Azarel put his Bible down on his new, pottery barn, bedside table. Lena had brought it, she was always buying him things. ‘It’s a sorry present.’ She would say.
Mark 10:2-12 rang in his head, if something one read can ring in one's head. ‘What God has joined together, let no one separate.’ That’s what the pastor had told him too. He glanced at his watch; 10:02 pm, she’d be home in a half hour. He’d have to go to sleep, before she comes home. Then, hopefully, she’ll just watch some TV and go straight to bed. But that’d be impossible, he couldn’t go to sleep that quickly.
He put his wedding ring back on, if she came home early, saw it on the bedside table -- He didn’t want to think. He might as well do it now, lest he forget.
He wondered how drunk she’d be, it depends if she’d gone out with Him. He thought of Him as though He was God, with a capital H- but that was hardly the point. He, or he was ‘just a man at work’ or, ‘a guy I met down the pub’, so undefined, he could be God. Azarel supposed he should probably stop calling Him Him, start calling Him ‘just a man at work’ or, ‘a guy she met down the pub’, it’d be less dramatic. God might mistake his obsession, unholy in itself, for selfishness. ‘Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.’ 1 Corinthians 10:24.
If he told Naomi about all this, she’d say it wasn’t an obsession, he was hurt and wanted the hurt to stop. The things that came out of his 10 year old's mouth were quite extraordinary. Yes, that is exactly what she’d say.
But it was selfish, he expected, God’s omnipotant judgement would see that. Azaral shouldn’t care, he deserved the punishment he was getting and he new that, He shouldn’t matter. But He did, He made her drink more, and when she drank more, it was so much worse. At least it was always Azarel, that’s what made it better, at least it was him, not Naomi. It couldn’t be Naomi, there wasn’t a guilty bone in her body, God would not allow it.
He took another glance at his watch 10:32, 2 minutes late, she was never late, unless she was very drunk. He closed his eyes, sweat trickled down his forehead and his heart began to race. He would never go to sleep in time now, even if she was hours late.
But then the door slammed, she heard her red heels, the ones she always wore, on the wooden floor on the hallway, clicking at a irregular pace, a sound she had grown to know so well. But instead of heading down the stairs, as he was used to, to their bedroom they head up the stairs and her hoarse voice began to sing the nursery rhyme she used to sing Naomi as a child:
Three blind mice, three blind mice,
See how they run, see how they run,
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a thing in your life,
As three blind mice?
He stepped out of bed and walked to the bottom of the stairs. There was no reason for her to go upstairs. She barely did. He just saw her turn the corner at the top of the stairs and moments later he heard the opening and closing of a door, Naomi’s door. He tiptoed up the stairs, she might just be saying goodnight, but Naomi shouldn’t see her this drunk. There was nothing he could do though, if he did anything he would face the consequences.
He peaked in the keyhole and saw Lena sitting on the end of Naomi’s bed, singing to her, swaying slightly in her drunkenness. Naomi was smiling, but she looked uncomfortable. Lena came to the end of the song and smiled back.
‘Are you drunk?’ Naomi said.
‘Yes.’ Lena replied, steadying her tone.
‘I don’t like you when you’re drunk.’
‘What did you say?’ She sounded angry, but her tone remained wobbly.
‘Ok, I love you.’
Naomi turned over and Lena walked over and raised her hand.
Naomi’s scream rang in the air. Azarel couldn’t think, his chest tightened. He ran downstairs, didn’t care for the sound he was making. And he didn’t go in to stop her, she’d only hit once, she always got enough satisfaction from one, probably because it hurt so much. He walked over to his bedside table, still light headed. ‘She would pay for this’ he thought, he picked up his bible, stared at it for a second, clenched his jaw and tossed it into the fire that was roaring at the foot of his bed. His God would not allow this. He was now taking matters into his own hands.