The young man stared at the crap-hole that was to be his home. He frownedat the thought that this was a step up from what he was used to, however, thethought that he would no longer have to live the life of a drifter brought asmile to his face. Jack Winter had lived a hard life, one that thought him thatto get ahead, he would have to drag somebody else down. Draggingsomebody else down was not his intentions, however if it happened then sobe it.
Jack entered the shack and frowned again when he realized that it wascrawling with ghosts.“Boo!” The blue ghost shouted behind him, the spirit was taken aback whenthe young man turned and gave him a very bored look.“Boo? Are you serious? Look Casper, let’s get something straight here, this ismy house now and it will be in your best interest if you would behave yourself.Just give me a couple days and I’ll be out of your hair.”
“See,” Jack continued, “I intend to get married, to a very rich lady.” Jack grinned. “Itwouldn’t be long before she joins you though, I do not intend to spend the rest of mylife attached to a woman, but her house and her car I have no issues with.”The confused ghost watched as the new resident strode away. Scratching the back ofhis head he turned to the ghost sitting on the couch.“We’ve already lived our lives, we should not get involved.” The female specterwarned.
Jack marched up to the door and rung the doorbell with purpose, while he waitedfor the door to be opened he admired the large house and fancy car as if theywere already his possessions. Agnes Crumplebottom. He had read that the alreadyrich woman had married an equally rich man who was met with a spell of bad luckon his honeymoon. Jack knew that new widow on the rebound was his ticket offthe streets. He acted quickly, traveling to Sunset Valley and finding a place tostay, and he refused to wait another day before meeting his future wife.
“Who are you?” The blond woman questioned as she walked up to her frontdoor.Jack paused for a moment, his heart thudded heavily against his ribcage. Theblack and white photo in the newspaper did not do the woman justice. He took inher shapely figure, her shiny lovely blond hair and those eyes which seem to lookinto his soul. Jack shook his head, no, he could not fall in love with her, she wasjust a meal ticket.
“I’m Jack Winter.”“Oh.” The woman gave him a curious look. “Come in then.” She invited, men had beenshowing up on her doorstep since her husband died and she wanted nothing to do withthem. This one, she had all intentions of making him miserable until he ran awayscreaming, just like all the others.
As it turns out, this silver haired young man was different, Agnes had never laughed sohard in her life, he had his charm turned all the way up, his words were as sweet ashoney and she ate them up. Jack told her that he liked to party and went on and onabout the wedding party he intended to have once they were married. It was clear toAgnes that this one knew what he wanted and wouldn’t rest until he got it. Presistent,she liked that.
That night Jack dreamt about the house that would soon be his, he would finallylive like a king and the white mansion would be his palace.
He dreaded the wedding though, he had commitment issues, committing himselfto his mission was one thing, the payout in the end would be worthit, committing himself to a woman was another, they wereunpredictable, demanding and downright crazy, three things Jack did not want todeal with.
The next morning found Jack holding a plate of burnt waffles. Jack prayed thatAgnes could cook, that alone would be motivation to keep her around a bit longer.He started jumping ahead of himself again, considering the lovely little housewifehe would turn the woman into. She would cook and clean and make sure he wascomfortable, she would know her place and would respect him. Yes, perfect.
Later that day they met up at the beach for a date and again Jack tried to charm thepanties off the woman. He was amused to find that she hung on to his every wordand blushed bright red, he had her right where he wanted her. Or so he thoughtuntil he leant in for a kiss and she backed away, her face immediately showing herdisgust.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” He said and grabbed her hands. “I’m moving too fast, it’sjust…you’re so beautiful Agnes, I couldn’t help myself. I’ve never met a woman whomoved me the way you do. I…I think I’m in love with you.”Flattered Agnes gave his hands a squeeze. “No, it’s fine. I just…my husband…”“I understand.” Jack said, perfectly masking his impatience.
Agnes pulled him in for a hug and hoped that he couldn’t hear her heart hammeringinside her chest. She melted in his embrace, admitting to herself that although shedidn’t even know him, she was head over heels in love with him. “I have to go now, butI’ll see you tomorrow?”Jack smiled, “Of course.”
When Agnes left Jack sat down in front of the chess table. It was exactly the game hewas playing except the most precious piece of the game was Agnes’ heart. He knewthat he was very close to check-mate, he just had to continue moving his piecescorrectly, this involved not being too pushy, he decided that it was time for him to sitback and allow Agnes to begin making the moves.
Two months later Jack sat in his small house, hopefully this would be the lasttime he called it home. He patted his pocket and felt the ring box and couldn’thelp but smile. Things had progressed well with Agnes, he knew that his gavewas nearly won, once she was legally bounded to him she would be his.
After a fun filled day with Agnes, Jack decided it was now or never, he dropped to oneknee and opened the box, Agnes gasped and covered her mouth with her hands. Jackproceeded to say a bunch of mushy things he knew he didn’t mean and ended it with,“Agnes Crumplebottom, will you do me the honor of being my wife, right now?”
“Right now?” Agnes questioned, if she’d been looking up she would have seen theanger flash in Jack’s eyes, but she was too preoccupied with the ring. She couldn’tbelieve she was going to do this again, and so soon. But she head herself screaming,“Yes! Yes! Jack Winter, right this instant!”
For Jack, the ring couldn’t slide onto Agnes’ finger fast enough. Jack’s hand trembled theentire time, eagerness almost made him mess up at the most crucial moment, it wouldhave been awful if he had come this close to his goal and lost it.
Immediately following her quick ceremony, Agnes invited her sister over and made thebig announcement. To say that Cornelia was shocked would be an understatement.“Married? To who?” Cornelia asked and peeked out of the kitchen at the man sitting inthe living room. “Who the hell is he? Aggie, I can’t believe you did this, of all theirresponsible…” The older Crumplebottom woman took a deep breath. “How long haveyou even known him?”
When Agnes confessed that she’d only known Jack three months and started goingon about how in love they were, Cornelia went off on her chastising her for marryinga man she didn’t even know.
The argument soon moved to the living room, each sister trying to scream louder thanthe other. Agnes downed her sister’s perfect life, telling Cornelia that she would neverunderstand the pain of loneliness and heartbreak. Cornelia said that if anythinghappened to her younger sister, she would certainly learn all about heartbreak. Agnesdemanded to know what her sister was suggesting of her new husband, screamed thatCornelia was just jealous despite how childish and stupid it sounded and then told hersister to leave.
A long, uneasy silence fell over the room. Cornelia stared at Agnes, Agnes looked away,staring at her new husband, the man she loved. Cornelia took a look at the man too,memorizing every detail of him in case he broke her sister’s heart and she had to hunthim down.“I wish you two a happy life together.” Cornelia said without emotion and shouted for herhusband who was upstairs at the chess table.
The man had heard the heated exchange from where he sat, those two never argued.On his way to the door he took a look at the cause of the argument, Jack Winter. Theman’s icy blue eyes made him shudder as if he were standing naked in heavy snow.He decided that maybe it would be best for him to find out everything he could aboutJack Winter.