The Ultimate Moment
Chapter One: A life of sorrows
It was summer already, the days
were hot and the nights unbearable in New York. It was just as the sunset was
falling, and thousand shades of red had spilled into the sky. A tall handsome
man was standing still in front of the open window. His statute was revealing a
quiet dignity. He was gazing, lost, and his deep blue eyes had dived into the
red of the sky. He was feeling that the last rays of the sun were smiling at
him, reminding him someone that now was forever far away. A cigarette was
hanging loosely from his beautiful and expressive mouth; he was deeply drawing
the smoke and then letting it go slowly, as if watching his soul escaping. His
long dark hair was sticking to his neck from the heat. He was standing there
with his shirt open hoping for a gentle breeze. He would give anything to be
able to escape for a while. He felt like drowning. A voice was heard loudly from
A small sigh left
from Terry’s lips.
-What do you want Susanna? His voice sounded
The girl that was heard from the bedroom now sounded
-For goodness sake Terry do you want me to shout for everyone
to hear us every day?
‘I would prefer it if you could shut up sometime,’
Terry thought. He quickly pressed his cigarette in the ashtray. He tightened his
lips and moved towards the bedroom. Susanna was there, already on the bed, and
apart from a sheet that was covering her, from the waist down, she was naked,
with only her long hair covering her nudity. Terry was taken aback from what he
was seeing and did a step backwards without thinking it. Susanna saw his
movement, and while looking at him in the eyes, she answered
-Don’t worry, I won’t bite! It is too hot, I couldn’t think of
anything else to do.
-Good,p Terry said dryly, and now what do you want
from me Susanna?
- Will you sleep in your office again tonight?- she said
with a voice mixed with hesitation and longing.
-I believe yes, after all
it is so hot I don’t think I’ll sleep at all tonight,- Terry said.
was going to explode with frustration and anger. 'We haven’t slept together at
all Terry, ever, since we are a couple, and even though I could excuse that when
we weren’t married, now that I am your wife for the last three months allow me
to think that your refusal to sleep together, is offensive,' she burst, her face
Terry was barely holding his anger and with a voice that almost
trembled, he managed to say to Susanna: 'Don’t push it Susanna' and turned his
back to leave the room. But Susanna this time was having none of it.
had adored Terry from the moment she had laid eyes on him. In him, she saw her
life complete, he stood next to her and she had a presence, people noticed her.
For Susanna, Terry was her sun and she was bathing in his light. She knew early
on that she would walk through hell to make him hers. He was hers and only hers,
she thought manically inside her head. But for all this time, Terry never let
his guard down; he was like a stone wall, cold, emotionless.
- It is very
easy for you Terry to walk out on an argument, don’t worry about me, I can’t go
anywhere,- Susanna hissed with hatred.
Terry stopped suddenly in his tracks.
He turned back and looked at her with a stare like the stormy seas.
Very nice Susanna, you know, you play the victim really well, too well in fact
for my fortunes. I don’t remember anywhere during these 6 months we are
together, to have promised you my undying love and affection my dear, he said
ironically. -I promised to be by your side, to take care of you, to make sure you
are OK and I do keep my promise,- Terry retaliated, emphasizing particularly his
last words. -Yes we are a couple, but only a couple because you chose to save me,
and you didn’t let me die a death that now would have saved everyone from this
mess. So you want me to lie next to you Susanna? Do you? Then, I will. And we
can have sex if you want it so much. But rest assured, you’ll sleep with a dead
man.- Terry was now staring Susanna, wondering what her reaction will be. He had
overstepped it this time.
Susanna was fuming, starting to get into
- You still think of her, hah? Is she torturing your mind and
your soul, with her forever absence? Your precious, pure angel? WELL, I’M GLAD
YOU SUFFER TERRY, because you only deserve to suffer, with the personality you
carry. You are one of the worst characters I have met,- she was screaming.
Terry’s lips formed a defiant faint smile.
- Laugh all you like
Terry, but please take your smugness from your face because it doesn’t suit you.
As far as you know, maybe Candy has already forgotten you, and she is in another
man’s embrace ecstatic this very minute, under the stars of a hot summer night,
giving her soul and body in celebration of their passionate love. Don’t tell me
that you are not scared to go to that place Terry!!!! You..you.. you think that
you are all power and arrogance and talent! Only the thought of her reduces you
to a pile of rubbish! I bet whoever is with Candy right now, he is having a
great time, who knows if she even remembers you, you weak little man! Susanna
was giving it her all now, the poison that her frustration had created, was
Terry stood there motionless, his face red with
anger clutching his fists so tight, he felt his fingernails pierce the skin
of his hands. It was like a big cloud was hanging above his eyes. Without
controlling himself, he moved towards her and he slapped her hard across the
- I wish to God, I’d never met you Susanna Marlowe,- he managed to
say, his voice full of rage.
Susanna’s eyes widened, and she looked
shocked. He beat her! Her perfect Terry, the one that she wanted so hard to be
She covered her face with her hand and looked at him with utter hate.
- GET OUT!! GET OUT!!!! GET LOST FROM HERE!!! I HATE YOU TERRY
GRANDCHESTER, YOU HEAR ME I HATE YOU!!!!!! But let me tell you, the more you
don’t change towards me, the more I’ll keep you in my prison. You’ll never be
free, Terry, you hear me, never,- she said full of poisonous hate.
Susanna fell back on her pillow, with streams of angry hot tears running
down her cheeks and just after a silent pause, she whispered, “You vowed through
life and death in our wedding Terry. You are a man of your word, aren’t you?”
hinting to previous events, events that had changed their lives forever.
left the room without saying a word. He totally hated himself for what she had
made him do. Susanna was left alone, full of hate for the man that she had
loved, the man that would never be hers. But if he wasn’t going to be hers, he
wasn’t going to be no one else’s also. “I will make you pay, Terry Grandcester,
wait and see,” she thought, and a wave of tiredness now overwhelmed her body.
Exhausted from crying, the heat and her fight with Terry, she had fallen asleep.
Terry sat on a chair exhausted as well, and poured himself a glass of
whiskey. He held his glass so tight, he thought he would break it. He brought the
image of Candy with another man, laughing together, and kissing. Then in bed,
caressing each other, whispering to each other, sweet words of love. A sharp
pain tore through his chest and he clutched his fist. He was consumed with
immense jealousy. Where was his sunshine? Why did he leave her to slip through
his fingers? He stood up, and threw with force the glass to the wall. It
shuttered into million tiny pieces. “The hell with it, I’m going out,” Terry
thought to himself. He took his wallet and his cigarettes, and left for another
night at the bars. He’ll sleep at the theatre tonight. He closed the door, and
went out on the street, while the memory of a freckled girl was smiling at him,
looking at him adoringly. Candy will always be his, at least in memory, was his
last thought, before entering the noisy bar.
The hot morning sun
was entering the small bedroom, and the sunlight was falling straight on her
face. Susanna opened her eyes slowly and looked around. “Another day alone” she
thought bitterly. She started reminiscing of the events from last night and a
shiver went up her spine. Terry had shown a violent temper, when she was pushing
the right buttons, she has to remember not to go this far again. She stood up on
her bed making a mental note of her last thought. She felt a dull pain on her
cheek and instinctively brought her hand to her face. Her left cheek seemed to
be swollen. She grabbed a mirror that was lying next to the bed and looked at
her face. There was a large bluish purple bruise right along her cheek. She
remembered Terry’s slap, and felt her blood starting boiling again.
brute!! I should really teach him a lesson, he has to pay for this,” Susanna
thought. And then despite the bright sunny morning, the room was as if it was
full with a mist of melancholy. She had dreamed her life with Terry somewhat
different. Terry devoted at her side. But that wasn’t going to happen, and she
had come to terms with this. That acknowledgment had slowly turned her love for
Terry into hate. Yes, she hated Terry for ignoring her, for not being able to
love her the way he loved that Candy. For the thousandth time, she wondered what
had she given him, that her Susanna hadn’t. He has to pay, she thought again,
while she heard knock at her door, “It must be the maid”, she thought and while
an awful plan was dawning in her mind she answered: “Come in”. The maid had
entered the room. “Good morning miss Susanna.”
Terry lifted his head
from his desk. He had an uncontrollable headache and was feeling awful. A fallen
glass was still lying there next to him. Immediately he brought last night’s
events in his mind. He had slapped Susanna!!!!! How did he manage to do that? He
was always desperately in control of his actions towards Susanna. Even though
come to think of it now, she had been a total censor to him last night. Her
words were different, full of hate, taunting him, testing his limits like no
other time. Susanna had transformed the past 6 months from being quiet, polite,
and rather melancholic, despite Terry’s efforts to cheer her up, to a demanding,
spoilt, bitter girl, and that girl happened to be his present wife. His lips
formed a surrendering smile that was more like a sigh, he felt totally defeated.
What would his beloved angel think of his actions? he thought to himself. She
would have been totally disappointed with him and the way he was facing the
situation. In every time Terry felt that he was getting out of control, he was
bringing Candy’s face to his mind, her soft sweet lips when he was lucky only
once to taste them. Painfully he was thinking their brief embrace at the stairs
of the hospital, when Candy was running away from him like she was chased. And
her tearful face, when he thought that she was watching him, performing drunk at
this awful theatre. These mental images were always working for Terry, bringing
him every time back from the edge of the abyss...“Candy you see, you were once
in your life wrong, wrong Candy! I could never be happy without you, how could
you wish me such a thing? I’ve done everything in my power to forget you, to
pretend you never existed, you had never entered my life, but you know
something? You are always there Candy!!!!” he yelled loudly now. He heard a
noise outside his room. He had forgotten that he was in the theatre. The
cleaning staff were on their morning shift.
- Ahem... Good morning Mr.
Terry,- Andrew’s head showed thought the door. Andrew was the manager of the
- Good morning Andrew,- Terry said back to the man and he
smiled. He was a nice man, Andrew, really considerate and discreet.
slept here again Mr. Terry?- Andrew managed to say hesitantly. Terry didn’t
mind, though, they had seen him spending the night there plenty of times.
- Yes, Andrew, I was reading a new play that we may work at, and I must
have fallen asleep, it was a really hot night, you see?- Terry answered. Andrew
nodded his head knowingly.
- Well, I’ll leave you be Mr. Terry, but bear
in mind that we’ll need to come in your room to clean up soon, Andrew finished
- You can come in now Andrew, if you want, I’m going home,- Terry
said his goodbyes, and he left the theatre, walking rather quickly. He needed to
see Susanna, to apologise at least. That way he would stop imagining Candy’s
scornful look. He also needed to take a shower desperately. “My God, I stink”,
he thought to himself, and accelerated his pace.
The maid walked into
Susanna’s bedroom while Susanna was putting the mirror back.
you today Miss Susanna? Flora, her maid said as she came in.
Flora, not much change for me,- Susanna complained.
Flora put the flowers
she had brought into a nice vase, and turned to face Susanna. Immediately she
left a cry.
- Miss Susanna!!! What happened to your face? - Flora said
looking quite worried.
- Ohhh, that? It’s nothing Flora, I fell from my
bed last night in the dark and I hit my face,- Susana said, without giving Flora
the chance to ask more questions. Susanna made an effort to sit more straight on
the bed, and asked Flora to bring her address book with her breakfast. Flora
disappeared in the kitchen to make Susanna’s breakfast, while she was thinking
about that young journalist, she and Terry had met one time in the theatre.
Margot Taylor was a young woman in her early 20s that had landed her first
proper job as a journalist writing the prestigious society column in the Daily
News one of the most popular newspapers in New York at that time. Flora appeared
in the room again with a silver tray carrying Susanna’s breakfast, a buttered
croissant and some strong coffee.
- Flora can you please help me to sit
on my wheelchair?- she asked.
- Of course Madame, Flora said to her
mistress while helping her to sit on the wheelchair. She pushed the wheelchair
Susanna’s desk, where her breakfast tray was waiting for her, along
with her address book. Susanna tore a piece from her croissant and had a sip of
her coffee, before flickering through her address book, stopping at Margot
Taylor’s address. She had remembered from their first meeting with Margot, how
keen the young girl was to take an interview of the newlywed couple, especially
now that Terry was such a hot new star of Broadway. “I think the time has come
for this interview,” Susanna thought to herself. She pushed her tray away, and
started scribbling quickly a note on a piece of paper.
My name is Susanna Grandcester, Terry Grandcester’s wife. We had
met you with my husband previously after watching the “Much Ado About Nothing
play. I hope you remember me. We had a talk about a possible interview with us,
and I am just writing to you to say that I accept to be interviewed by you.
Unfortunately Terry is not very keen giving interviews, but I hope once he sees
my interview, to change his mind and give one too. That would be great news for
your column!! I hope you have some time this afternoon for an initial meeting.
Say 2pm? My maid Flora, that will give you this letter, will also give you
instructions of how to come to our place. I’m looking forward to seeing
Susanna folded the
piece of paper carefully, put it in an envelope, wrote the address on the front
and called for Flora.
- Flora I need you to run an errand for me. Please
go to this address that I’m writing on the envelope and give this letter to
Miss. Margot Taylor. Tell her that you have to wait for her to read my letter as
you’ll be asked to give her instructions to come to our flat. Is that OK?-
- Yes of course, Miss. Susanna, I’ll go right away,- Flora
said cheerfully, while taking her apron off.
She picked up her bag, put
the letter inside and was ready to leave. Susanna asked Flora not to tell her
husband. It was after all a meeting with a journalist, and he wouldn’t be very
happy about that if he heard of it. Flora nodded her head and left the flat. Her
mistress was acting somewhat strange this morning, she thought while walking
towards the bus stop. And her face? What had happened there? She knew that that
bruise wasn’t from falling down... And now she wants to see a journalist....“Ohh
stop it Flora! You are acting like a busybody. What do you care?” Flora said to
herself, and continued her journey.
Terry opened the door
of their flat. He was tired from last night. He went straight in Susanna’s
bedroom. She was sitting on her wheelchair, next to the window, reading a book.
- Susanna? he said.
- Oh Terry, you came,- Susanna said with a
voice trying to sound indifferent, but still relieved. She turned to face Terry.
Terry’s eyes widened when he saw Susanna’s face from last night and his face
took a painful expression.
- Oh my God!!!! Susanna!!!!!
on his knees, next to her wheelchair, feeling very sorry and angry with himself.
- It’s OK Terry. It’s not as bad as it looks. It doesn’t
even hurt that much.....
- I’m sorry, Terry managed to say with a low
voice. I should have controlled my temper. I’m sorry Susanna, I really am, his
eyes started to get misty.
- What happened is in the past Terry. We can’t
turn back time, Susanna said. “You can say that again, Susanna,” Terry thought
to himself, a bitter thought. He stood up and faced her again.
- Do you
need anything Susanna? I was thinking of going to have a shower.
Terry, I’m fine. Please go have your shower.
Terry took his bathrobe and
left the room. Inside the shower, he turned the tap, and warm water started
falling on him. It was soothing. He moved his head back, and the water was now
falling full on his face. He wished he could wash his sorrows that easily. Like
dirt, they could have been washed away and disappear. He stayed like that for
some time, lost in thoughts and emotions... Candy... I won’t disappoint you.
I’ll be strong just for you from now on. I’ll turn my love to strength to help
me keep going, away from you. Where would you be right now? What are you filling
your days with? With whom? Terry left the shower, he dried himself, put on some
clean clothes and went back to Susanna.
- Susanna,- he said while coming
in her room, I want to stay with you today, to take care of you. Do you want me
to take you for a stroll in the park? We can go somewhere out to have lunch, we
haven’t done that for ages,- Terry’s voice sounded genuine, like he was trying to
She stared at him, and his deep blue eyes were now looking at her
apologetically. “He is so handsome,” Susanna thought to herself. His hair was
wet and he had caught them in a low ponytail. His eyes were sparkling. He looked
gorgeous with a pair of light grey trousers and a dark blue shirt made from the
finest linen. The colour was mirroring the blue of his eyes, and she thought
that she could be lost into those eyes. She turned her face away
- No, it’s OK,- she said, -You can’t miss your rehearsals, your
play is coming up quite soon, and you need to be quite prepared. After all, the
doctor will come in to see me during the afternoon for my physiotherapy session.
I still have a long way to go, to get used to the prosthetic leg,- she said while
looking at the limb that was placed at the bottom of the bed.
- Are you
certain, that you don’t need me this afternoon? I could notify the manager, that
I can’t go,- Terry insisted.
- No, it’s OK, Terry, I’ll be fine. It’s not
the first time, nor the last,- she replied with a tinge of melancholy in her
Terry had noticed the tone in her voice, but he didn’t want to
start any conversation again regarding their relationship. He was exhausted and
he wanted a little peace at last. So he approached Susanna, touched her shoulder
and gave it a gentle squeeze, as if to reassure her that he was there for
- Susanna....- he paused.
- No need to talk Terry, I am
aware of our situation. Now please go, you’ll be late.
- You know where
to call for me if you need me OK?- he asked.
She nodded to him, Terry
paused for a few seconds, and then he made his way out of the flat.
Margot Taylor, was an
elegant young woman, with big ambitions for her career, after all she was a
woman journalist in a tough man’s world. She had landed her first job for the
“society column” for New York’s “Daily News” newspaper, and she was intending to
make an impression. Sometimes, her topics were a bit risqué, and she loved as
all journalists, a good scandal, which meant big reader numbers for the
newspaper. That was the reason why artists, were quite weary of her, when giving
her an interview. She had been visited by Flora, Susanna Grandchester’s maid,
carrying very good news. Susanna was prepared to give her an interview, and she
expected that Terry Grandcester would soon follow. That would have been a big
scoop for Daily News, as Terry apart from being the “matinee idol” of the time,
and women adored him, he was particularly difficult for giving interviews. He
was avoiding them with a passion, and that added more to his allure.
Here we are Miss. Taylor,- Flora suddenly said.
- Driver, if you can stop
here... - Margot said to the driver, and they stopped outside a block of flats
situated in a modestly elegant neighbourhood.
- So that’s where Terry
Grandcjester is living,- Margot said to herself. She smiled and looked at
- Yes Miss. Taylor. Please follow me, she said, and they went up
Susanna was left in
her room, alone after Terry left for the theatre and she was feeling somewhat
nervous and confused. Did she see some affection into Terry’s eyes? Maybe the
slap he gave me last night really shocked him, she thought, as she brought her
hand back touching her swollen cheek. She gave a look at the desk clock that was
sitting at her bedside table. It was 1 o’clock. Soon Margot Taylor would be here
for the interview. No, no, Susanna thought and she shook her head in denial. It
was hopeless. Terry didn’t love her, he could never love her, he had sworn his
heart to someone else, Candy was always going to be there, and Terry with his
attitude was punishing her, for keeping him away from her. She pushed her
wheelchair towards the kitchen to get a glass of water. She was passing outside
Terry’s office. His door was open. She had rarely been in here. Most of the
times, Terry was locked in here alone, reading. A book was lying on his desk.
Susanna curiously picked it up; it was Bernard Shaw’s “The Pygmalion”. Nice book
she thought and she started flickering through the pages. Some paper was stuck
in between two of those pages. What was it? She took that piece of paper and
unfolded it. It seemed that it was quite worn by now, felt like it had been wet
before. Tears perhaps....? It was a letter.
“My beloved Terry,
Do you know that I don’t get tired
saying your name again and again? My love, I have missed you so desperately,
each day it passes seems it drags on for eternity. I have some good news for
you, my sweetheart. I received your letter, and the tickets for “Romeo &
Juliet” as well as the one-way ticket to New York!! I’m so excited; I feel I’ve
been living with butterflies in my stomach for days. You’ll make a perfect
Romeo, my lovely. You are the Romeo in my heart, Terry, you are my Romeo
forever. Albert thinks it’s funny, I’ve been banging on everything in our flat.
I banged my head when I was opening the cupboard in the kitchen, I’ve banged my
foot at the dining table as I was walking, and as I took your letter, I didn’t
even feel my feet touching the floor. Eventually, I tripped at the carpet and
fell with my face flat on the floor. Terry, I need to see you before I kill
myself, you’ve stolen my mind, my thoughts, my soul. You’ll be in my sweet
dreams, my darling, until we meet. Until then, I’ll keep chasing away the
minutes and the hours of the days that separate us. Take care, my sweet Terry.
Your freckled Juliet,
Susanna let the letter
slip from her hands. Tears of anger were running down her face. It was
unbearable. Everywhere she turned, there was some reminder of Candy’s. Not only
Terry was suffering from Candy’s memory, so was Susanna. Candy was the one that
kept Terry’s heart locked forever. And Terry kept secretly reading her letters.
Remembering happy times...Why was he unable to love her? She had done so many
sacrifices for him but it meant nothing, nothing, nothing. Susanna’s anger
turned to rage, and with one swoop of her hand, she cleared everything from his
desk. Books, papers, pens, glasses were on the floor. She started hitting her
lap with her fists, full of hate for Terry and Candy. She left Terry’s room,
still crying desperately. She was moving back in her room, when she caught site
of herself on the big standing mirror in the dining room. She looked at herself
curiously. She pitied herself, she was a mess, her hair all messed up, her eyes
red from crying, her cheek bruised. And...She was in a wheelchair... “I wish I
never met you Susanna Marlowe,” Terry’s harsh words were ringing in her ears,
now again and again. Her crying had stopped, and a steely stare was forming in
her gaze to the mirror. You’ll feel sorry Terry, for last night, for every night
that you rejected me, for the love you were unable to give me, for the emptiness
that took over my life the past 6 months. She entered her room, and started
getting ready for her interview with Margot Taylor.
Flora opened the door
of the apartment, and she invited Margot to come in.
- Please have a seat
Miss Taylor,- Flora said, -while I go to help Mrs Grandchester to get ready.
- Please take your time Flora,- Margot answered, while she gave a look
around the living room. It seemed a modest and rather small flat, and a bit
empty... On the walls, there was only a big painting of green hills, a beautiful
lake, and a mansion that was situated further away. “Mmm... that could be
Scotland,” Margot thought to herself. She had done her research on the couple,
and she knew that Terry had his roots in Scotland. Still the room didn’t exude a
warm feeling, which Margot found odd. “Too bare for my taste,” Margot continued
in her mind. “I’d expect a newlywed couple to adorn their first home together,
with mementos and pictures,” was Margot’s last thought, before Flora re-emerged
from Susanna’s room.
- My mistress is ready to see you Miss. Taylor.
Please follow me,- Flora said to Margot. Both women entered Susanna’s bedroom.
Margot entered the room, behind Flora. Susanna was sitting at her wheelchair
facing the open window. She turned to welcome Margot.
- Ahhh, Miss. Taylor,
please come in! It’s really nice to see you,- Susanna said.
- Same here,
Mrs. Grandchester. But please call me Margot,- Margot said while she didn’t help
but notice the big bruise on Susanna’s cheek. “What the hell..?” she thought to
herself shocked. “I’ll definitely have to find a way to ask about that bruise on
Susanna’s cheek,” she finished.
- Well then, you have to call me just
Susanna, Margot,- Susanna replied, and extended her hand for Margot.
Pleased to meet you then Susanna,- Margot smiled widely, and she gave her hand
also to a handshake.
- Have a seatt, Margot. Would you like any
refreshment? That weather being so hot, it can make you feel parched,- Susanna
- I’ll have an iced tea, if I may then,- Margot
- Flora, please can you prepares 2 iced teas for Margot and me,-
Susanna said sweetly to Flora, and the maid left quickly in the kitchen to
prepare the refreshments. Margot was examining Susanna. She was thinner and
paler since the last time she saw her at the theatre. “Good God, she seems
unhappy! Never thought the wife of Terry Grandgester would look so miserable!
That’s interesting....I’ll have to investigate,” Margot thought to herself, as
she had her first sip of her ice tea. The two women alone in the room were
chatting, and Susanna told her the story with her accident, how she tried to
save her husband, being totally in love with him from day one. How she was
ecstatic on the day of their wedding...
- That’s really nice Susanna,-
Margot commented. -I can’t help noticing though, that you look sad, and that
bruise....I’m sorry if I’m being indiscreet. Please stop me if you feel
Susanna looked at her for a few seconds, and suddenly she
burst into tears. Margot was shocked. That had never happened to her, at an
- I’m sorry, -she said nervously, -I didn’t mean....-
Margot now was feeling uncomfortable at the sight of the young woman crying.
This woman was really depressed.
- It’s OK Margot. It’s just that I think
I love my husband much more that he loves me. My accident also doesn’t make
things any better. And Terry has needs. He is a man after all....- Susanna
started saying, now sniffing her nose on her handkerchief. Margot didn’t believe
her ears. Well, she thought that she would make a scoop, but nothing like this.
This was unbelievable. “I’m sure I’ll get promoted after this,” she thought to
herself, even though she was feeling deep down some feeling of guilt.
You mean... that Terry, I mean, Mr. Grandchester, is seeing someone else?- Margot
- Well, I wouldn’t call it like that, definitely he doesn’t
have any other relationships, -Susanna replied, -Just one night affairs, from time
to time,- she continued now hesitantly.
- That’s terrible Susanna,- Margot
continued, now feeling sorry for the woman that was sitting opposite her. -And if
I may ask, the bruise....?- she asked while holding her breath for Susanna’s
- Well, I happened to confront him about his affairs, we had a
heated argument, he had drank quite a bit also, so I think I must have hit a raw
nerve and he lost his control...-Susanna now was thinking that Terry will now
be getting what he deserved for all those months of abandoning her, for not
taking notice of her, for not loving her. She was finally getting her revenge.
And as she was saying all these horrible things about her husband, she lowered
her head, as if she was ashamed.
- It’s not your fault, Susanna; he is
the one that needs to straighten out. I mean come on. You sacrificed yourself,
for an egotistical brute!!! -Margot now lost her temper. She was a strong
feminist herself and she felt the anger. Susanna was feeling strangely empty and
sad. Was that how revenge feels? She thought that she would feel happier, but
no, that wasn’t happiness that she was feeling. Had she gone too far? A sliver
of fear would now, enter her heart. She was looking Margot in the eyes. And they
were showing that fear. She started mincing her words, trying to get back what
she had just said, but it was too late.
- He is my husband and I love him
dearly, and I know he loves me...in his own way, Margot,- she said desperately.
-Please disregard what I said before.
But it was definitely too late for
that. Margot, being a woman and an ambitious professional, wouldn’t back down.
She said to Susanna, that she’ll think about it, even though this was
- Please don’t feel sorry for yourself, Susanna, -she managed to
say. -I’ll write the truth, and I’ll try to describe it a bit gently, if that
will make you feel better. Your husband needs to be exposed for what he is.
Margot now stood up, obviously shaken by Susanna’s confession, but
nevertheless excited. She looked at the clock, it was 4 o’clock in the
afternoon, she needed to get going, if she was to catch tomorrow’s print. She
gave a strong sisterly hug to Susanna, and said that she’ll be there to support
her, if things would go out of control. And then she said her goodbyes while
Flora showed her the way out.
Susanna was left alone in the room, while
Flora was preparing the afternoon tea. She started panicking; she felt she
couldn’t breathe, so she moved her wheelchair next to the window. Hot tears of
remorse were running down her cheeks. “What has she done?” she was thinking over
and over, and the thought was getting heavier in her head, she had started to
have a headache. “How would Terry react to all of these? The news will cause a
stir tomorrow, she thought, and she gasped with terror, when she started
thinking of the consequences. She wasn’t feeling too well; she was feeling dizzy
and hot. “Did she have a fever?” she thought. She asked for Flora to put her to
practically had run back to her office to type her piece on Susanna Grandchester.
She would bring in her mind the image of Susanna being totally distraught
because of Terry’s attitude. Margot had respected Terry for his talent and his
quiet understated character, but how far from the truth she was? She was angry
at him for fooling her to believe that he was a decent man. No, she had to tell
the truth. She couldn’t hide it. Her long elegant fingers started typing her
article with speed.
“Today I had a meeting with Miss. Susanna
Grandchester, the wife of the young talented star of Broadway, Mr. Terry
Grandchester. Mr. Grandchester had become famous after acting as Romeo, giving a
thrilling performance in Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet” that was put up by
the known Stanford Theatre Group, making thousands of women and men instant fans
of his. But ladies especially, beware, because according to his wife,
Susanna, things are not always what they seem to be. She is also known since
that tragic accident which took place during the rehearsals of the play where
she, by an unfortunate event, saved her husband’s life but ended up losing her
leg. She is a wonderful, demure and sweet woman who someone would think that she
is utterly lucky to have Terry Grandchester as her husband.
Alas, my dear
readers, we are so far away from the truth! When I went to visit Mrs.
Grandchester, the first thing I noticed, was a big ugly bruise on her left cheek,
which made me wonder. And suddenly to my amazement, Mrs. Grandchester burst into
tears in the middle of the interview. I asked her gently if everything was OK,
and she had finally decided to uncover the truth there and then. Terry
Grandchester is an awful man, lying to his audience, to his fans, pretending to
be an honest and respectable man, standing by his unlucky wife. But instead I
heard stories of cruel infidelity, one night affairs with unknown women, excess
drinking and violence. That poor woman sits silently and suffers and when she
decided to confront her husband, he beat her! Even though my journalistic
integrity doesn’t allow me to take sides, this case is something out of the
ordinary and I have to say that I am completely disappointed in Mr. Grandchester,
so much so, that I doubt if I ever go to see another performance of his. And I
suggest my dear readers that you do the same."
Margot looked at her
typed article with a satisfied feeling. “Justice was done,” she thought, and
went straight to her boss. “If I’m lucky, it will be in tomorrow’s paper,” she
thought and knocked her boss’s door.
It was early evening
and Terry had just finished the rehearsals for their new play.
putting up “Camille” which was written by Alexander Dumas, the famous French
writer. Terry was playing the role of a rich young man of promise, Armand Duval
who falls in love with Marguerite, a Parisian courtesan. Armand’s father finds
the girl and tells her that if she loves his son, she should leave him because
she could ruin his hopes for a great career. Marguerite leaves Armand, and when
she is stricken with poverty and terminal illness, she finds out that Armand
never stopped loving her. That role suited Terry very much at this time of his
life. His experience with Candy and his marriage out of duty with Susanna made
him feel more or less like Armand who was forced to separate from his true love
in the name of duty.
- Terry, I’m very really happy with your progress. I
think that play is going to be even a bigger success that “Romeo & Juliet”
my son,- the theatre’s producer told Terry while he was getting ready to
- I’m really glad you are saying so,- Terry replied. -I do feel for
Armand’s and Marguerite’s unlucky love, he continued.
- Well... yeah...
you seem like you have some personal experience, the manager said, but as soon
as he noticed Terry’s face getting all serious, he avoided continuing the
subject. He just quickly said his goodnights and left, leaving Terry alone in
the theatre. Terry really felt close to Armand, and he could inject all the pain
he felt into his role, making it his own. It was breathtaking to watch. “At
least something goes well in my life” he thought, even though he didn’t feel
elated. Just a little comfort was nesting in his heart. While walking back to
his flat, he had decided to give his relationship with Susanna one more try.
“Candy, you wanted me happy, but I won’t be when I am away from you. But I’ll
try my best to make Susanna happy at least. One misery is better that two”, he
told himself, and with Candy’s vision in his mind smiling approvingly, he
continued walking under the summer starlit sky. A new beginning was starting to
dawn in Terry’s mind, even without his heart ready to follow.
Susanna was already
in bed when Terry opened the door of the flat. She was feeling awful, full of
guilt for what she had done and couldn’t take back. Terry showed up quickly in
- Hi Susanna, he said a bit worried. Flora told me that you
weren’t feeling very well and had to lie in bed early on. How are you feeling?
he said moving closer to her. Susanna turned her face away quickly; she couldn’t
bear to look at him straight in his eyes. She was feeling sweaty. Did she have a
-I’m feeling better Terry, she said dryly.
please don’t avoid me. I already apologised for last night even though we both
said harsh things to each other,- he said lowering his eyes now.- I want us to
have a fresh start. No more quarrelling or crying. We’ll fight together, he said
now sitting beside her, on her bed. He reached to hold her hand, but she quickly
pulled it away. I know that it will take time to feel normal in each other
presence, he continued, but we can try, don’t you think?
sounded sweet for the first time in 6 months, and really honest. Susanna
couldn’t believe her ears. “Damn you Terry, why do you change now, is it another
trick to continue torturing me? she thought to herself, feeling increasingly
awful, when she remembered her interview during the day. She couldn’t tell him,
there was absolutely no way. She was scared of what the next day would bring,
and she was shivering.
- My God, you burn Susanna, Terry said obviously
worried now. He put his lips softly on her forehead to check her temperature.
“Candy I’ll never stop loving you” , he thought, “but I’ll need to build a
life as well”. Susanna was thinking that it would have been better is she had
died at the accident and shear panic was exploding in her. She burst into tears
and Terry forced her gently to look at her.
- What’s wrong Susanna? It
feels like that I scare you,- he said now his voice getting slightly impatient.
- No, no Terry, it’s not you. We had a difficult time last night and I
think that may have affected me a bit more than I thought. I’m sure that it’ll
pass, she said while making great efforts to look at him in the eyes and appear
as everything were normal. By his looks, he didn’t seem to suspect anything.
“My poor Terry, how ironic your timing is... I loved you with every cell
of my body, I longed for your love for 6 whole months, I was dying inside for a
little affection from you, and now that I had decided that I hated you and I
wanted to hurt you, suddenly you decided to change".
Terry was wiping
her tears with his handkerchief.
- There,- he said tenderly. -I’m going to
make you some tea, and I’ll prepare some cold compresses for your fever,- Terry
continued while he got up to disappear in the kitchen.
Susanna was left
lying on the bed. She now had regretted deeply her rushed decision to hurt her
husband. Should she just deny everything? Well she couldn’t, the newspaper will
attack her as a paranoid liar. There was no way out of the consequences of her
stupid actions. Terry would never forgive her. And then the realisation hit her,
and instinctively she gasped. “Will he leave her? What would become of her?”,
she thought and battled with feelings of nausea. She took a deep breath and
tried to calm down. It’s going to be a long night tonight, she thought.
Oh, how cruel is fate, with her unexpected twists and turns, as if
we are mere puppets at the hand of a twisted mistress...