing he could never have back. I wanted the one thing 16 years had shown me I could never get. I would never measure up. I would never be enough. That killed me daily.
So I was going to make him mine. Like this. In a glass structure. He would finally be mine. Like this, he didn’t yearn for another woman. Like this, his eyes would only look at me. Like this, his heart, in a glass, would be mine to behold and mine alone.