Ted took a deep breath and sat back a bit on the couch.
He was now smiling. “Ok, you’ve had your fun. But this isn’t funny anymore. I think I’d like you to leave. I’m not sure you should work here anymore.”
“I don’t work here anymore,” I said. “In case you hadn’t figured it out—I quit.”
“Fine. Get lost then. What the hell are you still doing here? Are you some kind of a psycho? If you think I’m giving you any kind of a good reference now, then you are sorely mistaken lady.”
“You still don’t get it. My name is Leia Daniels, A.K.A Leia Ridgeway. I’m still technically your wife.”
“I told you already to get the hell out of my house, or I’ll call the cops.”
Ted pulled his phone out of his pocket.
“You dragged me up the stairs by the hair of my head. You yanked me down the hallway. My heels were bruised on the floor. You threw me in the nursery, took my boys out of the room, and then you returned with your trusty can of lighter fluid. You lit the whole room on fire.”
Ted’s eyes were wide. His jaw dropped open.
“Before you stepped out of the room,” I continued. “You turned to me and said ‘sweet dreams’. Then you walked out locking the door behind you and leaving me to burn to death.”
“Holy shit…” Ted said. He knew it now. He believed.
“Yeah. It almost worked. I burned over most of my body. Somehow I broke the window and leapt to the ground below me. And then I stumbled out to the road where I was found.”
Ted stood up and started pacing. He looked at me.
“What the hell do you want? Why did you stay hidden for three years? Why are you here?”
I laughed. “Why am I here? Really? You have to ask me that? Are you that stupid?”
“Do you think that anyone is going to believe you?” Ted asked.
“Believe me about what? When I tell the whole world what you did to me? Yeah… I kind of think they will.”
“You’re crazy. You are certifiable,” Ted said.
“No that would be you. For the past three years, one question has plagued me, Ted. Why did you do it? Why did you set me on fire and try to kill me? Why? I was a good woman, a good wife. I loved you. I did everything I could to help you succeed. But still it wasn’t enough. Why did you try to kill me?”
Ted paused a moment. “Because you were in the way. You were in the way of me and what I wanted to do with my life. You lorded the money over me like I was some kind of stinking gigolo. You made me feel like a loser and the world saw it. And that day you pushed me too far. So, I figured what the hell.”
I laughed and shook my head. “I told you then and I’m telling you now Ted; you are pathetic.”
“No, you are pathetic. You waited three years for what? The best plastic surgery on the planet that only your kind of money could buy?”
“Maybe,” I said. “Or maybe I waited this long to get revenge on you.”
Ted laughed. “Revenge on me? What revenge? Like I said, no one is going to believe this.”
“I guess we’ll just have to see,” I said. “I just felt I would come here and face you in person because I wanted so badly to see the look on your face. You have no idea how excruciating it has been to be so close to you and want so badly to expose it all. And I have to tell you—it is amazing.”
Ted smiled. “Well, I’m happy for you. That’s just great. But you forgot one big flaw in your plan.”
“All I have to do is kill you again,” Ted said.
Suddenly, Ted grabbed the beer bottle and broke it on the edge of the coffee table. He held up the large jagged edge and leapt towards me with it.
I ducked out of the way just in the nick of time and pulled the gun from behind my back. When Ted righted himself and started to stand back up from falling half over the couch, he was now face to face with a .38 snub nose.
Another priceless look of fear, real fear in Ted’s eyes.
“Ted, I think you’ve once again underestimated me. Drop the bottle and go over there. Sit down like a good boy before I blow a hole through you.”
“You don’t have the guts,” Ted said. “You are no killer.”
“True, Leia Daniels is no killer,” I said. “But Leia Daniels is presumed dead, right?”
I saw the look of fear in Ted’s eyes grow. I was enjoying it. I’ve never considered myself a bad person and I’ve never really wanted to do any harm to anyone, but standing there pointing that gun at Ted I felt that I was doing something good. This man had taken everything from me and who knew what type of damage he would do to other people in the future?