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Contemporary Romance Sad

" Customized breakfast coming up !" I cry as l put a plate of sunny side up eggs in front of Ron and scrambled eggs in front of Sheila .

' Wow ! " they cry in unison .

I am blissfully happy. Life has truly given me the best deal possible. In a few weeks Ron and l celebrate our fourteenth wedding anniversary . We have a large staff to keep our seaside villa spotlessly clean and to cater to our every whim but l love to cook on Sundays . Our twin sons have just been selected in this exclusive residential school for boys and are happily studying there . We do miss them but remain really busy .

Sheila and l are twins but a more unlike pair of twins you could rarely see . Both of us are tall but the similarity ends there. Lissome , delicate, a peaches and cream complexion, hair like spun gold , she is the text book illustration of a fairy princess - the spitting image of our Mom . With brown hair , tanned skin - l take after Dad . Our parents adore us and until the day of the Annual Function when we were in Grade Four , always got us identical clothes . That day both of us had had to wear frothy white lacy dresses with pink sashes . On Sheila the beautiful dress looked ethereal : on me it looked grotesque .

 At the end of the musical , while Sheila - radiant and beautiful , bowed before an awed audience , l slunk away . That was the day Gran took me under her wing . And so began my true education . After Grandpa 's death Gran single- handedly built up the tottering enterprise into the multi - million company it was now  - a force to reckon with . While Sheila was busy with music , moonlight and magic , l was busy learning the intricacies of business . Dad was more laid back - not at all like Gran - the Woman of Steel , a true Master of the Game . 

Sheila soon left home to follow her dreams - of making it big in Broadway . She had been brought up to believe that the world was her oyster . All she had to do was to put her hand on just about anything and lo and behold - it was hers ! She truly believed in ' Vidi , veni , vici ' - l came , l saw , l conquered . Mom spared no expense to indulge her darling 's whims . Dad was more practical but then in the face of Mom's insistence , his opinion hardly counted .

 Soon she had people swooning at her feet . Adulation and adoration notwithstanding , she was going through her third divorce . When she had married Peter Stottard - the renowned industrialist in a fairy- tale wedding , we were thrilled . But it did not last . She had left a bewildered , heart - broken Peter for her gym instructor . Then she had left him to marry Stuart Williams - the Pulitzer Prize winning author . Again , the marriage did not last long . Dad refused to let her stay with them inspite of Mom's protestations . So l invited her to stay with us . I was very busy but l was happy that Ron was was taking time off to keep her company .

I had met Ron when lwas doing my MBA . Extremely intelligent , extremely introverted , he was my mirror image . From batch mates to Presentation mates to Soulmates had been a seamless , effortless progression . What better deal could l have asked for ? Unlike Sheila 's , our wedding had been a low- key affair . Ron was in the process of setting up his own startup and was terribly busy . Besides crowds always made him uncomfortable . Sheila was on her second honeymoon and had not attended.

" What about your amazing cutlets ? " asks Sheila with her mouth full . 

" Coming up ! " l say happily . I love it when my culinary efforts are appreciated . Cooking is not only a stress buster but also a way to show my love for my family . 

After Gran's death Dad had divided the company into two equal halves - between Sheila and me and taken semi - retirement . It was left to me to manage the whole company . Sheila and Dad both are content with the handsome monthly allowance l give them ,  that ensures their luxury lifestyle . Ron had steadfastly refused to join my company and works hard at his now booming startup .

The only cloud on my horizon is Ron's heart problem . Many tests and specialists later he has been diagnosed with an inoperable congenital heart abnormality . The only remedy was carefully monitored lifelong medication. I myself regulate and administer the medication ensuring his health and my own happiness.

 "Remember, " Dr. Montgomery had said , " Even a single day's negligence can result in disaster. " 

I had tearfully promised that this would never happen .

"" What's the POA ( Plan Of Action) for today , Slv ? " asks Ron ." Trip to the beach ?"

Ron did not work on Sundays. 

" l have that meeting with the Chinese delegation at 3.00 pm , " l say regretfully ." You two go ahead . "

I dress hurriedly and reach office . Cheryl tells me everything is in readiness . I am soon up to my ears in work - sorting out the finer details with my crack team . Halfway through Chreyl informs us that the crucial meeting has to be postponed. The delegation missed its connecting flight and would reach only late tonight . Everyone is thrilled - no one likes working on a Sunday .

Meeting rescheduled for Monday, l happily drive home . I decide to pick up my swimsuit and join those two at the beach. I have given the house staff a day off and enter using my own key. l take the stairs to our bedroom . The door is shut but l hear voices . Oh my God ! I hope Ron's okay ! I hope it's not the doctors ! I think frantically . But what's this l can hear Sheila's voice .

" When will you tell her ?"

" l will tell her . It's just not the right time ! " Ron !!

" For the first time in my life l'm in love ! Tell her NOW ! "

"She is planning a big bash for our anniversary. Let her have a last whiff of happiness. l 'll tell her after the party. " Ron at his conciliatory best .

"I can't wait that long !" petulant Sheila. 

" Don't worry , my love. I am in love for the first time in my life too. "

What was this husky , ardent note in Ron's voice ? A tone he had never used with me !

" Prove it !" Flirtuous Sheila .

And then the kisses ... in OUR bedroom , in OUR bed !

 Slowly , unseeingly l make my way down the stairs . Now l see Sheila for who she is exactly - unlike me she is not concerned about the family and its happiness . She is totally obsessed with herself - all she cares about is - l , me , myself . For her the family is only a means for getting what she wants . I get into my car and drive alone to the beach . I sit on our favourite rock. The cool sea breeze soothes me but all l can see is Ron and I walking on this beach hand in hand , Ron and l sitting on this very rock and sharing our hopes and dreams , Ron and l ... Take a grip over yourself , l scold myself  . A rival is trying to take over your company - think , Sylvia , think . Gradually Ron 's image is replaced and as the sun sets in spectacular colours of gold , orange and red l begin to form a strategy . By the time the sky turns to a deep purple , l'm all set . I drive home super - charged with my new resolve .

" Hi everyone ! " l call out . " l' m home !"

" Missed you , Syl , " they say.  

" How about a Barbecue tonight ? " l am at my charming best . " Grilled fish , barbecued chicken , stewed pineapple ..."

" You got it !" shouts Ron excitedly . He hastens to set up the barbecue while l marinate the meats and rush upstairs to shower and change . It is a hilarious party .

The next day l begin to put my plan into action . Over the next few days l employ all the tricks - insider trading , middle- men , my own money till finally l have bought out all of Sheila 's shares . By the end of the month, she will be totally penniless . Next step - Ron had named me as next of kin in his will .l call up the lawyer - no change in status . 

Now l replace Ron's crucial heart medication with simple lookalike painkillers. It would take three or four days at most .

Ron complains of breathlessness . I spring to my feet . 

" l'll call the doctor ! "

" No , l'll just take my pills . "

Sheila has no idea - she continues sipping her drink .

 Solicitously , l hand him the painkillers . He gulps them down.  

" l think l'll take the day off ," he says breathlessly .

Much to Sheila 's consternation, l say , " So will l ."

Sheila suddenly remembers an appointment with the hairdresser and leaves .

Ron slumps tiredly in his chair . I dial the doctor. 

" Dr. Montgomery!" I cry in panic . "It's Ron ! " 

My voice is filled with all the pain and longing that wells up in me .

" Has he been taking his medicines ?" 

" Yes ! Yes ! " l cry anguished . 

" Hold on ! We are on our way !" 

I replace the painkillers with Ron 's heart medicine . As his breathing becomes laboured , l kneel at his feet, holding his limp hand in both of mine and wait for the doctors to arrive .

March 04, 2023 06:06

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1 comment

Helen A Smith
16:42 Mar 11, 2023

Your story kept me hooked Ruby. It started off light, then took an unexpected turn. Revenge is a dish best served cold. Sisters, eh??? Thanks for an enjoyable read.


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