Celeste stood over her naked, sleeping lover and allowed herself to admire the curves she once delighted in caressing with trembling, desperate hands and the velvet soft lips she once swore she would sooner die than stop kissing; before leaning in to place a cold, sharp steak knife against the always coconut-scented, porcelain neck she once nuzzled into when the fireplace was lit.  

Whilst Celeste held it there, a sudden chorus of all the venomous words that were jammed into her every day like pins in a cushion since the wedding ring was slid onto her finger, grew from a whisper to a rumbling roar. However, when the perfect opportunity to slit her torturer’s throat came, Celeste casually pulled back and allowed the knife to slip from her grasp and pin itself into the floorboards.

As she turned from Rose, Celeste knew that she had no real intention of killing her; all she wanted was the feeling of coming close. The feeling of committing cold-blooded murder. Just when Rose began spitting and snarling in another drunken delirium, Celeste plied from her finger the sapphire wedding ring that had held her hostage for the last two years and dropped it into Rose’s fifth glass of gin, that sat trembling on the edge of the bedside table in wait for its inevitable shattering the next morning.    

Conscious of the waning darkness outside, Celeste glided into the walk-in wardrobe and cherry-picked the most expensive-looking, designer named clothes, shoes, necklaces, earrings, sunglasses she could find, and wedged them into her suitcase. But, when she came across the Princess Jasmine inspired dress Rose won her first Oscar in, hung-up beneath a spotlight, she stopped cold and took in all its magnificence. With sudden boldness, Celeste whipped her satin two-piece off, dethroned the dress, and then slinked and wiggled it on. She did not even bother looking in the floor-length mirror; she knew she looked good. 

On her way to the front door, Celeste was almost finalising her plans to sell the dress, when the piercing azure of the indoor pool caught her attention. Without a second thought, she dropped the suitcase and ran into the welcome of the water. After a few lengths of the pool, it did not take long before the dress was haemorrhaging lace and Swarovski Crystals. When it was sufficiently out of sparkle, Celeste aggressively shook off the dress and allowed it to sink to the bottom.

In perfect time to the sun rising over the Scottish hills, Celeste strutted out of the mansion adorned head to toe in Versace denim. Awaiting her at the top of the driveway was an Uber destined for the airport. As she tiptoed across the cobblestone path in stiletto heels, Celeste surrendered to the sense of freedom and renewed conviction bubbling inside. Never again would she be beaten black and blue. Never again would she be trapped in a loveless marriage.         

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