**WARNING: Adult content. If you are not an adult, or you’re an adult who doesn’t like erotic or graphic things, stop reading now. **
BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO
The sandwich remained on the counter for two days. Sicily made it for him. Her very last act before she died. Food allergy, they said.
When he returned home from the hospital that morning, Gary went to bed and slept like the dead. That night, he remembered the sandwich and put it in the fridge, next to the new jar of mayo. Didn’t really know why. Just couldn’t bring himself to throw it away. It was proof of his perfect crime. He still saw her licking the contaminated mayo from her thumb, smiling at him as she pressed the knife into the bread. The sight of her lips swelling was etched into his brain. Then they turned blue. She made a noise, scratched at her neck as she ran to the bathroom.
Opening the medicine cabinet.
Pleading for the EpiPen he’d kicked just out of her reach.
He stood over her.
Watched her die.
He called the police after tossing the mayo he’d contaminated with peanut oil in the trash and setting a new jar next to the sandwich. Told them he just arrived home. Found her dead.
The house was too quiet now.
Time to move on.
Find a new woman.
“Gary,” he heard her whisper. “I’m cold.”
Just his imagination. Wouldn’t be human if he didn’t feel a bit of guilt over her passing. He didn’t want it to come to murder, but she was impossible to get rid of. Too damn nice.
He tried to break it off.
She forgave every sin.
Probably forgave him for killing her.
“So cold,” Sicily said again.
Gary sipped his beer. Sounded like it was coming from the fridge. Stupid. Why would Sicily’s ghost hide in the fridge?
“Please, Gary,” she said. “Hold me one last time.”
He set the can of beer on the counter and opened the door. The ham sandwich sat on its blue plate on the top shelf. The light made it seem like a halo surrounded the whole grain bread. He hated that shit. Sicily said fiber was good for him, though. She cared about his health.
“I want you,” the sandwich seemed to whisper.
He felt his dick press against his jeans and slammed the door closed.
Gary picked up his beer and walked to the living room. Bit of hockey and then lights out. He’d feel better in the morning.
Gary dreamed of the sandwich. He saw the pink slabs of meat, smooth and shiny, much like Sicily’s freakishly flappy labia. He used to love her vagina, though. Made her different. Not different enough in the end, but for a while he’d been happy with it.
In the dreams, she continued to complain about the cold. Begged him to help her warm up. He thought maybe she was in the sandwich.
She was the sandwich.
He imagined himself taking it out of the fridge. Stroking the labia-meat that poked out of the bread, feeling the slick, cold mayo, his murder weapon, slide over his cock as he gently shoved it between the slices of bread.
And he came.
Gary grimaced. What a thing to get off on. He got out of bed. It was still dark. The clock on the nightstand flashed 3:04.
He had to piss.
In the bathroom, he left the light off. Stood over the toilet and pissed. The sound of pee hitting water made him feel normal. The dream was dumb, yeah, but at least he hadn’t really fucked the ham sandwich.
“Gary…” Sicily whispered. “I miss you.”
“You’re dead,” he told the voice and then flushed the toilet.
“I’m so cold. Warm me up again.”
Again? He needed a drink.
Gary went to the kitchen. Opened the fridge. Inside, the sandwich was as he left it, although the top slice of bread was a little askew. He straightened it, grabbed a beer and then closed the door.
For ten days, Gary dreamed about fucking the sandwich. It dried out slowly in that time. The meat withered at the edges. Blue fuzz sprouted here and there on the bread. Still, he couldn’t toss it out.
He imagined Sicily calling to him during the day from her cold tomb. Begging him to rescue her. Make her warm again. He took leave from work, after thinking about the sandwich got him so hard, he almost came all over himself during a meeting.
He shouldn’t have killed her. Didn’t want to kill her. She didn’t give him much of a choice. He tried to end it, but she sweet-talked her way back into his life. Did whatever she could to make him happy.
Finally, he couldn’t stand the thought of taking another thing from her, so he made the decision. Poured the peanut oil into the mayo. Suggested ham sandwiches for lunch. She wasn’t hungry but made him one anyway. He panicked. Would he have to force it down her throat?
Then she’d licked the mayo from her fingers.
It was like she wanted to die, because she knew he put a lot of thought into how he’d kill her. Sicily’s only goal in life was to make him happy.
Gary remembered the moment as clearly as if it’d happened just seconds ago. Her tongue glided along her hand. Dainty. Always delicate. It lapped up the smear of mayo, and then slid across her lips.
He imagined her picking up a piece of ham from the plastic wrap, rubbing it on her tits. Her vagina. Then sliding it between the bread. A bit of herself left behind to haunt him. She cut the tomato, sucked the juice from her fingers, and gently laid two slices on top of the ham.
He pictured her fondling the meat again. Squeezing the entire tomato over her tits. Those had been perfect. He’d miss them.
Suddenly, he held the sandwich again. The bread crumbled, but he managed to slip his dick between the slices. Felt the cold embrace of the now leathery ham and slickness of the mashed tomatoes. He moved his hands, sliding the sandwich back and forth, faster and faster, until tiny bursts of light danced in front of his eyes.
Gary woke in front of the fridge. The door was closed. His thighs were covered in semen. Did he just…?
“Eat me,” Sicily said. “Or I’ll never go away.”
She used to whisper that, “eat me,” when they made love. He liked it at first, but it was her only move. The dirtiest she could be.
Good to be rid of her.
Gary opened the fridge. He should toss the sandwich in the trash, but he couldn’t. It’d still haunt him. Better to get rid of it properly. Sure, it was a bit moldy, but if he ate around the blue spots, it couldn’t hurt him. It’d been in the fridge, right?
Just do it.
He picked up the sandwich. The bottom slice of bread had ripped in two. On top, his fingers fit perfectly into three small indentations on each side. Odd. The ham looked okay. Little hard at the edges. The mayo looked a little milky. Mayo was good forever. Wasn’t it?
Never seen milky mayo…
Pushing aside the snapshot of the dream that fluttered around his brain, Gary bit into the sandwich. Tasted okay. He picked off the moldy spots of bread, tossing them on the floor, and then took another bite. The mayo was bitter, and… kind of tasted like old pennies. Rusty, metallic, with a bit of… salt. He couldn’t quite define the taste, but it was nothing like mayo.
He swallowed. Two bites in, and the sandwich was a third gone. Soon, it wouldn’t haunt him anymore, and he could get on with his life.
“Take it all,” he heard Sicily whisper.
Gary took another bite. He pulled a chunk of greenish tomato from between the ham and the bread and tossed it on the counter. Another bite.
Should get a beer.
Thought it’d be drier, but the meat remained moist in the middle.
Milky mayo might give him the shits, but no one ever died from eating spoiled condiments.
Gary swallowed. Took another bite. He chewed. Something tickled his lip.
He set the remainder of the sandwich on the counter and stuck out his tongue. He pried the tickly bit from his mouth and held it up to the light.
“Fuck,” he said and spat out the chewed-up mess in his mouth.
Gary gagged. Coughed. Stared at the hair—the pubic hair—tucked between his thumb and index finger, and he gagged again.
He hadn’t been dreaming. Well, he had, but must’ve been sleepwalking. Hadn’t done that since childhood.
“Did you like the mayo?” he heard Sicily ask.
Gary stared at the corner of sandwich left on the counter. If the pubic hair was his, then the mayo…
He pulled the bread from the top of the sandwich. The filmy coating on top of the ham…
Wasn’t mayo at all.
He couldn’t stop. Again and again, his stomach heaved, until a piece of unchewed ham lodged in his throat. He tried to swallow it back down, but took a breath at the same time, forcing the piece of ham into his windpipe.
“Is this irony?” he wondered as he fought for air that wouldn’t come.
The room darkened. He felt his eyes bulge, like Sicily’s had, and accepted his fate. Even from the grave, she refused to let him go.