The problem with Penelope is hard to define. It could be that she spends all her money on a single item of over-priced, soft-as-silk clothing or that she drinks only the crispest champagne. But that would be a lie. It’s more than that. More than her extravagant Chanel collection or the absurd amount of diamond rings stored in the back of her wardrobe. And secretly, if you’re lucky, I might just tell you behind which Jimmy Choo shoebox the fireproof safe is hidden.
I tell you this story from the comfort of my single mattress, steel framed, sad excuse for a bed, because all I have left are broken memories, a shattered heart and a craving for what my life used to be like. A life before Penelope. You see the problem with Penelope is that everything she has—every penny and dime—she stole from me.
We loved each other fiercely and unfaltering, with the kind of passion you see only on the silver screen—a rare occurrence for the every-day folk of the world. It was glorious, a beautiful adventure of firsts, and she was everything I could ever want in a life-partner.
We were married in a simple ceremony—despite the large fund I had allotted for an extravagant wedding—on the shoreline of a crescent beach where the shimmering crystalline waters lapped at our toes like a mesmerizing slow dance, hypnotising us and our small group of guests into a blissful harmony. A gentle breeze blew against our freshly laundered white attire; never a shade other than ivory, cream or white was to be seen along the secluded beachfront, and for me—well, my eyes saw only her. Penelope. Her luscious caramel hair blowing gently against her pink lips with a smile so pearlescent, it was like standing beside a fallen angel. She looked into my soul with her absorbing brown eyes, and all she saw in me was a lesser being, fooled into the binds of a sham marriage on the white sands of paradise.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine my perfect life being taken away from me; ripped away in a painful heartbeat. No—I never saw the bitch coming.
She took it all in a matter of months. The house. The car. The yacht. Everything. Even the fine, silver jewellery that once belonged to my great grandmother now belonged to Penelope. And let me tell you, it’s a sad day when not even the dog bowl remains in your pitiful possession.
But I guess all is fair in love and war, I may have deserved that last blow with the dog bowl, especially after what I did to her in retaliation. I mean . . . it wasn’t the dog’s fault that I took to Penelope with a butcher’s knife. Although in hindsight, perhaps I shouldn’t have let the furry little terror lick up the blood splattered across the marble floor of the house I once owned. And to be fair, I probably shouldn’t have fed Penelope’s heart to the salivating canine while I disposed of her still-warm remains in the yard.
And what happened next? I guess I didn’t dig the hole deep enough. The neighbours dog dug Penelope up in a matter of days and its damn owners called the police with such haste I was denied the time to stash my blood stained dress and apply a coat of makeup for my mug shot before being escorted out of the house in shackles.
But I did make a new friend at the end. The woman I share my cell with laughed at what I did to Penelope. So, perhaps I’m not as messed up as the judge made me believe. I laugh too, whenever I retell the story. But what else can you do when you’re sitting on death row?
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© Angela. E. Mitchell