As I sit on the subway home from work, I light up a cigarette and stare out the window when the train pulls into a station. There's an advertisement for Anderson's Auto Parts, boasting 140 locations in the tri-state area. I chuckle quietly to myself before looking away, observing the people who get on and off of the train.
Lying is essentially half of what I do outside of work. I lie to my neighbors, I lie to my friends, I even lie to my husband, straight to his face. It's not even a compulsion, either, it's genuinely part of my day-to-day job. If you were a curious stranger, I would tell you that I'm the assistant CFO of Anderson's Auto Parts, that my daily work life consists of desktop after desktop of paperwork, and that I hate my job enough to rant about it every day, but that "someone has to do it".
However, my actual job title is Biological Object Study Specialist. My work life consists of peering over supernatural animals and people, studying their anomalous effects on themselves and others, determining their danger to the outside world, and keeping them contained within my worksite. It can get monotonous from time to time, but it is not the kind of job you get used to, I assure you.
After the subway pulls into my stop, I stand up and walk out of the station, flicking my cigarette into an ashtray on the way up. My home is only a couple of blocks away from the station, so I'm there within minutes. As I step through the door, my husband greets me with a peck on the cheek.
"Hey, darling, how was your day?" He says in a chipper voice as he heads back into the kitchen to finish what I assume is our dinner.
"Oh god, honey, it just dragged on and on. My boss screamed for what seemed like almost an hour." I reply, thinking of the incredibly frail and alien-like man who roared at the top of his lungs for around 52 minutes at a D-class.
"I don't know how he thinks he has the right to yell at his staff like that." He muses as I take off my coat and hang it up. "Come sit down, dinner's ready."
I nod and place my shoes next to the door, then step into the dining room to sit down. He grins at me when I notice what he's done. He's set up quite the romantic dinner, with steaks, green beans and potatoes, along with a glass of red wine.
"Oh, honey, this is beautiful…" I exclaim, admiring his handiwork and moving to take a seat.
"No, no, let me get that for you." He smirks and pulls my chair out for me. I sigh and laugh a bit, sitting down. He takes a seat across from me and we both start to eat our dinner. I smile at him when he shoots me a look, swallowing a bite of green beans.
"You know, darling," he begins, setting his fork down gently. "I found something rather strange today."
"Did you, now?" I ask, taking another bite of the steak. So perfectly cooked, with just the right amount of fat for flavor.
"It was some form that was in your desk, something about the 'SCP Foundation' and some kind of statue that kills people when no one's looking at it."
I immediately stop mid-chew and look up at him, staring. I must have accidentally mixed up part of my actual paperwork with my cover paperwork…oh god, we'll both be terminated if the Foundation finds out about this… My palms almost start to sweat before I tilt my head and ask, "Huh?"
"Yeah, I know! It's weird, right?" He chuckles and takes another bite of his steak. "I mean, I figured it was just some kind of dark fiction from the internet. …you're not looking up that sort of thing, are you?" He says, half-joking.
I stare at him for a moment before sighing. "No, honey, it's a real thing and it's something I'm studying every time I go in to work." I say, laughing. "Alright, you got me. I…I kind of like that sort of dark and bloody storytale stuff."
Unsuspecting, he chuckles. "Yeah, I figured you've always had a, um…a thing for stuff like that." A weight is lifted off my chest. I would sigh in relief if I didn't have food in my mouth. Swallowing, I reach over to my glass of wine and take a sip, smiling at him. "I hope this doesn't make me any less attractive to you." I say as I take something out of my pocket before standing up and getting the wine bottle.
"Nothing could ever make you less attractive to me, darling. Not since the day I met you." He replies with a somewhat sultry tone in his voice.
"And that's why I love you." I grin and lean forward, kissing him on the lips. As he closes his eyes, I use my thumb to slip a Class-A amnestic into the wine bottle. "Perhaps later, we can…make this evening a bit more romantic." I insist as I refill his empty glass.
"Ooh, I thought you'd never ask." He laughs a bit. "Let's finish our dinner first, though, shall we?"
I nod and sit back down, watching him take a sip of his fresh wine. Our dinner continues and we idly chit-chat back and forth before he starts to rub his head. "Are you alright, honey?" I ask in a concerned tone.
"Ngh…I think there was something in my steak…" He says weakly before falling out of his chair. I quickly stand from my seat, walk over to him and drag his unconscious body into the living room, where I lay him down on the couch. "You stupid moron, Nicole, you just nearly caused a breach…" I rub my face in anger before running upstairs and going into my office, shoving the door open.
I frantically shuffle through my desk drawers, looking for the object log. If this were to get out, losing my job would be the least of my worries. Unable to find it, I slam my fists down, running my hands through my hair as I nervously look around the room. Then, I remembered…he probably wouldn't have just put it back where he found it. Not something like that. I run downstairs to the garbage bin, practically sliding on the floor to it like a baseball player rushing to home plate.
After yanking an apple core and today's paper out of the bin, I find it. That fucking statue. I take it into our backyard and pull my lighter from my pocket, igniting the flame and burning the page until nothing is left. Satisfied, I step back inside and lock the back door behind me.
When I walk back into the living room, I look at my husband and try to think about what I should do. I gave him an amnestic, but what if it doesn't take? What if he wakes up and still remembers it? What then? If this gets out, the Foundation would cover everything up, with prejudice. I think about the gun I keep hidden in the basement and wonder if I should use it. I can't let anyone know about this by any means necessary, but…I can't just kill my husband. Not after everything we've been through together.
Overwhelmed by the situation, tears start running down my face as I look back and forth between him and the basement door, but before I can make either choice, he stirs. I quickly move over to him. "Honey, are you okay?" I ask.
"…Nicole…? What happened? Why am I on the couch?" He asks, rubbing his forehead.
"We were eating the dinner you made for us and you passed out." I say, sniffling as I caress his cheek gently.
"I…was? Last thing I remember is getting home from work…" He sits up.
I let out a gasp of relief. "Yes, honey…you did. I think something was wrong with your steak. It did look slightly off…" I smile.
"Heh…uh, are you alright? You're crying…" He worries.
"I…I was worried about you. I thought I was going to have to call 911." I say, smiling. He smiles back and kisses me on the cheek. I was so relieved that everything was okay.
"Should…we finish the dinner?" He asks.
"No, let's just watch a movie. We already ate most of the dinner anyway. You just go up and take a nice shower and I'll clean up. You deserve it." I kiss his head and he nods, standing up from the couch and walking upstairs.
I rub my eye, thinking about how close I just came to killing my own husband. After cleaning up the dishes, I take the bottle of wine and pour it down the drain in the sink, staring outside and looking at the sky.
I'm never happy about how I have to handle my life. Almost everything I say to my husband is a lie, and I have to maintain those lies, often with force. My job can leave me feeling too drained to care about it, but when I do, I wonder if it's even worth the trouble sometimes.