By: Claire Destroismaison
I watched her pull out an American Spirit from her blue Versace purse. She looked exceptionally well today. Long, flowy, purple skirt, black ballet flats, with red and purple bangles dangling from her perfect wrists. Her red manicure still looked fresh from the week before. Every morning same time, 9:05 a.m., she’d arrive at Chloe’s Café, order her drink, medium mocha latte, two Sweet ‘n’ Low, low fat milk, then sit under the shade from the cafes heading and light an American Spirit. She’d sit there smoking her cigarette pursing her perfect, plump lips while her gorgeous brown hair, with a hint of red in it, blew gently in the wind. 9:20 a.m., I’d watch her get into her car, a blue Volkswagen Beetle. It suited her well, petite, eccentric, yet beautiful all at the same time. I used to get into my car and follow her but now I could just be there early, waiting, because I knew exactly where she’d be. 9:30 a.m., she’d arrive at Violet’s Salon, the shop that she owned for ten years now. I stood outside her salon for two hours watching her. I could hear her laugh as she swung her head back, her long gorgeous hair almost touching her butt. I watched her walk. She walked so sophisticated with her back straight and her head held high like she knew she was better than everyone else around her. I didn’t blame her, she was better than everyone else.
I continued to watch her as she took her lunch break. She walked a block down the street, oh so carelessly, to Au Grain de Folie, her usual place. She’d order the vegetable pate on bread with a side of goat cheese and sometimes hummus. Today she ordered the hummus. I watched her walk back to the salon with her food, smiling, grateful for her small break during
her very busy day. She ate with such class, taking small bites and never once betraying her manners. She’d cover her mouth with her faultless hand as she tried to hold back a laugh while talking to her employee Margie. It was just Violet and Margie who worked at Violet’s Salon. It was a petite, little classy salon, yet hip at the same time. It was colorful with reds, violets, and blues and many eccentric paintings on the walls. Even though Violet’s Salon was rather small, she held a nice steady clientele that kept her busy throughout the day. I continued to watch her up until her last client of the day, Sara Harker. She cut her hair with such perfection. Everything Violet did she made look so easy, so effortless. She finished off blow drying Sara’s hair in her usual style. I watched Sara look in the mirror and smile at Violet with approval, like she always did. Violet then greeted Margie goodbye, locked up the salon and did her usual end of the day chores. She swept the salon floor, counted out the money, then put it in an envelope to be put in the back of the store.
Violet gathered up her purse and stepped outside of the salon, then stopped for a moment to light up an American Spirit. She made her way to the car. I slipped in between the darkness of the surrounding buildings, so as not to be seen. Violet got in her car and I knew exactly where she’d be going, 515 W.9th Street. I got in my car, following from a distance behind her. Violet opened up her door to her petite condo. It was perfectly suitable for her. It was small, yet cozy with a Zen feel to it. She lit up some candles then turned on some Fleetwood Mac. Violet greeted her black cat Jinxie with a smile. She opened up a can of Fancy Feast and Jinxie nudged her leg with approval. She then lightly danced her way to her bedroom, a paragon of natural, unconscious grace. An angel, really. I watched her as she slipped into a white fluffy robe with matching slippers. Violet possessed a flawless body with a perfect figure that anyone would kill for.
I continued to watch her as she poured herself a glass of Cabernet Franc and made herself a grilled cheese with tomato. She sat there for a while writing, eating her food, and sipping her wine with elegance. Violet liked to write poetry in her spare time. I’d watch her sit there for hours sometimes just writing with an intense look on her face, concentrating deeply on what it was she was writing. I had been dying to read her work. Anything to get into the mind of Violet Monroe. Violet soon started dozing off on her sofa. It didn’t take long for her to fall into a deep sleep. I watched her sleep for about an hour. She slept so beautifully, looking like pure perfection.
On my way home I started thinking about Violet and the first time I laid my eyes on her. It was about three months ago. I was standing outside of Barnes and Nobles waiting for my now ex-boyfriend Jimmy to come meet me for a book reading done by Philip Roth. I had been waiting for what seemed like forever when she walked by me. She was gorgeous and she knew it. Everyone stared at her as she walked by. The way she walked, she glided by me with such elegance. The moment I saw her I knew that I wanted to be her. No one had ever looked at me or paid attention to me the way that people did to Violet. They went out of their way to be nice to her, maybe get her attention for a moment. Men would rush to the door to open it for her or run over if she dropped anything. I never had that. As a matter of fact, Jimmy was a high school boyfriend. He was kind of plain and goofy. He stood out from the rest because of his lankiness. He was tall and skinny. About the only one who ever paid any attention to me. The kind of men that drooled over Violet would never bother to even look in my direction. I was invisible to them. No one should ever have to feel that way.
The next day I followed Violet to Chloe’s Cafe as usual. I watched her sip her latte and smoke her American Spirit, then get into her car to get to the salon. I watched her outside for a few minutes. Then I decided today felt different. Today I was going to go into the salon and talk to Violet Monroe. Today was Wednesday, I knew her morning would be slow and if I hurried in before her first client at 10:15 I’d have a good chance of Violet cutting my hair instead of Margie. Violet liked to get new people in her chair if she wasn’t in the midst of a current client, otherwise she’d give them to Margie. I walked in the front door, my heart pounding, feeling like it was about to jump out of my chest. Violet greeted me with her beautiful smile,
“Hi can I help you?”
Being so close to her I noticed she truly was flawless and had a sort of glow to her.
“Hi, um just a trim” I replied nervously.
“Okay have a seat over here,” she motioned for me to take a seat in her chair.
“Oh my God, Violet’s chair,” I thought to myself. This felt so surreal.
“You have beautiful hair” said Violet.
“Thank you,” I said shyly.
I had medium length, blonde, thick hair that I truly hated, it was always frizzy and impossible to tame.
“So are you from around here?” asked Violet.
“Yeah, 5th St.” I replied.
“Oh that’s a great area! I live just a couple streets over,” replied Violet.
“Yeah, it’s an okay area,” I replied nervously.
We continued a casual conversation until my hair was done, all the while I watched her every move. I watched the way she strolled around the shop with confidence, the way her model hands glided in my hair with every cut, the way her skirt flowed with every move she made. She consisted of such refinement, deserving to show off the way she did. I envied her. But how could anyone not?
I continued to see Violet in the salon as a client for about a month. I couldn’t help it; I needed to be around her. Each conversation I became more confident in talking to her and it made Violet trust me more and more. We soon became friends, chatting about the newest episodes of Medium and laughing about funny scenes in our favorite books. Especially Violet’s favorite, Huckleberry Finn, the scene when Huck and Jim are conversing about King Solomon and King Louis of France. We talked about our favorite poets, Emily Dickinson, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Walt Whitman, and Robert Frost. Each conversation I’d watch her expressions, the curling of her upper lip when she was talking about something she was really interested in, and her piercing blue eyes. I’d continue to watch her every morning at the café up until I walked in the salon door.
I had been thinking a lot lately about getting Violet out of the way. I mean I didn’t exactly want to hurt Violet, but in order to become her one of us had to disappear; there couldn’t be two of us. I didn’t really have a plan, just a mixture of thoughts. Sometimes I caught myself and thought that maybe I was being ridiculous. I could never get away with actually killing someone. But other times I thought, maybe I could. I thought of various possibilities. The easiest would be poisoning her. This could be easy because it would not be messy, plus no
evidence on my part. Then I thought maybe making it look accidental would be the best, a slip and fall, or electrocution in the bath tub. I could also make her look like she intentionally killed herself, maybe a hanging or even a shot to the head. But no, this wouldn’t work because people close to Violet knew better; she was not one to do something like this. I couldn’t keep my thoughts straight. I knew it needed to be done but a part of me was scared. I knew it would have to be done perfectly. Violet deserved it to be done flawlessly, like herself.
It was a Wednesday morning and I watched Violet walk through the door of Chloe’s Café. It was a busy morning and she was waiting in line to order her usual. I decided to go in and talk to her instead of standing there like always. I walked up to Violet.
“HI,” I said happily.
“Oh, hi Jane,” she said surprised. “I didn’t know you came here.”
“Oh it’s my first time, just figured I’d grab a cup of coffee and what’s better then to try something new, I saw you standing here and I figured it must be good.”
“Oh yeah it’s the best, I’ve been coming here for years” said Violet.
I already knew that. “Awesome!”
“So the bookstore down the street is doing a poetry reading tomorrow night, it’s supposed to be really good, we should go together,” I said to Violet.
“That sounds awesome, the Bookrack, right?” she asked.
“Yeah, it’s at 8.”
“Definitely, that sounds fun, we can meet up at my place before, have a couple drinks.”
“That sounds great.” I was gleaming inside.
This went better then I planned. I would get to actually spend time with Violet. I wanted to scream. We finally made it up to the front to order, the waiter greeted us with a smile,
“What can I get you?” he asked, looking at me.
“Two medium mocha lattes, two Sweet ‘n’ Low, low fat milk,” I replied.
Violet gave me a strange look.
“Jane, how did you know my coffee?”
“Oh…good guess,” I laughed nervously.
Violet shrugged, then took her coffee.
“I’ll catch you later, tomorrow night?” I caught myself picking at my nails nervously.
“Yeah be at my place at 7,” Violet replied.
“Kay,” I said smiling, “See you tomorrow!”
“See you tomorrow.”
I knew I had slipped but Violet seemed to brush it off like it was no big deal. I lit up an American Spirit and sat there for a moment taking in each drag and thinking about it.
“Nah, it was no biggie,” I said to myself.
I finished up my latte then proceeded to go pick out an outfit for tomorrow night. I had to look perfect. I decided to go to the little boutique a block away called Rosie’s Closet; it was Violet’s favorite place. I picked out a red, flowy, skirt with black ballet flats and matching red and black bangles.
“Violet will love this,” I thought to myself.
I woke up the next morning full of excitement. I barely slept the night before; all I could think about was being around Violet one on one. I could barely make it through the morning, I was extremely anxious for 7:00 to come. I knew Violet would be home by 5:30 after working at the salon for the day. I showed up at her place at 5:33. I stood there, waiting, peering through her window. Violet looked amazing like always. She wore a blue, flowy dress with black ballet flats and some matching blue flower earrings that were hippie-like. I envied her outfit. I got mad at myself for a moment. “Why didn’t I dress like that?” I started getting angry and frustrated at myself. Why am I so stupid?
“Violet would wear this,” I thought, touching my new skirt and looking at my matching bangles.
I watched her up until 6:45 then I decided to knock on her door. Violet answered,
“Oh…hi Jane,” she said nervously.
“Your hair!” she exclaimed.
“Do you like it?” I knew Violet would. My hair was no longer blonde but now brown with a hint of red in it.
“Come in,” she replied, brushing off my question.
I walked in the door to her perfect condo. I couldn’t breathe. This was unimaginable, actually being in Violet’s home, her sanctuary. I followed her to the living room where she said to me, “Have a seat,” pointing at the red suede couch.
It was gorgeous just like Violet. Her living room was filled with reds and tans. It was extremely modern yet felt so Zen.
“Hi Jinxie,” I said greeting her all black cat as I patted him on the head before I took a seat on the couch.
Violet looked at me with a weird look on her face, then she headed to the kitchen to pour us glasses of Benoit Lahaye. Violet was acting different but I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was. She came back, handed me a glass of wine, then nervously picked up a nail filer and started filing her nails. She quickly put it down then got up again to go to the kitchen.
“Violet, is everything okay?” I asked her.
“Actually, Jane, we need to talk,” she replied nervously.
She came back over to the couch and sat down next to me.
“Okay.” My heart was pounding out of my chest. I couldn’t imagine what Violet was about to say.
“I think we need to take a break, some time apart as friends. I think maybe you need to find some new friends…” Violet paused.
“I mean this is getting weird, look at you! Your hair! Your clothes! And the other day with my coffee, that was just weird but I could’ve let that go, but tonight… you knew my cat’s name! You’re freaking me out. I mean you’ve never even been here before and I’ve never mentioned his name…”
I couldn’t breathe, panic started to engulf my body; I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t think straight, my head started spinning. But then I thought this could be my chance.
I needed to do something. I quickly snatched the metal nail filer off of the coffee table and effortlessly sliced Violet’s flawless neck. But it was no use. The blood ejected from the slit in her neck for a few moments as she held on tightly trying to stop it. It started squirting out faster and faster. It showered her red suede couch, it didn’t seem like it would ever stop. It immersed her beautiful blue skirt staining it red. Her porcelain skin was now blemished in a thick cherry fluid.
The smell was intoxicating, giving me a sort of high. I reached up slowly feeling something warm and moist on my cheek, it was Violet’s blood. I felt victorious as I smeared in into my cheeks like blush. The blood then started to slow down, finally pouring out in a steadier more rhythmic motion. This is when I knew it was over. I had done it. I sat there for a moment next to her lifeless body. Then I lit up an American Spirit and smoked my cigarette as I stared at the body next to me.
Even death couldn’t take away Violet’s perfection. She looked so innocent the way she laid there, holding her neck as the blood poured down her exemplary hands and her long fingers, all the way down to her pristine fingertips. The blood matched her nail polish superbly. Her hair flowed down her shoulders, entangling itself in her blood. Even her make-up was still ideally in place, her eyelashes still thick and curled, her cheeks still rosy from her blush, her lips still perfectly lined with lipstick. Nothing about Violet really changed in her death; she still looked as perfect as ever.
I could say she even might have looked better, the way she laid there innocently like her death was meant to be. I slowly got up and made my way to the bedroom, where I proceeded to find my favorite purple, flowy skirt and I changed into it. I then went to the bathroom, I looked at the counter. Chanel No.5, I spritzed some on the curves of my neck and the pulses of my wrists. Next to it sat Covergirl #56 red violet. I put some on, making sure to perfectly line my lips.
I then stared into the mirror for a moment then said aloud smiling, “I am Violet Monroe.” I knew there was no way I was possibly getting away with this. It was done too sloppy, too quick, and not planned at all. I decided to just sit there and enjoy my moments in solitude as Violet Monroe. Now that she was gone I could be her forever and no one could ever take that away from me.