But as I tried to concentrate on work, I couldn’t stop thinking about the sexy, new, nanny that had come into my life. Jane was something else…
I loved being near my kids. It had been so hard not to break down and just tell them that I was their mother. I had to stop myself several times a day. I had to refrain from acting too close to them for fear that Ted might get suspicious. I was just being the best nanny I could be and I had become their friend. They liked me; they trusted me. That was a great step in the right direction.
As I drove home, the dinner that Ted and I had just enjoyed kept going through my head. The impulse to stab him in the eye with a fork was almost too great, and it had overwhelmed me at one point. But I’d managed to keep my cool.
I’d learned to cook during my isolation while I was waiting to heal up. I didn’t have a lot else to really occupy my time with, so I indulged in a few hobbies. Cooking was my favorite. I loved to fill the house with the smell of delicious food and I enjoyed the process of mixing the ingredients together and how it all ended up being wonderful food in the end.
And apparently, Ted agreed with me on this. He loved my cooking so much I could see in his eyes that he was starting to fall in love with me a bit. I wondered if it was just the food, or if there was something else that he was remembering. As much as I hated him, when we were having that dinner I had to remind myself more than once of who Ted was and what he’d done to my kids and me. But it also seemed like the old times, when we would have dinner together. It was rare, but it did happen. And it was actually nice sometimes.
We’d fallen in love with each other for a reason, after all.
But I hated the very air he breathed now. And I was going to destroy him. I’d never been a vengeful person before, and I have to admit that it was worrying me. I was aware that I was starting to go over the edge and losing a little bit of myself in the process. No matter what happened, it was imperative that I keep who I was hidden. My babies needed me.
At one point in the dinner I’d grilled Ted a bit deeper about what life had been like since his wife’s death.
It was so bizarre hearing him talk about me that way, but it was fascinating watching him squirm a bit. He had his canned responses down cold, but when I urged him to go beyond that and I probed a bit deeper his answers seemed kind of flat and almost inhuman. He had no real substance to him.
“Well, it was so tragic,” Ted said. “It was such a bizarre accident. I drove back in a fit of hysterics, practically. I even had to stop a few times to get myself together before continuing. I probably should have ordered an Uber or something, but for whatever reason the thought didn’t really cross my mind. I had to find my wife; I had to make sure she was ok. That was the only thing I could think or feel. It was repeating in my head like some kind of a crazed mantra. When I think back to the fact that my boys were in the back seat…wow. What was I thinking? I never should have been driving in that state with them there. But it happened.”
“That sounds terrifying,” I said. We’d just finished the dessert and I was feeling very full. I could see that Ted was feeling the effects of the food as well and he was having trouble staying awake.
“It was,” Ted replied. He was crying a little now. I would never get over how easy it was for him to cry on command. He was a master.
“I remember hearing about the fire,” I said. “It was a bit of a news story due to her wealth and status. Is it true that they never found the body?”
This question would have sent anyone else into some kind of rage. I was sure that Ted was going to yell at me and ask me how I dared to ask him that question. I think it would have been a warranted response under those circumstances.
But Ted was easy and sweet. He smiled. “No, they never did. It’s difficult to say what happened to her, but I’m fairly certain that she did not survive the fire.”
“I’m so sorry,” I said. “I shouldn’t be trudging up stuff like that. That was rude of me.”