Our only prenup agreement was to never yell at each other. We’d both been products of broken homes and people so had decided to always use our inside voices.
But he’d been acting strangely for three weeks now, and I’d had it.
“Honey! It’s like I don’t know you anymore!”
He was staring at me, well, through me.
It had all started with the eggs. My parents had come over for Christmas and Tim tried to cook eggs on the floor. My tall, dashing, intelligent husband cracked open three jumbo eggs on the floor. This, of course, opened the door for my mother’s much unwanted but highly opinionated opinion of him to be heard.
“Honey”, she said, puffing away at her joint, “He’s on drugs”.
Yup. Just like any mental health therapist would say. You know, the type who’s been married and divorced three times, only to remarry their first husband (who’s now declared himself gay on Facebook) because he needs health insurance. My mom for obvious reasons loves to declare that she’s not on Facebook. I chose to ignore all this and all her personal disasters, however, and for the sake of not arguing, focused on Tim.
“Mom he’s not on drugs. He’s just under a lot of pressure at work.”
And he had been under a lot of pressure. A Russian firm had taken over his company and they were working on a new contract to build a state-of-the-art federal prison. Tim had been slaving over the plans day and night … and popping Xanax, so I guess technically he was on drugs. But, come on, not like … real drugs.
Today, though, I’d had enough.
And believe me I had tried. I still hadn’t said anything about him shaving the cat and giving her a bath last Tuesday. I cleaned up, never said a word. I consoled myself with the fact that work was brutal. I still hadn’t said anything about him putting the car into reverse while I unloaded the trunk. I also totally ignored the fact that he’d been muttering unintelligible phrases in his sleep. I mean, let’s face it; given the current state of affairs … between building a prison to house an oppressed faction of society, and being overseen by Russians, he might have been having a moral crisis.
But today had been my sister’s wedding. To be fair, I had told Vicky that ketchup was too cheap of a “sauce” for a wedding, and she gave me the lecture about how elitist I had become after college. I told her she was a fake artsy-fartsist. Ketchup’s not a sauce, people!
When the Master of Ceremonies asked Tim to say a few kind words about the groom, his brother (yes, yes, we keep it in the family), he walked up to Vicky and sprayed her with a bottle of ketchup, while calmly saying “DOSVEDANYA”.
So you’d understand that, given earlier events, it was perfectly fitting of me to yell at him.
“Dosvedanya, Tim, Dosvedanya? What even the fuck is that?”
MEANS GOODBYE, he said mechanically.
“Oh, Goodbye? Honey, are you fucking someone else? Please just tell me.”
“I saw your Amazon application, Honey. Is it work that’s stressing you out?”
“Well you’re a fucking architect, why would you apply to be an Amazon Prime Driver?”
“Honey, please you know you can tell me anything. Are you using again?
“What?” I burst into tears.
Maybe it had been a mistake when we had decided to leave out the “For better, for worse” part of the marriage vows. This was the fucking worst.
GLUPPY MEANS FOOLISH, AND DOSVEDANYA MEANS GOODBYE. IN RUSSIAN
“Do you have to learn Russian for work now, Honey?”
NO. I RUSSIAN
He had an accent now, a Russian accent, his English was totally broken.
Now, if you’ve ever read Chicken Little or Revelations or any other Doomsday Story, this was my world ending.
“Tim, Honey, what’s going on?”
TIM NAME OF HUMAN SUBJECT, he said, his accent even more Russian, his voice robotic.
I lunged forward to shake some sense into him, but the impact of his cold, rigid chest sent me crashing into the pots behind me, the same pots he’d refused to make the Christmas eggs in. It was as if he’d become the Tinman.
“Now you’ve been working out,” I said, breathless, “But not that much!” I tried to reach myself up from the floor as Tim stared past me, motionless.
“OK, OK, whoever the fuck you are …”
DIVOC 91 IS LEADER
My sky was definitely falling, Chicken Little was right.
GLUPPY he said, again.
“OK, OK I’m learning the Russian now, yeah, I get it, I’m foolish”
MUST GO NOW
“ Tim, where are you going, we need to talk. I love you, Honey. Don’t do this!”
LOVE IS HUMAN WEAKNESS
So remember those alien movies where the aliens come in, and they like take over your loved ones’ bodies, but they don’t catch you, and then you have to find some supernatural kryptonite or whatever, and you zap the aliens and get all your family back? This was my alien movie.
DIVOC 91 SAY YOU JOIN US
“Yeah for the revolution, right?” I’d given up. He was playing games so I might as well just go along.
I DRIVER. YOU RECRUITER.
“Ok, Honey. I’m sure you’ll tell me what’s going on later; right now, we’re both tired.”
FIRST YOU MUST GET THIS
“ What the hell are you doing?”
In his hand, were a vial and a syringe. He was aspirating the liquid from the vial.
NO MORE HUMAN FOR YOU
As he closed in on me, I looked at his eyes but he wasn’t there. I fought and kicked and screamed, tried to reason with him, but I kept meeting cold, hard thuds.
As he reached over me and plunged the syringe into my neck, I finally began to understand – DIVOC 91, the Russians, the prison, it all made sense now.
I was howling with laughter, now, as I realized they’d been right all along.
The COVID 19 vaccine I had coaxed my husband into getting had been a Russian Bot Converter after all.