Monday, August 6, 2012

...veins...

She said to be in the food court at one fifteen exactly because she needs to talk to me. She emphasized the word ‘needs’. She reasoned that a public place would be the best way to prevent one of her outbursts. She said ‘outbursts’ like I knew just what she meant. I did. She said goodbye by saying this is the only other chance she’ll give me. She said ‘chance’ like I was a child.

I arrive at the food court at one fourteen exactly and my eyes instantly find her, sitting innocently on the cushioned side of a booth, leaving a bolted down metal chair for me to sit on. She’s sipping from a jumbo soda cup that likely only has ice in it, so she can slowly suck the drops of water from the cup as the ice melts. She likes a slow torture. I take my place across from her and start with,

-You sounded desperate on the phone, you know. The words were there, I’m here, right, but your tone gave you away.

She takes a small sip and pushes the cup towards me.

-This isn’t a negotiation, Baxter.

She says ‘Baxter’ like it’s my real name.

-You look good, healthy. Your skin looks good.

She has a disorder that I could never pronounce or spell. It’s a rare condition, in which her veins burst if her blood pressure rises above a normal, controlled limit. She laughs at the word ‘normal’. She explained to me once that the only reason she kills is because it calms her. The rage that builds inside of her sometimes would kill her if she didn’t control it. The justification always sounded a little rehearsed to me.

-I’ve been keeping my peace very well lately, Bax. Getting a lot of work done. Where is It?

-What could you possibly be referencing?

-You know what I’ll do if I don’t get It. You have one day from this moment to return It to me. You know exactly how to locate me and you’ll do so as soon as you get It.

-I gave It away.

A vein in her forehead instantly bulges. I look at her eyes and I am stricken by her cool emptiness. She could always show emotion anywhere on her face, except her eyes. I look at her mouth and the days of when those lips touched mine are as dead as all the people we’d taken together. I was the one that ended it. I look at her hands and I am chilled by the thought of what they’d done since we’d broken apart. The news can only report so much and she is exceptional at staying under the radar.

-You gave It to a girl, didn’t you? I hope she’s a sweet sexy little flower. I hope she’s vanilla through and through. You go break her heart and get It back. One day exactly or I’ll go get It myself. Baxter you know who my father is. You know even better who my mother is. I’ll deal with her myself, and it’ll all trace back to you, and you’ll be locked away. I’ll keep doing what I do and getting away with it and you’ll be locked up like a slave. And I know that’s not an ideal environment for you, Baxter.  I know better than anybody how you like to be in control.

-Again, the words are there, but your tone says it all. You’ve lost It, baby, and you’ll never get It back.

I reach out and squeeze the soda cup so that the lid pops off, then toss the ice all over her. I drop the cup on the table and study her face for a moment, watching veins burst like fireworks behind her skin, her face rising to the very colour of blood.

There are so many ways to take a person’s life and no matter who her mother is or who her father is, they’ll never trace this one back to me. She starts convulsing and bloody tears stream down her face. I grab an ice cube off the table and place it on my tongue. Refreshing. She tries to stand up but collapses into the booth. Dozens of people around us and no one notices. I reach into my pocket and take It out. She’s already dead, so she can’t enjoy getting It back. Now everyone will know who she really is, and I will remain anonymous. I walk over to her, place It on her lap, and kiss her one last time.

(End of Excerpt)
This is original writing and copyright and all that fine print kind of stuff. Please credit this to Chessterr Hollowberry. Thanks!

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