A short story

     Once upon a time I wanted to be a writer. I had a lot of fun with it but the complaint was always that my stories were too gross. My ex-wife once asked if I had to be so violent and I guess I didn’t but it was fun to nail people to floors or gut them like deer. I would never do that in real life but shit my characters could.

     I had a wife and young son and I started to have less and less time for my writing so I stopped. When I stopped writing my son was maybe seven? He’s know 19 and I’m no longer married so I figured why not try to write again?

     What you’re about to read is the first story I’ve written in twelve years? Holy fuck that’s a long time. Is it any good? That’s where you come in. You tell me.

     My Darling Elizabeth
     I have been in love many times in my life but none of them will ever compare to the love I felt for Elizabeth. I say love but it was more like an addiction. She was my heroine and I would lie, cheat and even steal just to be near her. A love like that is more like an addiction, an obsession but I didn’t know that then.

     I was never comfortable around people and had dated only a handful of women. My problem it seemed was my inability to commit to anyone for any length of time. I would grow bored, or feel too confined and would sabotage the relationship. When I did fall in love I was always afraid to admit it.

     I had been invited to an anniversary party thrown by my best friend and his wife of five years. They seemed happy enough but anytime I was invited to any party they were having it was always to set me up with someone. It seemed as if everyone knew someone who was single. Some of those woman were lonely and desperate while I was perfectly fine living without someone.

      It took me awhile to realize that they were afraid that I would get lonely and God forbid depressed. They failed to ask and just assumed. They were quite a few awkward dates and finally I just politely declined the offers to be pimped out to lonely women.

      Until I met Elizabeth I had never really knew what love was. I had read about it and saw it in millions of crappy movies but I had never really met anyone that I would die for. That’s what love is isn’t it? That feeling of bliss and neurosis.

     When  she walked into the house she seemed to ooze confidence which was something I always pretended to have. I was an overthinker and would weigh every decision as if it were a battle. I watched her as she worked the room and was mesmerized.

     She wore a black evening dress that ended just below her well  tanned legs. Her face lit up everytime she smiled and I knew instantly that I had to meet her. Why I had never met her before was a question I kept asking myself.

     I had waited for what seemed like hours until I was able to make my toward her. She was talking to an elderly gentleman and like me he seemed almost hypnotized by her beauty.
  
     “Hi, I’m Brian.” I offered lamely. There were a million pickup lines I could have used but they all felt wrong and I knew that they would never work on someone as beautiful as her.

     “Hi, I’m Elizabeth. How do you know Alex and Rachael?” She asked.

     “Alex and I have been friends since college. I’m glad be he found Rachael. She’s really good for him.

     “What about you?” She asked slowly,  “Are you married?

     “No, I’m surprised Rachael hasn’t mentioned me. She seems to think that my being single is like a curse or something.”

     “In a way it is isn’t it? Always looking for someone that totally understands you yet never finding them.” She frowned and looked at me and quickly looked away as of she were embarrassed by what she had said.

     “I don’t know if I’ve ever thought of it that way. It makes sense though. The poets are always saying that love is elusive.”

     “Are you a poet?”
    
     “No,” I responded, “I don’t have the soul for it. When I think of poetry I imagine a guy who has a lot inner demons.”

       “And you don’t?” She asked smiling. I was smitten and knew before the night was over I had to see her again.

     “I don’t. If you have dinner with me some time I’ll show you how balanced I am.”

     “How do I know you’re not a stalker or a serial killer?”

     “You’ll just have to trust me.” The amazing thing was that she did and we had our first date. I asked her why she agreed to trust me and she said that Rachael had mentioned me and that I was a good guy who didn’t deserve to be alone.

     “I was set up!” I said faking anger. The truth was that in the weeks since we had met we had talked and tested each other constantly. My work schedule was insane but her was a bit more relaxed than mine. She was a librarian that loved classical music and literature and I was a lawyer that barely had time to read.

     “Not at all. I wanted to meet you. You seemed like a nice guy but if you hadn’t asked me out I would have been ok with it.”

    That was the moment I fell in love with her. She was honest and kind, and had a dark sense of humor. She was everything I had been looking for but was too stupid to realize it. From that moment on we had become inseparable.

     I would stay overnight at her apartment and then some weekends she would stay at mine. We never ran out of things to say to each other and for the first time ever I couldn’t imagine my life anyother way.
   
      I would sometimes just watch as she bathed or read and I would wonder what she was really thinking. Did she truly love me the same way I loved her? Did a life without me terrify her as much as it did me? We walked often but I often wondered if she was telling me everything.

     We talked about our future but never about marriage or children. Talking about those subjects scared me and she accepted my desire to just take it one day at a time. She assured me that just being with me was enough and I believed her. There was no reason not to.

     As spring turned to summer I noticed that Elizabeth was growing distant. We seemed to talk less and less and she became more moody and withdrawn. I sensed what was coming but didn’t want to believe it or even think it. After a year of being with someone you begin to imagine that you’ll be together forever.

     We were finally living together and my apartment felt more alive than it ever had. There were reminders of her everywhere and even when she wasn’t there I could still sense her presence.  Elizabeth was everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

     I remember our last night together and it still fills me with remorse. She was late coming home from work that night but she didn’t call to let me know like she usually did. For the last few weeks were like ghosts who only existed in a space yet never touched. How it became possible I’ll never know.

     She came in humming some old Pink Floyd song and seemed more distracted than usual. “Is everything ok?” I asked calmly.

     “I’m sorry I’m late. I got hung up at work but I do think we need to talk.” Her voice was flat and devoid of any real inflection. It was as if she were discussing the weather.

     My heart sped up in my chest as I imagined Elizabeth naked and fucking another man. There were a million thoughts going through my head and they all made no sense. Why was I imaging the worst? Possibly because I knew that things were different between us and had been for quite some time.

     “Is there something you want to tell me?” I asked as calmly as possible. I came out of the kitchen and didn’t even realize I was carrying a butcher knife. Maybe I did know and just didn’t care. Something was about to happen and there was nothing that could stop it.

     Time had slowed to a crawl and when she looked at me my entire world seemed on the verge of crashing down around me. When had I become so dependent on Elizabeth? Where did my life end and hers begin?

     “I think we need a break. Neither one of us is happy so maybe we should just separate for awhile.” I had never seen her cry before and as the tears began to fall from her eyes my legs felt as of they were th of pudding.

     “No,” I responded coldly. There were dots dancing in front of my eyes and I was finding it harder to breathe. “Is there someone else?”

       “Jesus, why would you even think that Brian? No there isn’t. I just feel as if we both have….”

     “We don’t have doubts. You do. I love you Elizabeth and can’t imagine my life without you. I can’t let you go. I won’t.”

     She turned to face me and saw the knife for the first time. Her face was full of confusion and there was fear there as well.  I walked closer and suddenly she ran but I was able to tackler her and without warning I began stabbing her.

     Blood splashed into my face as I gutted Elizabeth and began yanking at organs. I drank from a pool of blood on the floor and tasted her flesh. I closed her eyes and then opened them. I wanted her lifeless eyes to watch me as I fucked her battered corpse.

     I punched and kicked her and then started sobbing uncontrollably as the reality of what I did fully sank in. I was alone. Truly alone. I had destroyed the one thing I could never live without. I raised the knife and slit my own throat.

    
    

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