Was she watching even now? I closed the blinds and shut off the lights. Shut my phone down as well.
I sat huddled on the floor next to the cocoa spill, razor opened and ready to attack.
“Do you have the apartment bugged? Do you?” I screamed.
“”Fuck you! I’m not yours! Leave me alone and let me die!”
I dragged the blade down my forearm again and again. It was pointless but it made me feel slightly better in an odd way. I even chuckled at thinking it was pointless. It is a razor. The edge is sharp. No point.
Like this life.
I decided that fear is a mighty motivator for hunger and microwaved the remaining fried rice. The key is a small cup of water in the center of the rice to keep it moist.
I have my uses. Unfortunately they lie in the inane and near useless fields. I can talk your ear off about mythology, philosophy and fantasy writers. But I am unable to function as a normal human being in most situations.
You get what you deserve out of this life. And the ding of the microwave says I deserve leftover pork fried rice.
I poured a cup of coffee, hours old and cold but still filled with precious caffeine. I reached over to pop the door of the microwave open and dropped my mug. Instead of saying DONE on the display it said MINE.
Appetite lost. Mug of coffee lost. I looked again and it said DONE.
And then I stepped on a piece if the broken mug and it went right into my heel. Exactly the sequence of events I had hoped would occur. Blood and coffee pooling on the floor. Fried rice cooling in the microwave. And I didn’t know if what I saw was actually what I saw.
“Are you fucking with me? Fuck you!” I screamed to Her if She was listening.
The power cycled in my apartment at that moment and the microwave read MINE again.
Then my phone started ringing.
The phone I had powered down before going into the kitchen. I tried to ignore it. I busied myself with pulling the shard of mug out of my foot. It hurt like hell and pissed me off that twenty odd attempts to die failed but a shard of glass could slide into my foot like nothing.
The phone kept ringing.
I grabbed the food and limped to the table. Lit a candle to eat by. Still couldn’t taste anything. And if you are curious, my ass still burned as well. The flame turned blue as I ate.
Phone was still ringing on the couch.
Hopped down the hall to the bathroom and sat on the toilet with my foot in the tub. It was steadily dripping red. I poured hydrogen peroxide on it and watched the satisfying pink foam bubble up. It hurt like a mother. I toweled it dry and applied some Neosporin and cotton and wrapped way too much gauze around my foot. Like enough to start the wrapping for my eventual mummification. Or as my ex would have said, handled it like a man. Too much of everything.
As the fucking phone rang.
I grabbed the carpet spray and began methodically hitting the blood trail down the hall. Then the cocoa and hardened marshmallow stuff. Tried to stop the ringing but the buttons were nonresponsive. Probably because the fucking thing was shut off and shouldn’t be ringing at all. I set it in the fridge and started running hot water in the sink.
First is picked up the big shards of glass off of the floor. My favorite mug. It said Fuck Off in shiny letters with a unicorn flying across a rainbow. A gift from a former coworker. Then mopped the everloving shit out of the kitchen. And began to crawl down the hall scrubbing the stains out of the carpet.
Between the shoddy plaster and faint rust colored spots I was never going to get my deposit back from this place. The pool of chocolate took more elbow grease but when I finally finished it was a vaguely darker spot but barely noticeably with no lights on. As long as no one ever turned on the lights it was good to go.
And still I heard the phone ringing softly in the fridge. It was really making me angry. I was past scared and moving rapidly towards royally pissed off.
A smidge frightened. Just a tad. I will be honest here. The phone that is shut off has been ringing for the last forty minutes straight. I am reasonably sure the person on the other end is same responsible for my cousin dying. And for not letting me follow suit. Also slit my throat. And ate me whole on repeat in my dream.
A veritable laundry list of crimes.
And she wanted to chat.
I made my way into the kitchen and as I opened the door to the fridge I slipped on the wet floor and landed on my tender tailbone.
I grabbed the phone. Unknown number read on the screen.
“Dominos Pizza, can you hold?” I said and set it down on the table.
Two could play games. I couldn’t enter dreams or mess with electronics but I could be petulant as hell when I choose to.
I watched the minutes tick by. After ten had passed in slow motion I picked it back up.
“Hello darling,” the voice from my dreams and nightmares whispered.
“Who are you?”
“Don’t you Remember?”
“I didn’t even know you existed until a couple days ago. Who are you? What do you want from me?”
“I want all of you my love. Every delicious morsel.”
“What is your name? Why won’t you let me die in peace?”
“You are mine my dear. Mine.”
“So you have said. Bit who do I belong to?”
“Me. You are all mine. The sooner you accept that the easier all of this will be.”
“Why did you kill my cousin?”
“I grabbed the wrong boy that day. It was an easy mistake. You all look the same.”
“Where is he?”
“Gone. He was far too easy to break. Broken things go away. He went away.”
“You killed him?”
“He stopped functioning. Alive. Dead. Working. Broken. They mean nothing to Me. He was the wrong boy and he was disposed of. It is unimportant.”
“It is important to me!”
“Calm yourself love. Don’t want to break too do you?”
“Would you let me break?”
“Who are you? What do I call you?”
“Titles and names are trifles. What do you want to call me?”
“A crazy monstrous bitch!”
“Tut tut Mikhail. Or is it Haley?”
“It is nothing to you. I am not yours. Leave me alone. Let me decide my own life.”
“So you can try and hang yourself again? Or let that little Asian man hit you with his car again? He made me angry, so angry. He will not be hurting you again.”
“What did you do to Wong?”
“He broke as well. He doesn’t matter. He is as worthless as the rest my love. Don’t worry about him. He is beyond your concern.”
“What the fuck is wrong with you? You are fucking insane. Leave me alone!”
“Enough. You are vexing. Quite vexing indeed. Do you need me to teach you a lesson? I do love lessons. You seem attached to the other boy, Chad was it?”
“Look bitch, leave him out of this. Your issue is with me.”
“Tut tut Haley. You will need to learn manners as well. I am a very good teacher.”
“Just stop. I am sorry. Leave Chad alone. Please. For me.”
“Better dear. Much better. If you behave he will be fine. But you need to understand your place. You are Mine Mikhail. Mine. The sooner you accept that the better for everyone. Do you understand?”
“I don’t. I really, honestly do not. What is your name? Why do you want me? I am worthless. No one wants me. You shouldn’t either. I will just disappoint you. It is what I do.”
“Oh no my love. You could never disappoint me. You are my chosen one. My promised one. Take care my sweet. We will talk again soon, I promise you that.”
“Wait! Please. Tell me what I need to do so you will leave me alone. Please. I cannot take this torment. I just want it to end. All of it. I just want it all to end.”
“Relax Haley. It will all make sense soon. And by the way…”
“Have you heard from Beth lately?”
And the call was disconnected.
I was in a panic. This crazy, powerful evil bitch had threatened Chad. And why would She mention Beth. I hadn’t spoken to her for years.
Right before the river incident.
I quickly turned the phone back on. I had eight missed calls. And a dozen texts. They were all from Chad. He texted call me over and over again.
As I was about to hit call the phone rang again. It was him.
“What’s up man?”
“Where the fuck have you been? I have been trying for the last three hours.”
The truth did not seem like the best option here.
“I fell asleep on the couch. What’s wrong?”
I didn’t want the answer.
“Look, are you sitting down?”
“What the fuck man. What happened?”
“I don’t know how to tell you this Haley. It’s Beth. There was an accident.”
“What kind of accident? Is she okay?”
“A car accident. Haley, Beth died.”
I fell to the couch. Great sobs escaped. Howling, aching sobs.
“Haley, I am so sorry. When I found out I told everyone to leave it to me. I don’t know what to say man.”
I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t do anything but get. It felt like being stabbed by a red hot poker in the chest. Like my intestines were being pulled out slowly by the foot.
It felt like drowning in a freezing river.
“Let it out cuz. I understand. But there is something else. I know you don’t need anything else right now but you are going to find out and it is best if I do it.”
“What?” I managed to choke out. Barely.
“You know what? Call me tomorrow. I will fill you in on everything then. Right now just let me be here for you.”
I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t. We both knew it.
He rambled on for a while after. Just sort of trying to sooth my broken heart. It didn’t work. The woman I loved was dead. The only woman I had ever loved. No words could ever make that pain cease.
But it was the thought that counts. And that means something. It has to.
Eventually the wracking sobs died down to bitter weeping. And they became regular tears. I thanked him for being the one to call. All thoughts of supernatural evil and cut heels faded into Beth’s face. I limped into the bathroom and downed the bottle of Nyquil. Huge gulps of the horrid green fluid. I don’t know how long it took but eventually sleep came.
And with it, thankfully, no dreams. My last thought was of the one that got away, forever.
As I drifted off, my echo turned on. The blue light lazily spinning. Mine by Avicii played me to sleep. It didn’t even register in my mind.