Monday, March 19, 2012 at 2:17PM
Lindsay Perette, 46 year old mother of one, pulls back the black satin curtains that hide her from the bright, morning sun and the golden rays begin to thaw her frigid face. She heard from Mrs. Tibbs that when she has trouble sleeping, she turns on the air conditioner to hum her to sleep. Although at first Lindsay was skeptical about the negative impact it would have on the environment, she realized that even during the summer she could wear her fur sweaters and luxurious house coats! Why not choose the weather to fit your mood if you can afford it? This is the thought process of residents of XS Hill. Her family has lived in this suburb for five years now and she loves it for its idealistic beauty and the strict and organized community members. She smiles as she peers outside, 7 A.M. and already the neighbors are out with their lawn mowers and hedge clippers.
Lindsay’s husband Claude owns the most profitable Olive Oil production company in Italy, and lives there for the majority of the year in a condo in Lombardy. He works long days and returns home rarely to visit her and their son, Kevin. It is no secret in the family that Claude has had many affairs with women from his office and the relationship between him and his wife is dwindling, but as long as no information leaves the house, they are picture perfect. In the past, Lindsay missed being with him, and when he returned there would be a huge party to welcome his return. But since the cheating was brought into the open, even when she is amongst friends Lindsay is still alone with her designer clothes and china cutlery.
She steps in to her slippers and glides down the oval staircase, her robe trailing behind her. She notices that the blinds are still closed throughout the house, at least the maid remembered to prepare her breakfast for her. A pot of water is boiled for her in her favourite tea pot with fresh lemon tea bag steeping within, at least that’s what she imagined. The water is frigid and the teabag must have been steeping all night because it had started to decompose in the water.
Lindsay reaches for a biscuit layered with jam but stops herself. She shouldn’t eat carbs and sugar so early in the morning. Only yesterday she ate a McDonald’s cheeseburger with a large french-fry and cola, one of the most deadly sins in her woman’s club, so today she will eat nothing out of fear for her reputation.
The doorbell rings, followed by a minute of silence. Where is Martha and why isn't she answering the door? The visitor proceeds to knock loudly, five times, and Lindsay walks to the front door, visibly irritated. Blushing in her bathrobe, Lindsay combs her long brown hair back with a swift move of her hand, then opens the door. Two men of the same height, in dark sunglasses are wearing blank expressions on their faces.
“Good morning. Please excuse my appearance, I wasn’t expecting visitors. How can I help you gentlemen?”
“We are here to speak to you about financial matters. Do you mind if we come in?”
Lindsay has never been asked to discuss her husband's financial situation, and is taken aback at the outrageous question.
“Unfortunately my husband is out of town. You can contact him through e-mail or call him at his office. Good day, gentlemen.”
She tries to close the door but a shoe is lodged in the doorway. The two men push their way in to the room and Lindsay begins to scream.
“I don’t know who you think you are, but you are not welcome here! I don’t know anything about my husband’s work, so leave me alone!”
“My name is Mr. White, and this is my colleague Dr. Ronald Stim. We were sent from the collections agency. As you know, your husband's company has gone bankrupt and all of his assets are now owned by the bank. We met with you before and agreed on you leaving the premises today. This will not be negotiated again. Please come with us.”
Two police cars pull in to the driveway, sirens blaring. Immediately Lindsay thinks of the neighbors. What will they say about her? For over a year Lindsay has been living in a fantasy world, deliberately dismissing her recent divorce and bankruptcy from her mind.
Lindsay drops her robe and dashes up the stairs, taking them two, three at a time. She would rather die than face the disgrace of the back seat of a police cruiser. The home-wreckers are merely seconds behind her, and the stained glass windows only steps ahead. With one final leap of faith, Lindsay runs head first out of the third story window, clutching her engagement ring as she falls to the cold pavement beneath her.