+ He Did : She Did +

By: Apathy

Writing Prompt: No

Date: 1st Apr 2022

“I think he did it but I just can’t prove it”

I think he did it but I just can’t prove it

I think he did it but I just can’t prove it

No, no body, no crime

But I ain’t letting up until the day I die

 

++Money. It does a lot of things. It is the basis of every society. An entire global economy is supported on money alone. You know when you are without it and when you do have it, you look down on those who don’t. We live in a society that prides itself on commercialism and greed. You can’t even have running water or electricity in your home without money. Yet some of the most blissful people in the world live a life of a vagabond. They barter and hike their way around the world and die penniless and dirty, but with a heart full of joy and a life well led. Meanwhile on the other side of the world in a old money mansion in upstate New York, a Wall Street big money broker dies bitter, regretful, miserable and alone, as everyone from his lawyers to his great grandkids are counting out their stacks of inheritance while he’s slipped a stairway to heaven cocktail. With that said, there are a lot of things money can’t do. It can’t heal you. It can fill a void for a while, but then just ends up hurting you more. It can’t fix the past. It can’t bury it. Change it. Or you. All the money in the world can’t erase the past, and all the dirty little secrets, skeletons, and piping hot tea. No matter how much money you spend paying talking heads and fixers to make you APPEAR the way you wish, shadow dwellers will always find the truth behind the cobwebs and dust bunnies. Just because you believe the lie you became, doesn’t mean the truth ceases. It always follows you. And the truth always comes to light. And no amount of money will help you then. Only loyalty++

 

Elizabeth: You’re certain he left no word before he departed? He has to know that doing so will leave me to worry all the more. God damn that man!

 

++I clenched my fist and pounded it against the oval cherrywood executive desk. I had every right to be irritated with him and yet not so much. Dane fucked up his whole world. For as strong as he was Eoin was still being molded and formed in the business. He hadn’t found his niche. He had no mentor or guide, I guess that fell on my shoulders. Still, I could understand why he would leave for Mexico City without saying a word to me. Shame. A woman finally tells you she loves you and then you get your shit kicked in unceremoniously. I slunk down into the cradling comfort of the leather high back chair, my hands on either side. I lightly drug the metal clawed tip of my index finger across the brass tacks of the arm of the chair, closing my eyes as the repeated clicking thud soothed my ire++

 

Elizabeth: Has Eric checked in Karolina? If he has he can go ahead and go dark. He’s in good hands with Jason. 

 

Karolina: Ja. Erich checked in an hour ago and already went dark. Bette, calm down. Johannes would not have caused you anger if there wasn’t good reason, Ja? I think my dear you forget sometimes you are a woman, how to feel as a woman, see things through a woman’s eyes. You have a spine, forged by the strongest and rarest ore. A mind,  that could challenge the intellect of even some of the most astute and enlightened individuals and yet when it comes to reminding yourself that poor Johannes sees you in the feminine, not the male…you yourself have forgotten you are indeed also, the feminine. It saddens my heart to see that battle still waging inside you darling. 

 

++My finger dragging stopped instantly. She always hit me out of left field with that. She was right every fucking time, but it was still always out of left field. It wasn’t like I could argue with her. She was an expert. A sage compared to my own journey. It would just be ignorant to pretend otherwise. I snorted, my nostrils flaring out as I did. She smirked and popped a cigarette into her crooked mouth and lit up across the desk from me, kicking back in her chair. My eyes narrowed as I clasped my hands together, tapping my middle fingers together unamused++

 

Elizabeth: That is a discussion for a later time Karol. You think you’re smug right now but for once I can steal that thunder right out from under you. I had been doing some thinking and soul searching and I’m ready to have that talk you have been egging me on to have now for awhile. 

 

Karolina: Well played old girl. I’m not a bad sport I’ll give that to you I was not expecting that be to be something I’d hear anytime soon. With everything else you have going on right now, and they are matter of fact more pressing than answering an age old question, or at least easier to solve. Enough said, I’ll happily back off for now and patiently wait. So then Bette, shift back to Johannes then, Ja? Ja. I guess the original point I was trying to make before I ended up with the egg on my face was that right now your mind is in Commando mode. You are in your deep state element. You are thinking not in terms of male or female, but in terms of risk and reward. You are critically thinking, assessing, reassessing and counter acting in your head. You are in full GO mode. You see his going to Mexico City without leaving a word as a bad sign. You are looking at it through risk assessment eyes. Take a step back for a second and look at it through the eyes of a woman, a lover, a partner…

 

++The hardest part about managing mental health is knowing in what areas you are weak and surrounding yourself with those individuals who are good in them. It had been ten years since I took a willing step towards my mental health. It turns out that wasn’t the hardest part. The hardest part was retraining your brain. Relearning how to exist. It was finding out the names of your demons, then getting to know them in a tea party and crumpets like atmosphere. Along the way I had learned to recognize one or two weak spots in my coping mechanisms and identity of self. In this case it was not being able to hear my own tone. Karolina could read anyone like a book or anyone to filth, whichever was your cup of tea. She saw through me like cheap mesh leggings. She also was very non plus about calling me on my bullshit, to my face, matter of factly and without missing a beat. She was a treasure and I cherished her++

 

Elizabeth: It isn’t that I don’t understand, I do. I can put myself in his place both as a lover, as a human being and as a man. I truly can, but it’s because I see things through the eyes of the lover that I am upset. I would have liked to at least hear his voice before he went radio silent, just in case…

 

++You know the risk. There are just some things worth it. There are just some lines a motherfucker should never cross. Karolina hmm’d to herself, agreeing knowingly. She worked in the private sector. We met during a convention in Germany. I opened my eyes and looked up over my glasses in her direction, somber++

 

Elizabeth: I just…if it goes pear shaped you know? I wished he would have left a voice message. When Tom left and never came back, I had some old recordings. I kept them for awhile, then one by one they all started losing their meaning and value. They started to become more and more mundane until the only ones I kept in the very end were the ones where he said my name, and it was when he loved me. Or when he said he loved me, and he meant it. I only kept the ones he left for Annika. It didn’t seem fair to take him away from her. I had no right to taint her memory of him. That was a decision she should be allowed to make on her own. 

 

Karolina: That was very big of you doll. I know if I had been in your position I would have scoured the earth of him. You have no real idea how much you have matured and bettered yourself as a mother over the years. Annie turned out just alright kiddo. She is happy, well adjusted and once this nasty business in Mexico City is handled, she can find closure and fully move on with her life. You should be proud. You also need to do something about that negative outlook. You manifest what you feel most deeply, and right now you’re putting all your energy into lowkey expecting the worst darling. Johannes is with a professional, you know that. He is in good hands. Besides, he isn’t as unsuspecting as you think he is. 

 

++My ears perked up. It wasn’t often she had intel before I did. I raised my eyebrow, sat forward towards the desk pulling out a side table and removing a cigar. I sat back crossing my legs wiggling the pointy toe of my Louboutins. I cut the end, nice and even and toasted it, getting a nice heady inhale. As I blew smoke rings into the air she lit up an unfiltered cigarette. Her tell. I knew right then and there what she had to say way need to know++

 

Elizabeth: Okay sister, let’s chat. I already know about the suicidal mother, the deadbeat dad, the bastard half-brother and now the off grid IRA Godfather. Lay it on me. What did you find out about dear Jean? What am I missing?

 

Karolina: He isn’t a stranger to firearms, but you already knew that. You knew that when you recounted the way the op in Maine played out. I watched your face as you recounted every detail of the way he handled himself and his piece. You know you didn’t regale me with the story because the party was boring and you wanted to liven things up for me, it was because you passive aggressively wanted me to assess the details to see what you knew was there but you couldn’t spot. Your suspicions were right Bette. His dear mommy was a fanatic. She was in deep with that lot. The old girl was starting him young. Small firearms training. She wanted him to be a part of the resistance that would unify their Homeland…by any means necessary. Clearly none of that garbage extremist nationalism took hold, he’s a proud Irish native, but not a wing but. The training on the other hand…well you saw first hand.

 

Elizabeth: Then I guess in a way I feel just a bit more confident about this. His Uncle and I had a long chat. I like him. I think he’s just the kind of influence Eoin needed right now. Though how does the old firecracker check out? Clean?

 

Karolina: Clean as a whistle. Cut all ties with the organization. It’s why he’s over here. He went into the private sector, obviously. We all do eventually. There is no place for people like he and I in the real world unless we’re working private security for high paying public clients. Imagine, being rich and famous doesn’t solve all your problems! It seems to just create more, that costs money! C’est la vie! Bette, darling, he’s a good man. A good match for you. Trust him. Ego bruised et all and he’s still going to defend the honor of a young woman who isn’t even his. She isn’t even related to him but because she is your child, because she was hurt and that hurts you, he has chosen to make it his problem. I know it is hard for you but believe me when I beg of you…trust him. Trust the process. 

 

Elizabeth: I so want to do this myself. I would throw it all away in an instant if it meant I could watch the light leave his eyes. I would spend the rest of my days rotting in a cell in a prison in Mexico enduring the most horrific conditions, only to die emaciated, alone and buried in an unmarked grave somewhere, if I could just be there and know the LAST FUCKING THING he saw on this earth was MY fucking face watching him wheeze and draw his last breath. 

 

Karolina: Spoken like a true enraged mother bear. Ja. Ja. But Bette with the money and power behind you…

 

++Something snapped. Like a twig. Just hearing those words. It was hard to explain. How can you have something yet hate it just the same? Karolina grew up in the convent system. She aged out of it never finding a permanent placement, then forged her own warpath. For her the idea of being rich and having money to throw at problems still had a shiny luster. That shine faded for me a very long time ago. I bit the cigar in my teeth, cocked my head to the side and sized her up and down, contemplating and choosing my words carefully. As I cocked my head to the other side I propped the fat rope between my fingers and snarled++

 

Elizabeth: What good did it do to protect her? Me for that matter? Fionn? What about her? I had money then too and she still died. I still had to bury a child before myself. I grew up in a rich family. The cunt was my aunt but she was still a Devereaux so she still had that old money. I still grew up victimized and manipulated. I was traumatized and damaged. Sure I had a great education which gave me a head start in life but what good was that going to do me when I was heading to be dead by my own hand before I was ready to even PICK an Ivy League? 

 

Money couldn’t cure Fionn. Believe me I fucking tried. I threw thousands of dollars at doctors, shamans, gadgets and snake oil hoping that the price was just enough but it was just a lie I told myself. In the end all that money was good for, was paying her medical bills, donating a ward at the children’s hospital in her name, and starting a charity for other people in my industry whose kids also go through the same thing. Money couldn’t save her father. Nothing could have saved him in the end. That is neither here nor there. Money hasn’t been able to make the sound of that heart monitor as it flatlined, stop repeating in the echoes of my mind. No matter how much of it I threw at drugs, booze, sex, whatever I could to fill the void. 

 

Money hasn’t been able to make me sane. It hasn’t been able to make me love myself or think I’m truly beautiful and I’m almost 40. I use the money to pay the doctors to listen to the symptoms, to analyze my thoughts as I relive painful memories again and again, experiencing the same traumas hundreds of times all in the name of “healing”, then they tell me how to best handle that. I pay for the medicines that the doctors, who I also pay, say will help make me better. Sometimes they do, most of the time they don’t. So I pay for illegal drugs to help do the job the prescriptions didn’t. All that money, thousands of dollars…and I’m still not well. I can sit here Karol and look you in your face and tell you that if I was given that chance I long for so badly? To feel the warmth of his blood bless my hands as he died at my feet, I would not spend a single fucking dime of my money to defend myself. I would not use it in ANY fucking manor to help save myself from the fate that would await me and I would DISOWN ANYONE of you that would try do it in my stead. I would DONATE EVERY FUCKING DIME OF IT TO A CIRCUS before I would let ANYONE try and save me with money. I won’t hesitate to spend it since I have it, but if giving it ALL away meant I could watch him die reaching for me, believe me I  would in a heartbeat, I’m JUST reckless enough to risk it…

 

Karolina: Money truly has not been a friend to you has it darling? I can honestly say that I have never quite heard money painted in a light like that but I can’t argue with your logic. Your argument is poignant and valid. Money couldn’t help you with a fucking thing that mattered to you, or to your betterment. To be frank Bette it’s sobering to hear it said like that because it reminds me that there is going to come a time when money OR power won’t be able to solve my problem and then I will fully understand what you know to be truth now. Ja. I’m sorry freudin, I should really be more considerate when I speak. I forget that everyone’s experience with life is different and we all have something to teach each other, willingly or no. I know it should go without saying, but you feel the same about the power behind your name then?

 

Elizabeth: No. Power is…different. If it wasn’t for power we wouldn’t be having this conversation. If it wasn’t for power you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the lifestyle you do, or I do for that matter. I wouldn’t have gotten away with murder, or get paid alimony I wasn’t really owed. Power is a necessary evil. Money is a necessity MADE evil. It was a measure of trust and quality of goods. How did we go from the meager simple shekel to..well..-gestures at everything- Power…is an absolute value. You know when it’s high and you know when it is waning. Women seem to value power over money…don’t you think?

 

++I pushed myself away from the desk and stood up, my heels clicking against the dark hardwood floor as I walked towards the large bay windows. The twilight sky outside my office view was gorgeous. Hues of orange and light yellow blended with violet and blue. Considering the sensitive nature of what was soon to be taking place, I had called my securities director, Karolina, and went back to Alsace-Lorraine. About two years ago I fell in love with a rare home created by French native Jean-Prouvé. A modular number I was able to fully historically renovate and improve upon. It was a very upscale and rich area of France so it gave me a solid alibi, as it would mean I would be noticed. It also kept Malcom busy. Ignorant twat. Whatever helped hurt his pathetic attempt at a case. Better men than you honey. Better men than you. My reflection stared back at me as I paused, the embers of the cigar glowing like an aura as she crafted a reply++

 

Karolina: I agree to a certain degree. Not all women choose power. Some are comfortable in the role of a golddigger with minimal leverage and high risk but they make it work for them, in exchange for power. 

 

Elizabeth: Pussy power is one of if not the most powerful forms of femnine power there is. Tell me you’ve never used your vagina as a weapon without telling me you’ve never used your vagina as a weapon. You really should have opted for the field work Karol. 

 

Karolina: Surely you are joking mein Freudin? Using your snatch as a weapon? For fucks sakes Bette! Golddiggers are after money, how does sex equate into that? You’ve totally misconstrewn the point!

 

Elizabeth: Have I? You need to spend more time over in the Colonies, 

mon petit ami. HER goal is money but she needs to offer collateral to GET a chance to get that goal. That is the High Risk you mentioned. All she has is her body and what she can do with it, be that professionally, domestically or sexually. There’s a 50/50 chance with each engagement that HE will get her body, sexual pleasure and bragging rights and she will have to do the walk of shame. But for every one that swings 50 in her favor, once she has him she has to keep him. She has to assess him, find out his weakness, exploit it. The one thing that keeps him invested is her body, the sex. She uses her pussy as a weapon, against his wallet and assets. The better she is at sex, the more lucrative it is for her. Bonus rare jewelry and cars if she’s a pro with her tongue and mouth. That is power in its rawest most carnal form Karol, tell me I’m wrong. I think I would like be alone right now Officer Wolff. I feel quite exhausted and it is getting late…

 

++I turned away from the window and back towards her, another toke of the fine tobacco. She looked at me respectfully, standing up and gathering her things. I nodded, acknowledging her agreement and departure and turned back to the window, placing my palm against it and bending my fingers, balancing my stiletto nails against the cold glass, a spider waiting for her prey++

 

Elizabeth: You and I know all about such things don’t we Michelle? I know I speak from experience. I’m not ashamed to admit as much. As a woman sometimes it is required both for survival and advancement on the ladder of life. I often wondered what the hell you saw in someone like Moore. Not that there’s anything WRONG with Moore, it’s just visually it made no sense. But the beautiful are often the most unstable, aren’t we precious? 

 

++I tapped my claw against the glass lightly, the pane tinged and vibrated. As I leaned against the window pane and looked out over the landscape, the auto lights just now coming on, set to a low dim++

 

Elizabeth: Druscilla was at least worthy. And I mean from what it looks like to me seems she’s aiking to rehab your thrown away toys. But what do you care right? The apple of your eye was always on the next big prize. Moore didn’t deliver the caliber of life you felt you deserved. Then again maybe he shouldn’t trifle with gold digging hoes. I mean when it comes to going through money like water, you can’t do wore than a Monty Boy. I mean Joe is the better looking one between you and me sister, but right now he’s stuck playing Maury Povich screaming “I’m not the father!”. Oh Mia. You stupid, silly ho. 

 

But you Michelle. Clever girl. Latching on to Paul. You played your role so well. I applaud you. You’re a fan of the long con I can see and I do respect that type of hustle. It’s a classic page in the book of the game and I would be remiss to pretend I haven’t dusted it off once in awhile myself. Look at you now. Does it feel good high up there in that stratosphere Michy? You finally arrived sweetheart. Now you want a shiny important belt to go along with your lavish new existence. I guess I look like an easy target. How could I fault you? You are, after all if anything first and foremost, an opportunist. Aren’t we all when our fangs are out? 

 

You’ve been out of the limelight too long and that craving for gore and glory is brewing inside of you. I’ll give you that fix. After all, I’m sure by now P Mont Pussymaster has filled that empty head of yours with promises of domination and becoming the top duo, jet setting, flyin’ fuckin’ and railing the finest cocaine off the prettiest hookers ass. Sounds good, I know. How could it not? That is afterall, the fastlane lifestyle you always wanted sweetheart and bless your pea pickin, single wide, daddy kicked the dog lovin’ heart you were born for MORE god damnit and you deserve this! 

 

++My upper lip curled. Once I cascaded my nails against the window pane and turned away on my heels towards the electric fireplace. I sat my cigar down safely and poured myself a drink from the carafe++

 

Elizabeth: Believe me honey. I understand. I’ve been there. I’ve played that part. I cash that alimony check just the same as any other bitch in the same position. The only thing, ONLY thing that separates you from me is the fact that anytime I’ve fucked Brandon over, I had the balls to look him in the eyes. You’re the equivalent to the brain dead cheerleader in her high tops yelping clutching onto Brutus Boyfriend needing saved. You write checks your ass can’t cash then you need some titanic sized prick, to come save you. Then you strut around like you landed a KO punch yourself and all you did was wet you panties.

We’re both wicked, vile, vicious women. You’re no better than I am. Of course I ache to hear all over Twitter all the awful things you said about me and how I should feel bad. I won’t. Oh Michy. There was a time I would have considered you an ally. Cut from the same cloth and all that. I don’t fault you for what you’ve been up to lately. A woman like you doesn’t reall have much to fall back on usually, except a mattress, the backseat of a car, her knees in a bathroom stall…no. Pretty Princess Pussypuff can fuck whoever she wants, live her best life with whoever she wants. She just better bring that ferocity and greedyness I’ve seen her harness before, because if its my strap she wants. If it’s my Bridge she wants to burn. I won’t accept anything less than being forced to stop the match.