At the stroke of midnight

 For the speakeasy at yeah write #147

At the stroke of midnight

“There was a time when things were different. When I was young…”

 Amused laughter and snatches of conversation filtered through the living room into the kitchen where Christina stood at the sink washing the dishes. She was used to such sessions of group study at her house. Gary, her husband was a renowned Professor at the university.

She finished washing the dishes and started dinner. The students would be leaving any minute and she did not want to be caught on the wrong foot.

Few minutes later, she heard the door close and tensed. Gary strode into the kitchen.

“What’s cooking? Smells  good.” His arms went around her waist and he started nuzzling her neck.

“Its pot roast”, she replied, trying to put a smile in her voice.

His fingers were already busy undoing the buttons of her blouse.

“The food will get burnt, “she protested mildly but to no avail.

Gary took her on the kitchen floor, while she clenched her teeth to stop herself from crying out. She knew he was watching her. Any sign of discomfort or pain would just egg him on. Sex was not for pleasure but something he used against her, to inflict pain and humiliate her.

She could smell the food burning and involuntarily her eyes moved towards the stove. That was enough to tilt the scales. Gary shoved her away with such suddenness that she banged her head hard against the worktable and she cried out.

“You flat chested cold fish! Not even the best plastic surgeon in the world can help you.” He jeered.

With that, he left the kitchen and shut himself up in his den.

Christina knew better than to call his bluff. She was a size D and very attractive. She had been very popular all through college and even now, at parties, men sought her out.

Looking back on her three years of marriage she wondered how she had not seen through Gary’s veneer of decency. She had ruminated on this many times but each time she concluded that she had had no way to gauge it. Gary had played his cards very smartly.

 In their six months of courtship, he had always been gentle, courteous and attentive to her every need. He was well established, had his own house, and was respected in the community. No one would ever believe that the same man could behave in such a manner.

She too had not-the first time it happened. They had been married two weeks and had returned after seeing a movie. As she was taking off her jewelry, Gary grabbed her roughly, tore her dress off her back and had his way with her. She was left bruised; a little shocked but she was still very much in love and thought this just added another shade to their colourful life.

She couldn’t have been more wrong!

She remembered how one afternoon he had returned home and started dragging her to the bedroom. When she protested, he growled, ”Why not? Am not good enough for you, eh? Or is there someone else giving you what you are refusing me?” He had then beaten her leaving her numb with shock and pain.

Another night, in one of their intimate moments, he had suddenly slapped her and said, “You Bitch! Do you think I don’t know? Fantasizing about your dream lover, aren’t you?”

The pattern continued without any respite. Initially she tried to get him to go for counselling but was laughed at and punished severely.

Christine knew no one would believe her. She had no one to turn to-Gary had made sure of that.

Deciding enough was enough, she started her quest for freedom. She used different internet cafes in the neighbouring town, every time she went online. No use leaving tell tale signs.

New Year’s Eve.

Christine, beautiful in her off shoulder floor length burgundy gown .The full sleeves, gathered at the wrist looked divine. Her French knot looked regal.

She watched Gary enjoying himself. Oh, how he loved being the cynosure of all eyes! Well, it would be the last time he did, she mused.

At the stroke of midnight, the lights dimmed and everyone rushed to hug and wish each other. In a flash, Christine stabbed Gary with her poison tipped stiletto knife, and moved away.

There was an investigation but the Police never found the weapon or the motive for Gary’s murder.

Best thing? She was never suspected.

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This is written for The Speakeasy at Yeah Write. The weekly writing challenge with a sentence and image writing prompt for up to 750 words. This week the sentence, “There was a time when things were different,” must be used as the beginning of the story. This week’s prompt can be found here: http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/147-open/ 

                 

<a href=”http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/147-open/”><img src=”http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/speakeasy2.png”></a&gt;