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The Finer Things

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She sat down on the hardwood floor with her head in her hands. Silently, she sobbed til her hands were clammy and wet, and her face was as red as the stains on the carpet. They looked even darker then they should have. The stains. She remembered buying that carpet with him back before they split up. A merchant called out to them as they walked through the streets and back corner alleyways of wherever they decided to vacation that year, she couldn't quite recall the place. They traveled so much it was hard to keep track. But she does remember the sweet man who sold it to them. A dark man with soft, light blue eyes whose textured face told a vivid story of hard work and struggle. He was friendly and inviting, but seemed lost in a haze and deep in his own mind. His wide brim hat kept the harsh sun away while he worked. The carpet he offered them was beautiful, so white and so pure, a true work of art. So delicately embroidered, each stitch so flawless, it was clearly created by a very talented craftsman. Hands down it was one of the finest things she had seen in quite a while. She had always loved the finer things.

Her home was filled with treasures from all around the world. Thick, dusty books with worn leather, and paintings where each brushstroke was exact and perfect. She remembers waking up and sitting in the intricate rocking chair she picked up a few years back, and enjoying her morning tea in a fine, white, porcelain cup. She would sit there and read for hours, waiting for him to get home. She loved to be immersed in a good novel. She would tie her long, deep red hair back into a haphazard pony-tail and throw it over her shoulder to keep it out of her pale, freckled face. Now she looks over to see her favorite cup in pieces with the rest of the set. A casualty of war. She looks over to her oak bookcases, now all toppled over like dominoes. The fragile books all fluttered open and strewn about the room.

The grandfather clock broke the silence with a vicious chime, a chime that rang out so loudly in the still room. It's glass door was in ruins. It's ancient body was splintered and smashed, with stains that almost seemed black against the dark wood. She made her way over to the wreckage, slowly and cautiously, making sure she didn't cut her feet in the mess. She caught a glance of her reflection in shard of broken glass as she scanned over the damage, but she saw something else, too. She was an average girl, with a pale face and dark red hair. She had freckles that dotted her cheeks and swirled over the bridge of her nose and under her eyes. But also there were deep red stains that were smeared all down her neck and face. The color reminded her of a sweet, sweet Cabernet.

She loved wine. She thought of the time they went to Venice, the expanse of vineyards and the cold nights sipping on sweet red wine with her love. It was so gorgeous there. But now the thought of him made her sick to her stomach. The memories of love twisted her heart up into a harsh, unforgiving knot. She started to cry.

She took her head out of her hands and tried to collect herself. For the most part she did, though she let a few straggling tears run down her rosy checks here and there. She took out a cigarette and lit it. She thought about returning it to the pack when she noticed there were only two left, but changed her mind. He would have killed her if he knew she still smoked. She thought about how long she'd kept this secret from him. It wasn't even a big one. Just a little white lie. The black ash fell off and landed softly on the dirty floor as she let out a thin cloud of grey smoke. Why should it matter to him what she does to her body? It seemed the closer it got to the filter, the angrier she got. Her sweet, rosy cheeks because furious and it seemed as though the heat from the cigarette ignited a blaze inside of her. She thought about why she'd done it. How glad she was. How if she had a second chance, a way to turn back the clock, that she do everything the same without hesitating.

She remembers him coming home that day. She was sitting in the intricate rocking chair she picked up a few years back, and enjoying her morning tea in a fine, white, porcelain cup. Next thing she knew she was going his throat. Her freshly manicured nails digging deep into his skin, fueled by the rage of a betrayed woman. She wasn't sure what caused the snap. Maybe it was bottles of wine she polished off. Maybe it was because he stopped giving her everything her little heart desired. Her lust for this, that, and everything in the little window was becoming a little much for him. Maybe she thought if she couldn't have him, nobody could. She'd known he was thinking about leaving her. Regardless of her motive, she was happy with her choice. She could never wash her hands clean though, her white French tips are forever stained.

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