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What am I doing? Oh god, what am I doing? Is this truly the price I must pay? Is this my penance for what I have done?
Once again, I look down to my hands. In them rests the weapon I once again lowered. Three years old, never been fired, 9mm Glock. Cost me near $600 when I bought it. Still as shiny as you’d expect it, I guess. Not a chrome type shiny, but that black gun color that just looks new. I can’t believe how heavy it is. Laying there in my hand. Screaming out to me again and again, “Coward! You’re nothing but a damn coward!”
Perhaps I am. I wouldn’t expect you to understand.
Once more, I pull back on the weapon’s slide, and watch as an unused bullet goes spinning end over end in an arc that ends on a pillow. Her pillow. Is it chance, or is it just mocking me? I don’t know.
Nervously I reach out to pick up the bullet. My hand covers the cold metal that lay upon the soft blue silk. The blue silk she had so loved. Part of a set we bought together, shortly after we moved into this old apartment. Two blue sheets and two pillowcases. On sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond. She saw them sitting there on the shelf. Oh, how her eyes lit up. How cute she looked bouncing up and down on the balls of her feet, “Please, please oh please. Can we get this one? Please?”
I feel a pain deep inside building up, pushing against the inside of my eyes, but I hold back the tears. For a moment I forget the bullet beneath my palm and try to find some trace of her. Anything to show me she isn’t really gone. But I already know it is futile. Her warmth is no longer with me, why would I dream it could be found in this pillow? I press harder against the Swedish foam I know so well. My hand again finds nothing.
For a moment I even debate if I should lift the pillow to my nose. No, I mustn’t do this to myself. I know already. Her smell left this place long ago. If I try, I will only push myself farther. If I try, I might actually break myself again.
I pick the bullet up. Look at it, between my thumb and two fingers. Such a small, innocent looking thing. No longer as pretty as it once was. Like me, its shine has been worn down by time. So many times I have taken it out, only to put it back a few days later.
Again I hear the gun in my hand mocking me, “You coward.”
I am not a coward.
“Just stick me in your mouth. That’s all you need to do.”
It doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
I stand, lifting myself off the edge of our bed. I look at the gun one more time before tossing it down. I watch it spin around and fall to the bed. It bounces, twice, before coming to settle in a few folds in the covers. It seems so easy, doesn’t it? Just bite and pull. But I will not. Not today. Not now. I’m late for work.
I don’t really have time for a shower. I skip it again. That’s three days in a row now. Doesn’t matter, does it? Nobody’s complained. Nobody’ll notice. They’re all to busy with their lives. Caught up in their petty little worlds. Never realizing how special everything around them is. Never knowing how fragile and precious each moment they have is. You never know until it is taken away from you.
I know.
I look at our kitchen. I haven’t cleaned it in ages. I don’t even remember what half of those dishes are. I wonder if the ones I can’t see are even mine. They probably are. But, I don’t have time. I’ll just pick up some coffee and a doughnut in the staff lounge. Unless Corey decided to have seconds, thirds, and so on. Someone needs to tell him that fat went out in the Middle Ages. He should know that, he’s a history teacher. Shouldn’t he know, those who ignore history are destined to repeat it? I guess that explains why he keeps going back until all the doughnuts are gone.
God, do I really have to go to work today?
Silence.
Why do I ever think he’ll have time for me? Cold sadistic prick he is. Yeah, he gives and he takes away. Well fuck him.
Do you hear that God? Fuck You!
Silence.
That’s what I thought.
I leave our apartment. Behind me I slam the old, weatherbeaten door. With a practiced mechanical motion I lock the deadbolt. I don’t really think about it now. Somehow, my keys find their way to my purse. Until I get to my bike.
I never learned to drive a car. This motorcycle is how I get around. This motorcycle carries me to work. It brings me home.
I don’t remember driving to work. I’m here. This is becoming more common. My shrink called it tuning out. Going through the motions of life, without actually living. Ignoring time passing, if for no reason other than to not have to think. I stopped seeing him about a year ago. He wasn’t helping me. Just taking my money. Don’t know what I expected. They never help. That’s why they call it practicing medicine. They don’t know shit.
I look at my watch. I don’t have time to stop in the lounge. Guess Corey’s going to get mine again. Hope he gets fatter, disgusting lazy ass bastard. No wonder he’s got nobody to go home to. Unless he’s involved with his Doritos or something.
Another day I want to just get over. To my classroom and to my desk.
Once more it seems my students waited patiently for me. They’re kind of used to this by now. Before I leave every day I write an assignment on the blackboard. I collect it in the morning when I finally stumble in. They’re good students. Good kids. I wonder how long they’ll be able to stay kids?
I look over their faces. They know the story. It’s kind of urban legend now. Even though the school officially denies it ever happened. I guess that’s why they never fired me. If they had, I’d be able to make a scene out of it all, and then they’d have to acknowledge what happened. They’d have to face the scandal. They’d have to admit their perfect private school wasn’t as perfect as they try to make people believe.
I guess it is good they don’t. I’d never be able to work in teaching again. But, I’m so bitter about it. I’ll tell you why. There’s no proof of us. Only rumors. Only pictures and my memories. Pictures that haunt me. Pictures that remind me every day of her face. As if this room didn’t do just that.
I close my eyes. Without even meaning to, I take myself back. Three years ago, today. In my mind it is as fresh as if I am there once again right now.
I was just over there, writing part of the lesson on the blackboard. When I turned back to face my class, there, standing with the headmistress was a young girl. A new transfer student. Rare thing in the middle of spring.
She introduced herself as a new transfer student from Hawaii. Her name was Samantha. She came here because her parents split up. Her father was showing off how well he could take care of her by spending part of his considerable income on her happiness. She smiled, and took a seat.
I open my eyes and look to the seat where she sat. Window seat, third back. There is no one there now. I don’t let anyone sit there. They have rumors now, about a girl who once was there. They say she had long, straight black hair, a pale complexion, and deep brown eyes. The truth is she had mid back length blond hair that she kept in a ponytail. Her skin was lightly tanned and her eyes, those beautiful blue eyes, seemed abnormally large behind her wireframe glasses.
God I miss her.
I always do.
So, as I do every day, I walk through the motions of life. Through the motions of living. Give everyone else the impression I have it all together. But, I know the truth. I know something no one else does. I’m already dead. Just another average, run of the mill, walking wounded, stick a fork in me, I’m done, Zombie. And at the end of the tunnel, I just might be able to finish it tonight.
To make the pain go away? Can I really make it end?
The bell rings. Classes pass. Now, I stand in an empty classroom. I look down the row. She isn’t there, and I drop my head.
Why? Why did she come into my life? Why won’t she let me go?
I once again look out over the field below the classroom window. To the same tree I look to every day. The same tree where I would meet her every day after school. All because she was a new transfer. All because she was so far behind in class, I agreed to tutor her. All because I somehow began to care for her. All because one day, beneath that tree, she let her head fall on my shoulder.
She said she was only playing, but my heart raced. For the first time in my life, I felt what it was like to be truly alive. For the first time in my life, I followed my heart, not my brain. We kissed our first kiss beneath that tree. It was long and passionate. Our arms around each other, holding so tightly that our breasts crushed each others. It was the most beautiful moment of my life. Just a shadow of a memory now. A cold shell which once surrounded a warm and comforting moment. One more memory I can’t let go of.
I need to go home.
Our home. If you can call it that. It was easy. Her parents lived in Hawaii. That was an ocean away. They didn’t need to know anything. Just an address, a cell phone number, and they were happy. And, in this dingy little apartment, so were we. For many months, we lived as strangers at school, but lovers by night. Like newlyweds, our life was anticipation then bliss, repeating every day.
Until that one day. Why did her parents decide to get back together? Why did they decide to bring her back home? Why did she leave me?
I look down at my bottle once more. The only thing I have that gives me any warmth. Empty. Yes, even it has abandoned me. Like everything else. It has left me alone. I throw it across the room and watch as it shatters against the wall. And I fall back, laying across our bed.
I turn to look once more to her pillow. Only, my eyes fall upon my Glock. My beautiful Glock. It fits so beautifully in my hand. So shiny, in the way a gun should be. But missing something. It’s missing it’s heart.
I remember where I left it. On the night stand. A simple, tiny 9mm bullet. Dulled from being held so many times. Dulled from the oils my fingers have left on it.
I slide the bullet in the chamber, and press the slide release. Now, it is ready. Now, it has it’s heart. Now, unlike me, it is complete.
“Coward,” it whispers to me. “You won’t do it. You’re a coward.”
My hand grips the gun tightly. Deep short breaths force their way in and out of my body.
“That’s why she left you,” it mocks me.
I lay back, my head on my pillow. Tears forming in my eyes, fighting their way out and down the sides of my head. I take my gun once more and place it underneath my chin, tight against my throat, at an angle. I want the bullet to travel back and through my head, not through the top.
All around me I hear the sounds of the world.
Shut Up.
They get louder.
Shut Up!
Louder still.
SHUT UP!

I feel a brilliance like that of a warm ray of sunlight falling upon me. I open my eyes, and blink. Sitting on the edge of the bed is my Samantha. Her eyes, they have a sadness I haven’t seen in a long time. Her smile feels warm. Her lips part and I hear her voice for the first time in what seems forever.
“Shhh,” she says, as she takes my hand, “it’s just a bad dream.”
Bad dream?
She pulls me up, lifting me to my feet.
I wrap my arms around her and hold her head close against my breast. She is so warm. She feels so right.
After an eternity I let her go and we look at each other. I feel myself being drawn once more into the face of the only girl I have ever loved. Once more I see her eyes and fall into complete trust.
“You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” she says.
I just smile.
“Come on,” she says, “or you’ll be late.”
I start to turn to pick up my purse, but she quickly takes my hand. She pulls on it to prevent me from turning away. Again my eyes meet hers. Again, I find myself lost in her beautiful ocean blue eyes.
She smiles at me and shakes her head, “You don’t want to see.”
Where are we going?
Her smile never falters, “Do you trust me?”
I nod a slow but definite yes.
She pulls on my hand, “Someplace beautiful where I never have to leave you again.”
Without a thought, or a moment of hesitation I follow her without looking back. And, for the first time in my memory, I can feel myself smiling.
an exercise in writing in a style completely different from my usual.

i came up with the basic idea behind this story a couple days past. pretty much i knew how i wanted it to end. i had no idea how i was going to get there.

this is the first time i have ever written anything in first person present tense.

all characters, locations, and events are fictional.

i have given it a mature flag as some people may be sensitive to the nature of a f/f relationship between a student and a teacher. also, suicidal overtones.

you will probably also notice there is a substantial amount of language i never use. please, forgive me that. it was needed for the story to have passable context.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconarielmt:
arielmt Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2008
I don't read many short stories, especially online, but this one just grabbed hold of me from the beginning and didn't let go until the end.

Bravo.
Reply
:iconayukawataur:
Ayukawataur Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2008
oh, thank you. that is the kind of complement we all love to hear.

the only sad thing is, i can not duplicate that as i already did it. guess i will have to write something else.
Reply
:iconniniriaz:
NiniriAZ Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2008
Very deep. And very vivid. It's the kind of thing one
sometimes finds one "has" to do at times. To step
outside the box and one's comfort zone...to stretch
one's creativity and grow is sometimes a good thing.
Reply
:iconayukawataur:
Ayukawataur Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2008
thank you for taking the time to read this and comment on it.

i am sorry i have not been around much to talk. i have been very busy.

i think you are correct. it was definitely something i had to do.
Reply
:iconniniriaz:
NiniriAZ Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2008
Nods, I know "busy", as I've been it of late. I hope things are going
well for you and your beloved!
Reply
:iconayukawataur:
Ayukawataur Featured By Owner May 20, 2008
very well yes.

just returned from that month in asia i told you about. now, i plan to just be home for a while to rest and be me.
Reply
:iconniniriaz:
NiniriAZ Featured By Owner May 20, 2008
Good luck with the writing, and enjoy the downtime! I'm sure it's well deserved... :)

Cheers,

Niniri
Reply
:iconlupus-reneson:
Lupus-Reneson Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Writing such a story in first person is really very chilling.
I do not wish to imply anything but, you have made it sound as if you know what it feels like to live with that kind of depression.
But then, that is one of the marks of a true author: spinning a convincing tale.
Reply
:iconayukawataur:
Ayukawataur Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2008
it really is the first time i have written in first person perspective. i am happy to hear that i managed to communicate the feelings properly.
Reply
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