Zenia is the antagonist in one of my favorite books.
Yes, I do have too many favorite books to list. But no, I don’t always remember the antagonists the way I remember Zenia.
Zenia is the perfect villainess. She’s so evil, you don’t love to hate her, you just hate her and hate her until finally she dies, so you have her cremated and buried — but then, suddenly she’s back, and you hate her even more!
Zenia is a brilliant, stunningly attractive, greedy, ruthless, soulless, black hole of a sociopath, whose deeds are so heinous, you shudder at the thought of actually running into her in your own life.
Most of us have known a form of Zenia. She is the mysterious woman who despite her clever attempts to match up, doesn’t quite fit within your circle. Something in your bones tells you she’s not okay and although you can’t quite put your finger on what it is, something about her is not quite right. You can’t trust her, even when she’s never given you a reason to doubt that you can.
Zenia’s background doesn’t add up, her truths don’t ring true, her ability to blend in while standing out is uncanny. She’s not real. She’s made of lies and pretense, an illusion designed specifically for you.
She’ll try on your life, sway your judgment, and then for inexplicable reasons, without provocation, and seemingly without motive, destroy you, just because she can.
You’re nothing but a game to Zenia. She’s not remotely interested in playing well with others, or even winning. She plays to find your weakness, expose it, and watch your pain.
Everything is already hers.
You realize nothing is safe from the clutches of this woman, nothing is out of her grasp.
She wouldn’t do that, would she?
SHE SO WOULD.
Zenia is not jealous. She’s not broken. She doesn’t want what you have. She doesn’t want happiness. She only wants to watch you suffer without mercy.
Zenia still gives me goosebumps and nightmares, and I haven’t read the book since 1998.