It sat there, languishing, the beautiful chateau, which used to be bustling with life. It was the place where everybody who was anybody went. Many extravagant parties were thrown there. The owner, Jean Monet and his lovely wife, Margot who left their vineyard in Bordeaux to move to our community six years ago were the talk of the town.
Social media was ablaze with stories and tweets about them. Women envied Margot for her looks and her husband while the men admired her and thought that Jean was a lucky man. They were the perfect celebrity-type couple and they were living in this small village.
No one knew that behind that seemingly perfect façade was a dark secret which would one day come out. No one knew about the African street girl whom Jean became involved with. They met under the cover of darkness and went to an abandoned shack where they had their trysts. He bought a furnished apartment for her in the French Quarter. He pulled strings for her to get a job so that she didn’t have to sell herself to survive anymore.
The gate was ajar but no one ever ventured in. Occasionally, curious tourists would linger and take photos. The locals never went near the place. There have been stories of a woman wandering about the grounds, dressed in a white nightgown. Many believe it was Margot’s ghost. Oh, did I neglect to mention that Jean slipped something into Margot’s tea one night and she ended up drowning in the bathtub?
Yes, poor Margot. She had no idea that her darling Jean was cheating on her and that he wanted to get rid of her so that he could be with the former street girl. And Jean had no idea that Margot had found out that very morning that she was pregnant. He had taken two lives instead of one. Everyone was shocked when they heard what had happened. The media was going haywire and many of them tried and convicted him before the case even went to court. When the case finally went to court, almost the entire community was in the courtroom.
There was a collective sigh of relief and even a little applause when he was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. Everyone thought that he deserved the death penalty. No one visited him in jail except the people from those sleazy tabloids. And as for those ghost sightings, it turned out that it was just a bunch teenagers playing pranks. After spending a night in the slammer, they put Margot’s ghost to rest.
As for the African girl, she was evicted from the apartment. What became of her, no one knows and frankly, no one cares. This sordid affair has done quite a number on this quiet community. It will take a while for things to return to normal. But we’re a strong community. We’ll bounce back. We always do.
This story is purely fictional. I wrote it a while ago for another blog which I have since deleted.