The Mistake

The first and last mistake she ever made was having trusted me. I don’t blame her. She didn’t know any better, and besides, I’d probably trust me too. If I could.

But I know better, so I don’t.

I tried to tell her no, but what good would that have done? Could I have explained without frightening her? No. I’m certainly not going to scare an unsuspecting stranger like that, so I kept my comment to myself.

I remember staring at her, jaw gaping at the sight of those brilliant azure eyes. Her porcelain skin, nearly luminescent beneath the halogen bulbs of a local Starbucks, was just a little bit smoother than the coffee she’d handed to me.

Her number was scrawled on the side in black ink. She smiled and asked why I would drink coffee so late at night. I joked that I’d lost track of the time; she suggested we lose track together.

What could I do? Social protocol dictates that a man say yes to a beautiful woman, correct?

I know what you’re thinking, and I tried. I tried my hardest to kill myself, but I failed time and time again. Talk about irony.

I took her back to my apartment- it was safer that way, for everyone else, at least- and she made herself at home as I locked the door and dropped the key under the doormat. She took her shoes off; I did not object. She kissed me; I made no attempt to resist. A proper gentleman always gives a lady what she wants, and on that night, she wanted me.

I wanted to run away, to scream a warning to her, but I could not.

We made love that night. She seemed to enjoy it, though all I could do was monitor the situation. Her gasps and sighs melded together into one long, drawn-out cry. I suppose I made sound as well, though I can hardly pretend to say I was paying attention.

When we’d finished, she fell asleep. I couldn’t wake her up- that would have been too rude. I couldn’t leave because I had no arrangements anywhere else.

I could feel myself growing weary. The coffee hadn’t worked. I apologized in advance, kissed her forehead, and laid down beside her. I didn’t want to, but after five days without rest, my body wouldn’t stay awake any longer. The bittersweet arrest of reality was calling out to me.

I felt my eyelids begin to droop. I tried to focus on remaining awake, but I-

-awoke drenched in blood, as I had expected. I wondered what I’d awake to this time. Rolling over, I found my bed sheet had been made into a noose. Her limp form, as relaxed now as it had been when I’d fallen victim to slumber, was saturated with her own viscous life force.

Her face, a swollen, purple mass of unrecognizable flesh, had been beaten in. Her fingers had been chewed off. I was used to these things. I sighed and prayed that whatever divinity had cursed me so would grant her proportional mercy.

It was a scene that most directors would be proud of. I only wish this had been a movie.

I noticed a window had been broken. Luckily, I was on the eighth floor. Escaping through there would’ve killed me. Unluckily, I didn’t try. Maybe this time, it would’ve killed me.

Maybe I could still try anyway. I shook my head; I’d jumped from higher stories and walked away. If 18 hadn’t killed me, 8 definitely wouldn’t.

The glass had been used to gouge out her eyes. I noticed a coppery taste on my tongue. I wondered what had driven me to do that.

The glass had cut into my hand as well, reopening another old gash.

My feet squelched and plopped through the sodden rug below her. I rifled through the pockets of her jeans, stealing her wallet to buy myself more time. Handprints had been smeared across the walls. They led towards the door.

I could see where I had tried to open the lock. You should thank God for the fact that I failed.

Stepping into the bathroom, I turned the shower on, making sure the water was as hot as it could be. I relished the sensation of my epidermis being burnt away; it was one of the few things that made me smile.

After, I dressed, picked up my one bag (which had narrowly avoided being bled on) and walked to the door.

I turned back with a tear in my eye and whispered, “I’m sorry.”


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