It always comes around

Submitted into Contest #89 in response to: Write a story that spans a month during which everything changes.... view prompt

2 comments

Drama Mystery Fiction

Life is nothing but a collection of memories. Some good, some bad. Some trivial, and some which you can never forget. I was experiencing one such cherishable and most memorable moment of my life: my wedding.

Ever since I was a little girl, I had dreamt of a sunset wedding, on a cliff, overlooking a beautiful canyon. My mother on the other hand had always preferred a tropical wedding on the beach. I used to think that it was going to be a heck of a decision to make but as it turns out, an incarcerated mother doesn't have much say in her daughter's wedding. 

Yeah, she's in prison, serving a life sentence. No, nothing too grizzly, just your plain old, run of the mill murder. No, I am not mad at her. Well, I used to be. Afterall, she did go to jail when I was a little child, leaving me to fend off the wolves alone, in this big bad world. Infact, I was furious with her. Up until I received her diary a few years ago on my 18th birthday.

I glanced at the clock and realized that I had an hour before I had to start getting ready for the ceremony. I went to my nightstand and got out my mother's diary. It used to be a thick book but all the initial pages were torn from it, except for the last month before she went away, the month of March 2018. I had read it maybe a thousand times, but I couldn't help myself as I turned the pages to the first entry of the diary. 

-----------------------------------------

1st March, 2018 - 10:15 AM

As per my usual schedule I was running late to another client meeting. It wasn't that I was tardy, something always just came up. That something today was Izzy's drawing homework, that I had forgotten about. Being a single mom is no picnic, even when the child is a darling like Izzy. Thankfully, my 'unemployed actress' days were behind me, and I was able to afford decent education and care for Izzy. 

As I strolled into the cafe, fashionably late, I was expecting an irritated client, ready to throw their coffee in my face, but what I saw surprised me. When I approached the table, I saw an elegantly dressed middle aged woman, sipping wine in the bright morning. 

"Hi Mrs. Abigail, it's nice to meet you. My apologies to keep you waiting.", I said while extending my hand. 

She put down her glass and smiled at me as she said, "Likewise dear, and please call me Martha."

I was pleased by her classy demeanor, she was exuding wealth from her entire persona. "So Martha, I hear you have son-in-law troubles", I said after I had ordered myself a cup of latte. 

I had made a name for myself in sort of a niche area. A couple of years ago, Bianca, a friend of mine had hired me to put my acting talents to use, to try and seduce her boyfriend. No, it wasn't any funny business, she had just heard some rumors about him stepping out on her and she wanted to check if he was really capable of that. I had protested against the idea initially, but her proposed compensation had won me over. Being a single mother would do that to you. 

Long story short, I was able to crack her boyfriend within days. Her boyfriend had gone real crazy then, even the cops were involved. His brother had bailed him out then but last I heard, he had gone into depression and had to be admitted to a psychiatric ward. I thought that this would cut my new side business very short but I was very wrong. I had offers coming in from tons of wives and girlfriends who had the slightest of suspicions on their significant others and just like that, I was in business. 

Martha was one such client, a wealthy one at that, who had suspicions on her to-be son-in-law, that he was really in it for her daughter's inheritance. She gave me every detail I wanted and I was done by the time my cup was empty. She got up and took a folder out of her bag, and handed it to me. 

"This has your advance fee and bio-data on him. Let me know when you find something."

I noticed her use of the word 'when' and not 'if'. I assured her that I would and took out the folder to look at the bio-data. 

Adrian Vice, 27. A chef in a high scale restaurant. Boring job, boring life, nothing out of the ordinary which screamed fraud. I looked at his photo, and he seemed familiar. But after all these years, all these pretty white boys had started to look the same to me. 

I got up and walked out of the restaurant. I was formulating a strategy in my head. Before I plan my encounter with him, I would certainly need my own recon. 

March 15th , 2018 - 7:30 PM

I usually research my subject for a week before making my move, but this time, I had to wait for a fortnight. This was a high profile client and I wanted to take my time so as to not screw things up, but mainly because all my recon had proved useless. Adrian lived such a boring life that it put me to sleep. He went to work early in the morning, stayed at the restaurant till late in the night, came home directly after work and went to bed. The only time he took a break was when he had his girlfriend. This guy was practically a saint.

But the money was good, so I was not about to give up that easily. I researched his likes and dislikes, and went to his restaurant as a customer. To make it look more natural, I had to force him to come out to meet me rather than me requesting to meet him. I ordered 3 dishes, all of which were his specialty according to an article which I had dug up on the internet. When the waiter asked me if I had enjoyed my dinner, I made sure to compliment on the taste and flavours specifically, thanks to my research earlier. The waiter went back and now I waited patiently for Mr. Vice to take the bait, and my patience was indeed rewarded. 

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man exit the kitchen and make his way towards me.

"It's not everyday that someone orders all my specials, and likes them too", he said as he came and stood on the opposite side of the table. 

I looked up and was suddenly struck by how handsome he looked in real life. That photo of his did no justice to him.

" And whom you might be?", I asked innocently.

"Adrian Vice, I am the head chef of this restaurant. Nice to meet you", he replied while extending his hand.

I took his hand and I felt a little warm on the inside. " Hi, I am Lily", I said, while cursing myself for giving out my real name. 

He sat down in an empty chair and we had a lovely discussion on his preparation of dishes, thanks to my own preparation earlier on his culinary experience.

I explained to him how I was the sole heiress to a small European kingdom. He tried to suppress his look at that information but I could make out that he seemed interested, and thus, the bait was set. 

He had to return to his kitchen but we exchanged numbers, to further our culinary discussion of course. 

He left for the kitchen and I left for the exit. Maybe I was imagining it, but I sensed him look at me again before disappearing at the back. The fish seems to be biting down hard. 

March 22nd , 2018 - 09:00 AM

Tardy should be my middle name, as I was late for yet another meeting. And it was with none other than Adrian. 

We had spent the whole of last week chatting about nonsensical things in life. Adrian was a philosophical person, who loved to question every aspect of life. It started off as a really annoying habit, but gradually it started to grow on me. Imagining that handsome face saying all these thoughts might have helped. 

I had told him last night that I was in town only for another week and I was yet to see any of the local hotspots. And as expected, I had a tour date this morning.

Not once had he mentioned his girlfriend throughout the entire week, and I was getting really optimistic about collecting my fee soon enough. 

I got down at our designated meeting spot, and I was on time. Well, almost. I saw him emerge from one of the cafes. He was definitely dressed to impress. He headed towards me with a smile and I smiled back as I extended my hand. He brushed it off and embraced me. I was a little taken aback from that hug, but my mind was already buying a new doll house for Izzy with the fee from this client. 

We went sightseeing for the whole day, to all the best places in town. I 'ooed' and 'ahhhed' at every place, which I had seen a hundred times already. He seemed really invested in his tour guide gig and for dinner, he took me back to his restaurant. 

At his restaurant, he had made special arrangements to create an isolated and decorated area for our dinner. He wasn't leaving any stone unturned. We indeed had a beautiful dinner and were having dessert when I made my move. 

"Thanks for such a lovely day Adrian. You have taken such great care of me here that I am really not looking forward to going back home. Perhaps, you would like to accompany me? My parents would be delighted to meet you. "

This was the make or break moment and the look on Adrian's face didn't look promising to me. 

"That's an amazing offer Lily and indeed I had a great time with you too. But I am afraid that I might have given you the wrong idea, I have a girlfriend", he replied in a gentle tone. 

Wrong idea my foot. This guy had been flirting with me left and right for weeks and now he's playing hard to get. I thought that needed a little persistence. 

I pretended to look hurt and said, "I.. I am sorry. I had no idea. I…  I really like you Adrian. The time we spent together was very special to me. And the feelings had always felt mutual. I…  I have to go."

I got up quickly and made my way to the exit. Adrian quickly caught up to me, but before he could say anything, I said, "I think you like me too Adrian, I can feel it. I leave next week and I will wait for you till then. Goodbye".

I even managed a teardrop or two at that, and left in a hurry. I didn't look back but I had a pretty good idea of his feelings. 

I did sometimes question the ethics of what I did for a living, breaking up couples is not something I would be awarded a nobel prize for. But it put food on my table and I considered it a social service to break up relationships of such poor foundation, before it involved marriage and kids. 

Back at home, my phone was buzzing with explanations from Adrian, but I put it on silent and went to sleep. All I was interested in, was a yes. 

April 2nd, 2018 - 10:00 AM

Dear Izzy, 

This entry of my diary is only for you. Yesterday was something out of a Stephen King novel, probably even out matching that. And I know that over the next few years, you are going to hear a lot of versions of it. By the time you receive this on your 18th birthday, maybe you don't even believe me anymore, but I wanted you to hear my side of it. 

If you have read the entries for the last one month, which changed the course of my life, you already are aware of the circumstances. 

I thought I was towards the end of my assignment as I had Adrian wrapped around my finger. 

Post our dinner that night, I had been professing my feelings of love to him, multiple times, in so many words. I had even told him that I wasn't going to love anyone else in my life. That combined with the image of my vast wealth was the ultimate weapon I wanted to use. If he doesn't fall for that, he wouldn't for anything else. 

Yesterday, he texted me that he had made up his mind and wanted to meet me. He had texted me the address of his apartment and a time to meet. I was beyond elated and quickly got dressed in my rich lady persona and went to meet him at the designated time. 

When I reached the place and called him, he told me that he was running a little. He directed me to a spare key under his mat and asked me to wait for him. 

I went inside his apartment and started exploring to pass the time. But, it was nearing an hour and Adrian hadn't shown up. I groaned as I thought that he got cold feet and I texted and called him, but got no response. I thought that he bailed on me and I left the apartment and went back home.

About 4 hours later, while I was taking a nap, when our apartment door burst open to a stream of police officers flooding our home. Thankfully, you were at school then so you didn't have to see that. 

They immediately came up to me and one of them started to handcuff me as another one read me my rights. I was in a daze and all I could make out was the word 'murder'. 

Apparently, Adrian was reported missing and the cops had gone to his apartment to investigate. Adrian still wasn't there, but there was a large pool of blood, right in the middle of his bedroom. 

From the apartment security, they found out that I was the last person to visit that apartment and thus, making me prime suspect for his 'murder/kidnapping'.

Throughout the ordeal, I was screaming my innocence but the evidence was turning up against me. 

They found all the research I had done on Adrian from my room. I tried explaining my job to them and how I was hired to expose him, but as it turns out the client who put me up to this case, was a fake and she was not the mother of Adrian's girlfriend. They even got the text messages I had sent to Adrian which indicated that I had forged my identity, and that I was madly in love with him even though he wanted to stay with his girlfriend.

I was framed for this murder by someone, and very well framed for that matter. His girlfriend was very real indeed, who swore to 'make me pay for what I did', and I couldn't really blame her. The blood in his apartment is being currently tested and I have no doubt that it's going to be Adrian's.

Breaking up all these couples actually did bring me bad karma Izzy. But harming someone was never my intention, trust me. 

From what I hear, I am going to spend the rest of my life here. My only regret is leaving you all alone in this world. Please make something of yourself Izzy, make your mother proud. 

-----------------------------------------

That last part always teared me up, no matter how many times I read it. My mother might not have taken the ideal career, but she did what she did for me. I was always the centre of her world. And I have really missed her all these years of my life. 

I passed high school and college with honors. I did a lot of things in my life, all as per my mother's instructions to make her proud. I just wish she was with me to celebrate. Especially today. It was the biggest day of my life after all. 

Actually since I had met my fiance, I had always felt like my mother was closer to me. We met in a small country in Asia, thousands of miles from home. I had come here on a student exchange program and just met him randomly in a small cafe. He was much older than me, but when we started talking, we had just clicked.  

I wonder though how would he react when I tell him about my mother being in prison because a guy framed her by hiring an actress as a 'client' and storing his blood over the years to create a fake scene of his own murder. I plan to tell him that tonight, I want no more secrets. 

I put away my mother's diary and got up from my bed. My eyes fell on the wedding card, one of which I had gotten framed. I always felt a tingle down my spine whenever I saw that card, which I think every bride feels on their wedding day. 

He didn't want that wedding card, as we had no family to invite to our wedding. Well, he had a brother once but he passed away a few years ago. But I had insisted on a wedding card as I wanted a memory of our names together. 

I flipped the card to read it for one last time:

Isabelle weds Adrian

The End

April 13, 2021 13:21

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

2 comments

Sara Qasem
14:44 Apr 26, 2021

I really liked your storie and i am doing and anylse on it for a school project, but I just wondor, in theend is the wedding card her mothers or hers beacase if it is hers why dose it say that izzy is marrying Adrian? Yeah i dont now if i sound really stuped but it would mean the world if you could explain the end a bit futhur. Thank you i hope i did not take your time:) Thanks!

Reply

Palash Jhawar
16:41 Apr 30, 2021

Hi Sara! Thanks for reading my story. To clarify your doubt, in the end it is indeed Izzy's wedding and her wedding card. She had read everything in her mother's journal and she has tracked down Adrian and marrying him but she tricked Adrian into the marriage and plans to avenge her mother.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply