My mother named me Envy. I think she meant well, believing my great beauty, intelligence, status, and heritage would compel others to envy me.
Except that as I grew my face became what might be called asymmetrical, which, if you look into it, is not pleasing to the human eye. As for intelligence, I foolishly married a narcissist, who also tried to burn our house down for insurance– with me in it. Status and heritage? It turned out the family’s place in society was built on a foundation of greed, lies, manipulations, and betrayal.
The funny thing is, there was a girl who did envy me.
She was beautiful, truly beautiful. Imagine a flawless beauty, right now, in your head. That’s what Virginia Summersmith looked like. It was impossible for her to appear anything less than breathtaking–no, not first thing in the morning, or after changing the oil in the car, or after digging a grave in hard-packed soil, Virginia Summersmith would always look fresh and angelic.
This led her to be lonely approximately half the time, since she was so terribly intimidating to men and women alike. Some actively resented her beauty, as if it was a malignancy that she nurtured. The other half of the time she was pursued aggressively by the fearless yet unworthy, the trophy hunters, or those whose beauty really was malignant.
She envied the passion of my relationship with Marcus. It was emotional, exhausting, painful, and utterly dysfunctional, but to Virginia it was honest and true, if “flawed”.
She had a soft spot for “flawed”, it seemed, because she also adored my family. I found them to be annoying, selfish, amoral louts, but she found them charmingly roguish.
She married my brother Cash, even though he had none, having lost it all at a casino on First Nations land in Calgary, Alberta.
Such is life.