The Snow Killer: Part Five
Diane walked out the main door of the pub, and headed east to find a taxi. She walked for a few minutes before she saw any sign of a waiting cabby. They always avoid this part of town; don't want pick up any students. I don't blame them. They make so much noise. She waved him down and climbed in.
"Where to, love? Time'n half 'cause of the snow."
"Yes, it's fine. Westgate Drive. No rush."
"Yes, ma'am." The cab driver switched the overhead light off and started the engine. Diane sank into the back seat. She had always hated cabs, but she couldn't drive when she'd been drinking, and it was freezing, so there was no point fussing.
She thought about the boy, the boy with the blonde hair and the cut-glass cheekbones. She closed her eyes and he was there; kissing her; whispering deep, love-filled words into her ear. Danny looked like the boy a little bit.
"He's gone, stop thinking about him. He isn't going to come back to you. Jerry made sure of that. So, stop thinking about him." She whispered to herself.
"You alright, love? Bit of boyfriend trouble?"
"Nah, a bit of husband trouble, mate." Diane scolded herself for speaking like that. She hated pretending she was common, but it stopped her feeling superior most of the time, knowing that everyone around her thought she was a common housewife from the estate, instead a posh housewife with a criminal for a husband.
Westgate Drive was certainly not an estate. 23 Westgate Drive, Canterbury. She had lived in Canterbury nearly all her life, in that exact house, for 35 years. Diane loved that house more than anything.
23 Westgate Drive was the smallest house amongst the 50 houses that surrounded it, because it was sandwiched between two great manor houses. Number 23 was a faded duck-egg blue, with silver woodwork and a dark-stained oak door. Mrs Tabatha Finn died in 1954 and left it for Diane's great uncle, a Mr Roger Tate. When her uncle died of an unsuspected heart attack, Diane's parents inherited the house, who in turn left it to Diane for when she married and started a family.
Diane met her husband six months before they got married. She had fallen in love with him, with his beautiful violet eyes and the shiny auburn hair. But, like the flame of his mane; Jerry had a temper.
"I said I'm sorry, baby. I'm so sorry. Please don't leave me, Bunny." Jerry kissed his young wife, stopping tears in their tracks and tasting the salt of the pain he had caused. He brushed his thumb across the cut on her forehead and whispered at her. "I'm so sorry, Diane. I don't know why I did it. I just felt so angry. I just wanted to hold you."
"All I said was that I was tired. Why did you throw a book at me?" Diane's voice was cold, like Jerry's touch.
"To teach you a lesson, baby." Jerry's violet eyes darkened as they bore into Diane's white face. He grabbed her hair and jolted her head backwards, so he towered above her. "You never say no to me. Got it? I own you: you are my wife. I know you've been messing around, Di. I won't stand for any wife of mine messing around with some marine on the side. You got it, sweet cheeks?"
The anger filled Diane as she sat in the back of the taxi. Part of her just wanted to scream at the cabby to stop and take her back to the pub; to drown in a pool of tequila and her own tears. But, she couldn't. She never would.
That boy poor. Poor Jamie. He didn't have to hurt you. I know he says he didn't but I know him. I know what he did you and your pretty face. Carved it off is what he did, I know it. He's such a brute. But I can't go. I can't leave my beautiful house and all of Mamma's things. I need her things to feel safe.
"I don't know why you're with him, Anne. I see the way he looks at you. It's like you're a dog that he can just kick when it misbehaves. Leave him, Anne. Please, leave him." Sophie begged her eldest daughter, but she knew any promise of Diane's was empty. She had been empty for a long time.
"I will Mamma, I promise. But not yet, we have the Robinsons' twins boys christening on Saturday, and then the social on Tuesday, and-"
"Your social calendar isn't an excuse for what he does to you, Anne. You know that right?" Sophie watched Diane look at her perfectly manicured hands, and simply say:
"But, Mamma, he can't cope without me. He's not even sure how to put on a cravat. He needs me, Mamma."
"You don't need him. By lord, if your father was still here..."
"Well, he isn't. So, I'm going home to my husband, to cook his dinner and feed the dog."
"Does he kick the dog as much as he kicks you?"
Diane slammed the taxi door and walked up the drive. She stopped, as always at the post box. A sign of a happier time in their marriage: two blue hand prints on a black box attached to the porch's brick wall. The painted flecked off onto her fingertips. She brushed away the layer of snow covered the top of the post-box, and wiped her hands across the cheap coat.
Diane took the coat off, and folded it gently into her handbag. She stood at her front door in full business attire, and unlocked the oak door. "Jerry? Are you home? Sorry, I missed dinner..." Diane laughed at her own sarcasm as she shut the heavy door behind her and waved the snow off of her suit jacket. She removed her shoes and placed them in the shoe rack to the left of the door. Walking upstairs, she unfolded the coat and approached a locked cupboard opposite the top of the stairs. She pulled out a set of keys, opened the cupboard and put the coat neatly on a hanger. As she walked towards her bedroom, she heard a woman's voice.
"Jerry, I hear someone. I think it's your wife. You said she was out of town?" Diane paused outside Jerry's bedroom door, and grinning, knocked on, and then opened the door.
"Jerry dear, is this one staying for tea, or should I fetch her coat?"
"Fuck off, Di." Diane exited the room to avoid the pillow Jerry had just flung at the door and headed for her own bedroom. Using the set of keys once more, she unlocked the white panelled door and went inside.
The room was a pale yellow, decorated with delicate floral ornaments. A beech laminate floor lay beneath a fluffy chocolate-coloured rug, and to the right of the rug sat a small round table, covered with lace, and on top: a canary yellow circular vase donning twelve red roses. Diane looked at the roses and sighed.
"I suppose I should throw them now he's gone, but they are quite beautiful." As she placed her keys back in her bag, Jerry entered the room.
"Are you talking to yourself again? Crazy old-"
"And why exactly are you in my doorway, Jerald?"
"To accept your apology for storming in on me and Janine." He shrugged at her.
"I haven't apologised, Jerry."
"Yeah, but ya gonna." Jerry winked and strode across the small room; pushing her against the tall white wardrobe. "You interrupted my big finish, Di. I think you owe me at least that much?"
"Is she still in your bed, Jerry? Did you leave her there to come beat your wife up and then go fuck her?" Diane spat at the gorilla in front of her.
"You think you're so high and mighty don't ya, Di? I'm gonna bring you down a peg or two." Jerry grasped her neck with his right hand and pushed her back harder. The glass of the wardrobe's mirrored door smashed, and Diane felt the glass bury itself into her shoulder.
"Get out of here, Jerry, before I get angry." She smirked at him, and looked into the violet eyes that haunted her dreams. "Do you think I care who you sleep with? I don't give a shit. Just make sure they're gone by the time I get home."
"Well, I would, but you're never here. Always out drinking your weight in vodka. Where do you go, eh Di? Kicking it out in the slums with the poor boys? Eh? Got a little bit of a Mrs. Robinson thing going on? Promise them the world? Yeah, I think you do."
"Stop it, Jer."
"Ouch, did I touch a nerve?" Jerry looked down Diane's body as the blood soaked her crisp white blouse. "Or was it an artery? What was his name, do you remember? James Maccersfield, 26. God, Di. They're getting young, aren't they?"
"Wasn't that Janine from down the market? You know she's 17, right? Cradle robbing was always your style. At least you're consistent, I'll give you that much." Jerry shoved her on to the bed, still holding her neck.
"Don't you ever shut up, Di? You always make me hurt you. Every time: it's your fault, Diane. You're just as weak as your mother: You're pathetic, the pair of ya." Jerry picked up a photo frame from the bedside cabinet. "I'll tell you one thing though: she was a piece, your dear old Mum. I wouldn't say no to that face." He smashed the frame on the corner of the cabinet, and dragged the picture out of the broken glass. "Not looking so good now is she? Blood on her face and glass through her tits. Looks a lot like you last month, doesn't she, Di?" He bit her cheek and she screamed. The blood ran hot down her face.
You can do this. You know you can do this. It's your home. It's your bedroom. Kick him out.
Diane kicked her husband in the shins, hard enough for him to recoil in pain. She stood smartly from the bed and straightened her pencil skirt. She picked up Jerry's shirt collar, and pulled him to the bedroom door. "Goodnight, Jerry. That's enough blood for one day".
And that's Part Five!
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