The knife sits hauntingly at my side, like it was staring at me, telling me what I didn’t want to hear. I turned my head to the side table, glaring absently at the small clock, reading midnight; it’s another day. Another day when I should probably clear off the bottles and cans from the table, and open the windows to remove the smell of mildew. These were the things I never had to worry about a week ago; cleaning, drinking, cutting, those were all things of the past. Now my habit of the past is smiling, because how can I smile without her? Then again, how can anyone smile without her? I could end this suffering. It’s just one quick movement and everything is over, my life starts again, with new possibilities, new chances to regain the image of her sweet smile. I reach my hand out to grab my new mate, my new answer to my world of problems. Yet my hand hovers over the knife, unable to grab it, maybe it’s because it’s on the cushion where she would have been. I can still see the stain, a brown splash laid across the new white fabric. It smells of the herbal tea she always drank before bed, the herbal tea she was drinking a week ago.
She had just come home from a night with her friends, and I had been sitting at home all night. I was nervous and worked up after a long day at work and then the band. Me and the boys were fighting again, because Zack could not keep his hands off other people’s stuff, mainly their girls, and of course, I was worried about my girl. She walked towards the kitchen and put on a fresh pot of tea, then took out the cream to let it warm up a little bit like she did every night since I’d known her. Next she strode over…as my eyes followed her towards the door, eager to get a glimpse of her pale skin, eager to dry the water droplets still sliding down her hands. It was raining that night, it had been dry outside, but the rain didn’t help my mood, or my mates, or hers.
She reentered the kitchen and removed the kettle before the bubbling steam overtook the entire stovetop. Then she opened the cabinet and grabbed her second favorite mug, and that’s when I remembered she asked me to clean her other one. Crap. She looked over her shoulder at me, and I averted my eyes out of failure. Instead of anger, however, gently, she gently poured the water, then the cream into her mug and, finally, added a pinch of sugar. Then she started to walk towards me, a sleek smile caressing her cheeks, her devilish smile. “Dan,” she said calmly, slowly.
“I thought this morning I asked you to clean my mug so I could enjoy my Friday night tea in my favorite mug, with my favorite person?”
“You did, and I forgot, and I am so sorry babe, I have just had such a god awful day.”
She sat next to me, placing her mug on the side table with the small clock.
“I’m sorry.” I added quickly.
“It’s okay, Dan. I guess I can forgive you as long as it does not happen next time. Promise me?”
“I promise.” I always had to promise her, because otherwise she would have never let it go.
I promised last week and when I made that promise I intended to keep it, yet now it is next week’s Friday, 12:14 am exactly, and the mug is still in the sink, but now it was growing mold in an unsaveable way. The TV in front of me glows brightly in shades of blue and red. The re-run of the nightly news is on. I could only think what she would say to me now,
“The nightly re-run is for all the old folks who were napping during the actual show,” she’d laugh, and I would respond, “Well, guess I’m an old soul my love,” and then she would surprise me with, “Me too. Me too, Dan.”
I lean over her cushion and grab the remote situated far closer to the empty cans than me. I turn up the volume slightly to hear the broadcaster announce the latest news. I devote my attention to the broadcast as Mike Granger starts with his script.
“Welcome back,” he states, before picking up the papers on the table, “We have the latest news from the police briefing this afternoon about the disappearance of Alli Danvers, beloved Queens Elementary teacher. Police state they have been searching tirelessly to uncover the whereabouts of Ms. Danvers, yet most leads have hit a dead end. However, today in a press briefing, Chief Sanders stated they have a very creditable lead from Mr. and Mrs. Danvers along with corroborated facts from Ms. Danvers friends and colleagues. However, the police still have the hotline open and children in Ms. Danvers’ second grade class hung posters with the call number throughout the neighborhood. Keep Alli in your prayers.”
I turn the TV off. The story they are painting is too sad after what I went through last week. My girlfriend might have left me, but at least she was not the girl in that story. She did not disappear, she simply just left. I lift my limp body from the couch, she would have told me to move days ago, to eat more, to cut up a mango or something. Instead of getting food I hover over the knife and grab the handle delicately. I trek back to the bathroom, wanting to take a piss and glance down at the phone on the floor. It reads 107 missed calls, 35 new voicemails, 1,987 unread messages, and 3 failed attempts to access your iPhone account. I ignore the screen and continue over the broken shards of ceramics underneath my feet to the bathroom. All her stuff is still spread out over the countertop and I decide to lift the toilet seat up in order to relieve myself. In the background I can hear sirens blaring from a distance, probably somewhere on 34th street and Stevenson Ave. I ignore the noise and slowly start to trek my way back into the frame of the door. The bedroom door is open, and I have to resist the urge to go back there and cry. I have to resist the urge to go back there and just end it all. She would hate me getting the white bed bloody. Everything in this damn apartment was white. Why had she insisted on white? But as I asked myself that I just heard her voice drift into my ear from last Friday.
“I had picked white because that’s the furniture lady said would look best in our apartment. Anyway, long story short, there’s a new ottoman coming next month.” She flashed a glance at me that I caught in my peripheral vision as I stared at the nightly news. “Dan? Dan, are you listening to me?” Then she gently touched my shoulder and said, “What happened today Dan?”
I flipped out my pocket knife and started to spin it around in my hand. I knew she hated it when I did that but it was a childhood habit from hunting and, later on when I was twelve, knife throwing. I signed slightly, “Wilson’s girlfriend was cheating with Zach, and then we all fought about it.”
“Oh. I’m sorry. Are you ok?”
“I just worry about you, that’s all.”
“What do you mean?”
“I just mean,” I took an exhausted breath, I didn’t want to fight, I just could not help myself, everything in my head was spinning upside down. My mind became distorted by a dark cloud filled with lightning streaks of rage. “I don’t know where you go with your friends, or who you with, and meanwhile I just sit here and play the dumb unsuspecting boyfriend!”
“You’re not dumb Dan, and I would never dream of hurting you emotionally like that.”
I flipped my knife open and close consistently, and tried to fiddle away my problems.
“Dan, I am upset that you would think I was cheating on you. I would never do that because I love you and I love our apartment and I would not want anything to jeopardize that.” She reached for my hand, but I pulled away quickly and flipped the knife into that hand. “Maybe we should do something together, or go on a trip? I just think we should try and get away from this place, these people who seem to fill your head with terrible thoughts.”
She was trying to tell me what to do now, trying to take me away from the band, from my life in Queens! “No, we can’t just move Alli! I have a life here and I won’t let you ruin that life, ruin my dreams, ruin everything I have worked for!”
She pulled away from my body, her heat left my side, which caused more anger to rise inside me, it allowed the storm to become thicker, more cloudy. She stood up and grabbed her second favorite mug filled with tea, cream, and a pinch of sugar. She walked delicately past the white couch and with her back to me stated, “I don’t want to crush your dreams Dan, I just think our relationship is a little too stressed here. Maybe tomorrow we can come to agree on something with more level heads?”
My eyes were clouded with rage, my head was on overdrive in every way possible. This was not my girlfriend. This was not my Alli Danvers. This was not our life, this was not our dynamic!
Sweetly, she stated, “I love you Dan.”
And that was the straw that broke the camel’s mind.
“Alli!” I shouted.
Almost in slow motion she turned around. The knife was already slipping from my fingers as it approached the pale skin surrounding her neck, surrounding her jugular. All those years of hunting, knife throwing, it was never supposed to be used for this.
Before the tornado in my mind had calmed, the knife had already hit her throat, my target.
In an instance she dropped her mug, tea running in quick rivers across the carpet, and the rain was starting to fall in my mind. She reached for her neck and pulled out the knife, staring at it with an intensity I had never seen from her. Then her eyes averted to me.
“Alli.” I rushed to her side, the tears already leaving my eyes. What had I done, what had I done, what had I done. “Goddammit! I am going to call an ambulance, to keep pressure on it. Just hold on Alli!” I yelled as I ran to her side, about to take her phone out of her pocket.
However, she whispered out a quick, “No Dan. They can’t arrest you for this. It was an accident, it was an accident.”
I cried out, “It was an accident, I’m sorry, I’m sorry Alli!”
As the light twinkled in her eyes and they began to focus on the ceiling above her she said, “I love you Dan. Just find me ok?”
That’s why I can’t go into the bedroom now. There rests her pile of bones, now she’s been a cadaver of days, resting in our apartment. The sirens are outside, the lights flashing below my windows, yet the knife is still in my hand, the same one in her throat.
The police are at the door, and the noise is getting loud again, but instead of choosing to run back to her, to end it all and join her side, I drop the knife, right when our apartment door gets busted in. I catch a glance at the pile of bones one last time before I get taken away.
“Daniel Moore, you are under arrest for the suspected murder of Alli Danvers.”
I put my hands over my head and quickly I say my final farewell in my head.
Goodbye Alli. I will find you someday soon.