The Last Anniversary

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Sylvia and Jeremy had the perfect life, or so it was thought by their friends and associates. They were super rich. They owned an ocean going yacht, as well as properties in Switzerland, California , London, and even one (albeit a small one) in Hong Kong.

Sylvie had everything she wanted except a husband she loved, and Jerry was in love with Amanda, his mistress of many years, who was younger and prettier and not too demanding.

Today was Sylvie and Jerry’s twenty-fifth wedding anniversary and they were hosting a party at their villa in California. As festivities were being prepared, Jerry’s thoughts were on another matter......... this will be my last day as a married man, and tomorrow, my first as a free man.

Having tinkered with the electrics on the treadmill in the gym, annexed to the games room, he knew, in the morning Sylvie, as always, would spend at least an hour pounding out the miles, with the delusional idea that she could run off all the calories she would consume today.
I wonder how many miles she will have to run to burn off at least a dozen large gin and tonics, he pondered, as well as all the food she will undoubtedly eat.

“Happy Anniversary Dear” said Jerry, with as much enthusiasm as man heading for the gallows, handing Sylvie a small neat package as she lay on the sun-bed beneath a brightly coloured umbrella by the pool.

“Thank you, and here’s yours” Sylvie replied with equal fervour, handing him a small box, which she produced from her beach bag. “They’re gorgeous Jerry” said Sylvie as she removed the huge emerald and diamond ear-rings from the box. “I love them.” Twirling the large green jewels, she pulled Jerry down until their lips met, giving him one of her infrequent, tongue teasing kisses. Gifts of jewellery always softened Sylvia and made her feel guilty for her behaviour towards Jeremy. “Come on, now you open yours” she said when they parted.

“Thank you Sylvie, they’re lovely” replied Jerry, looking at a pair of exquisite diamond encrusted cuff links “I shall wear them at the golf dinner next week.” Thinking..... I’ll wear them at your funeral, they’ll go well with my black suit and white shirt.

Having felt she had done her duty Sylvie turned her attention to her magazine and Jerry wondered down to the far end of the pool where the expansive barbeque stood. Staff had been hired to do most of the work but Jerry kept his hand in by turning the steaks occasionally and generally getting in the way.

The guests started to arrive and there was a flurry of activity, lots of kissing and hand shaking and the giving of presents. “Congratulations you two. Oh look at that pool!” cried a well preserved middle aged woman who had recently come into Sylvia’s circle of friends, “I love the blue of the pool water, and it’s so big!”

“Yes” replied Jerry “it’s an Olympic size pool, had it built for Sylvie,” he boasted, pretending to be the besotted husband, even after all these years. “I don’t swim though, never have done, sink like a brick, but you know the water isn’t really blue don’t you? I mean water doesn’t have a colour, it’s the tiles that are blue.”

“Don’t be such a bore, Jerry” snapped Sylvie, as she sidled up behind him, “come on everyone it’s a celebration, let’s eat. Jerry put on some music.” She demanded.

The celebrations had gone well, Sylvia and Jeremy keeping their distance from one another on the pretext of circulating amongst their friends. The night was balmy with a warm breeze, and the last guest had finally departed. The staff had been dismissed and Sylvie strolled around the pool until, at the far end, where the deep water lapped lazily against the sides, she watched Jerry, a look of disgust on her face, as he weaved drunkenly close to the edge.

Little did she know of his devious thoughts.......... tomorrow I shall be free. I shall sell up and start a new life with Amanda, after an acceptable period of mourning of course......he mused magnanimously.

Sylvie sashayed up to Jerry and with a swing of her hips bumped into him, causing him to teeter and stagger. Off balance, Jerry, with his arms wind-milling, plunged into the water gasping. In his drunken state, unable to swim, he called out breathlessly, “Sylvie, help me, Sylvia!” as his head bobbed under the water only to surface seconds later, legs and arms thrashing and flaying uncoordinated, whilst he spluttered and choked. Sucking in water, he was unable to stay afloat any longer.

“Goodbye Jeremy,” Sylvie called softly, already making her way back inside.............I’ll call the authorities in the morning........ Such a tragic accident, after our wonderful Anniversary celebrations.......but I’ll have my usual run on the treadmill first.