When I was a little girl, my understanding of vengeance was as simple as the Sunday school proverbs it hid behind. Neat little morality proverbs, like "do unto others" and "two wrongs don't make a right".
They're all wrong about that. Two wrongs can never make a right, never. For those truly wronged, only the real satisfaction can only discovered in one of two places: forgiveness... or vindication.
"Dahlia, I love you," Sloane softly utters.
He loved me.
My heart swelled, he did love me. All that agony was finally eased.
He loved "Dahlia." I only did my part in angering Pamela: taking away what she wanted most. Him.
The rushing feelings slowly churn into aches, my body shutting down. I got what I wanted, but I feel empty. He was innocent. And I wasn't.
Now I understand why Mr. Carraway wanted to leave New York all those years ago. He tried to warn me, but it was too late. I was just as foolish as my brother after all.
I swallow my fears before my lips could open. It must be done.
"Thank you, Sloane. You're so sweet." A smile lights up that sweet face. It only broke my heart more, as well as that underlying thrill of smashing that glow. Something is wrong with me. I've truly become the monsters that I hated so much.
"But...there is too much at stake, Sloane," I continue, my voice now steely. "You are an easy fellow, that's why I approached you."
You're not an easy fellow. You're a kind, broken, loving man.
"Plus, now that Pammy lost, it's not fun anymore. I don't need you."
That's not true. I love you. But I have to let you go before I destroy you too.
"You don't really know me, Sloane," I smile grimly. "I may have acted this way just to get to you."
His mouth flapped open like a gasping fish, words struggling to come out. I broke him. He's no longer mine, Pamela's, or himself.
There only bits and pieces left of a man.
"I have to go now, good day, Mr. Baker."
I toss my hair before flouncing off. I might as well burn this image of an aloof girl, so he could forget me quickly. But behind that receding figure was a girl in pain. Tears cascade down my cheeks, cold as the air around it. I am a monster. But I will not involve him in any more of this feud. He's a bystander. There's no need for him to get his hands dirty with me or Pamela.
This is my own battle. No one can interfere. And I'm too far off to go back to where I once was.
After all, they say vengeance is a dish best served cold. My brother died an innocent man, betrayed by the woman he loved, idolized. He was my everything. And now that he's dead, I'm going to take away everything from those who wronged him. Starting with that woman...
When everything you love has been stolen from you, sometimes, all you have left is revenge.
And that's just what I'll do.