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“I DO”

Claries was a young girl when her life changed dramatically. She would hang out with her grandma a lot, she was her best friend, and she would spend every other weekend with her. They would usually go out to breakfast, then come home and watch her TV specials. They were usually the same story over and over again, but one day her grandma went to the kitchen to make her and Claries some lunch. As Claries went to get up to go to the bathroom, she accidently stepped on the remote and the TV switched to a TV channel Claries had never seen before.
There was a dark haired women showered in jewels and had a plunging neckline against her dark olive skin tone. Claries have never seen a woman that was as beautiful as the women on TV was. Claries stopped and just stared at the screen until she saw what looked like a man waiting for the women on the bed, half naked. The camera showed behind the women that she was holding a butcher’s knife. Claries couldn’t stop watching, and towards the end of the show, the women was covered in blood, leaped into her bed, and smothered herself in jewels. Right then and there, Claries knew what she wanted to do with her life.
Every day after school, Claries would come home, run to the kitchen, grab herself some popcorn, and lock herself in her room. She continued to watch the TV series about the beautiful women, marrying men for their money, and who they then killed. Claries knew that her mom would never in a million years let her watch these shows, but Claries didn’t care, she was just so fascinated with these women and their lives. On weekends Claries would go to libraries, or do research online about these kinds of relationships, and learning how she could achieve her own goals.
Claries grew older, had a few boyfriends through high school, but none she chose to go to bed with or kill in the morning for their money, but she still had time. Claries went off to college hoping to discover the men she dreamed about since she was a little girl. She would tell her friends about her fantasies and how badly she wanted to find someone. But whenever Claries would tell a friend, they would always suggest she go see someone who could “help” her. Her friends didn’t understand Claries, and that frustrated Claries, if they watched the TV shows that she had, she was sure they would understand. She would ignore their advice and go off searching for her “lucky” man.
As graduation from college got closer, Claries had begun to think that it would be some time before she found the “husband” she had been searching for, until one day when she was leaving the library after studying for finals. Claries thought she had left something in the library and suddenly turned around bumping into a solid wall of man. Looking up, as he reached out to steady her, Claries’ heart skipped a beat. This was the one she had been searching for since childhood. She suddenly felt dizzy and he helped her to a nearby bench.
Claries learned his name was Dave, that he had been on his way to the college president’s office to discuss the upcoming graduation ceremonies because his family had helped build the college years ago and one of them always attended every graduation. Claries realized that Dave was possibly the husband she had been searching for most of her life. Dave seemed much taken by her as well, but during coffee a few hours later she found out that he was engaged to a childhood sweetheart. That was not part of her plan.
Claries managed to “run into” Dave almost every other day for weeks, making herself important to him. After a short period of time, Dave’s engagement was broken and Claries was by his side all the time. During their first six months together, Dave showered Claries with many jewels, anything she seemed to mention as something she had longed for as a child became a gift from Dave. By the end of their first year together they were engaged, with Dave giving Claries the 4 carat ring she had picked out from Tiffany’s.
The wedding was huge and expensive. Dave and Claries seemed to float through the day, leaving for their honeymoon in Hawaii. Everyone said they seemed like the perfect couple. Then everything changed.
Claries came prepared, but not the way Dave would have ever imagined. When he came into their bedroom, she was lying on their wedding bed covered in her jewels and smiling at her new husband. When Dave leaned down to kiss her, Claries plunged the dagger she had hidden under her pillow into his back, again and again. Dave was dead, blood covering the sheets, walls and Claries. Claries was smiling, a strange smile, replaying in her mind the TV shows she had watched as a child. She had finally done it, she had become her fantasy!
Months later she was on the prowl again. She had somehow convinced the police that an intruder had killed Dave. She got all his money and lived like the rich widow she was. But after a few years, she again feels the empty feeling in her gut, the need to strike again.
She manages to strike twice more, once on her honeymoon in Egypt after marrying a wealthy businessman from Israel, and again, when she was just turning 40, this time, an Australian ranch owner who ended up in the Baltic Sea after being stabbed to death in their honeymoon cruise cabin. How was she never caught? It seems that none of these countries ever put things together, and since she had learned to be such a good actress, she was always believed by the investors.
Claries entered her forties with five houses around the world, more jewels than the royals in England, and had been reported to be the wealthiest woman alive! She had everything she had hoped and dreamed of, even a seven year old child that she had with her last husband, named Kiki. Everything was perfect, until she met Eli at a charity art show.
Eli was younger than Claries, but she enjoyed his company, he made her feel young and appreciated for herself, and not just her money. He even became fast friends with Kiki, who looked up to him like a father. Over time the three of them became a family, Eli would often pick up Kiki from school when her nanny needed few hours off and stay to help her with her math homework, something that Claries was never good with doing. The three of them would go to shows together, or sometimes just walk around New York City, where Claries spent much of her time. Eli and Claries would go off for long weekends along the shore, or sometimes take a week to enjoy each other’s company at one of her other homes while the nanny stayed with Kiki.
Eli was not wealthy, but Claries had enough of her own money to support them all and didn’t mind that she was the one who had to foot most of the bills because she had genuinely fallen in love for the first time in her life. When Eli finally proposed she immediately said yes.
The wedding was very small, just a few shared friends, the nanny and Kiki. Even the honeymoon was simple, a room at a Bed and Breakfast in Cape May with Kiki staying with her nanny for the week.
They reached Cape May as the sun was beginning to set and almost skipped up to their room they were so happy. After a quiet dinner at a nearby restaurant they returned to their room. Claries stepped into the bathroom, telling Eli that she would be out in a moment. As soon as she had put on her pale pink nightgown, Claries stepped back into the room to see Eli lying on the bed, smiling up at her with his beautiful smile. Clary leaned over him, and was happily falling into his embrace as she saw the gleam of something out of the corner of her eye, just before the dagger entered her back.

Photo by Graff Diamonds, Philadelphia Inquirer 3/24/13



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