Three women discover that they are engaged to the same con man at his funeral but only one of them inherits his fortune of $8.3 million.
Bart Garrow was a handsome man with charm to spare and a particular talent for older women. He knew just what to say and what to do, and before long, those honeys were dreaming they had finally found Mr. Rught.
Of course, Bart wasn't Mr. Right, he was Mr. Wrong, and he justified his cruel manipulation of his victims' emotions by saying to himself, "About time the stupid thing learned what life is all about! As if anyone was going to fall in love with HER..."
Clara, Frannie, and Tessa were stunned when they discovered they were engaged to the same man. | Source: Shutterstock.com
Bart was a conman, and a very successful one too. He had amassed a fortune in excess of $8 million, but he had no intention of giving up his lucrative profession. He was so very good at it, and he derived a malicious pleasure from cheating his victims and shattering their illusions.
No, Bart Garrow wasn't a very nice man, but he was a clever and audacious one. He was currently involved in a scheme to con three different women who all lived on the same street out of their savings. He considered it a challenge.
So he first moved in on Frannie Karl and stripped her of $300,000, then he moved on to her neighbor Tessa Williams, and robbed her of a cool $430,000, and then he decided to try for a hat trick with their next-door neighbor, Clara Funcinno.
Sooner or later, the bill for malice will come due.
He met Clara Funcinno, a 56-year-old widow at her gym after ascertaining she had a considerable amount on deposit from the insurance payout after her husband's death. For six weeks, he romanced Clara, took her dancing and dining at the most expensive restaurants in town, and sent her flowers and love letters.
Bart Garrow was a con man and he preyed on older women. | Source: Unsplash
Clara felt as if she was the most cherished woman in the world, as if finally someone saw her, Clara, in all her fragility, strength, and complexity. And so she fell in love.
When two months after their first meeting Bart fell on one knee and asked her to marry him, she didn't even hesitate. Clara said yes and proudly wore the huge diamond Bart had given her.
The two started planning their wedding. Bart said, "I know you were married before, Clara, but I wasn't. I want a big wedding, and I want you to wear white for me."
Clara blushed. "Oh Bart!" she gasped. "At my age! White is for virgin brides, young girls..."
Bart kissed her hand and whispered, "Clara, I think I won your virgin heart. Tell me, have you ever loved anyone the way you love me? Because I know I've never felt about anyone the way I feel about you."
So of course, Clara went shopping for a gorgeous wedding dress and melted every time Bart played "White Lace and Promises" for her. Clara was flying high on love, and that was when Bart struck.
Bart made Clara fall in love with him. | Source: Unsplash
One Friday afternoon he picked her up for a picnic, but he was not quite himself. He was distracted, distant. "Darling, what's wrong?" asked Clara, worried.
"It's nothing, my sweet," Bart said smiling. "It's just business, nothing to worry your pretty head about."
"You know," Clara said. "I have an MBA! I might be able to help!"
"Clara, the thing is, I've been offered the possibility of buying into a new company and it might be the deal of a lifetime," Bart said sadly. "Unfortunately, my money is tied up in a six-month deposit my financial manager concocted for taxes... And so I'm going to have to pass the opportunity by."
Bart proposed with a stunning ring. | Source: Unsplash
"How much is it, Bart?" asked Clara.
"Two hundred thousand dollars," Bart said. "Quite a chunk of cash."
"But Bart," Clara cried. "I can lend you the money!"
"No, Clara," Bart said firmly. "I won't take a cent from you! What if something goes wrong? No, never!" But Clara kept insisting and Bart, feigning great reluctance, finally agreed but on one condition.
"We'll go to my bank, Clara," he said. "And I'll give you the transfer code, so if anything goes wrong you know you'll get your money back!"
Bart took Clara to the bank and showed her the printout of his account that held $8.3 million, then he gave her the code. After that, Clara happily wrote Bart a check for $200,000.
"Babe," Bart said with tears in his eyes. "I love you so much! I'm going straight to the broker with this, and I'll pick you up for dinner tonight at 20:00, OK? Wear something special!"
Bart convinced Clara to buy a white wedding dress. | Source: Unsplash
That night, Clara dressed up to the nines and wore Bart's favorite perfume then waited impatiently for 20:00. Bart, of course, didn't show up. Clara was frantic with worry. What could have happened to him?
She phoned him several times but the calls went to voice mail time after time. By Saturday morning, Clara was a wreck. She was sure Bart had an accident, that he lay somewhere in a hospital...
Finally, Bart answered the phone. "Yes?" he snapped coldly. "What is it?"
"Bart!" gasped Clara. "Thank God you're alright! I've been so worried..."
Bart gave Clara the code for his bank account. | Source: Unsplash
"Listen you old bag, stop calling me, OK?" he said. "We're finished. I have what I wanted from you."
"What?" asked Clara bewildered. "Bart, I think you must be ill..."
"I'm sick of you, is what it is!" he snapped. "Are you so stupid you don't know you've been conned?" And with that, he disconnected the call. When Clara tried to call again she realized she'd been blocked.
Bart smiled. He derived as much satisfaction from hurting the women as from taking their money, and Clara with her gentle smile and kind heart had been so irritating... Bart stepped out of his building aglow with satisfaction.
Maybe he was ready to settle down now, just one more con... Bart stepped out onto the street and was still smiling when a speeding taxi ran him over. There was no saving him. He was gone. And since he'd listed Clara as next of kin at his bank, the police contacted her.
Bart was run over by a taxi. | Source: Unsplash
Clara was stunned! Just an hour after he'd broken her heart Bart was dead! It was almost as if Karma had taken a hand. "The bank..." Clara gasped. He wouldn't have had time to cancel the code he'd given her!
So Clara contacted a funeral home and arranged everything for a modest funeral for the late unlamented Bart. Monday morning, bright and early, Clara was at the bank and she transferred the entire $8.3 million to her bank account.
Bart's funeral wasn't well attended, except for two other women Clara recognized from the neighborhood. Then Clara saw the engagement rings on their fingers -- identical to hers!
"How much did he take you ladies for?" Clara asked.
Clara got all of Bart's money. | Source: Unsplash
Tessa sniffed. "He took $430,000... All I had."
Frannie sighed. "With me, it was $300,000! All my savings. I'm going to be struggling," she said. "And the diamond? It's glass! He got us good!"
Clara grinned. "No he didn't!" she said. "Karma got him! He died before he could cancel the withdrawal code he gave me and I got the entire $8.3 million!"
Clara split the money with Frannie and Tessa, and a week later, the three women left for the Bahamas for vacation, paid for by Bart!
Clara shared Bart's money with Frannie and Tessa. | Source: Unsplash
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