The longest wait of my life is surely waiting for my mobile to charge enough so I can ring my bank and ask them what the hell was going on. My online bank account suggested no money was ever deposited, my bank also confirmed over the phone that no large amount had been registered.
In other words, it never happened.
Whoever stole the money, used a bug to make it appear like it wasn’t traceable. Underneath the second layer, it suggested it was my account that had somehow tried to ‘sneak’ out the money without detection. However, there was a third layer, the real account.
The way the culprit laid the trap, I was the first to be blamed.
I knew, once Theo and his father rang my bank to do thorough research, they would very soon, find out it wasn’t in fact, me. It was easy to work out… if only they had done some extra research before blaming me.
All I knew was that the charity was a small run business and Cynthia was the only one, besides Theo and I, to know all the bank details.
After a good while of brooding and pacing through my apartment, I end up going to my kitchen and opening a cupboard where I had one bottle of wine. It wasn’t for me, it was for my now distant friends from university if they ever came over to visit. I take it out and I look at the bottle, wondering, what it would be like to get drunk.
And how now was the perfect opportunity to find out.
I open the bottle and don’t bother to grab a glass. I take a sip, and I don’t really like it, but my heart was in too much pain to care.
I wanted to drown myself, for just one night, in my heart ache.
Oh boy, Theo knew how to break a heart. Multiple times now, I felt like a worthless piece of shit. He’d fix it, with nice words. Now, I wasn’t sure if anything could be fixed.
I lift the bottle, and while cringing I drink the wine as quickly as I can.
I do about half the bottle, slam it back down on the counter and see the remaining red liquid swirling at the bottom.
All I ever wanted was someone to love me, but of course, I didn’t get a nice romance version of prince charming. No. I got reality. People were fucked up; just like I was soon going to be.
I lift up the bottle and drink some more.
Until every last drop is gone.
I assume it will take a while to hit… I’m surprised that I almost instantly start to feel tipsy. It’s a really weird odd feeling, like I’m losing touch with reality.
I don’t mind, because fuck reality.
I walk over to my window and sit down on the carpet, watching over the city lights and cars passing by.
“Fuck you, Theo,” I snarl his name when the lights reflect the back of the kitchen counter in the window pane and I can see the ring and box on the cheap stone bench top. Eventually I stand up, pulling down my nighty like it’s a proper dress. Without much reason, I turn to inspect the ring.
My heart was still aching, in a weird mushy kind of way. I waltz up to the velvet box, I open it and see a beautiful sapphire staring up at me. This ring was the last remaining thing that seemed to be out of a fairy tale.
It was beautiful. It was perfect.
I slip it on my finger.
“That stupid, lying cunt,” I think of Cynthia as I put on my ring and hold it up to stare at it’s brilliance some more, “What a jealous whore… what the hell… Theo was mine. She can back the fuck up… Mr. Fox,” I turn around and he is staring at me, curiously, as he meows once from the couch. His suggestion is a really interesting one.
“You think so, do you?” I ask him, “I should ring her, yes, I should.”
She had given me her number when I started for any issues. Now I go to my phone and willingly call it with an evil smirk on my face. Mr. Fox looks approving of my actions.
It rings twice before she surprisingly picks up, very quickly.
“You stole money from Theo,” Cynthia instantly accuses me, yelling into the phone, “You little bitch, you got me kicked out of Bryony’s birthday and then you steal from ourcharity?”
“I didn’t –” I can’t get a word in, she yells right over the top of me.
“You’ll never see him again, Wren,” she snarls into the phone, “I’m consoling him right now in our mansion, where you’ll never step foot inside again. You’ll never see him again and you’ll never touch him again. I’m meant to be with him and you’re just a thieving little lying bitch.”
She hangs up on me before I can reply.
Everything she says confirms the truth. It was her.
I gulp and at this stage all I can imagine is Theo is sitting at a table, drinking wine with her and laughing about my demise.
Or did he realise yet, that it wasn’t me? Perhaps he was letting his dad handle it?
I have a printer set up at a small desk in my bedroom that I hardly use.
I print off my bank transactions for the last week.
I slip on some leggings to go with my nighty.
I slip on some ballet flats.
I grab the keys to my car.
And I keep Theo’s promise-ring for me, wrapped around my finger.
The alcohol hits me while I’m driving but I’m not sure if it’s my rage or my strange sense of balance that almost has me running through red lights. At one point, I nearly swerve out of my lane into oncoming traffic, but the rest of the way, I’m miraculously okay.
Somehow, I make it back to Toorak and Theo’s mansion.
I drive into the curved driveway and see a pink Porsche. I park right up her ass, a tad crooked and I get out of my car and slam the door shut.
Keys in hand, paper in hand, ring on finger, I turn and give myself entry to ‘their’ mansion.
The first thing I can hear is yelling from upstairs.
Theo and Cynthia are arguing in their bedroom, it seems.
Uncaring of whether they will be naked or not, I storm my way towards the stairs and as I reach the top, I slow down to eavesdrop on their yelling match.
“ –I am so close to aborting this baby, Theo,” Cynthia is clearly crying, “I don’t even want it anymore.”
“Why the hell would you say something like that? It’s my brother’s baby –”
“No, it’s your baby,” Cynthia cries some more and then I unexpectedly hear another voice.
“It’s not mine either,” it’s Kyros, he is also with them, “I’ve started to suspect a complete stranger is the father. After you slept with me, Cynthia, you went straight back to the bar underneath the hotel. When did you see her that night again, Theo?”
“I couldn’t find her until the sun came up,” Theo adds in and Kyros laughs.
“See? She’s fucking lied to both of us –
“How dare you accuse this innocent, perfect little baby in my belly, of not being Theo’s child!” Cynthia instantly retorts, now pretending to care like she is protecting her baby after just stating she wanted to abort it.
“How many men did you sleep with that night?” Kyros asks, “You always had a curiously interesting reputation in your modelling industry. I would know. I was friends with a lot of the girls through high school who worked beside you later on. They were real sweet, smart and trustworthy girls. They often had interesting stories to tell about your adventures in getting to the top.”
“Oh, shut up, they all lie in the industry, I know it better than anyone,” Cynthia sounds hysterical as I slowly take the last step up the stairs and stand in the corridor, my ears still pricked, “…the baby is yours, Theo… and don’t you tell me the money that bitch took never got deposited into her account, it had her name on the transaction. It was Wren.”
“No, let me explain something,” Theo snaps, “All my life, my father drilled into me that women would want to be with me because of my family’s money. That I should be very careful, with what woman I eventually choose to be with,” Theo growls this part so low, I have to creep closer so I can hear more, “You knew this. For a moment, I believed she’d even do it. You know why? Because Wren is so fucking perfect, it’s too good to be true. For a moment, I believed it must have been all an act on her part. How could it be possible that an angel like her even existed, and that’d I’d meet her, now, out of all the times I could have met her in my life? There is a reason she came to that job interview. I was meant to meet her when I did, that day we left to Hawaii. Thank you, Cynthia, as you’ve just helped me realise how fucking untainted and trustworthy she really is – she never took that money. She’d never even plan something as malicious and shallow as that. Wren knows what real happiness is… and she has a job. On the other hand, your business went bankrupt and you’re faking pregnancy tests because you don’t even know whose baby that is!”
“Oh, she’s so good and innocent and sweet, is she? She’s an ugly little whore, who wanted to take you away from me. I know how girls work, Theo. I can’t believe you don’t believe me. You know what? Fuck you,” I hear footsteps and then the bedroom door swings open to reveal Cynthia.
Mascara runs down her cheeks and she is wearing a slutty red dress that comes up to under her butt cheeks. She freezes as she sees me and I grin in return.
I was drunk now, I could feel it, and I couldn’t wait to shove my papers under her stupidly high heels.
“Hello, Cynthia,” I smile and Cynthia is about to cut me off but I make sure I get in first, “You had some lovely things to say about me in there, didn’t you? I heard it all.”
“Your little lying bitch is here, Theo,” Cynthia calls out, ignoring me as she turns and stalks her way back into the bedroom. I quickly run my way up to the door to see Theo standing at the end of the bed with Kyros.
His eyes light up as I appear in the door way with my papers. Cynthia quickly points at me, a cruel smile on her lips.
“Look at her,” Cynthia seethes, “Look, she’s a dumb bitch from the west side of Melbourne, the dirtiest, poorest parts where they’re all dumb little whores who want rich men like you.”
“Actually, on the west side, we have much more colourful language than what you’re attempting to insult me with right now,” I storm in and throw my papers dramatically at her feet, “But, I don’t need to swear to show you up for what you really are. I didn’t steal any money. Look, you’re the real liar, you’re desperate for attention, desperate to fix what you fucked up. You never loved Theo… you were with him for status, reputation. No one who is in love, sleeps with someone else. You’re the ‘rich’ whore, who is lacking in morals, a partner, a business and now, ironically, you’re lacking in money too.”
Cynthia cannot handle what I’ve said so smoothly, or the fact the accusations have come from my mouth. I expect her to yell or hopefully leave… however, she takes a threatening step towards me like she is about to hit me.
Kyros and Theo both take a step forward immediately, about to intercept, but I stand my ground and I raise my hand before her, with the ring on my finger.
Now, she stops right in her tracks.
“I’m his fiancé, and I’m done with you trying to tear us apart after you threw his love in the dirt and fucked his brother and some random fuck from Hawaii,” I see her eyes have completely zoned in on my ring, “Let me return some wise words you said to me on the phone,” I add, smiling, “You’ll never step foot inside this mansion again. You’ll never see him again. You’ll never touch him again. I’m meant to be with him and you’re nothing but a thieving little bitch. Now get the fuck out of my house and don’t ever come back.”
Cynthia’s eyes go so wide, they nearly pop out of their sockets. She finally looks up from the ring and meets my gaze, her mouth hanging wide open.
“Are you serious? You’re ugly and fat, Wren,” she backs up now, her hands out by her side, “You’ll never have what I do, and you’ll never see me again,” she is motioning to her perfectly proportioned body before she decides to storm out again, “Goodbye.”
Her pathetic reply just has me dumb-founded that she’d even bother to say anything at all.
“On the contrary, Cynthia,” Theo speaks up, just as she is about to exit. Cynthia pauses and turns, seemingly happy about this attention but clearly too stupid to realise he isn’t going to say anything supportive, “You’ll never have what Wren does. She has a good heart and the most beautiful face and body I have ever laid eyes upon. After everything you’ve done to me, the ugliest girl in the world, is standing in this room. And it’s not her,” Theo is cruel and calculating… in the best way… and now Cynthia simply has nothing to say.
She turns and slams the door shut on her way out. Kyros quickly moves past Theo while he guiltily nods at me.
“I’ll make sure she gets home safe… then I’m staying the hell away from that crazy b – sorry,” Kyros decides not to swear in front of me, then runs after Cynthia.
I’m also glad to see him go, because now I’m abruptly left alone with Theo.
He is still standing by the end of the bed and looks a little distraught after the way he left me hours ago.
Theo opens his mouth to apologise, but I get in first.
“Don’t,” I put up my hand, “I forgive you. I heard what you said to her. I know what went through your head. She hurt you so you’ve already got a fractured trust in women. And your dad loves you enough to protect you and warn you about bad people. I forgive you, Theo. I’m still… somewhat annoyed… but… I forgive you, I really do.”
Theo blushes at my words, he is still embarrassed by his actions. That in itself, makes my heart warm back up a bit.
“Sweety…” he looks at me in awe, “You haven’t stuttered once,”
“I’m drunk,” I put out my hands, “I drank a whole bottle of wine.”
Now he pauses.
“The first time you drink… and you had a whole bottle of wine?” Theo takes a step forward, looking intensely worried.
“Well, now that you emphasise it, I think I’m going to throw you,” I put a hand to my stomach, “Ah –” I burp and slowly get down on my knees, “Nothing submissive about this, Theo. Just trying not to… oh god,” I purse my lips and Theo runs for the door.
“Stay. Don’t move. I’ll get a bucket!” he heads out the door and I stay where I am, feeling ridiculously proud of myself while really sick at the same time.
Theo comes back in moments later, after he has grabbed an empty plastic paint bucket from the renovations just down the hall.
He squats down beside me and pulls back my hair. I don’t throw up just yet, but I smile at him.
“My god, I don’t deserve a woman like you,” Theo has tears in his eyes as he stares into my own, “I’m so sorry, Wren.”
“Thanks… oh shit,” I bend over the bucket and grip the sides, emptying my guts out. I don’t feel embarrassed, because I know he will take care of me.
“It’s okay, sweet cheeks,” he rubs my back as I spit out the rest of my throw up, “I’ll look after you, I promise. No one will ever get in-between us again.”
“Mr. Fox might, my love for him is exponential –” I feel my stomach roll, and I end up dry retching after witnessing the munched up toasty bits floating around in half-digested red-wine at the bottom of the bucket. The look of it causes me to gag further.
And Theo – despite how gross it looks and smells – does not leave my side.
Not even for a moment.
I know it’s because I spelled out the situation to Cynthia perfectly and Theo knew, as did I, that she would never try to come in between us again.
Any last claws she had in Theo, were out. And she’d never get her claws dug back in, or she’d have to deal with drunk Wren – a formidable force – heh, heh, heh.
“Oh – man,” I eventually rest back on my hands now, “I feel… better… but still really woozy… maow, help me,” I close my eyes as I hear him move closer. A moment later, he scoops me up in his arms.
“Did you just meow?” he asks.
“No… maow,” I smile and then laugh, “I’m funny.”
“I’m pretty sure you’re crazy,” Theo walks over to the bed and lays me down on a smooth soft surface, “And I’m pretty sure I’m crazy in love with you, Wren. Truly, I am.”
“Good… maow,” I keep my eyes closed and feel for the pillows by my head. I grab one and hold it close.
“I’m not leaving your side again, sweet cheeks… ever,” I feel his hand on my hair, pushing any stray hairs off my forehead and behind my ears, “Rest. I’m not going anywhere.”
“…maow,” it’s the last thing I murmur into my pillow as I hear him chuckle, amused at my drunken state.
I think he murmurs, in response, other sweet-nothings to me.
I relax completely to his hand and his comforting tone, and it works.
I’m quickly soothed into a deep sleep.
And I’m pretty sure I meow a few more times before I do.