I did it. I murdered Ava Farley.
The dinner party had just begun and we were all in the dining hall. The doorbell rang and there was Gabriele Lockwood. His tan trench coat looked as though it itself had been sweating, it was covered in raindrops and his sweater underneath could not escape the torrential downpour either. His brown hair looked black after it had been soaked and he handed a bottle Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon to me as he smiled like he always does when he is attending a social gathering of these sorts. He walked in, threw his trench coat onto the coat hanger, and went to the kitchen to immediately find the hors d’oeuvres. He then proceeded to pop open the bottle of wine he had brought and poured about four thousand dollars worth of it into his glass, picked up a slice of extra aged bitto cheese, grabbed a few grapes to counteract the flavor, and walked out into the foror to find me sitting in the purple velvet armchair in the corner.
“How are you my dear? Did you enjoy the christmas gift I bought you? The wallet was exquisite wasn’t it my darling?” As he spoke I could have sworn I saw the physical form of arrogance spewing through his ears and lips. But I’m apparently “unwell” so I should not say a word.
“It was, Gabriele. I loved it.” The lies were already beginning and it wasn’t even nine o’clock yet. Knock knock knock.
“One moment” I sat up from the cushions that I had begun to sink into and walked over to the door. My favorite thing about this home? The sound my Jimmy Choo black heels clip clop on the Brazilian walnut floors. Each time I hear that sound I feel in control. I grab the golden doorknob and open it up to feel the rush of cold air this time instead of rainwater coming in. Ingrid Winchester. The most respectable woman in all of… Well I can’t tell you where we are now can I? No matter that, she was respectable and beautiful. She walked in, her curls bobbing on each step and walked forward to give me two kisses on each cheek. Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick showed on each of my cheeks now. I recognized it from my makeup drawer on the third floor. She went to the kitchen without a word. Another knock this time. Four people awaited its open. Harper De Claire, Algernon Beckett, Percival Spencer, and Tiffany Tumb all stood in their fur, leather, cashmere, and wool coats. The rain that had once covered Gabriele had now changed to snow. They had the small white flakes of snow scattering their shoulders. They walked in as though they owned the home and I watched as they smiled, giggled, and attempted to exchange in small talk with one another and with me. They were fools. They think that I don’t know. I had wanted to wear my Bloomingdale’s wool pea coat tonight. But it looks like Harper De Claire decided to wear one instead.
“Darling, you must try this miniature lobster tale. It’s simply divine.” Harper spoke with such resemblance to my mother it was odd I thought as I responded. She lunged at me, lobster tale in hand, and attempted to make me eat the deep red sea insect, which I politely declined. I have a moral issue with eating lobster given that it’s been cooked alive.
“Would you all care to move to the sitting room?” I spoke smoothly. Clearly. Kindly. A sea of heads nodded and erupted, with “mm hmms” seeing as all of them had the hors d’oeuvres stuffed to their brains. They all had a strange resemblance to chipmunks. I had run over a chipmunk today on my way to town. We all sat in the various leather, velvet, and cashmere, yes cashmere, chairs and couches. I had a photo of my sister Lara and my mother at the Golden Globes on the stone fireplace mantel. My mother wore a red satin gown that draped and folded along her waist. Tiffany Tumb, a dumb blonde with an even dumber boyfriend, wore a dress which resembled the one in the photo miraculously. Except Tiffany has had a few too many slices of Bitto cheese in her days for the dress to drape over her waist as it did on my mothers. We sat in silence for a moment or two. I wonder why? Ha. The sarcasm in my head always makes me chuckle a bit out loud.
“What has got you laughing my dear?” Spoke Ingrid with a voice of concern. She was the oldest of the bunch at sixty-eight years old. She was my mother’s best friend; she knew and knows everything about our lives and most importantly, to her, she knows everything about our home. Ingrid got nothing in the will. When mother died she thought it would all go to her. Rather than her rebellious young daughter.
“Yes, Ingrid, haha don’t be silly” that sounded guilty. You sound guilty.
“Oh, alright then” the voice of concern was gone. Replaced by the sound of suspicion.
I was beginning to feel anxious. Did they really not notice that Ava has not arrived? She’s over an hour late.
I decided to say it. Before I lost my courage say it. “Now I would like to divulge the real reason for our meeting tonight.” My speech was smooth “I know what you all have been doing.” They again looked puzzled. Some even frightened. “I know that you’ve been stealing from me. That’s my coat and that’s my lipstick Ingrid.”
“Darling, whatever do you mean?” Harper spoke with a sense of innocence. As though she hadn’t done something wrong.
“This is my home and you have been stealing my mother’s things! I saw Ava steal some of my mother’s things as well! When mother died of cancer I thought you would all be there for ME, not our things!” They were trying to play dumb so I had begun to shout.
“This is not even your home!” Ingrid began to shout in anger.“This is Ava’s home! Remember? Your estranged mother?! I knew they never should have taken you out of that nut house you are not well dear.” Who is Ingrid to tell me I’m not well? I feel terrific! They’re just trying to cover up the fact that they have robbed me!
“What are you talking about darling this is Ava’s home? You’re her guest these are not your things.” Algernon Beckett was getting curious.
“Where is your mother? I wish to see her now why has she not come down stairs yet?” Harper asked.
“Ava is not with us anymore.” The words rolled off my tongue. Stone cold. I looked at all their smug lying faces.
“Whatever do you mean? What have you done?! She took care of you! Lara you need to leave now!” Harper yelled.
“Lara is not my name. That is my sister! You know that I am not Lara!” I yelled with rage. People have been trying to call me Lara since I was a little girl as a joke, but I am no joke.
“Yes, you are darling Lara. And you need help. Now where is Ava?” Harper seemed sincerely concerned.
“I told you she’s not with us anymore.” Suddenly I began to hurt. I felt something when I thought of Ava being dead.
“What does that mean Lara, I mean darling? Where has she gone?’ Harper looked at me as though she knew what I had done. As though my gaze was confirmation of her thoughts. She began to cry. Tears were rushing down Harper’s face as she realized what I had done. She sat up and ran. She kicked off her heels and bolted up the stairs. The sound of her Jimmy Choo heels never came as her bare feet sprinted up to Ava’s bedroom to find her cold body. A loud scream came from upstairs. Everyone was still in the sitting room except for Harper. Looking at me. Wondering. How I could have done it. Ava had stolen from me though. I saw her wearing my mother’s pink top this morning and I couldn’t contain my anger. We had had a sleepover the night before and she had stolen it to wear in front of me as to rub it in my face. She should have known I would take action. I loved my mother. She was the only one who understood me. I wonder where she is right now? Probably on a vacation that’s probably why I’m here right now. To watch the house. I used to spend my time in a big house even bigger than this one. It was white and had a lot more people living in it. I didn’t like it though. We all dressed the same. And looked the same. So boring. I’m glad I’m here now and that mother brought me home. I sat up. Walked to the door. My heels making the same clip clop they always do on the wood floor as I approached the door. Ava liked the sound too. I hope tomorrow we can go to the bakery I like. I decided to walk to the door. I wondered if I should tell mother I was leaving. But I figured it best not to. She always got mad when she knew I was going shopping.