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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thou Shalt Not Covet

Hector first met and fell in love with Rhonda at a wedding. He couldn't remember whose at the moment – wait, that's right, it was hers. She'd just tied the knot with some pompous writer she'd met in Greece while on his book-signing tour. His name was Jules and it bothered Hector how the man threw his money around, leaving behind the insinuation, though he never said it, that Hector should make an effort to someday pay him back.

He knew that only the untimely death of Rhonda's husband could grant Hector the opportunity to be with the woman of his dreams. But Jules was like an older brother to Hector, so much so, that they even shared the same mother and father.

Killing him would not be easy, but then he reminded himself, nothing worth having ever is. Except for this job - high-rise apartment manager - which Hector hated. Having to work for Jules was almost as painful as having to watch him make love to his beautiful wife, which he did every Saturday and Sunday, and most weeknights in between.

After much careful consideration, Hector decided to put his plan in action. He'd rig the elevator doors in the high-rise to open when the elevator was actually stopped a floor above (he'd learn to do this while browsing the Internet at work). His mission was to trick Jules into stepping inside the empty elevator shaft, comfort the grieving widow, and be in her pants by the afternoon. The whole idea seemed truly fail-safe.

He had everything in place and that evening found himself screwing up his courage outside the door of Jules' and Rhonda's luxury apartment. He was just about to knock when the door unexpectedly opened.

Suddenly, surprisingly, he found himself gazing into the warmth of Rhonda's eyes.

His brain registered her startled expression. Somewhere, deep inside his mind, he knew her lips were moving but he heard nothing, so enraptured by her he was.

She shook her head politely and moved past him down the hall, heading for the bank of elevators.

The elevator doors opened. Hector said nothing. He wanted to warn her, he wanted to scream, For God's sake! Don't get in that elevator! But nothing came out, not even a whisper. So powerful was the effect she had on him.

Rhonda stepped inside the waiting elevator, smiled goodnight at Hector, the doors closed and she was gone. Safely gone. The plan had failed.

Hector collapsed against the wall as a wave of relief washed over him. Thank God the plan had failed!

After a moment he gathered himself and took in a deep breath. Perhaps it was wrong for him to covet another man's possessions as he had done for so long. Maybe he was changing, he mused. Getting a little wiser. Perhaps from this point forward he'd make an effort to become a better person.

It seemed a weight had lifted from his shoulders. It was time for him to go home and be thankful for the things that were his. He heard a ding! and stepped into the nearby elevator...

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