The day after he kidnapped her, made her the victim her friends always said she’d be, he brought her first meal: a Monte Cristo. He left her tied to a chair in the motel room, ESPN turned on to high volume. He returned, untied her, opened the Styrofoam container. She looked at the sandwich then at him like he was insane. A deep fried sandwich, ham, swiss, turkey, covered in powdered sugar, raspberry preserves on the side, a big order of fries. He shrugged his shoulders. Hungry, she scarfed it down, furiously scraping the cup for every last raspberry drop. It gave her heartburn. It was the best thing she had ever had. She wanted another two days later. They moved from town to town. He bought them for her when he could find them. He stopped tying her up, stopped playing the criminal. After two weeks they were in love.
A year later, after they fudged their way through kidnapping charges, they married. Why a Monte Cristo, she asked once, of all things? It was said to be Princess Diana’s favorite, he said. A meal fit for you, a princess. Had you considered killing me, she asked later. Never, he said. But the criminal was back. Again she was the victim.