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She paced back and forth in front of his chair. Her mouth was screwed up in a frown,
and her eyebrows pulled down sharply. He tilted his chair back, smirking slightly, and chuckled.
“Why so agitated darling?”
She stopped her pacing abruptly, and spun to face him. Pushing down on his knee, she jolted his chair back to the ground. “Why are you here?” She demanded with a snarl, wiping the smirk from his face.
“I thought you wanted me to come” he returned, a tad defensively.
“I did! But I said at seven! Not ten thirty!”
“I was sure you said ten . . .”
He was thirty-seven. A failed actor, failed musician, and part of a failed marriage. His first wife had been “The B****”. His second was “That Woman”. His third and current was simply “Jezebel” or “Jez” for short. She was dark and gorgeous. Brown hair to her waist, and long lashed black eyes, standing out against her olive skin.
He had three children, all from his second marriage. Charlotte was five, Susanna was eight, and Christopher was fifteen. All were blonde and blue eyed angels with attitudes. He knew he hadn’t been the best father, but it wasn’t his fault. Christopher was the worst. He had seen the magazines. He understood. He knew what was going on. Chris liked to send looks at his father, little glares reminding his dad of why he had left Chris’s mother.
She wheeled back towards him, and grabbed at her hair with a hand, clutching it tightly.
“Yeah well . . . you’re sure about a lot, aren’t you? Do you even listen to what I have to say anymore!?”
“You know I do sweetheart. I love you.”
“Really? Are you positive? Might have to check with your wife first!”
He raised his hands defensively, as if to block himself from her anger. “I told her we were done. I told her I was in love with you. I left her for you!”
She looked surprised, and pulled back, shaking her head slightly. “You . . . told her? Told her you loved me?” she asks tentatively. A smile flashed across her face as he nodded, and then disappeard with a new thought. “What about your kids? Just going to leave them too?”
“That doesn’t matter. They don’t matter. You . . .you’re all that matters.”
She smiled slightly, and floated towards him. “Really? I’m what matters?”
“Of course sweetheart. I love you. So much.” He smiled, holding his hand up to her, and his eyes are shining. You could see how much he loved her, how sincere he was. She sat down on his lap, kissed him lightly on the cheek, and her lips curved up into a shy smile.
“I love you too . . .” she says. They walked to the door together, and then he stopped her, one arm on her shoulder, frowning slightly now.
“Sweetie . . . I have to go home tonight. I’m sorry . . . my wife . . .”
“I thought you loved me” she says, pulling back from him “I thought I was what mattered!”
“You are, you are love” He pulled her back towards him, hugged her to him, and kissed her.
“I’m not. I don’t. I don’t matter to you. To you I’m just another body, another pretty girl. You saw me up there and you wanted me. ‘Cos I was glorious. Glorious Gracie.”
“C’mon sweets. You know it’s not like that.”
“Oh? Really? Then why? Why do you love me?!”
“Because . . . because . . .I don’t know! I just do!”
“They used to sigh after me, run after me for photos, ask me to sign posters from my shows. Now they just sneer as I walk by . . .’Glorious’ they mutter. They don’t think I’m glorious. They see me for how I am now. Not before. Old. Washed out. Ugly. I only . . . ”
“You’re not ugly. Or washed out.”
“You forgot old.”
“Not old either.”
She had been a star. Discovered at age fifteen, she sang badly, danced badly, and acted badly. Lucky for her agent, she had been terrific at looking pretty, and causing miniature scandals. He was the first man she had been with who wasn’t a star, and it wasn’t doing wonders for her career.
Her father was a writer, a famous novelist, who beat her until she was nine, then left the family. Her mother had been a model, anorexic thin and terrible, blaming her children for her lost career. Her brother was the good one, the only good one in their family. Six years older then she, he had married his childhood best friend, and they had had four wonderful children. When she was nineteen, her agent had taken advantage of her, leaving her with an unwanted pregnancy and a hell of a lot of emotional issues. She had been sure he could fix them.
She moved back again, this time smiling, her eyes sad. “I wish I hadn’t met you. I wish you hadn’t called to me. Sang to me. Loved me. I wish you had walked by, kissed your wife, hugged your kids. I wish I didn’t love you so damn much. I wish you didn’t need to be with more then one person at once to be happy.”
“What are you talking about?” He glanced away quickly, knowing the answer, but fearing what it would lead to.
“Me. And your wife” she said sadly “You need me. You need me for open arms, and a pretty young body, and a sweet face. But you need your wife for support, and maturity, and ‘emotional dependence’.”
“Gracie . . .don’t do this sweetheart.”
“I can’t live like this . . . knowing that I’m not coming second . . . just not giving you everything you need. Knowing you could live without me, but not without her.”
“No . . . no Gracie. This is silly. I do need you. Very much.”
“You don’t. I need to do this. Sometimes Jack, the life that’s right for one, is not right for two. I’m not sorry. You are a wonderful man, and your wife deserves you.”
He tried to grab at her arm, but only grasped it with a few fingers, and she slipped away. She walked to the window and stared down, taking something from the sill. It gleamed in her hand, and he stared at it in horror.
“Sometimes, Jack . . .there are things you have to do. Someone read me this story once . . .and it always made me think of you . . . some famous author . . . last name started with a ‘V’ I think. In it, the movie star tells her husband to leave, to go back to his ‘precious wife and kids.’”
“C’mon honey . . .put that down . . .”
“Go back to them Jack. Go back to your wife and kids. Tell them you loved me. Tell them you killed me. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter anymore. I won’t be around to hear about it.”
She dropped the gun to the floor, while simultaneously stepping forward, once, twice, three times. A whoosh of air, and she was gone.
“Gracie . . .Gracie! No!”