"Where you going?" Moira asks.
Linda smiles in response, a smile that reassures Moira that, yes, the same conclusion was reached. Linda is going to kill him. It's only fair... Just desserts for all.
Moira nods and reaches into her purse, pulling out her cell phone. "What do you need? I'll make the arrangements."
Staring at the wall, Linda thinks about it for a brief moment, then stands up and heads for the bathroom door. "Twenty minutes and a gun."
Linda looks at herself in the mirror, surprised at the sudden bloodthirsty resolve. There is a momentary recollection of some Commandment she learned years ago in Sunday School, but she shakes it off. In that moment, she has her justification. There is another about coveting, after all. Somehow, in the cosmic lot of drawn straws, everything will remain in balance.
Blinking, she turns on the hot water and splashes her face.
Setting the face cloth down, she clears her eyes and stares at her reflection again. This time, with drops of water obscuring her view, there's the sensation of seeing a ghost. Herself, a few years ago. Like a peek through a soft lens on a camera.
Linda was in love with life those few years ago. Everything and everyone she touched seemed happy. College was wrapping up, her boyfriend just asked her to marry him, her favorite cat had a litter of five (of which she kept two). So simple, then.
She grits her teeth suddenly and smacks herself in the face. "Bullshit," she utters. The facade was simple then, a walled-up complication just waiting to crumble. Things are truly simple now... rubble notwithstanding.
Her favorite three-color toothpaste glides onto a pink toothbrush. She remembers advice her college roommate - a dental student - gave her: "Floss before you brush, Linda. It lets the toothpaste get in the cracks." She has no idea why that popped into her head, but she sets the toothbrush down carefully and grabs a plastic flosser out of a ziploc bag. Flecks of last meal hit the mirror and bathroom counter as she quickly counts to 30, one for each flossed gap.
Throwing the plastic tool in the trash can, she picks up her toothbrush and begins brushing her teeth. He often told her that her smile was the most beautiful smiles in the world. She's going to be damned sure it's the last thing he sees.
Before she's even done brushing, she turns the hot water on to the shower. No time for a bath, unfortunately. Exhaustion creeps through anger for a moment and reminds her how tired she is. She really could use a soak... but that will have to come later. Time is of the essence, as they say, and there's only one essence to her time: she wants to be dressed to kill.
She rinses the toothbrush and sets it in its holder. Mouthwash is poured into lips and she jumps into the shower. There are a few seconds of introspection - and appreciation of the water - before she grabs the facial cleanse. Her hair does not need washing... it shines when it's a little bit dirty, after all... and she's going to be doing something just a little bit dirty.
The apricot exfoliate feels good on her face. She lets it set while she lathers up a washcloth with shower gel. She wants very much to enjoy the shower, but she's well-aware that she's on the clock. It's a self-imposed time limit, to be sure, but a time limit nonetheless. This needs to get done, and she needs to do it. Beginning with her neck, she quickly scrubs her skin down to her breasts - there's a brief recollection of his hands doing the same - then her stomach, legs, and feet.
She considers rubbing her feet with the pumice stone, but decides against it. She'll save that for the soak. After the murder.
*Continued in Twenty Minutes and a Gun, Part II
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