In the year of 1986, in the south of Manchester, there was a circle of six houses where the rich lived. These houses each had one floor, but they were still rather large. They each had beautiful gardens and the people who lived in them had little time on their hands to work on them, but their gardens still looked dazzling as they could easily afford a gardener. None of the houses stood out from the rest- they were all of equal size and they looked similair.
Everything seemed perfectly normal in these houses, and things were, until one evening of January 1986.
Rupert Christen lived with his wife Dawn in number 4. They had just recently married, and they had just moved into the house. They were also both the same age, with both of them aged twenty-two years old. Rupert's father was a multi-millionaire, so Rupert was used to getting what he wanted. He liked to be in control of everything and everyone, so he despised it when somebody offended him. If someone were to offend him, he would always get his own back on them.
Dawn, on the other hand, was a rather considerate person. Sometimes, she was selfish and liked things to be her own way, but at other times, she was a caring young woman. She had been brought up in a different background to her husband- she lived on a council estate as a child, where all of the addicts were around her. She had never taken drugs before, but her upbringing had made her an untrustworthy person at times, and she had been known to do some outrageous things in the past.
"So", said Rupert, "how are you finding your life here, in this quiet little place?"
"It's beautiful", replied Dawn, "it's just how I dreamed it would be".
"Is it now?" said Rupert.
"What do you mean by that?" asked Dawn.
Rupert laughed. "You know what I mean", he replied.
"No, I don't".
"Of course you do. You've only married me for the money".
"What? That's absurd! Why would you think that?"
"Isn't it obvious? You come from a terrible life, and you suddenly marry me, a rich man. You don't love me".
"Yes I do!"
"Don't lie to me, Dawn".
"I'm not lying!"
"Yes you are. I see what your plan was, now. You married me so that you can live a life of luxury, and in the meantime, loan my money that my father made me to your sister".
"She paid you it back, didn't she?"
"That's not the point. She used my money".
"She set up he rown business with that money. She has been very successful, and has given you plenty of interest as a thank you".
"But what if she was not a success? Then I would have been £30,000 worse off. I would never have seen a tenth of that money again".
"My sister knew what she was doing".
"And she knows what she is doing now, doesn't she?"
"What are you talking about?"
"She's just moved in next door, too, so that she could copy my life".
"What have you got against Vera?"
"She's just a sly witch".
Dawn looked vexed now. "Don't talk that way about my sister!"
Just then, Vera knocked on the door and came in.
"Is everything alright?" she asked. Like her sister, Vera had a quirky personality. At times, she would be the kindest person in the whole neighbourhood, but when people got on the wrong side of her, she would do horrid things.
"Yes, Vera", replied Dawn, "everything is fine here".
"I heard shouting".
"Will you just keep your nose out!" yelled Rupert at the top of his voice.
Vera stood and stared. She had no idea Rupert was like that until that moment. She then realised what sort of monster her sister was married to.
"Who are you?" Vera asked Rupert.
"You know fine well who I am. Why won't you just leave me alone with my wife, for once!"
Vera turned to look at Dawn, who was shaking slightly, struggling to not shed a tear.
"If the noise continues I'm going to telephone the police", said Vera.
"What?" cried Dawn.
"Go ahead", said Rupert, "what will they do about it?"
"You're not in a healthy state of mind, to tell you the truth", said Vera.
"Just go", said Rupert.
"Why should I? So you can beat my sister up?"
"Why are you saying these things?" asked Dawn, "will you just stop!"
"Fine", said Vera, "I'll go, but don't come running to me when he hurts you".
Vera then left.
"I lend her money to start a new life, and that is the thanks I get", said Rupert.
"She's just scared", said Dawn, "you shouted at her loudly. You had no right to do that!"
"And she had no right to accuse me of assaulting my own wife!"
"She's just looking out for me. She..."
"Don't try to defend her. Your sister's a psycho, just like you".
Dawn was silent for several seconds. She stood in the middle of the living room, looking at the man she swore she would spend the rest of her life with. "You really are an evil man", she said to him.
There was another knock at the door. This time it was Imelda, the next door neighbour who had also became very good friends with Dawn. Imelda had known Dawn before she married Rupert, since they were in the same school, and they had been friends since then.
"It's just me", said the fairly wealthy woman, "Olly's just popped out into the pub, I thought you'd like to join us".
"Isn't that the place where the commoners go?" said Rupert.
"Well, I know that we're middle class people, but we can still go out and enjoy ourselves".
"I'm not feeling up to it tonight", said Dawn, "I'm sorry".
"You're not sick, are you, honey?"
"It's not that. I just don't feel like going out tonight".
"Well, you know where we are if you change your mind", replied Imelda, leaving her good friend with Rupert.
"There's another psycho you have got me involved with", said Rupert.
"She's not a psycho. She's a caring person", said Dawn.
"She's off her bleeding trolley, and stop defending everyone. What's the matter with you, Dawn? Everything I say has to be wrong, doesn't it?"
"Yes. You always argue against me. I am never right, am I? You always have to be right, don't you?"
"Why have you come out with this tonight? We've been married for eight months!"
"Well, that's eight months of my life wasted, isn't it?"
"I loved you".
"Stop the lies. I want the truth. I cannot build a marriage on lies. Look me in the eye this time, Dawn. We can end it now if we want. Just tell me the truth. If I had
no money and was as poor as you before you married me, would you have married me?"
Dawn was quiet for a moment. "You want the truth?"
"The truth is that you're a stupid, selfish man who likes to be in control of everyone. I don't want to spend the rest of my life with you".
"So, you're admitting you only married me for the money?"
"I admit I only married you for the money. Are you happy now?"
Rupert remained silent. Dawn said, "I'll go, first thing in the morning. I'll have my things packed, and I'll be gone".
Rupert still said nothing, and remained stood in the living room. As Dawn left the room to go into the kitchen, Rupert snook into the bedroom, where he took out a pistol that he owned. He placed a shell into the gun. While Dawn was getting a drink, Rupert tiptoed towards the kitchen door, aimed the gun at the back of her head, and fired.
Dawn dropped to the floor. She died instantly.
"That's what you get for messing with Rupert Christen", he said, still with the gun in his hand.
Imelda was still outside, smoking a cigarette, when she heard the shot. There were also other passers by who heard the shot and ran into the house. They all saw Rupert holding the gun, and when he turned towards them, he said, "she's dead, and there's no bringing her back". He then dropped the gun and sat down on the sofa.
Later that night, Rupert Christen was arrested for the murder of Dawn Christen. He was questioned, and charged with her murder. In his trial, the jury found him guilty, because of the DNA evidence and the witness statements which proved that he had murdered Dawn. He was given a sentence of 25 years in prison. For the next 25 years in the circle of houses, nobody spoke of Dawn's murder, but everybody thought about it.
© Copyright 2017 declan mckimm. All rights reserved.
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