The Odd Couple

About five years ago, an elderly man and his wife moved into a tiny home in Star. Their single-story pink and taupe home just west of Boise was a stone’s throw away from ours, so it didn’t take long for our families to become friendly.  

On the surface, everything appeared to be fine. He was always outside tending his lawn and our neighbors’ business, while she preferred the comfort of air conditioning and solitude. They loved their dogs, breakfasts at Star Cafe, and dipping their feet into the creek on Star Road and Floating Feather.

Apart from his slightly intrusive nature and ramblings on the toxicity of big pharma, they seemed like any other retired couple...until they didn’t. 

Alarming News

One morning, around 7:00 am, I leashed up our two labs and took them on a walk ahead of the day’s triple-digit temps and hot sidewalks. We were going home 30 minutes later when I spotted the old man standing in the middle of the sidewalk. Almost immediately, I had a feeling something was off.  

He wasn’t retrieving the morning paper or watering his lawn. His dogs were nowhere in sight. It was like he was waiting for me. Acutely aware of how alone I was, I tugged the dogs into the street to put more space between us and the gray-haired, six-foot, 250-pound man. But it was no use. He had something to get off his chest.  

He explained that for the last three months, his wife of 50 years had been losing her battle with cancer. As sad as that was to hear, what he said next was alarming.  

The old man looked me square in the eye and told me his wife deserved to die for choosing modern medicine to treat her condition. If she had taken his advice and gone with natural interventions, she wouldn’t be “rotting” away.  

Because she refused to drink the homemade liquefied silver he’d prepared for her, he was done with her. Amidst the rant, I lost track of how many times the old man said his wife deserved to die. Shocked by his cruel words, I excused myself and went home.  

She "Deserved" to Die

About a month later, I saw the old man again and asked how his wife had been feeling. Expressionless, he let out an eerie chuckle and said, “Yeah, she died a few weeks ago just like I said she would. Serves her right for not drinking the silver. She deserved it.” 

A chill raced down my spine as I remembered the glass jar of liquified silver he left on my doorstep around the same time he said his wife died. 

Speechless and horrified, I rolled up my window and drove off. Less than 24 hours later, a realtor pitched a for-sale sign in his front yard, and I haven’t seen him since.

It might seem crazy, but I still wonder if the old man killed his wife. 

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