The Tragedy of Arlin Whitfield

Arlin Whitfield was an ice princess through and through. Her only friends were superficial — the kind of friends you go to dinner or shopping with, not the kind on whose shoulder you can cry. She went through men like a nerd goes through pocket protectors. So, it was no surprise when no one attended her funeral.

Four years before her death, her fiancée left her with a broken heart and a broken bank account. She used ice to bind her heart back together, and no man had ever gotten close enough to thaw her heart and mend it permanently. She would never let anyone get that close again.

At her mother’s urging, she had visited a psychiatrist. After several visits, Dr. Vinter had diagnosed her with Philophobia, the fear of falling in love. She didn’t see it as a disorder but as common sense and ceased her visits to Dr. Vinter. Who needs a man anyway? She was successful. She could buy anything she wanted, and she did.

She had a closet full of expensive designer clothing, custom tailored to flatter her figure. She had a beautiful condo in the swankiest community in the city, decorated by the most sought-after decorator in the world. She had her hair styled and her nails manicured at the most fashionable salon. She always owned the newest version of everything, her phone, her music, her car.

Her car was as black as ebony and fast enough to make a racecar driver drool. She had it detailed weekly, and it was her sanctuary when she was angry. She could stomp the accelerator to the floor and, with the wind fingering her hair, escape the world for a bit. This she did fairly often. A stressful day at the ad agency, a tiff with her latest date, her own conflicting thoughts and memories- they were all enough to drive her to spend some time breaking the traffic laws on a country road.

Her men were all successful. They were lawyers, they were doctors, they were CEOs.

Arlin was only twenty-eight when her life was brought to a tragic halt by the front end of a semi truck. She was texting yet another break-up when the lights of the semi blinded her and illuminated her perfect-yet hardened-features before obliterating them forever.

It was a closed casket at her funeral. She wasn’t identifiable as the hardened, gorgeous ice princess anymore, anyway. No one was there to identify her. Her license had done that. Her super-charged car had helped. The car belonged to Arlin Whitfield. The title had confirmed that, as had the receipt from the detailing it had received that morning. The detailing was no good now. Arlin’s car was nearly as unidentifiable as she was.

Her license belonged to Arlin Whitfield. It was the one thing that survived the crash unscathed. It showed her perfect features — the aquiline nose, the ebony hair shiny as the ice on the road that night, the crystal blue eyes as hard as the ice that night. It didn’t show the sorrow that lived beneath the surface of the woman who showed no weakness.

She had truly loved Ethan. He had fit her idea of the perfect man, at least on the surface. He was tall. He was handsome. He was caring. Arlin herself was tall. Her license identified her as 5’9”, and the coroner agreed. He had the square jaw and the perfectly symmetrical features of a model, yet she had met him at the agency working to put models in print rather than being in print himself. His features had complimented Arlin’s perfectly. They were a stunning couple, everyone had said. He volunteered at several local charities. He fed the homeless, nurtured young children, and broke their banks in the end, just as he had with Arlin. She had loved him truly. At least, she had loved the man he had shown her.

He had been a conman. He had found a successful woman and gotten close to her. She had been financially savvy, and he had liked that. She had been loving and trusting, and he had liked that. She had been emotionally needy, and he had taken advantage of that. He never loved her, just her bank account. The police were looking for him. Creditors were looking for him. Arlin wasn’t looking for him anymore. She was gone and forgotten, except for the occasional sad story at a cocktail party.