BOM 7

 

5678

It was late the next afternoon when I glanced up at the portrait hanging above the fireplace. Then it dawned on me that this is where I knew the lady in red from. Who was this mystery woman…and how did Robert know her? I casually asked him about her over dinner. A look of sorrow passed over his face. He put his fork down and told me the tale of his first wife, Vera Grimwood. Robert’s mother and Vera’s mother had been good friends while he and Vera were children. Vera was from a wealthy family and Grimwood Manor had been their family home. Shortly after she turned sixteen, Vera’s parents were in a tragic accident. They went down on a boat while on their way back home from vacation in England…leaving Vera as the sole heir to their fortune. Wanting only the very best for him, Robert’s mother urged him to ask for Vera’s hand in marriage. To make her happy, he abided. It wasn’t until after the honeymoon that he realized something was deeply wrong with Vera. She would sleep all day, drink too much, pick fights with him over silly things, and more than once he caught her talking to herself. He offered to take her to a therapist, hoping to do anything he could to help her. But she went off on him when he brought it up. She threatened him, threw things at him, even went so far as to hit him…he compared her to a wild animal. He apologized to her but she brushed him off and ran out of the room in a huff. Later that same evening, Robert heard the door to balcony open. He went to check on her but it was too late…she had jumped to her death.

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