The second last day of her life starts off uncharacteristically upbeat for Shan’ann.
“Good morning baby! Are the girls up?”
Watts answers politely. The girls are watching cartoons in bed. Shan’ann asks her husband if he wants an NFL package for the fall. Here Watts shows how seriously their moneylessness has affected him, but not only that, his entrepreneurial attitude to sorting it out. He’s going to use Troy McCoy’s firestick to stream the games.
It seems football is on everyone’s mind, because Jeremy Lindstrom also texts him [the chronology is out of whack right here in the timeline]. Watts lies to Jeremy, saying he can’t join him because he has a “work function” that he can’t miss. It’s getting easier to lie to everyone now, isn’t it?
At 11:18 Watts Googles trials and hot springs in the Aspen area. He’s not doing that for Shan’ann’s benefit. Shan’ann has no interest in hiking. Watts intends to take his girlfriend there, and perhaps enjoy a part two to the memorable outdoorsy experience they enjoyed in the sand dunes. It goes without saying that in Watts’ fantasy world, he’ll be able to take Kessinger to Aspen after Shan’ann and the kids are dead. She won’t know that, of course. [Or so he imagines. In fact by this time next weekend, not only will she know, all of Colorado and America will know what’s happened].
Watts was clearly addicted to Kessinger, and the regular dispatch of naked and semi-nude selfies kept Watts’ on a leash, kept his addiction burning. Saturday night would be their first chance in over a week of being apart to quench their lust. Kessinger spent 45 minutes searching online about preparing for anal sex, as well as browsing other porn sites.
McKenna Lindstrom’s observations while babysitting the kids, and what Bella said to her when she couldn’t sleep, are another extremely critical area of the timeline. Since I’ve dealt with this aspect exhaustively in the books, I won’t be repeating any of that analysis here.
After dinner Watts stopped at a gas station to draw money to pay McKenna. Then, exhilarated and happy, but disappointed the evening had ended so prematurely, he headed home. Once home Shan’ann would briefly interrogate him on where he was, and why he spent so much money. We’ll come back to that in a second.
As soon as Kessinger arrived home, she Googled “Chris Watts” “Shanann Watts”, “Ronnie Watts” and “2825 Saratoga Trail”. She would also be disappointed not to have him spend the night as he had so often in July. But he would have reassured her that despite Shan’ann being out of town, and despite him not staying with her that night, significant changes were afoot on the home front. Ironically, there were ominous changes brewing, they just weren’t as mature or as well thought out as Watts was making out they were. Maybe Kessinger suspected as much.
To come home and then SNAP, want to sell their house just like that? When would Shan’ann have had the time to do that, especially when he last post was recap of her entire day…
In terms of her online searches that night, when he dropped her off at home fairly early Saturday night, then left her alone to go to his home, it’s difficult to imagine Kessinger’s interest at this stage of the game wasn’t strategic in any way.
Her search for Ronnie Watts suggests Watts let on something about Nut Gate and his parents, and Kessinger wanted to snoop to see if she could see anything else that Watts wasn’t saying. The search for the house might have been to verify if he [or she] had put it on the market after all [he hadn’t, in fact a year later arguably it’s still not on the market].
This was also another opportunity for Kessinger to view Shan’ann’s Facebook profile, and even if she just spent a handful of minutes, it wouldn’t have been difficult to establish she was pregnant. Did Kessinger know? Shan’ann mentioned her pregnancy in her second last post.
[On the one hand the sheer volume of Thrive nonsense was sufficient to muddy a cursory glance, but on the other hand, which mistress would give her rival just cursory glance online?]
We can also see by the end of Saturday, Shan’ann’s upbeat optimism was worn completely through. She was back to being suspicious, except, now she was more than suspicious. Now she was no longer giving him the benefit of the doubt.
When she called Watts late on Saturday night and instructed him to save his receipt, he knew the temporary tide of happiness he’d initiated in her was turning against him.
Saturday night was another fleeting, intoxicating roller-coaster ride with his mistress, and he wanted to keep punching that ticket. He was beyond caring about his wife or the children, who were sleeping soundly for the last time, in their beds.