‘There is one thing you can try, but it will cost you’, The Man said.
‘Whatever it takes’, he said.
The Man leaned back in his chair and opened the draw to his desk and placed two objects in front of him. One was smaller than a fingertip and throbbed with dull fire. The second object looked like a miniature earpiece.
‘This practice is nothing new, but it is illegal and as such involves precautions’. He picked up the first object. ‘She will need to swallow this. Mix it in with her food. It is tasteless and flexible enough to pass down her throat without her noticing. It will remain inside of her for the rest of her life. It is the safest way. No one can know what we are about to do.’ The Man picked up the second object: ‘Insert this into your ear. It will distort your hearing a little. It is designed to fall so deep into the ear canal as to be unnoticeable. It cannot be removed. It is the safest way.’
The Man handed the devices to him along with a card:
‘This is the frequency the objects are set to. It is unique to your device. Any standard radio will pick it up, but only you will hear it. You will hear everything. Every conversation she has will sound like she is sat next to you. You will know once and for all where and whom she is with’.
The Man leaned forward: ‘If anyone finds out about this, it will have dire consequences for yourself and anyone else involved.’
He signed the cheque and handed it to The Man.
Pulses. She liked pulses. Salad. Seafood. Her favourite foods. It was what they ate the day after they were married. The honeymoon was bliss. They had both agreed that it was Heaven. They swam with dolphins and she told him she loved him with her eyes. His body burned inside with fire and desire. She loved him.
That evening, they ate in silence until she finally spoke:
‘I’m seeing friends tomorrow evening. I’ll be home about 10. Thank you for tea. It had a taste to it that I can’t quite put my finger on. It was delicious’.
‘I am not a spy..’, he thought the following day. ‘..I only want what is best for both of us. I will wait until she has finished work’. She was meeting ‘friends’ at 6pm. Then he would know. He would listen and he would finally know.
He paced around until the time came.
He tuned the radio to the frequency on the card. His head whooshed back and he dropped to his knees. White noise rattled through his mind, then voices.. Her voice:
‘I don’t think I can cope any more. How long have I been seeing you? I’ve been in therapy for two years already? Why do I still feel so low? Of course I love him. He tries, I know he does. He does things, like yesterday he made my favourite meal, but I know he doesn’t love me any more. He doesn’t trust me. I’ve taken every drug you’ve given me. I just don’t know what else I can do…’
He smiled and switched the radio off: ‘This whole time. Therapy. Why didn’t she tell me? Why didn’t she tell me?!’
He showered and shaved. He wore the aftershave he had refused to wear because she had bought it for him. He had told her it reminded him of The Man she was having an affair with. Now he knew no such man existed. How stupid he had been. When she came home tonight he was going to tell her he loved her for the first time in years. He was going to tell her he loved her with his eyes.
It was past 10 and he was worried. He didn’t want to use the radio again but he wanted to know that she was safe.
He turned on the radio. The same white noise made his mind ache and he again fell to the floor. He heard the sound of trains.
She usually caught the bus. When they were in love he used to meet her at the bus stop. She had said he seemed to know when she was having a bad day because on those days he always brought Her flowers.
The radio crackled and he heard a stranger’s voice. He doubted it at first, but there was no denying it:
‘She’s jumped..’ it said.
A week had passed since the funeral.
He had not left the house except to buy alcohol and fend off sobriety. He looked up at the clock. She had bought it for him from an antiques dealer many years ago. She had said that every time he checked the time he would think of her.
It was 6.33pm.
‘What if..’, he thought.
He tuned the radio.
White noise tore through his mind.
Something was wrong. Blood poured from his ears. He reached out and turned the radio off but the noise didn’t stop. He fell into blackness and the noise level rose. He smashed the radio against the wall but still the noise did not stop.
Then the voices started.
He could hear her.
She was crying and wailing.
Then he heard The Man:
‘He never loved you. That’s why you jumped..’, The Man said.
‘..just relax. There is no him any more. It’s just you and me now. There is no escape’.
He slumped into the corner of the room.
He could not see, but he could hear, and the sound he heard was Hell.