Through the drawn blinds I could see Jackson sitting on the couch. The flashing light of the TV lighting up his soft features reminded me of the first time I saw him. Sitting next to the water fountain at the mall, tossing in a handful of pennies. His intense brown eyes lit by the reflection of the water. It was impossible not to introduce myself. He’d grown a bit of a beard now though, no doubt his stupid new girlfriend’s doing. I didn’t like it.
The furniture looked like it hadn’t been rearranged since the last time I’d been here. That gave me that extra boost of confidence I needed to get this done. The fire in my belly warmed me as a light snow dusted the pavement on which I was standing.
He and I had a whirlwind romance, our first date was at the food court of the mall we met in. We hit it off right away, he laughing at my corny jokes and I nodding politely as he taught me all about the political structure of our small town. He was in the running to be a senator.
As I headed towards the front door, my sweaty palm gripped tightly around the handle of the knife in my sweatshirt pocket. I took a moment to compose my thoughts and go over the plan. Walk in, stab him, and leave. Leave no traces, no time for last words, don’t touch anything, and stay silent.
I stretched the muscles in my neck and took a deep breath. A cloud of vapor filtered through the face mask I was wearing.
I remember the fights we used to have. We would scream at the top of our lungs because we cared so deeply for one another. I remember his sweet scent as he would hold me tight after these fights; tears in both of our eyes.
I wrapped a bandana around my hand and opened the door, careful not to touch it with my skin. From my vantage point just beyond the knee-wall, I could see Jackson laughing at the too-loud television. His back was turned to me. This made sneaking up to his side of the couch easier than I had anticipated. There he was; perfect. I stopped for a moment crouched down behind the wall and took in his face one last time.
My movements were quick and silent. I thrust the knife deep into his chest as I swung myself around the corner of the wall behind the couch. He looked up into my eyes and whispered “Shaun?” before his head fell to one side, his eyes glossed over and open.
Hearing my name as his last precious word nearly broke me. I was touched that he could even tell who I was given the dark hood and balaclava I was wearing.
The knife stuck in his chest, so I left it there and wiped off the handle with my bandana. I stared at his muscular body lying there on the green couch we would so often cuddle on.
I pictured him lying there with her as he once did with me. It made me sick to my stomach and only made watching him die easier.
“If I can’t have you, my love, no one can,” I said. Just as I reached out a hand to touch him one last time, the sound of shattering porcelain distracted me. A girl with long blonde hair was standing in the doorway between the living room and kitchen.
I darted for the door, but before I could reach it, she grabbed me by the ankles and I smacked my nose on the hardwood floor.
I kicked my legs around, but she held them fast and dragged me into the kitchen.
With fury on her face and tears in her eyes, she sat on my chest pinning my arms to my side and put her delicate hands around my throat. Her strong grip soon assured me that was the wrong adjective to use.
I knew this girl. It was the one I had seen him with the day we had our last big fight, the one that ended it all. Her bleached, pin straight hair brushed against my shoulders and I could smell the flowery perfume she was wearing. I tried to break free, but she was running on adrenaline and I knew I shouldn’t fight it.
My eyes began to flutter, but before I passed out, she let go. I inhaled sharply as if I would never take another breath for granted.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” she asked, still perched on top of me.
I didn’t say anything.
This didn’t go how I had planned. I was ashamed and scared. Not to mention the anger in realizing that Jackson had, in fact, been dating her behind my back.
“Talk, asshole!” she shouted.
“I….I love him.”
She punched me and broke my nose. As she recoiled, she started to cry hysterically.
“I was supposed to take care of him” she mused.
“You can’t do that anymore” I replied, with less malice than I had intended due to the searing pain shooting through my face.
“No, idiot, I wanted to be the one to kill him.”
“Sorry, what? why?”
“He’s an asshole, you know that. But you took that victory away from me, and now you’re going to pay for it.” She looked me dead in the eyes and grabbed my throat again. This time, she slammed my head into the kitchen floor until I passed out from the pain.
Last Week’s Story: Road Trip
Next Week’s Story: Independence Part 1
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