When I woke up, it was hard to imagine what the hell could have happened. The room was a chaotic mess. Dingy, dirty walls and those televisions…when I started to try to remember how I got here, my head felt as if a dagger was being shoved into my brain.
Better stop trying to make sense of it all. I closed my eyes and laid back on the bed. Oh, Christ. How long had it been since these sheets had been washed? How many fuck fests took place? Worse yet, how many murders? I shivered and against my better judgment, I fell into a troubled sleep.
Rain. So much of it pouring down from the sky. Neon signs. Just a flash and then I was once again in the deluge, this time in a small town that felt familiar but I couldn’t quite place it. Then I saw you. It was your silhouette but I would know you anywhere. My heart began to hurt, the old familiar pain. Like I was being torn in two from the inside out.
Sweat drenched, I sat straight up in bed screaming at the top of my lungs. Scared, cold, disoriented, I stared around the room. An old television set from a bygone time was playing some ancient movie. The more I looked at the screen, I could see that it wasn’t a film per se but it was like a memory. Shaking my head and closing my eyes, I whispered, “I don’t want to see this. Please, don’t make me relive it.”
This moment had the feeling of an 8-mm film scene. The colors were slightly faded like an old Polaroid picture. Smiling, I looked at the gathering of people like extras milling about in a production. Slowly, they parted and I saw you standing by the railing. Our eyes met and from that moment I knew. You excused yourself and made your way toward me. Before you could get there, you were stopped by someone but your eyes never left mine.
Finally, you reached me and held out your hand. The TV screen went black. The pounding in my head won’t go away. What the hell happened? Did I fall out of a building and smash onto a sidewalk?
I laid down and closed my eyes. A wave of nausea slammed into me. I swallowed deeply. Breathing stabilized, I drifted off. Transported to another dimension or another time? I couldn’t decide but I could see that crystal blue ocean with its frothy waves lapping against the beach. Turning slowly, I heard you call my name.
“Penny for your thoughts.”
I shielded my eyes from the sun’s glare. Smiling that brilliant smile, bathed in its warmth, I felt truly seen in that moment. Everything faded in an instant until all that was left was that image of you burned into my brain. How, I loved you, that most perfect part of you that only I could see, that only I knew about. You kept that person under lock and key but you allowed me in.
Those days of sunshine were full of promise and hope. All that ever was and all that would ever be. I would have walked to the ends of the earth for you and with you. Perhaps you knew that and used it to your advantage or used me to your advantage. Damn it! There it comes again. That freight train screaming through my brain. Piercing noise, make it stop!
Tossing and turning, I held my hands over my ears. Trying to wake up but being held under the waves of slumber by unseeing hands. Pulling me even further into nothingness, darkness, this time. At least, it is a break from the unrelenting pain.
No such luck! Another fucking television turns itself on again. It’s cathode rays tumble over me, giving me a slightly blue hue to match my soul or what is left of it. I try to ignore it but I can’t. My eyes fly open and I have no recourse but to watch what is happening.
The moonlight spills over you in the stillness of the desert night. Stars as far as our eyes could see up in the heavens. Your heartbeat and breathing were the only sounds I could hear. You held my very essence in the palm of your hand. Through one act, we exchanged souls forever bound together as one.
I cried. The type of tears that come from deep inside when your world is imploding. Earth shattering sobs. What have I done? Why did you leave me here alone? I can’t do this by myself.
The picture fades to a tiny dot on the screen. Curling into the fetal position, I wished for the sleep of the dead. Even with my eyes closed, all I can see is your face. I know every line, every curve. Please let me rest.
“In dreams, I walk with you,” is what Roy Orbison tells me. For that is all that remains. I stare out the window at the darkened trees. The smell of stale sweat clings to me. How long have I been here? I wonder. Hours, days, weeks, months, years?
Life was perfection, the time spent with you. Every minute of every day was sacred. The passion that bound us together in this life somehow tore us apart. “If I could start again, a million miles away,” blares on my internal radio in Johnny Cash’s voice. Although you left me standing, bleeding, naked at the side of the road, I still loved you. God help me but I did.
Now, the light has been turned on. The white-hot brain pain has subsided and I am remembering. Although I would rather live in ignorance.
Rain again. Streaming down from the sky in torrents. Something happened, maybe it was gradual but I felt you moving away from me. Long stretches of lonely nights and complicated explanations. You could never hide from me. No matter how hard you tried.
One night when you were sleeping, I heard you whisper a name. Softly, like a kiss from the wind. It wasn’t mine. At first, I felt numb. The shock hadn’t hit me. Then without warning, the tears began to fall. My anger began to build. How did this happen? How could I be so stupid?
Master of deceit that you are, forever the consummate actor, you played your part to perfection. So, loving, so dutiful but I knew that you were burning inside. That flame was growing while mine was being extinguished.
When I saw the two of you together, all I felt was betrayal. I could be just like you. I am just like you. I know all of your secrets and all of your tricks. I played along and let you believe that I was oblivious. Waiting in the shadows for you to break off the last piece of my heart.
That night. The rain. My pleading fell on deaf ears. You left me with a fractured soul and nothing to lose. You didn’t know it but I followed you. Oh yes, I knew where you were going. I wasn’t that foolish.
In that deluge, I stood outside looking in at what was mine, what would always be mine. It was then I knew this life was not worth it if this is where I was meant to be. The rain kept thundering down from the sky and I stood silent and still. Watching. Waiting.
When it grew quiet, I knew what I had to do. See, I knew you had a key. I made a duplicate. You had no idea. This plan of mine was rather brilliant.
I crept inside. Instinctively, I knew where to go. Tracking you was never a problem. Opening the door very carefully, I peered in. Then tentatively, I made my way forward.
Did you feel me watching you, I wondered? We were so intertwined you and I. Your breathing was deep so I knew you had passed the threshold into blissful unawareness. That is when I drew my blade.
Transfixed at its silvery glow, I steadied myself. Creeping toward you, I made sure that I was the last person you would see before you left this mortal coil. Raising the knife, using all the anger, sadness and bitterness inside of me, I found strength I didn’t know I had. Plunging the blade deep within your chest, I pierced your heart. You didn’t even get the chance to scream.
After extracting my weapon, I glided silently toward the sleeping form next to you. This one might prove to be difficult but I was going to make certain that it was felt. Sitting down softly on the bed, I looked at her. Nothing special. I touched her face.
She opened her eyes. Too late, love. I sliced her throat wide open. Blood began gushing out almost like the rain that was pouring down from the heavens. I looked at you one last time. All the memories came rushing by me at once. Every smile, every touch, all of your love and then I felt nothing.
I returned to my home where the final act awaited. What good was anything now? Why would I want to remain in a place devoid of color? Sitting on my bed, I took my knife. Turning it around in my hands, no point in losing momentum. In one quick motion, I stabbed myself in the heart just like I had studied. Proper placement is key.
The pain was fleeting and was replaced by a comforting blackness that began to embrace me. That is when I woke up in this hellhole. Forever being tormented by my memories and my undying love for you. This is my penance and I cannot escape.