If I kept looking in his eyes, I thought I might fall into them. they were empty, an abyss of nothingness, where you can't see the bottom, but you know, you know, you know, that the landing will break you.
“I never loved you, you know,” he said.
It was like he thought it was a revelation. Like he thought that this secret was the one I wanted him to confess.
He stepped forward. I stepped back onto the porch.
“Are you afraid of me?” he asked.
It should have been pouring with rain. It would have been better if the clouds had formed and had poured all its icy contents onto his head. Instead, there was sunlight and a refreshing breeze. Instead, there were autumn colours exploded across my lawn in the shapes of leaves. Instead, there was warmth.
“I’m not afraid,” I said. “I’m heartbroken.”
He laughed. His laugh used to fill me with bubbles of contentment and tasted like strawberries and cream. Now, a shiver went down my spine.
“Heartbroken? That’s funny”
“You don’t believe me?”
Finally, something lit up in his eyes. Not love, never love, but anger. Hate. Close enough.
“I know what you were planning to do.”
I held up my hand. The engagement ring glinted in the light.
“Promise to be there in sickness and in health?"
He grinned, his canines bared. “Till death do us part. Except, you were planning for our parting to come a little sooner than expected.”
He held up the bottle of cyanide and shook it.
Cyanide is easier to find than most people think. Even my mother, in all her tranquilised haze managed to procure a bottle. Though, that might have been due to her copious amounts of money. There were still marks on my palm from her fingernails from when she pressed the bottle into my hand and told me what I had to do.
He raised his eyebrows. “Nothing to say?”
“Where’d you find —”
I knew where he had found it. Perched on top of my cupboard in my bedroom. I knew when he had found it, the night before, after I had fallen asleep, clad only in my nightie.
It was a rookie mistake. Almost braindead act of stupidity. I'm sure that's what he thought. Or that I was confessing with a big sign saying punish me, burn me, just end me.
That night, with my pillow pressed to my face, I listened out for the sound of police sirens outside. Instead, I heard the sound of his engines as he began to drive his car. The brightness from his head lights dimmed as he drove away.
“It doesn’t matter where I found it,” he said. “All that matters is that I know what it is. And I know what you were planning to do.”
As he placed it back into the inside of his blazer pocket, I caught a glimpse of metal. A dagger perfect for slitting my throat.
“What will you do?” I asked, my eyes still fixed on the handle of the blade.
“What should I do? I could kill you, but I don't think I would do well in prison.” He tapped his face. “Too pretty.”
“You could turn me in.”
He shrugged. “I could. I should. But I want something more. More than that, more for putting up with you all this time.”
“You weren’t complaining before."
"Before I didn't realise you wanted me dead."
He wanted to marry me for my money. Wanted to place a ring on my finger like the owner places a cage around a bird. All my lullabies, all my wealth to be his. But he wasn’t strong enough to take the final step, no, no he couldn’t kill me because in his back there wasn’t a spine strong enough to kill me with.
No, he would take the coward's way out. Divorce me and take half of what I was.
At least that’s what my mother said.
Secretly, I think he did it to prove that he could. Make the daughter of the crazy rich lady fall in love.. I would be the most exotic capture of his cage. A poor, isolated, girl with too much money and too little sense.
It worked, as well. I had never been looked at before, never been seen. Despite knowing what he was, I had fallen.
“So?” he asked. “What should I do?”
He wanted me on my knees. He wanted me to beg and beg for his forgiveness. He wanted me to give him everything he wanted, all the jewels, all the money he could ever need.
He hadn’t realised the truth yet.
“I’m sorry,” I said.
His grin grew wider. “You’re admitting it?”
“I saw you with her, you know,” I continued. “The one you would have left me for. She was pretty. My mother wanted you dead before, but I thought you loved me.”
“What are you—”
“I left it there. I left it out there knowing you’d find it. My mother wanted it more painful than a quick drink and death. She wanted suffering. She's always wanted your suffering since the day you were born to the man that never loved her.”
The smile began to fade from his face.
My mother and I make a fine pair. Both fell head over heels for a man who chose someone else in the end. My mother wanted to marry him but he never wanted her, not even once, and he left for a pretty girl with big eyes and they had a child together and my mother was forced to marry an alcoholic and have a useless child and she's always wanted blood. And I was perfect. Perfect for seducing and making his only son marry me so that I could kill him. But I thought he had loved me, if only a little. So I begged and begged my mother for something less painful and she gave in. And then I saw him, with his pants around his trousers and his tongue in the other girl's throat and I knew he had never loved me, that there had always been emptiness in his eyes.
So I left that cyanide out for him to find and waited to see what he would do, knowing now, that whatever happened, he would be in pain.
From inside of the house, my mother emerged, the axe already in her hand.
His eyes widened.
As his hand reached up to protect his face, my mother swung, slicing it off.
The police would come soon and take us away. There, the bottle of cyanide would come in handy.
I leant over his body. He was still alive, still clinging on.
“Crazy bitch,” he spat out.
Even with all the pain he was in, it still didn’t feel like enough. I had been humiliated.
I stepped back, looking over him. My mother handed me the axe.
As I swung, I said, “I never loved you.”
But no one believed me.
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This was intense - in a good way! I love that the cyanide and the man's attitude slowly eases you into the craziness, making everything believable and not out of place. Great work!