10. sin

28 5 31

December, 2017

Having inadvertently caused two murders – that she knew of – took a steep toll on Ingrid. Relentless work commitments were the only thing keeping her tethered, but being wholly unable, rather than unwilling, to share her burden with anyone made it that much heavier to bear.

Adding to that, she had no way of knowing what Leon's next move would be now. She'd given up clubbing as a result – and shopping, weekend outings, generally leaving the house beyond going to the office. Because whenever out and about, she'd constantly look over her shoulder, and it hurt. Fried her nerves to the point where panic attacks first thing in the morning became a regular occurrence and required big, bitter gulps of bourbon to stabilise.

"Why so jittery?" Pri asked one day over lunch.

Ingrid's head snapped up. "Jittery? Who? Me?"

Her co-worker quirked an eyebrow at her. "Yeah. You alright? You've been skipping out on all the fun lately."

Ingrid chewed her mouthful of sandwich and swallowed. "No, I'm okay, just focusing on... work."

"Right." Pri picked up her phone, scrolled through social media. "Your friends are really so cool," she said.

"What friends?"

"You mean you haven't seen this?"

Priyanka showed her a collection of Instagram photos, picturing various artworks. The caption labelled them as feminam amor pieces from the grand opus exhibition of the 'rosette' artist duo.

"No fucking way!" Ingrid exclaimed. "That's Rose and Liz!"

"Yup," Priyanka popped the p. "There's more." She retrieved the phone and pulled up a different album.

"That's from the wedding!" Ingrid shrieked, pointing at the picture. "And that's me! How did I miss this?"

Priyanka laughed. "Goes to show how out of it you've been, mate."

Ingrid blinked, Leon's crazed expression flashing before her eyes. She shook it away and her vision cleared. How had she not been told of the exhibition? She reached for her phone and studied the group chat. She had been told, it seemed. Not too long ago, either. Ingrid remembered the sudden surge of activity she'd pointedly ignored. Now a current of guilt rippled through her.

Hey, she wrote to Rose, her fingers trembling above the screen of her device. So sorry I was such a dick about your thing. I literally just noticed you guys have put on an awesome exhibition. Wish I was there to see it in person!

Ingrid then proceeded to follow all the 'rosette' social media accounts and set each one of them on priority. She'd be damned if she missed another opportunity to support her friends' endeavours.

Hey!!!! Rose replied, sooner than expected. That's quite all right, I figured you were swamped with work!! How's New York treating you??

Ingrid couldn't help a smile.

It's a shithole as ever.

Nooo, don't say that!! Shocked and sad emojis attached. Seriously, though – are you okay?...

Ingrid grimaced to herself. Okay enough. Don't worry about me. Tell me about this project of yours. Looks massive.

It is! We've gathered material from our entire lives and featured pretty much all the prominent women we've ever come into contact with.

Paintings, drawings, sketches, photographs... Videotape footage, Snapchat clips

You name it, we're showcasing it.

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