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Rose was drunk and walking alone late at night. She had lost her car keys and her phone was dead.
"What am I going to do now?"
Rose bent down to pick up a half-smoked cigarette when she heard it, a low and hesitant rumbling at first but it became louder each step it took.
"Hello? Is someone there?"
She turned around to face the darkness on all sides of her. There was nobody. She continued to walk and began to fiddle with the charm bracelet her mother had given before she passed away last summer. She felt better about herself whenever she was hammered or high, it was almost a relief to not feeling anything at all. The sound kept coming in droves, there was no stopping it. Rose was almost certain it was real, almost.
"Who's there? Leave me alone!"
She darted down the street in her six-inch pumps, running toward something saner; halfway there her heel snapped and she went hurtling onto the curb and hit her head on the pavement.
The next six hours were dark and she couldn't remember anything. Rose awoke to find herself tied up in bike chains from her pelvis to her chest. The worst had already happened and there was nothing she could do to stop it. She opened her mouth to scream but no sound came out. She realized she had been gagged with a muzzle, like a dog, as if she was trash and anything less of a worthless mutt wondering the streets eating scraps thrown on the sidewalk late at night.
Rose tried to scream but her cries were muffled. That's when he entered the room, the man who had been following her since the party. Why couldn't she tell before? Maybe she had known on some level, maybe she had wanted it to happen all along, who could be sure anymore? His face was gnarled and sinister, his eyes half on and half off with a sickening look of dread embedded into his irises. Rose was going to die and she felt it.
"What am I going to do? What can I do? Why me? Why me!"
All these thoughts swirled around in her head before he made the first cut. It was slow and thought out and made to hurt her but not scar.
"Just do it," she thinks. He amputated her limbs and head before he tossed all of the body parts in the park in the morning. No one would ever know she liked it.
Her slender arms wrapped around his waist. She was drunk and he smelled the vodka on her breath. He tried to pry her from his body but she had a grip on him.
"Jennifer stop it, you're embarrassing me!"
She didn't listen. So he dances with her a bit. He did feel sorry for her after all.
"Why do you always treat me like this? I only want you to love me..."
She trails off as if some other thought entered her mind, something more frightening than she had already begun to display to him. Whatever it was, Jason couldn't stand it much longer.
"Hey, do you think we could stop now? We've danced enough..."
It stopped him in mid-sentence. Her eyes. Her empty blue eyes. It was happening again.
"Jennifer? Are you okay? What's wrong?"
He shakes her frail body. There isn't a response. She died thinking he didn't love her. They found her empty bottle of sleeping pills in the morning.
Jennifer sat alone at the bar for what seemed like hours. She sipped on the Shirley Temple she'd religiously ordered every time she came to this shit hole. He was already fifteen minutes late. She checks the time on her watch she keeps hidden in her stockings.
She continues to wait even though every fiber of her nerve endings screamed at her to leave. Something was wrong. Something bad was happening. Now.
Her brain matter covered the walls, the countertops, and ultimately his glossed over eyes.
Valerie got in around midnight. Her hair was askew and she reeked of whiskey. She couldn't let him know she'd been out drinking all night again. Valerie tosses her keys in the fishbowl she kept all her disposable belongings in and waltzed to the couch.
She was marvelous to watch, an absolute spectacle to be seen. There was such grace in her stride and it wasn't anyone's fault.
Valerie remembers how he used to stay up all hours of the night waiting for her return, almost anxious enough to think she'd never return. And so she cries. He's probably awake right now, waiting for her to sneak back into bed, avoiding the reaction they all expected to happen.
"I wish I wasn't so lonely. "
The words escape her lips and she regrets it immediately. Valerie hated feeling that way about her life. She was well off, she had expensive things, lived a comfortably numb life. And it frightened her so much—was something bad bound to happen? Everything about Valerie's life was going according to plan, marry young, graduate from an Ivy League school, pursue a prosperous career. She had it all. There was something about it that couldn't be handled anymore. And it was sad. He knew how she felt about it and it hurt him. There were days when he wanted to move out in a heartbeat, he'd even considered ending his own life. And so he listens to her steps, to the click-clack of her stilettos on the drywood of their empty home. He heard her turn on the oven but he didn't bother to stop her. It was too exhausting. Her last thought was, "Why has nobody ever loved me?"
"Hey! Where were you yesterday?"
I was so tired. Tiffany had a troubled look on her face. I remember thinking I didn't want to talk to her.
"Hey, sorry about that. I got... well something came up. You know how it is."
I turned to walk away but she grabbed my arm.
"Tiffany, I know what you're doing,"
I remember how cold her fingers feel next to my skin. It sent shivers down my spine and I couldn't remember how to talk.
"You saw him again didn't you?"
That look on her face was stretched so far I remember thinking all of the folds would melt away to the concrete, seeping further into the cracks. What was happening?
"You can't keep doing this to me, Tiffany. It's driving me insane!"
Her clasp on my arm tightened and I remember letting a whimper out.
"Tiffany, let go, you're hurting me!"
I remember the sound of the gun and the red stains on the tops of my hands. I threw away the bloody clothes the next morning.