The dusty Manhattan air niggled at Ruthie’s throat as she paced up and down the balcony, the contents of the glass of Scotch sloshed from side to side, her hand trembling with anticipation. She gazed at her gold wrist watch, another one of Billy’s pointless gifts; one that said; ‘Darlin’ I’m sorry but `I’ve had another affair, but this expensive watch will solve everything.’ Ruthie swayed a little, as the potent alcohol intoxicated her system. She placed a hand to her forehead, running her fingers over her Marseille waved hair, as she did so something jagged caught a section, hooking itself to the strands. Ruthie inhaled sharply as she unhooked the costume jewellery engagement ring from her hair, cheap just like her relationship. She staggered inside, opening her jewellery box, carefully taking out the metal hair comb, one too gaudy to be her own. It was proof enough. The latch clicked on the bedroom door as Billy stumbled in, tossing his bowler hat onto the floor. He collapsed into a chair, dizzily attempting to unlace his black polished shoes. He smelt of her, that other woman with her cheap harlot perfume. Ruthie wandered over to him.
“Honey, you were out so late again I was so worried, what were ya doin’ ?”
“Big work schedule at the office.” He slurred.
“They kept you there until three in the mornin’? How could they?”
Billy fumbled with his knotted tie, his head lolling against the side of the arm chair.
“You’re drunker than I am honey.” Ruthie cooed. “Let me help you unbutton your shirt. I was ever so worried ya know.”
“Wha- d’ya mean?”
“Oh Billy you’ve been working to hard, you’re worn out. Did you go to the cabaret bar again with the fellas? It that why you’re so late?”
Ruthie nodded, completely unconvinced. “You smell like her again Billy!”
“ ‘mell like who?”
“That little red headed harlot you were seeing! You said it was over, you told me that there was nothin’ goin’ on between the two of you anymore.”
“Liar! You cheatin’ God damned liar! How dare you. How can you lie to me?!”
“How long? HOW LONG?!”
“Oh come on, it was nothin’.”
“NOTHIN? How is sleepin’ around with another woman nothin’? I trusted you, you son of a bitch. I thought we were gonna have a future together you and me!”
“It didn’t go no further than a kiss.” He lied. “I’m tired, I need to go to bed.”
“You sly, son of a bitch! You snake! You absolute viper! You-you!”
Ruthie swung for him, an unsteady Billy toppled to the floor, lying there, stunned with fresh blood pouring from his nose. He scrambled away from her, backing towards the small en-suite bathroom.
“You get the hell a way from me d’ya hear! You-you ravin’ lunatic!”
“Oh I’ll show you a lunatic, you’re gonna get what’s been coming to ya.”
“I really wouldn’t do that Ruthie baby, you’re gonna be makin’ a big mistake.”
“Oh and why’s that cheatin’ Billy? Give me one good reason why I should save your ass!”
“It just so happens that I’ve got me a gun in my pocket. Oh no! Where he hell?!”
Ruthie smiled slyly, stroking her fingers over the object buried in her dressing gown pocket.
“Oh dear, poor old Billy’s plan has backfired hasn’t it! What a shame. So you came in armed did you? You knew that I was gonna hit the roof when I realized that you were sleepin’ around with little miss hooker!”
“Prayin’ to Jesus Christ aint gonna save ya now you fool! I knew what your motives were!”
“It was precautionary Ruthie! Murder was never on ma mind!”
“Complete and utter baloney!”
“Cool it Ruthie, I think you’re runnin’ a fever or somethin’ it- it’s too hot in here.”
“Utter lies! You’re so full of manure my man, my god I shoulda seen it months ago. I’m such a fool, such a blasted fool! I’m gonna give you to the count of 10 to get out of here and save your own ass!”
“One, two, three, four. Move Billy! Five I’m warnin’ you! Six! Ten. Too late! Too God- damned late!”