Nobody did notice her as she hurried down the street, in her grey coat with the hood pulled way forth, covering her face. The weather was bad with wind and some rain and nobody was thinking that much about who they met on the streets as they hurried back to their warm and cosy homes. If anybody had looked up they would have seen a slightly stressed middle aged woman carrying a rather large handbag. Probably a housewife on her way back from work, returning to her husband and kids, or maybe even some poor lonely soul returning to an empty house. If anybody had stopped and looked closer at this seemingly ordinary innocent lady they would perhaps have noticed a rather peculiar glimpse within her eyes, a hint of something which did resemble madness.
She hurried along the wet street, her eyes firmly on the asphalt ahead and she clutched the bag closer to her body, she was shaking a bit from something akin to growing hysteria and also supressed laughter. She had done it, she had finally gathered her courage and done what she had thought of for so many years. She didn’t really know what the final trigger had been but it could have been that program on the TV. It was a mere coincidence that she had seen it, she had switched the telly on to watch the news and there he had been, as slick as ever before, smooth as a lamprey and with the usual grin plastered around his mouth. That grin, how she hated and loathed that grin. “Look at me” it said, “Look at me and admire me!”
She was surprised that she hadn’t just crushed the TV set there and then, but she had managed to rein in her wrath. She couldn’t afford a new one, as a matter of fact there was so much she no longer could afford these days. Her small flat was rather Spartan and small and she hadn’t yet managed to get herself a new job. She was too old, that was the sorry truth about it. She was faded, useless, her prime years wasted away. And it was all his fault, his bloody fault. She had had a great future ahead of her, she had had a great career and not the least, dignity! She had been good at her job, as a matter of fact she had been brilliant and famous for her skills.
And then he had come into her life, swept her off her feet with his generous courtship and his way too shiny grin. She had been unforgivably naïve, she had believed that everything was good, that life from now on would be fantastic and that the future was bright indeed. But too soon his darker sides had appeared and she had felt imprisoned. She wasn’t allowed to work for that wasn’t right in his mind, she had her duty to take care of the house and him and his needs.He didn’t want children for they didn’t fit into his lifestyle, they could ruin the expensive furniture and make the luxury villa dirty and decrease the value of the house. She had to play hostess rather often and everything had to be spotless and perfect. Mercy be upon her if something was out of order and the image she presented to the guests weren’t absolutely glorious. And the grin, always the grin. The successful “I know best” grin which she had admired at first, but not again, never again.
She had stayed for so many years even if she soon understood that he had other women beside her, bravely she kept her mouth shut and stood there smiling next to her successful and handsome husband, oh yes, the façade was shiny and just perfect.
And then one day he had returned home with the divorce papers and demanded that she signed them there and then, and in shock and sorrow she had, not really knowing what she did sign. She had been too naïve also now and she was suddenly a pauper left without anything of value, except a few old belonging he more or less threw out of the house in disgust since they never had fitted with his “Style”.
She was no longer the beauty she had once been, she was a faded rose but now the wrath made her skin glow again and she walked with a spring in her steps. Now it did matter no more, she didn’t care if they found her and threw her in jail, she had gotten her vengeance. The grin would never again seduce anybody.
She knew that his new flame was a girl of twenty something, a model who probably consisted of at least twenty percent silicone and restylane. An overly decorated Christmas tree was what she thought of the first time she saw a picture of him with his newest conquest in tow on the front of a fancy magazine. If you threw that chick onto a glass door the lips would make her stick to it, she was rather sure of it. And the girl had looked at him as if she was an apostle and he the great redeemer. She saw through it all, of course she did. Little Mrs model saw only a slick grin and lots of money, she had married his gold card and not the man himself. Well, they would see now, if the little Mrs sexy had signed a marriage contract as horrible as the one she had been fooled into accepting thirty years ago. It would be exciting to see.
She went calmly through the city park, as expected there wasn’t anybody there at this time of the day, people were busy getting home in time for dinner or hurrying to get to the kindergarten or school in time to pick up their hopeful ones. In the shade behind a huge old pinetree she saw a huge garbage container and she did tear off the gray coat swiftly and then her grey wig and threw it inn with the coat. Underneath she wore a very modern red coat which was so popular almost half of the women out there wore one. She put a small light hat on top of her dark blonde hair and put her bag into a plastic bag from a nearby supermarked. Suddenly she did look like a new person.
They would probably understand in time, they usually did but she wasn’t going to make it too easy. She wondered what her punishment would be? Anyhow, it didn’t matter, the grin was gone, gone for ever. It made it all worth it.
She was a bit shocked by her own courage and her own determination, but enough was enough and she knew she had to end it, to get rid of the source of her misery once and for all. She did remember most of the things she once had learned and the clinic was still there in the old building behind the firestation. Little had changed and she knew where they still stored medication and equipment. She had sneaked in through the fire escape door which they never did lock while people were still at work and she knew when the employees were off to lunch, sneaking in and getting what she needed hadn’t been hard at all, just very thrilling. She had felt oddly alive there and then, filled with a sort of sparkling new energy which did restore some of her lost youth.
The rest of the preparations were harder but she managed it all, she did still have a key to his garage and his schedule was also easy to get access too. One swift call to his secretary claiming to be a reporter interested in the new plans of building a new highway straight through a suburb, and she was told where he was at the moment. The plans would leave many families homeless but who cared? She had seen him in the papers, with his wide white grin, self satisfied and gloating as ever, pleased with what he did achieve, at the cost of others. Just the thought sent cold shivers down her spine but never again, no, never again. She had done a very good job, a job anybody ought to be impressed by.
The flat was dark and she hurried into the bathroom, pulled forth the handbag. It was heavy and she did open it after hesitating for a moment. It was a very expensive handbag, once it had cost a fortune but it was one of the few things she had been allowed to keep, simply because the little blond bitch had thought that it was too old. It was thrown at her and cast aside, just as she had been. It did fit well this way, it was a sort of poetic justice served there. The inside of the handbag was bloody, if a thief had snatched it from her he would have suffered from a terrible shock, the idea made her giggle slightly.
She knew his routine, he would always take a huge gin and tonic when he returned home from the office and she had filled the bottle with enough drugs to put a horse to sleep. It was no point in torturing him, she had a clean consciousness when it came to that. No, she had done the job painlessly, at least she could brag about that. It could have been way worse, but it had been a gruesome job and it went against everything she once had stood for and learned.
She was another beast now, a whole new creature, she had avenged herself, sought vengeance for wasted years, for countless sleepless nights filled with silent tears after having been scolded mercilessly for having done what he saw as mistakes. She had never been good enough, there had always been something to point the finger at, to use to break her spirit and make her convinced that his words of cruelty and despise were true. And always the grin, it was plastered on his face even when he was verbally abusing her, “Look how worthless you are” it said” See how little you mean to the world” But not again, no never again.
She sat down in the old worn sofa, felt how her heart did slow down, how peace and a strange tranquillity did fall over her battered soul. It was a sensation of completion and fulfilment, and it was good. The best feeling she had felt for many a long year. It was justice, it was right, no matter what they would say. In the distance she could hear the sound of ambulance sirens and she smiled, a pleased smile. It was the right time, the new wife had probably returned home and found her trophy husband, soon it would be all over the radio and the TV.
She went to the radio and turned it on, it was just music at the moment. She then got over to a closet in the corner and retrieved a bottle from a hidden compartment within it. The closet was one of the few things she had brought with her from her former home, oddly enough for it was very old and an antiquity she had inherited from an aunt, but it was large and nobody could say that it was a thing of beauty. She had never shown him the hidden compartments and the bottle which had been hidden for many years was one of his most expensive ones. A very rare red wine worth almost a hundred grand.
She had snatched it at a party and decided to hide it and she stared at it with a narrow grin. Oh yes, she had started playing with her plans that far back. She knew that now, the idea had been there all along but it wasn’t until now that it had gotten air enough to burst into life, like a flame waiting to be ignited. She walked calmly towards the kitchen bench, found a wine opener and let the flask stand on the bench for a while, let the wine breathe.
It was the last piece of the luxury she once had been allowed to enjoy, it had been a golden prison and she knew that so very well. Now her once broken wings had healed and the shy little canary bird had become a hawk with claws and a sharp beak, able to pick her enemies to pieces.
She remained in front of the TV until late that evening, the finally something happened. A rather frantic reporter came on, almost shivering with energy. He was informing the public of a terrible and very disturbing attack downtown, the victim was the famous politician and she felt that laughter was building up inside of her once again.
The news kept coming through the early hours of the night, the young wife was taken to hospital in shock, nobody did really understand anything of what had transpired. She went to the bathroom, got the instruments out of the bag and cleaned them carefully using chlorine. The clinic would most probably be glad to have them returned for they were custom made and very expensive. She let her hands slide over them, almost lovingly as she put them back into their small custom made cases. She had known them all so very well and in a way it was painful to see them again. All that she could have achieved, all that she could have done. If it hadn’t been for him and his sparkling grin…
But she did still have the skills, she had been fast. She lifted the glass jar out of the bag, stared at it with a small grin. What would they say when they came? She had no idea but she was almost looking forwards to it, she had been extremely thorough, there was no salvation for what had once been.
They did come knocking the day after, she was slightly surprised but in reality she had expected it, it was after all not that many who knew the code for his house alarm and he had never changed it. She was ready for them, smiled as she opened the door. The investigator who stood there did look a bit shocked, he could hardly believe that this radiant looking woman was the same as the one on the image he had seen, a faded sad creature with dead eyes and a fake smile. She was far from old and faded, she did almost glow with a sort of inner energy which made her rather stunning, like a queen at the height of her power.
“I assume that you know that your ex husband has been…assaulted?”
She nodded, the smile became wider, carrying within it a spark of insanity. “Of course I know!”
The investigator did wet his lips, looking a bit confused and she lifted her chin proudly. “I was a dental surgeon before I married him you know, and I was a darn good one too. Finally my skills came to good use again!”
She held up the glass jar with all his teeth, all were carefully split and the roots filed down so they never could be reattached to a jaw. Destroying the gums so badly that not even fake teeth could be screwed inn had been a tough job but she had done it. He would have to use special dentures from now on, it was all he could hope for. She was laughing silently as the investigator took the jar with huge eyes and he was getting pale as he saw what it did contain. She was still laughing as they grasped her by the arms and hauled her off towards the waiting police car. Everybody would soon know it, absolutely everybody. Everybody would see that the radiant white grin was fake, just as fake as he was.
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