To @realbrigang’s second prompt of the same name.
Warning: Implied/discussed abuse.
“He seemed like such a nice guy.”
The seven women around the table all nodded. They all had similar stories
“He seemed so sweet.”
“He was so considerate.”
“He held the doors for me. He paid for the whole date.”
“He was sweet as sugar. A real nice guy.”
“He was such a gentleman. I didn’t know they made guys like that anymore.”
“They don’t.” The seventh woman had hair as black as night and lips as red as blood. “The haven’t made men like him in a very long time, and we are all the better for it.”
The first looked at her. She had hair like spun gold and wore no make-up at all. “Are you saying…”
“She can’t be.” The third leaned forward. “My grandmother told me those stories. They’re impossible. He’s impossible.“
“Of course he is.” The seventh smiled unkindly. “You’ve all told me that already. ‘He seemed so sweet. He seemed so nice.’ That’s how he was made. And what happens next, ladies? Tell me the end of the fairy tale.”
It was a command as iron and implacable as if she’d been holding a gun to their heads. The first licked her pink lips. “It was the seventh date. I’d… We’d…” She gestured, her cheeks as pink as her lips. “A couple times before. But this time, he was different. He said things.”
The second held her hands in front of her, her nails digging into her palms. “It was as if all the sugar was gone, and all that was left was the leaves at the bottom of the teapot. Bitter and dark.”
“He broke my hand.” The third laid the improperly-healed hand on the table.
“He broke my heart.”
“He stole everything I had.”
“He told me I should thank him. He told me that he was doing me a favor.”
“What about you.” The first spoke again. “What about you? You don’t have your own story. You don’t sound surprised.”
“I stopped being surprised by him forty-nine sad stories ago.” She shook her head. “And that one was mine. I made him. I made him to be my groom.”
As the women stared at her, fists clenched, remembering stories their grandmothers had whispered of, the seventh continued.
“And then I lost him. But with your help, ladies, I will stop him.”
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