In exchange for his previous salary and quarter of their savings, he and his wife were now the proud owners of two tote bags, a pair of slippers, a tank top, two vials containing scented water and a pair of sunglasses. Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Chanel, Prada, Gucci- code names for daylight robbery.
He was going to strangle Rita.
She knew how hard things were at work- he damn well made sure he told her everyday. Even she couldn’t be that oblivious to the sinking economy. She’d even had the gall to call him at work and bring him up to speed on her latest shopping expedition. Yes, thank God she’d been able to get the last pair of sunglasses. It had only cost the equivalent of $300!
He didn’t blame the woman. The rest of her family members, in his opinion, needed special licenses to be as ugly as they were. Next to them she was a supermodel. After taking off his jacket and picking up his toolbox from the boot of his truck, he stomped into the house with righteous fury.
“What are you doing in my house?”
“Dave! This is my sister Beatrice, she lives in the city,” Rita faltered as her husband’s face grew darker,”I t-t-thought-”
“Oh, you had a thought did you? In that case, I can let you off the hook since its unfamiliar territory… isn’t Beatrice the crazy one who skipped town?” Davide said.
“Davide, please. Beatrice is my eldest sister,” Rita said. “You look positively livid, did something happen at work?”
“At work?” Davide repeated trying to restrain himself from killing his wife on the spot.
Beatrice regarded the tall dark haired man her sister had married from head to toe. She had neither attended their wedding nor asked for pictures to be sent to her. She needed no reminders of her old life.
“I was looking forward to the pleasure of your company since I hadn’t had it yet,” Bernice said,”Maybe some other time then?”
Davide back tracked. If Beatrice was the oldest of the Tokes it meant she controlled the purse strings. Considering the fact that they were the Tokes sisters, it was quite a large purse. He tried a smile but the expression on her flat face remained cool and detached.
“Has Rita always had such expensive tastes? I understand that she’s an heiress but I thought she would’ve waited until she came into her inheritance before-”
Beatrice stifled a yawn with the back of her right hand and blinked her eyes. Rita couldn’t tell if her husband’s eyes were glittering from the subtle rebuff or the size of the rocks on the rings on her sister’s fingers. The kitchen already felt ten sizes smaller.
“Oh, go on,” she said, “I always yawn when I’m interested.”
Davide shifted from one foot to the other wracking his brain on how to salvage the increasingly deteriorating situation. His already jumbled thoughts became even more scattered as he found himself the object of Beatrice’s piercing black eyes. Then everything fell into place.
“Rita,” Beatrice said to her younger sister with her eyes still on Davide, “What did you do with the money you received in April from the Tokes estate?”
“Oh, that,” Rita said, her face lighting up, “So one evening I was just flipping through channels on the tv- you know Dave finally got the cable fixed up even though we’ve had it for ages and he kept saying we couldn’t afford to pay for-,”
“Rita!” Beatrice snapped.
“I gave it to charity.”
“Rita, honey, what charity? Did you talk to anyone about this?” Bernice asked, getting to her feet to stand in front of her sister.
“Of course, I’m not stupid you know,” Rita said rolling her eyes, “Okay, so I didn’t give it directly to charity. I gave it to this business man and he said that he would double whatever I gave him after two months then give it to-”
“Just shut up!” Davide said kicking his tool box away with his boot clad foot. The box fell on its side spilling its contents onto the white kitchen tiles. Rita fell silent and watched her husband pick up the pot of soup she’d just warmed. With a flick his wrists, he sent the pot careening across the small kitchen where it landed upside down. He yanked out the blender, socket and all, then proceeded to toss it over his shoulder. He picked up the porcelain tea set they’d gotten as a wedding present and stared at it.
“Dave no-” Beatrice slapped her palm over her sister’s mouth to muffle her protest.
The delicate cups and saucers offered no resistance and were soon reduced to pieces. When Davide turned to face his wife, Beatrice stepped in front of her.
“Get out of my way,” he bit out.
Shaking her head, Beatrice eyed the distance to the door. As though he’d read her mind, Davide strolled to the door and locked it. When he turned back, she had a knife in her hand.
“Come now Davide, we’re reasonable people here, don’t you think you’re over reacting?”
“Says the woman holding the knife,” he said taking a chair and straddling it, “The woman’s got to learn and there’s no one better to teach her than her husband.”
“Dave please, just tell me what’s going on,” Rita begged from behind her sister.
Davide sighed and got up from the chair. With a casual air he began to unbuckle the belt around his waist. Beatrice watched with growing horror reliving her worst nightmare. In the place of Davide, she now saw Bry her first husband who had abused her. Week in and week out she’d had bruises on display all over her body until she’d decided enough was enough.
Beatrice embraced the madness once again.
Raising the knife high above her head, she ran full throttle at Davide and sank the blade into his stomach, knocking him to the ground. She couldn’t stop now, she had to keep going. Bry had to die. She’d always known she’d be the one to kill him. He had to die or he would hurt her sister.
Why didn’t Rita understand she was doing it for her? Why wouldn’t she stop screaming and help her instead? Why was she trying to pull her away from Bry? Didn’t she know that Bry was a bad man?
Or maybe Rita liked it.
She’d always been the odd one, liking weird things, having imaginary friends. Yes, that was it, Beatrice thought. Rita was abnormal, just like Bry. They were both sick and twisted people. She withdrew the knife from dead body and got to her feet. Rita sat on the floor rocking back and forth as she spoke into her phone. Beatrice walked over to her holding out her hand.
“Rita, you’ve been a very naughty girl…”