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
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
“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
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
“How can you… be so, so, so… heartless?”
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
“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
“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.