The way the day ends

“I saw her,” She said quietly looking up at him after she closed the door of the large, expensive maisonette flat behind her. He was standing in the kitchen niche, behind the counter, looking as handsome as ever: tall with a perfect body, blond boyish hair, sensually shaped lips, she had kissed so often, bright blue eyes which were now looking back at her announcement without a blink. There was no guilt in his eyes nevertheless she thought to have detected something in that look, something like the flicker of unexpected surprise. But maybe she was just imagining things; maybe her suspicious mind was simply running wild. It was too much of a typical stereo-type thing for it to be true: the coming home early and catching one’s lover with another woman. Nevertheless there was something different about him, now that she looked him over again. His shoulders seemed oddly relaxed though. She felt a discerning sensation expanding in her stomach, squeezing her intestines with fear.
“Ah, yes, you would have,” He said dryly not even trying to lie about it. In fact he even seemed to admit to it when in a horrible foreboding tone he added: “She spent the night.”
Her fingers instinctively tightened the grip on the summer coat she carried in her hands. This unexpected revelation hit her like hit her like a hammer blow to the head. Millions of apprehensive thoughts exploded in her head, increased by the image of the pretty, slim woman with the beautiful red curls falling heavily over her shoulders, the one she had seen exiting her boy-friend’s flat a few minutes ago as she walked down the road. She swallowed hard; the shock of this disclosure choked her throat. It was every girl’s nightmare. She struggled with words to say. “But… Richard,” she finally burst out.
“We had business to discuss.” A smug look appeared on his face, the lie exposed. He was testing her gullibility.
“I’m not stupid, Richard.” She tried to make her words sound firm. Trying to generate inner strength she walked over to an arm-chair to deposit her coat; behind her the sound of a belittling chuckle. Her hands were trembling. She didn’t understand what was going on. This wasn’t Richard. He’d always been so caring and honest. They had been together now for two blissful months; an apparent perfect relationship, full of love, understanding and trust. But now - she turned around slowly afraid of what she’d see - now these bright blue eyes were looking at her emotionless. Had they always been so cold? She suppressed her female intuition. With a hopeful look in her eyes she walked towards him. “Richard, let us talk about this. I’m sure we can work this out.” She stopped in front of the kitchen counter; her finger tips rested softly on its smooth surface as she watched him brush the blond fringe off his face.
Unconcerned he reached for his pack of cigarettes lying right between them.
“Oh, we already worked it out.” He wore an uncharacteristic sneer as he pulled out a cigarette and put it to his lips. Her eyes widened a little with incomprehension.
“Me and Jenna.”
The young woman still confused tried to find clarity in his eyes, but only found confirmation of her deepest fear. He lit his cigarette and inhaled with pleasure, eyes closing for a moment as if he tasted bliss itself. She watched his indifferent reaction softly shaking her head. Yet still, she had a glint of hope. If he really had a fling with this woman, he might have ended it today. Her interpretation of his words inspired confidence. “Richard, let’s talk. We’ve just planned our engagement and haven’t you just booked our three-week-trip to New Zealand?” But the man carelessly blew smoke into her face in answer to the subject then pushed her out of the way with a harsh shove. He sauntered casually towards the black leather couch and drop on it. Right arm casually extended across the back of the settee, he removed the cigarette and leaned back. He leaned back leisurely and broad legged with a look of contempt in his eyes that she had never seen before.
“Engagement? Yes, cute. You are such a dreamer, Caroline, which made it all so easy.”
She had attempted to follow him to the couch but stopped short when he spoke. What was he saying? This wasn’t him speaking. His manners had always been perfect, his personality warm and charming, obliging. They’d fallen in love with each other instantly. He seemed to know all her wishes intuitively. He was well-dressed and took a lot of care of his appearance. A perfect gentleman for the daughter of a wealthy father. Only last week he’d entertained her parents with her mother’s favourite Sinatra song “New York” singing it and accompanying himself on their grand piano. Her father had told her to hold on to him. Yes, he even invited him for a morning ride across their land trusting him with his most beloved horse. They got on marvellously. On their return they had appeared like accomplices keeping some extraordinary secret, which in the end turned out to be him asking for her hand in marriage. Only yesterday they had gone to pick an engagement ring, to be a present from her father.
She held her breath. She could not understand any of his behaviour. He watched her closely with a self-satisfied expression on his face. “What are you saying, Richard?” she lamely shook her head not really wanting to know his answer yet needing to ask despite of it.
He laughed out loud. “Well, I guess the game’s up a day too soon.” he sucked delightfully on his cigarette and blew the smoke out in a couple of quick puffs. “Didn’t plan on you coming home early.” He laughed again throwing his head back. It was such a ridiculous cliché.
She gaped at him startled. “Game? Planned what?” It was like a horrible dream. He was kidding, surely.
“Do I have to spell it out for you, Caroline? I used you. Can’t you see?” he leaned forward to put out the cigarette stump in the ashtray on the small glass coffee table in front of him. “I love you so much!” he said playacting the besotted lover and then changed back just as easily into the cold-hearted monster he had turned into so unexpectedly.
It was a bad film. Caroline’s eyes widened with horror. His words were like a hard slap in the face. Despite her 5ft 9” and attractive exterior she suddenly felt small and worthless. Her arms hung down limp, her face frozen in shock.
Richard settled back on the couch now extending both arms along the back rest of the couch watching her closely; keen to see the pain in her eyes, the helplessness, sucking it in hungrily. And he seemed to want more.
“Let me explain,” he said viciously. “I’m not who you think I am, obviously.” He laughed amused. “I put on a good show though, of the perfect lover.” He lolled about on the couch like a king. “Should have considered acting as my profession but I am in fact, not the bank manager you imagined me to be, but just a petty thief. Yes.” He sighed dramatically, adding: “Oh, and Jenna, she isn’t what you call a lady, you know.” He waggled his brows suggestively, winked and grinned broadly at her, as if she wasn’t part of this. “Well, to cut this short: we needed money.”
“No…“ Caroline’s voice sounded faint and frail. Tears welled up.
“And you were just the perfect bait for several reasons, Caroline. So delightfully weak and naive.” His head tilted slightly as he noted her tears with pleasure. “And of course rich.” He carried on unmoved by her frailty. Her legs weakened and she dropped to her knees, eyes strangely unfocused, tears rolling down her cheeks.
“See,” he said callously yet satisfied and pointing at her. “Pathetically weak. You can’t half imagine my aversion to be obliging to such weakness.” He seemed to shudder inside. Her eyes only slightly focused on him again. He sighed sadly looking up at the ceiling: “I had such a lovely letter prepared for you to find tomorrow. Explaining, why I had to leave, not bearing to be supported financially by a woman, no longer wanting to feel useless for having my rent paid for me, you know, the your-too-good-for me-thing and all that. Ah, well, pity.” His head lowered to look at her again to study the effect of his words.
Caroline started to sob in a muffled tone. “But Dad, he… “
“Your father, yes, he loved me, didn’t he? Wrote me a blank cheque to pay for the ring. Well, would you be surprised to know, there isn’t a ring?” he blinked theatrically then laughed.
“How can you… be so, so, so… heartless?” she whimpered.
His index finger shot out towards her, his face brightening. “Ah! Now you got the picture, darling.” He watched her upper body slump over her knees weeping pitifully. A satisfied look appeared on his face. He snorted to himself. Her body slipped to the side with the convulsions of her sobs, lying there like a wounded animal at the brink of death. He suddenly jumped up from the couch rubbing his hands. “Well, it’s time to go, I guess.” He made a step but her hands reached for his ankles clinging to it. “Richard…”
“Oh, shut up!” he kicked his legs free making her cry out in pain. He stomped past her his eyes suddenly filled with hatred and loathing. “Stop howling, I can’t stand it!” He advanced into the bedroom.
“I’ll tell Dad… everything!” she wailed naively rubbing her arm. She laboured to sit up.
“Ha-ha! Do that, darling; I already took care of that while we were out for a ride. You can tell him what you want. I prepared him for that unhealthy jealousy you possess and the incredible stories you come up with, when I catch you prying on me.” There was a shuffling sound in the bedroom.
“You bloody liar!” she cried still on the floor wiping the tears.
“Who can tell?” He re-appeared from the bedroom wearing a leather jacket and a large knapsack on his back.
“You bastard!” she exclaimed, the vulgar word sounding peculiar coming from her genteel lips. She struggled to her feet and threw herself at him, disillusionment and frustration aided her strength. She pummelled her fists against his chest.
He instantly seized her wrists. “Relax, I let you have what’s left in here.” He sounded amused and sarcastic simultaneously. “I’m done. And… not to worry about Daddy, I didn’t take it all.”
With a sudden realisation she understood the meaning of the blank cheque.
“Why do you want to destroy us? What have we done to you!! You bastard!” she screamed trying to struggle free of his grip. His eyes darkened hatred flared up inside of them like an eternal flame. He shoved her backwards viciously, making her stumble and topple back onto the floor. Her head hit the edge of a small cabinet. She screamed in pain; blood trickled onto her dress.
He took no notice, but seemed to enjoy every second of it. “I only take what is mine. Good luck with the bastard you’re carrying inside of you, if he’s still alive.” He smirked cruelly. Her look betrayed her surprise. “Oh, yes, I know. I found your pregnancy test. Did you want to surprise me that we’d soon be a happy little family?” This snide remark cut deep into her heart like a sharp dagger. He opened the door and stepped outside, reaching back for the handle to close it behind him. Before he did, he looked over his shoulder at the heap of sorrow on the floor. “You’ve committed incest, sister. Bad rich girl.” He said winking at her cheerfully then banged the door behind him. She could hear evil laughter diminishing slowly in the distance.

Elke Salazar

  Writingclasses.co.uk
online creative writing school

 

writing course for beginners