Perfect Christina | The Ink Well Prompt #25

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Just that one word, screamed at the top of a man's deep voice followed by an unexpected heavy knock that smashed into the back of my head. A terrible, unexplainable pain sprang from my head spreading through my body to my toes. I fell as dark spots clouded my sight.

I could hear muffled voices conversing heatedly but I could not move. How did I get here? I was fired from writing the relationship column of the Primrose Lifestyle magazine, just because I called out a councilman for infidelity in one of my publications. I chose to stay home and work online. I blogged for two platforms and wrote a side piece for a weekly fiction magazine.

No thanks to my stepmother who brought me up after my mother left me and my father to be with the love of her life, I have lived by the principle - honesty is the best policy. I was never afraid to call anyone out for dishonesty. My lying stepmother hated that about me.

I remember her word of advice to me, "the world is not always black and white. It's sometimes grey." She promised I would die an old spinster if I continued this way. I think she was right.

It would not stop raining all day and I could not stop peeping through the curtains at my neighbour's apartment. Greg and Christina Johnson have lived across from me for as long as their marriage - six years. They have no child yet.

Greg was a ruggedly good looking man and I never hesitate to compliment him on his good looks. He worked as an architect and was always busy. I related better with Greg than I did with Christina. Christina tolerated me because of Greg.

I peeped again about midday and saw a tall, well built, attractive young man, holding an umbrella to shield himself from the rain, climb the steps and Christina let him into the apartment. That was the fourth time I had seen that man enter the apartment whenever Greg was out in the past two weeks.

I picked up my binocular, positioned it between the curtains and peered through the lens to catch the image of the young man and Christina frolicking by the window. I knew it!

I put on my raincoat, pulled the hood over my head and dashed out of my apartment in the rain to the Johnsons' apartment on the other side of the road. I rang the bell over and over. I placed an ear on the front door and heard some shuffling of feet, doors shutting and a pair of feet walking toward the door.

I pulled back from the front door as Christina opened it. She looked a little out of breath and her lips bare, without her customary red Chanel rouge bloom lipstick. I smiled slightly at her shocked face.

"H-hey Agatha! What can I do for you?" She asked, trying to play the innocent.

"Christina, sorry to bother you but I think I saw a young man come in here minutes ago. Is he Greg's brother? I'd like to say hello." I smiled sweetly at her.

She paled a little, then flushed before her almond eyes narrowed at me. Uuh, the kitten's claws are out!

"What young man? Is this what you do all day in your miserable apartment? Spying on me and my husband?"

I smirked and shrugged. "I know what I saw and I'll let Greg know what his lovely wife has been up to when he is not home."

Christina glanced around, gripped the front of my raincoat and pulled me into her apartment. The young man's umbrella stood against the wall beside the front door.

"Agatha! What's come over you?" She asked.

I shrugged again and walked to gaze at an oil painting on the wall, feeling pleased with myself. "You are cheating on Greg and it's not right."

"You don't know what you are saying."

I turned to stared at her, surprised at the lie flowing out of her small lips. "I took pictures, just so you know." I chipped in a lie and regretted it immediately.

I faced the painting to hide the regret on my face. That was my mistake. I should have stuck to my belief. I needed her to admit to her affair, to her flaws so Greg and the world could see her for who she truly was.

I did not see when she picked the umbrella up and used it against me. I was down on the cold marble floor and could hear her arguing with the young man.

What I did not tell you was that Christina was my friend. We graduated from college together. Greg saw me first but Christina took him away from me. Greg could find no fault in her, she was perfect. She was his queen. He did not know better.

So I made it my mission to expose her. If only I had stayed honest, I could have succeeded and gotten my Greg back.

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