Popular advice columnist Susie Q was totally unprepared for the flood of hate mail she received following her answer to the letter about a cheating husband. It seemed like every woman who had ever been scorned had written to attack her for defending the man. They seemed to be exceptionally angry with the part where she suggested that maybe the man's wife wasn't doing all she could at home to keep him interested and faithful.
This wasn't the first time readers had taken offense to one of Susie's columns, she knew that you were never going to please everyone when it came to giving advice. Criticism was just part of the job and she'd developed pretty thick skin over the years. But this time was different, she'd apparently hit a nerve with a lot of angry women out there, and they were demanding that the editor drop her column.
The publisher was concerned; the last thing they needed was another decline in newspaper readership, it was already a struggle to survive as more and more folks got their dose of daily news from the web. He informed Susie Q that she needed to write an apology withdrawing her advice as being an outdated and unfounded perspective.
Susie struggled with the apology and found she just couldn't do it. The issue ran far deeper than folks at the newspaper knew. For five years now she'd been convincing herself that her relationship with Bob was ok because, from everything he'd told her, his wife was a misery to him, always tired and cranky and demanding him to help out, and never showing him any desire at night. Susie Q fired up Bob's passion, providing him with the attention and comfort he said he didn't get at home. She believed that one day he was going to tire of that nagging woman and divorce her, and then he would be hers.
After too many drinks that evening, Susie decided to do a drive-by of Bob's house, just to reassure herself that there was someone who needed her and believed in her. As she drove quietly down the street she could see that the curtains were open and the light of many candles illuminated the darkened room. Then she saw Bob wrapped up in his wife's arms in an obviously intimate embrace. He looked anything but miserable. She watched just long enough to assure herself that he was an active participant in this little love scene, then she drove home in a zombie-like state. Everything he had told her had been a lie, and that lie had been the foundation for her response in the column. She was wrong, she knew it now, the evidence was plain to see.
The following day Susie Q failed to show up at her job with the newspaper. When they hadn't heard from her by mid-afternoon and calls to her cellphone went unanswered, the editor drove out to her house to check on her. Susie's car was in the driveway, but she didn't answer the the bell. Trying the doorknob, he was surprised to find it unlocked. He walked into the foyer calling her name and was stunned to discover Susie's lifeless body on the floor with a bullet wound in her heart and a gun lying nearby.
I'm linking up with Sunday Scribblings where the prompt this week is "flood".