Note: Roisin’s evilness is really starting to show…
I clenched my teeth, visualising myself destroying Riona, Hiro and everyone else involved. They tried to ruin me. Never I could allow them to have the satisfaction of seeing me ruined. And unfortunately, since they had failed in their attempt, it was now my turn. I would make them pay tenfold, hundredfold. Hopefully that would be a good lesson on what agony really is.
“Roisin!!? Where are you slacking off again?!”
I sighed and got out of the toilet, mentally preparing myself to face Nasty Nancy and her diatribe. Stepping out, I caught sight of a man leaving. He might or might not remember me, but I surely knew him. He was one of daddy’s oldest patrons, a Mr Elphinstone. And of course I knew how handsomely those people paid him to pick up his brush.
And then I had a plan.
“You bum!” Nancy shouted after me. “Where you think you’re going?! Get your lazy ass over here and clean those glasses!”
“I quit!!” I looked at her squarely in the face and ripped off my apron, casually tossing it on the ground.”Bye Nancy! Have fun cleaning those glasses!” I turned and waved mockingly. That would piss her off royally. I knew I won’t be needing this rotten job anymore. If it goes well, and I was confident it would.
“Willows Creek”, I recalled the address. I headed to the small park behind his house. I had been here once with daddy, many years ago when he was delivering his painting. Helping myself to a bench, I crossed my fingers. I hoped I would be able to see Dan Elphinstone today.
Daniel (Dan) Elphinstone cruised down the road. He loved the rumble of the engine, the crisp, blaring sound of the speakers. His hair might be greying now, he blamed it on the stress – it was certainly not easy running a media empire – but he was certainly young at heart. He loved fast cars. He loved the speed, the acceleration, the surge of adrenaline he got when he raced it down the road. It was an exhilarating drive.
Roisin: I saw the headlights, I heard the sound of engine. Dan Elphinstone was coming. I clenched my teeth. “It was now, or never.” I nodded to myself and dashed in front of the oncoming car.
“Plumhead! Watch where are you going!” Dan shouted. Luckily he managed to swerve the car just in time, narrowly avoiding a direct hit. “Just my luck!” He grumbled and stepped out of the car. He walked towards the girl. Hopefully she won’t start ransoming him.
The girl turned her face away, trying to avoid his gaze. She looked familiar. He was almost certain he had seen her before. Blinking his eyes, he tried to recall, mentally piecing her features inside his head. He brushed a lock of hair covering her face absentmindedly. And then his voice softened.
I heard Dan Elphinstone stepping out of his car. I heard him coming towards me. I knew I had succeeded.
“Roisin?” He pulled me into his arms. His face full of concern. “You frightened me. I thought I was almost…”
I sobbed gently in his arms, tears tricking onto his sweater. The embrace almost felt comforting. I realised it had been too long since someone last said a few kind words to me. I sniffled hard, blowing my nose. Breaking down, I told him everything. About the bullying, about me dropping out of college, about Hiro… I admit I had embellished the story with some exaggerations when I talked about Hiro. But surprisingly, guilt didn’t rack me unlike what I had thought. He deserved the vilification. He was a nasty piece of shit.
“It’s alright now, Roisin”, he hugged me tighter, “I promise nobody will hurt you now.”
“Am I really making the right choice?” I looked up at the sky, silently questioning my decision. I knew Dan had the money, the status and the power. With that I could get anything I wanted. He gave me security. But he was old; couldn’t be more than a few years younger than daddy and certainly old enough to be my daddy. I twiddled my fingers.
I looked at Dan. He was gazing at the stars, his face serene. “Whatever!” I dismissed the doubts. Being with Dan was certainly a thousand times better than wallowing in poverty. I had more than enough living in a dump for an apartment. There was no way I wanted to lead that kind of life again. “He has the money. Money is power and money is security.”
6 Months later…
“Rose, I need to meet a client tonight. And probably I won’t be able to fly home in time.” Giving me a peck on the cheek, he headed towards the door, “Don’t wait for me.”
“Can I come?” I asked meekly. I hated to be left alone. The mansion felt so empty and it was awful. Dan was always busy. I knew it wasn’t easy running an empire – my grandmother was Simbook’s former CEO – yet I couldn’t help wishing he had more time for me. Or at least, allowing me to be with him.
“No, Rose.” His face softened, “I see you tomorrow, alright?”
I stepped into the pool. The still waters calmed my senses. It was relaxing having a swim at night, just admiring the serenity of the surrounding. I turned on the small radio beside me. “Hiroshi Nagaski, found strangled in his apartment”, a solemn voice announced. I cranked up the dial. I gasped, almost dropping the radio into the pool.
“Hiro…” I stammered, still reeling from shock. It was too sudden. Somehow, my mind drifted to Dan, and to this urgent trip he had to make. It almost didn’t seem to be for business anymore. A chill went down my spine. But as I gathered my thoughts, I shook my head, recoiling in disgust.
“He tried to ruin you, remember?” I reproached myself for being a softy. It didn’t pay to be soft-hearted. Especially towards someone as undeserving as Hiro. Suddenly, I didn’t felt sorry for him anymore. Nor I felt an ounce of guilt. He deserved it. In fact, I was beginning to see it was good riddance that he was now gone.
Now, just one more person to deal with.