Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sin and Redemption

When the music has stopped playing, when daylight has replaced the night, when silence is all that can be heard and when there's no place left to hide...what remains is glaring reality.  Revenge and its reverberating after shocks has been celebrated realized. The strange effects of a well-played and falsely gratifying act of betrayal has turned into a hollow victory that has left a sour taste and an empty feeling where the rhythm of a normal beating heart once was. Her world had shrunk down to the dimensions of her master suite from which she had left only a few times to make quick trips to the kitchen for coffee, and to answer the door to accept the pizza deliveries.

Claudette was completely alienated from her friends. What did she expect after all that she had done? But, you see therein lies the caveat. She didn't expect anything from them.  She knew that her actions would alienate her from the women who had been her friends for twenty five years. At least one of them had probably been her true friend. There were others in Claudette's world who had been more than happy to report back to her about the overheard conversations, and snide remarks whispered behind closed doors that they had covertly been privy to. These fair weather friends had gleefully attached themselves to her and behaved as if they were doing her a favor by bringing her information. She truly regretted having to distance herself from Bonnie though, but there was no help for it. Her friendship with Bonnie ended up as collateral damage.

As far as Alexis was concerned, she was fully aware that they only tolerated each other for the sake of appearances, and although Claudette didn't exactly dislike Alexis, there was definitely no love lost between them either. and she fully realized that by sleeping with Stanford Jr., she had crossed all lines and had broken so many trusts that now as she resided in her own private hell, all shreds of self respect and common decency had disappeared.

It had been a full week since the last part of the destructive plan had been played out. She had been sure that her absence wouldn't take long to detect when she had slipped away from Bonnie's house. To make things seem normal and not to arouse suspicion too early, she had followed the crowd down to the garden where the main party event was being held, carefully being nonchalant and chatty as they strolled across the lavish lawn where so many people were mingling, eating and drinking gaily. No one had an inkling of what was to come.

Honor's arrival with Goddess and her sidekick was precisely timed. Claudette had stood behind Alexis and watched the planned scene unfold until the predetermined moment arrived for her to slip away unnoticed was when Helena had everyone's attention and was acting out her part just as if she was on a Broadway stage that Claudette silently turned and walked away; weaving through the crowd that had gathered to watch the drama.

She had gone straight to her home, and gone underground. Fortunately for her, La Monica (her youngest daughter) was to be away for two weeks, making it easy for Claudette to seclude herself without having to make any conversation or explanations for the recent tragedy of events. Now that the week was coming to a close, she'd had an excess of time to gloat, to pat herself on the back, to try and reassure herself that what she did was justifiable, and now that she had run the gamut of celbratory self denial, other feelings were creeping in her subconscious.

These feelings were jockeying for first place in her mind. They wanted to be prominent and upstage the previous feelings she'd managed to enjoy for a few days. The fact that she'd feel victorious and jubilant when Helena finally got what was coming to her was the only thing that spurred her on to see this malevolent plot through to the finish. In her twisted mind, Helena had become the enemy that must be dealt with, in the most harshest way possible.

Well, it had worked out precisely the way she and Honor had visualized and planned for. The look of absolute shock followed immediately by a look of so much hurt and disbelief that had shown on Helena's face was tragic. Claudette had felt exulted when she first watched these emotions play across her former friend's face. That same exultation had sustained her for three days. But when she woke up this morning from a night filled with bad dreams and plagued with horrible images of Satan and hell fire, she began to feel regret and remorse. She realized with a heavy thudding of her heart that she would no longer be able to keep these self-recriminations at bay. They were about to surface  in a thundering second act.

Everywhere she looked she saw shapeless images that played a stealthy game with her; advancing and retreating. She had begun to hear noises and strange sounds. She had begun to be wary of the shadows in the corner of her room, where she saw the accusatory faces of her friends. She could still smell the cloying odor of the sex she'd had with Helena's son. She saw his unsuspecting face when she looked in the mirror.

Redemption. Is that what she needed? Would she ever find it? Did she deserve it? So many questions; she felt as if her brain would explode. Collateral damage, sinner, whore, slut, sin...the awful stench of what she had done was overpowering her. What would she do and where could she turn?

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