The bag was empty except for a smudged, slip of paper which said, “Sorry.”
Isabel ran down the stairs, tears falling from her eyes.
“Stop!” called a voice from behind, but Isabel did not stop. She didn’t even finch at the voice, she just kept on running as fast as her feet would carry her.
She skidded onto the marble floor of the buildings lobby and right into an old woman carrying a small dog. The dog flew from the woman’s arms and landed with a small yelp on the ground.
Isabel didn’t stop to apologize, she didn’t even turn to see if the woman and her dog were okay. She only flung herself to her feet and right out the lobby door and onto the street.
“Isabel please, stop!” called the voice again.
A young man with dark wavy came cascading down the staircase. Flushed and out of breath, he called again, “Isabel, it done’t have to be like this.”
Everyone in the lobby turned to look at him. In silence the small audience stood bewildered, only the small dog made was making noise with small growls erupting from it’s tiny throat.
“Mr. William’s, is everything alright?” asked the doorman who was still holding the door open even though Isabel had long disappeared through it.
Suddenly conscious that everyone was watching him, the man smiles and brushed the front of his pressed suit jacket, “Everything is fine Bernard. Please inform me right away if Mrs. Williams returns.”
The old woman who was now clutching desperately to her little dog asked what everyone must have been thinking, “Peter, what do you mean by if?”
Peter only gave her a halfhearted glance before turning and hurrying back up the stairs.
He had left the door to his apartment wide open and any passersby would have been all too aware that there had been a dramatic struggle within the flat.
Peter quickly entered, closing the door behind him and leaning against the door he surveyed the mess. A crystal vase lay shattered on the floor, the purple irises it one held lay haphazard among the sparkling shards of glass. Through the archway Peter could see the pile of food, dishes and linen that had been swept from the dining room table. To his left, a fallen lamp rest at the base of his damaged television. Immediately he recalled Isabel’s tear-filled eyes and horrified expression as she drew back her arm to launch the lamp at him, missing and hitting the television instead.
How did I let this happen? Peter thought as he stooped to gather the flowers next to his feet, How did this get so out of control?
“Damn it!” Peter shouted aloud. Looking down he saw that a large piece of crystal had sliced into his hand. Blood dripped onto the delicate irises and mixing with the brilliance of the glass. He watched it for a moment as the deep red changed the scene from mysterious whimsy to tragic. Clutching his had, Peter went into the kitchen to rinse it under the faucet.
There, laying on the counter beside him was a crumpled paper sack. Wrapping a dish cloth around his bleeding hand, he reached into it. The bag was empty except for a smudged, slip of paper which said, Sorry.
“That bitch!” he screamed throwing the empty sack into the sink and sliding the note into his inside jacket pocket.
Peter walked to the living room and kicked the lamp which still rested at the foot of the television. I cascade of yellow sparks flew from the lamp as the lights in the apartment flickered. Peter cast himself onto the oversized stripped couch, laughing to himself.
Peter recalled telling Isabel about the neckless he had stolen the previous night. She was furious with him but now the facts unfolded before him like a book.
It was her idea that he take it all along. She was so good at these mind games. She was the one who made him feel inadequate, who convinced him that this neckless which was on display for only a few days at a local jewelry store, was the only thing that would prove his love to her.
He remembered the look on her face as he pulled the platinum chain incrusted with pea-sized pink diamonds from the paper bag. For only a split second was he face pure ecstasy before morphing to utter disgust. He imagined the scene in his mind, as he crouched to dodge the lamp flying straight at him and as the television above his head crackled and sputtered, Isabel ran through the dinning room, clearing the table as she went. Hastily she raced to the kitchen and groped for the neckless inside the bag. Peter pictured her having second thoughts for a moment, then her scribbling sorry on a single slip of paper, shoving it in the sack and hurrying back to the living room, grabbing the vase as she went.
She through it at me to move me away from the door, he decided, and then she was gone.
He walked to the window, opening it and craning his neck to follow the view of the long sidewalk below. In the distance, he saw a woman running, a glint of silver shown in her hand. He thought of trying to find her just at the squad cars surrounded the building. It was her plan all along.