When we were at the lowest we had ever been, we used to make jokes about buying or selling body parts. I remember I once asked you how much you thought my kidney would sell for. A week later, you made the same joke, but about your liver. It became a routine, weak joke of ours; that we should consider selling some of our organs, in order to live. One time, you showed me a diagram of the human body, with body parts and organs all different colors, indicating how much they went for on the black market.
But they were always jokes, and time passed. I got a new job and you were promoted. We made our way out of debt, built up our credit and then started to lead an almost lavish lifestyle. International trips, 1,500 thread count sheets on each bed in the house. You began taking horse riding lessons, and I learned how to play the piano. I even quit my job and began to exclusively focus on my necklace making. My business took off, and you began taking long horse riding trips. Local, and some in Idaho, Wyoming. Sometimes in Canada. Even though we had both lived in Montana for over 20 years, neither one of us ever owned a gun (something we had initially bonded on when we first met). But one day you came home with two. A small handgun and the other a hunting rifle. I thought it was peculiar but knew you were becoming more and more interested in the more traditional western lifestyle, including hunting. Your trips rarely lasted over five days, but with the guns came longer trips. Ten days, two weeks. Was I worried? No. At least, not what you were up to. I didn’t believe you were cheating on me, or that you had some sort of secret family, like my sister kept telling me. I was worried for your safety, but that was it.
It wasn’t a climax, but a thunderbolt. I have no idea if it was the first time, or your twenty-seventh time. Six months ago, when you returned after a three-week trip, my car was in the shop, so it looked like I wasn’t home. Normally, at that time I wouldn’t have been anyways, since my piano lessons were usually every Thursday, from 2:00–4:-00. I was upstairs in my office, listening to my latest performance through my headphones. I felt, rather than heard the door slam shut.
I heard you calling my name, but as I was in the middle of the performance, I preferred to continue listening and to answer later. But then, I heard you go back out. And in, and out. I counted you moving in and out, from the garage to the kitchen, twelve times. I thought that you were playing some sort of game. So I walked down the stairs, stopping on the second step from the bottom. I stopped because I saw you laying out the knives. Fourteen of them, covered in a brownish-red something. You then turned to the stove, and placed olive oil in four iron skillets. And then I saw the trash bags. Six of them. I watched you put on a surgical mask and bright orange gloves, the type that extends all the way up to the elbow. You opened the bag closest to you. I watched as you pulled out a human torso. A human foot. Three small objects that looked like human fingers. I tasted vomit in my mouth.