The Perfect Family

All Rights Reserved ©

Crystal and Gabriel

Crystal wakes up to an empty bed, pounding headache, and ear splitting ringing blasting from her phone. She groaned and answered her phone, swearing to herself that she would change the ringtone.

"Yes?" She asked, holding her pounding head in one hand and her phone in the other.

"Crystal, did you get up okay? You had a rough night last night." Gabriel's voice comes from the phone, and Crystal groans. His voice was too sickly sweet for her to deal with today.

"Yes babe. I had a rough night, but I got up like normal." Crystal lies through her teeth, the constant pounding in her head making it hard for her to concentrate.

"I left some aspirin and water beside the bed so-" Crystal stops listening to Gabriel, zoning out and thinking about the man she was going to meet after she stopped talking to her husband.

"Babe? Crystal? Cryssy?" Gabriel asks from the other end, snapping Crystal from her reprieve.

"Yes Gabe?" She says, paying Gabriel as much attention as she could through the pain in her head.

"I'll talk to you later Cryssy. Bye. Love you." Gabriel says, disconnecting the call before Crystal could say anything.

Crystal doesn't mind though, throwing herself back onto the bed and taking the aspirin on the bedside table. She laid there, thinking about her life and how she screwed everything up when she rushed into marrying Gabriel. She was stupid to marry somebody she had no interest in.

An hour later, Crystal is dressed and out the door. She was on her way to meet the man of the day, Jack or Jackson or something like that. She did the same thing every day she could, going out and meeting a random man to have sex with before rushing home to take a shower, dry her hair, redo her makeup, and dress nicely so she could greet Gabriel at the door with a chaste kiss before he went to their bedroom to change so they could go to the family dinner together.

Rarely did Crystal ask questions about how Gabriel's day had gone, though Gabriel asked about Crystal's day every evening when they were making the drive to the Collins family mansion. Small talk was never a strong point for Crystal, so Gabriel just assumed that this was the way she was normally.

Crystal wanted nothing more than to tell Gabriel all about what she was doing behind his back, but she knew the consequences of doing so. Gabriel may be a loving person who wanted to make as many people happy as he could, but he would never forgive her for breaking his heart. Crystal was painfully aware of how clueless her husband was, thinking she loved him even half as much as he loved her. And she knew if Gabriel divorced her, she wouldn't see a cent of the family fortune.

Crystal was really stupid to have married Gabriel, but she did it so she would be able to live her life without worrying about her actions working their way back up to the ears of her parents. Crystal knew she never loved Gabriel, and probably never would, but she put on a fake smile and kissed her husband so nobody knew what she did when she was alone.

Crystal just hoped that she wouldn't have to please or appease her husband in any other ways than looking like the perfect housewife who supports her husband in all of his endeavors, even when they keep him away from the house for long periods of time.

Dinner, as always, went nicely. Adrian pushed food around his plate, Ava bragged about even the littlest thing she did that day, Madeline hung off her every word, Xavier and James whispered to each other about different things as they commented on the conversations going on around them, Gabriel attempted to talk to Henry as they ate, and Crystal talked to Xavier and James as she ate small amounts. The perfect family scene.

Adrian was the first to rise from the table and go to his room, leaving Ava in the care of her grandparents, aunt, and uncles.

Xavier and James were next to leave, smiling and laughing as they told everybody around the table that they would see them the next night, swinging their joined hands as they walked out the door. Crystal envied her twin's happiness. She envied how in love he was. She wanted what he had.

Crystal and Gabriel were the last of the people leaving to actually leave, thanking Henry and Madeline for hosting dinner like always. Without much thought, Crystal kissed her mother and father on their cheeks and said good bye, hoping she had avoided suspicion for yet another day.

Later that night, when Crystal and Gabriel were in bed, Crystal lay awake long after Gabriel kissed her goodnight and rolled over, snoring within a few minutes. Crystal let the tears roll down her cheeks in the darkness of the bedroom. She didn't want this life, she didn't want what was handed to her.

Crystal also didn't want Gabriel to suffer because of her actions. No, she could never love him, but that doesn't mean she doesn't care for him. They had been married for three years now, and spending that much time with another person who was always nice made it hard not to form attachments.

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