Regina carefully applied the crimson lipstick to her pouty lips. Thomas preferred her fully made up and she knew she needed to impress tonight. It was her twentieth birthday and if she was going to ply her sugar daddy for a new car, she’d need to hit him with all of her considerable assets.
“It’s only fair,” she thought jealously as her eyelashes received thickening from her mascara brush. “He surprised Angela with that disgusting Mercedes last June and that was only because they’d had a fight”.
Granted, the fight had been over the amount of time Thomas had been “spending at the office”, his typical cover excuse for his trysts with Regina, but as far as Regina was concerned, she was as deserving of a new automobile as his aging wife.
A knock on the door startled Regina from her thoughts of cruising down Hollywood Boulevard in her new sports car. She glanced at the clock. 6:43. He was early. Really early. A twinge in her stomach told her something was wrong.
It wasn’t the grinning face of her lover that greeted her when she opened the door, but rather the glinting barrel of a .38 snub nose revolver. Angela glared menacingly at her with mascara streaked eyes.
“Were you expecting him?” Angela spat, slowly forcing Regina back into the apartment Thomas provided.
Regina stepped backwards, hands in the air.
“Well don’t. Your loverboy won’t be paying you any more visits. In fact…” she considered. “…he won’t be paying for anything at all.”
“What have you done, Angela?” asked Regina, her voice cracking in fear.
“Well,” began her rival. “Let’s just say I started with six bullets in the cylinder of this gun and I managed to save three for you.”
“Oh God no!” cried Regina, feeling the knot tighten in her stomach.
“He confessed he was coming to see you tonight,” explained Angela slowly, recounting her conversation with her unfaithful spouse. “He told me it was your birthday.”
“Angela, please,” begged Regina, tears welling in her eyes. “Don’t do this.”
“Oh, don’t do this? Really? And what if I had asked the same of you? What if I had asked you to stop sleeping with my husband? To stop bleeding our bank account? What would you have said?”
“I… I didn’t mean…” Regina faltered.
“You know what?” Angela asked, tipping her head to the side. “Maybe I’ll give you a birthday present of my own.”
She waved the gun towards the bedroom.
“I’ll give you five minutes to pack a bag and clear out of here. If you’re gone by…” Angela glanced at the clock on the wall. “…6:50, I’ll keep your three “presents” inside the gun. What do you say?”
Regina realized this was her opportunity to save herself.
“Ok, ok, I’ll go!” she cried.
She had a bag ready in three minutes. Scooping it up in one hand and her purse in the other, she fled from the apartment still shaking in terror.
Angela noticed a half-filled pack of cigarettes on the coffee table. Pulling one from the pack, she placed it her mouth. She pointed the tip of the gun barrel to the end of the cigarette and pulled the trigger. A flame shot up from the gun. As the smooth tobacco smoke curled around her face she smiled.
“Happy birthday, you tramp.”