They knew it wasn’t suicide for the cabinet containing the pills had been untouched, much like the knife drawer, and the gas switch unmoved since his last attempt. The girl was questioned by the police constantly throughout her time at the station, but no one could make her get the words out. Her once steady stream of words was now a constant mute – like when something happens to the sound from a TV and you don’t know why – it was unexplained.
We were just two people, standing amongst many. You were the only one I found in the sea of bodies jammed against each other. It was quite beautiful actually, how the pinwheel of colours lit up your face. That’s when you found my eyes. Two glazed oceans that seemed to make everything around us insignificant. You stopped me questioning my life when I only made you wonder about yours more.
On that day the door was still open; letting in the hazy summer air and streams of sunlight, beaming onto her bare left thigh just under the white dress that was draped over the delicate bones holding her frame. As it does every day, the sun began to ease its way below the maze-filled fields that were ready for harvest. Autumn was fast approaching and the girl knew she had to do something soon. Before it was too late, before she was the one who couldn’t go any further with her life.
“Say what you wanna say, make it mean everything.” Those lyrics kept playing in my head and you kept looking at me, I wish I knew what you had been thinking. I wonder if you knew that I was going to break your heart before I told you my name. They called me the ingénue and you liked it, I was your ingénue. Your innocent girl who cared more for you than I did for myself. At the start that was true, you were my everything and I wanted you to know it every second of every day. I never meant to break your heart, it wasn’t something I could control though. Sometimes things don’t turn out how you want them to.
The wooden door swung with the breeze, just a little, as the girl spent the day floating over the tiled flooring that the blighters called their home – fruit flies; they filled the kitchen with an enigmatic buzz after the girl forgot about the back door. There was no point attempting to get them out, tonight during the 6 hours of darkness that connected one day to the next, they would sure enough die.
I remember the first time we went out. You took me to the lake behind your house and brought your guitar. You played and I danced to that song our ears first heard together: “we cut the legs off our pants, threw our shoes into the ocean, sit back and wave through the daylight.” I was so happy in that moment, an endless moment that was all ours, a moment that would never end. I didn’t think that things could get better than they were. Looking back now that was the happiest I was when we were together. Sunlight fading, me in that ivory dress you loved to take off, you with that piece of corn in your mouth mocking your dad. We laughed for hours until we were surrounded by the night. The sky was so full of stars, each one drowning in the darkness. Or drowning the darkness, I’m not quite sure. The hours bled together like an unchanging wound that couldn’t be closed. I didn’t want dawn to break as I knew it would end this.
The depraved house was surrounded by miles of farmland, owned by her father, and his father before that, soon to be her brother’s. The years seemed to stretch on with the changing of the seasons apparent, but the farm remained unchanged, with the exception of the animals habituating the pastures. The same ivory paint continued to peel around the veranda that the girl had planted her balletic feet upon only minutes before the men were going to arrive.
We lay in the lake, resting our heads together. The only sound was the water trickling past our youthful bodies, moving us closer together much like the night we first met. The pure chill gave me a strange awakening and I truly believed we were the only two existing in that moment. From then on, that lake would be ours and only ours. It could never destroy that.
When they arrived, the girl let them in to the house but she stayed outside on the veranda looking out on to the fields that now had a blanket of moonlight over each one. She didn’t want to see what they were about to do to that man. He was asleep which only made it easier. Lifting up the dead weight and taking him to the water where he would take his last breaths.
You liked to write stories about me, about me dying a tragic death alone with a mental illness or eating disorder. You thought you were the next Hemingway: pained, alone and full of suffering. And when I said I didn’t like them you’d get angry at me, one day you threw things and screamed. This was the first time since we’d met, that I realised you had the ability to kill me. So I had no choice, I couldn’t fall in love with you, if only I could, but I couldn’t. I didn’t know what they were going to do to you when they first came. I only wanted them to scare you and make you realise how much I was worth. How much I could do for you. In reality it was the complete opposite.
The men took him to the lake as quickly as they had arrived at the house. A route planned months before when the girl started to get scared and didn’t want to tell her lover for fear that he would do something he couldn’t come back from. They lay the man down in the lake just as he had done with the girl the second time they met, only this time she wasn’t with him, she was standing with the men staring. Emotionless. One body in the always flowing water, one body out of the water on the safety of the solid ground.
I saw them take you out of the house we called our own. Of course it wasn’t, we were just kids after all. With a future full of dreams. I knew you were asleep so I let them take you whilst you were dreaming. I stayed outside, scared you would wake up and blame me for all of this, but I knew you wouldn’t, you always slept so well. I followed them down to the lake with you. The one that was ours, the one that we went to that first summer night, when I thought it would be so easy to fall in love with you. But you have a complicated soul and I have a curious mind; we were never meant to mix.
She didn’t look like she was going to help, she didn’t know what they were going to do to him, she never could have fathomed her brother having the ability to be such a monster. Until he found the rock and then the rock found her lover’s head. A collision of two complete opposites, one being the harsh reality and him in his bubble of dreams, finally the reality had broken through to the dream and it wouldn’t be a dream he would ever wake up from. It would be one he would carry down to the bottom of the lake with him, and be forced to keep until his body decayed.
They say before you die you find peace with the world and with yourself. Or maybe I’m the only one who has ever thought that. Everything was blurring together and the water was getting into my eyes; only it wasn’t water, it was tears. My brother was going to kill you and I couldn’t do anything about it. Without you I’d be alone. Before that day I had never minded being alone, you need to learn to be on your own before you can be with other people but I couldn’t live this life without you. I wanted to be in your arms, for you are my darkness and I am your star. I want to drown in thoughts of you and I together.
I think back to the time you met him. He greeted you like you were already part of the family; all hugs and smiles. I never thought any male could take my brother’s place in my heart but for the first time I could see you doing that. I think this is where it all began. I think he sensed it too. We had always been so close, running from home to home together with no one else. When it got hard we worked through everything as a pair, and he had never had any competition for that person who was there for me through everything. You changed that.
She stood over his body revealing her childlike frame with bones sticking out at odd angles, talking quietly to herself, she ignored her brother’s offer of leaving. She wanted to stay there, but wondered if she could even carry herself back. Her pale, taught skin stretched over defined cheekbones and hollow eyes from the lack of sleep. In the past few months she had become a set of limbs tied together, barely recognisable as a human anymore – two arms, connected to a torso, joined to two legs – just a machine struggling to complete the most mundane of tasks. Now she was alone and exposed, a vulnerable animal in a world of hunters. One of those being her brother. She had no one to protect her now which was probably the most daunting thing of all. But who needs protection when they don’t care anymore?
When you first brought me here I hardly knew you, but there was something different and I was intrigued. It was like you were an illuminating spectrum of colour, like the one I saw at that concert. It was the unqualified truth, this was meant to be such an irresistible love that I couldn’t hide it there were so many reasons that I couldn’t love you but I still did; against restraint and reason I still loved you. You were human perfection to me, I just realised it too late. Now I felt alone and exposed and I needed your protection. You were almost fully submerged, the water wrapping around you like a blanket. The men had gone including my brother and I was sitting on the bank staring at your dying body. Lifeless, resting your bones into death.
The stars were out again. But I couldn’t see them clearly. And you were the only one drowning.