The phone is ringing, ringing, and in my current state it’s hard to find. I grope blindly along the couch cushions, which are soaked in my own blood. The song I downloaded for my ringtone used to be funny, but as the last song I’ll ever hear, it’s not up to snuff.
My blood-slick fingers brush against it, wedged down between the cushions, and I jab at the touch screen. The phone stops blaring, and I think at first I’ve hung up on her. (I know it’s her, has to be her.)
Then, barely audible behind the thudding of my heart, I hear, “Help me.”
She brought it on herself.
She made me so happy, at first. We met just off campus, at a pub, and right at that moment I knew she was it. The One. She was all I could think about, and all I wanted to do was make her as happy as she made me.
I’d write her soppy little poems, because that’s what dapper gentlemen in old movies did. I brought her flowers every time we went out, even though sometimes it was a choice between flowers for her and groceries for me.
I’d bring her back to my little shithole apartment, and she’d sit beside me on the couch while I showed her my favourite black and white horror films. I loved the smell of her hair. It was auburn, and glowed like fire in the beams of light that snuck around the blankets on the window.
She didn’t like me to touch her, much, but that was okay too: she was my first girlfriend, and I wouldn’t have known what to do with her anyway. Just being close to her, there in my tiny little home, brought me such joy.
One time she sat there, rubbing her head and squinting. “Why don’t you ever turn the lights on in here?”
I shrugged. “I just like candlelight, that’s all.” I looked around. Every available surface in the room had at least one candle burning. Secretly I thought it made me seem mysterious.
“Well, it’s giving me a headache.” She got off the couch and went to the light switch. Nothing happened; I’d taken the bulbs out long ago. She scowled at me; it was adorable.
“I need an aspirin.” She went off down the tiny hall toward the tinier bathroom. She moved like a dancer. I loved that about her.
I watched the flickering screen of the tv for a while before it occurred to me she’d been gone for quite some time. I felt my pulse speed up. She wouldn’t…
I jumped up and bolted down the hall.
The bathroom door was open.
My bedroom door was not.
There’s no love as desperate as the first. Find out where that desperation leads in Needles & Pins, available on Amazon for $0.99USD.