Bitter Love

Rupert was a very rich man. He had everything his heart could desire. A penthouse apartment in New York with a view of Central Park. A modern and stylish holiday house right on the coast. The choice of a Ferrari or a Porsche to drive between them. He ate at all the top restaurants. He went to all the right parties. He wore all the latest fashions. And he had a bank account so fat he didn't need to work if he didn't want to. He had all his heart could desire, except for one thing: the woman he wanted. Because the woman he desired and indeed, loved, more than anything else was already married. And she refused to leave her husband for him.

Every time they saw each other, he would beg and plead. It was always the same promise, "Marry me, Caroline, and I'll give you the world." And each time, it was the same reply, "You know I care deeply for you, Rupert. But I can't leave my husband. Since his accident, he's become totally dependent on me. It would kill him if I left him. And I couldn't live with that."

Rupert was used to getting his own way. Usually his money and his power made things easy for him. He felt frustrated and bitter. He loved and desired Caroline. And he knew she desired him too. If it were not for her useless, crippled husband, he could have what he wanted. For once in his life, it seemed, money could not buy him happiness. But, maybe it could. His mind started to work.

Rupert knew that Caroline lived with her husband in a double story house in the suburbs. He knew the house well because sometimes he hid outside and watched them through the windows. He realised this was a clear sign of obsession but he could not help himself. He needed her like he needed oxygen. He knew that Caroline's husband, a university professor before his accident, now spent almost all of his time lost in research in his study on the second floor . He also had a fair idea of Caroline's comings and goings. He knew, for example, that she attended Yoga classes on Tuesday nights from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. The plan in Rupert's mind started to take shape.

Two weeks later, on a Tuesday night, Rupert, dressed himself in old clothes. He wore a battered baseball cap on his head and several days of stubble on his face. He caught the train to the Bronx. It was a dirty suburb that he knew his rich friends would never think of visiting. He stepped off the train and walked to a crowded, seedy bar called "The Cock and Whistle." He sat at a table at the back of the bar and waited.

Ten minutes later, a small but muscular man sat down next to him. "Are you Mr Smith?" the muscular man asked with a quiet voice. Rupert felt a stab of anxiety pierce his chest. "Yes," he replied.
The man looked at Rupert with a calm stare, "Are you sure you want it done tonight?"
"Yes, I'm sure," said Rupert. "Do it like we said. Let yourself in at 8 p.m. Use these keys. You'll find him on the second floor. Do it quick. I don't want him to suffer. And make sure it looks like a robbery gone wrong."
"It will be done," said the quiet voice. "I'll meet you back here at nine o'clock. I expect you to pay me in full."

Rupert sat in his seat in the bar. Time stood still. He felt too anxious to eat or drink. He sat, lost in his thoughts. Apart from his anxiety, he felt numb, like he was in someone else's body. He stared at his watch, wishing time would pass.

9:00 came and went. Then 9:10. Rupert felt more and more anxious. Then suddenly the short, muscular man was back in his seat. And the man said, "It all went fine. He died quickly and painlessly."

Rupert's shoulders dropped and he breathed out slowly.

The man looked at Rupert with his calm stare and said, "But there was one little problem. After I killed the guy in the study, some woman suddenly came into the room. She said something about coming home early because she was feeling ill. She was pretty surprised to see me, I can tell you. But don't worry, she won't cause any trouble. I killed her too."

Task 1: Read the story. What is the "twist" in the tale?

Task 2: For the following sentences, say if they are True (T), False (F) or Don't Know (DK)

  1. Rupert lived in an apartment in New York on the second floor.
  2. Rupert worked as a banker.
  3. Rupert's holiday house was on the coast.
  4. Caroline and her husband lived in a double story house in the middle of the city.
  5. Caroline attended Yoga Classes from 7:30 - 9 pm on Wednesday nights.
  6. Caroline's husband was a doctor before his accident.
  7. Caroline's husband lost his legs when he was hit by car.
  8. The bar called "The Cock and Whistle" was modern and stylish.
  9. The man that Rupert met in the bar was short and muscular.
  10. Rupert didn't shave for several days before he went to the Bronx.
  11. Rupert drank a beer at the bar.
  12. Rupert relaxed when he heard that Caroline's husband was dead.
  13. Caroline's Yoga Class finished early.

Source: Written myself (based on a story I read once, source unknown)