The man laying next to me

Victoria Kapusta

I softly giggled. I stared at his shallow green eyes. The only person I want to be laying next to me in bed. As I brushed through his brown hair with my cut forefinger, he softly whispered, “I wish I payed attention to you sooner, you aren’t the strange loner the others call you.”

I shrugged as I grabbed my hunting cap on the bedside table. Nearby were the crushed opioids on my language and composition notebook. Gently, I wrapped my arm on his sticky, dark red shirt. It was the type of red that would accidently spill on you when you open a raw chicken breast package. As he finally got his head together, I helped him get out of my bed and onto my desk chair. The way he tossed his head to one side reminded me of the time I saw him at Canton Beach when we were seven. He had lightly hitting his head to get rid of the sand in  his left ear.

“Come on, we have to get going!” I said with slight hesitation in my voice.

“But I want to stay here with you. Snuggled up and eating pizza by the chimney.”

I quickly grabbed his snow boots, the fascinating print it left on the fresh meadow of snow I followed him on. Shoveling away the prints and red drops hurt. “Wait here!” I exclaimed as I pinched his loose, pale hand. I ran down the stairs towards the chimney, throwing away some pizza delivery box no longer needed. “Time to go!” I yelled from the bottom of the stairs. No response. I roll my eyes as I grabbed him from the desk chair and towards the front door. Getting him into the car was difficult. He kept on glaring at me.

“So you’re taking me somewhere to hide?” said Dylan with a great amount of skepticism.

“Yes, but only for tonight. Remotely in the woods.”

“You can’t leave me out there all alone. I need someone to comfort me,” he said with a frown. The cell phone rings. Fuck, who is it? Lauren?  I pick up with a slightly annoyed tone, “Hey, I’m a bit busy right now. Do you mind?”

“Woah, chill out Amelia. We’re setting up the drinks already!” said Lauren with excitement.

“What? Oh ya um I’m going to get here soon.”, I said with slight confusion. Panic arose.

“Well come on, we don’t have much time before Dylan and the others get here.” I turn to the backseat where Dylan layed.

“Dylan’s with me,” I profusely exclaimed.

I’m so tired of her mentioning him because I think about all of their “lovey” crap. They have been going downhill in their relationship, he should dump her annoying a**.

“Really? Oh. I thought he was still working on his pizza delivery shift.”

My palms had a mix of sweat and dried red residue. I have been clenching my fists so hard that I have dug nail marks into my palm. He likes me and only me. “He ended early,” I muttered as I ended the call and threw the cell phone across the right front seat. Wait. I think it wore off. The crushed powder. I look into the rear-view mirror. Deep dark bags under my eyes and small pupils. Shallow breathing and a constant nauseous feeling. I touch Dylan’s side of the neck, and then wrist. Look into his wide green eyes. Shut them. The moans and shrieks. I remember now.

I run back inside and wrap his senseless body around a blanket, trying to keep his nearly decapitated head in place. I run back inside to pick up the kitchen knife left near the slice of pizza I ate. Concealing the kitchen knife in between the blanket and wrapped body. I take a deep breath in, and turn the car keys with my quivering hand.

It finally appears, 85-93 Huntington road. The large brick house with open bay windows and a poinsettia plant on the porch. Lauren always tells me how excited she gets when her father is gone for a business trip. How she gets to throw grand parties. Meanwhile I’m hoping my dad gets home as fast as possible from his truck route, spending so much time alone, I can’t stand the isolation. Sometimes I spend time with my aunt when she comes over but it makes me feel even more isolated.

Getting through the backdoor of her house wasn’t difficult. Lauren has gave me a spare key to her house ever since middle school. I slowly went down the basement, there’s a guest bedroom down there. No one in the party is permitted downstairs anyways. My arms are getting so red, practically swelling. I drop the heavy corpse on the guest bed and lock the door. I decide to wrap another blanket around the body because the corpse has already bled through the first blanket. I took a five minute break. Do I have time to spare? It was even more frustrating hearing the hectic music from upstairs, the vibrations and yells. I finally get the energy to put Dylan into the bathtub of the guest bathroom. Pulling the shower curtain all the way to cover the scene and washing my hands for the third time.

Knock knock.

“Hey why’s the door locked in here? I need to get some cups from the closet!” slurred Laura as she banged on the door. She’s been blackout drunk before. Not surprising.

“Um yeah in a minute!” I yelled, quietly closing the guest bathroom door.

“Amelia? Oh my god I’ve been looking for you everywhere. I thought you wouldn’t show up!”

I opened the door with my head tilted down.

“What have you been doing here anyways? Skinning animals?” I hate her hunting references.

“No I um needed a nap it’s been a long day.”

“A long day? Come on Amelia it’s Saturday, cheer up! You need a drink.”

I stare at her with sudden disgust.

“You were taking a nap without a blanket? You always tell me that you can’t sleep without a blanket.

“Yeah it actually wasn’t here when I came. I think someone took it upstairs.”

“Yeah someone is probably taking a nap in my room. Anyways, I’ve been looking for Dylan, I got a gift for him too! But he hasn’t been around, did he leave? Maybe I should call him,” said Amelia, clearly in distraught.

F**k his cell phone is in his pocket. “I don’t know where he is.”

“Come on you drove him here, you have no clue? Fine I’ll just wait for him to show up.”

I dig my nails into the mattress.

“Let’s head upstairs in a sec. I need to take a piss.”

I pass a small nod. This is it. I watch her close the bathroom door and I bolt up, looking out the window. Should I run out? I don’t want Lauren to get more suspicious than she already is. I’ll just hope she won’t see him.

Silence. I hear the creaking of the bathroom door as it opened. No screams, no cries. As I turn to Lauren, I see her with a large bathroom scissor. She slowly begins to lifts it up higher. I begin to back away.

“What’s going on Lauren?” I was hardly able to breathe.

“You know what fucking happened! YOU jealous psycho bitch. I should have known that you were a maniac. Who fucking skins animals and reads nature survival books for fun? YOU just took away one of the only people I care about.”, she shrieked.

“It’s not like he cared about you. He loved me.”

“What the f**k are you talking about? He didn’t give a S**T about you. You thought I would just ignore the boot prints towards the tub?”

“Please just put the scissors back into the drawer. I don’t want any of us to get hurt.”, I wailed.

“No, I’m f**king done with you. I was only your friend because I wanted you to experience a social life. But you clearly don’t deserve one.”

She began bolting at me with the scissor. I hear the sound of blood squirting. My skin gets numb. I look over my right shoulder with a deep hole punctured in me. She tosses me towards the floor. Bang. Bruise on my head. I grab her wrists as she tries to stab me in the chest.

“HELP ME,” I screamed as I pushed her off me. I get up, putting pressure on my right shoulder.

“No one is going to help you. You hear me? You don’t deserve to get help,” says Lauren. As I try to open the door, it suddenly bolts open. People from the party look with their mouths dropped open. Looking around at the messy scene.

“Call the cops!”, one of them yelled.

“Lauren, what are you doing! Are you out of your mind!”, another one of them yelled.

“I could explain, this crazy…”, says Lauren who is stumbling to get up.

I cut her off. “She tried to kill me. She killed Dylan! Please help.”, I say as my voice shakes.

People from the party pin down Lauren. They see Dylan’s body in the tub, kitchen knife in the sink ( I left it there, I wore gloves and she was touching the knife to examine it), motive from their relationship declining and attack set towards me, she was taken into custody. I was just a victim. No mention of my name under possible suspects. No matter how much Lauren claimed that I did it, the evidence pointed towards her, she couldn’t even provide an alibi and was very intoxicated during the whole event. The body was on HER property. There is nothing she could do to save herself from this.

And I was free from the terror. Alleviated that I got to kill Dylan so that he could be with me now. I get to control him and our destiny.

After being released from the hospital, my dad contacts me about the situation. He said he will get home from his truck route as soon as possible. I walk into my always empty home. Nothing could be found here, it’s clean. I try to go to bed. But I can’t stand it. Being here without him. Staring at the alarm clock that reads 3 am. Sweat drizzling down my chin and pits. Through the window, I look at the wrecked wooden shed in my backyard. I’m tempted. Imagining his soft voice, I want to hear him again. Hold hands again because he’s dead. He only loves me because he could no longer think or move. But at least he’s mine. A wilted plant I worked hard to possess and cherish. I think about his firmly shut eyes. I wonder how it’s like out there. Is it pitch black darkness? Is he going to be regrown? Or is he going to be sent to a garden full of other wilted plants? I run out towards the shed without a coat on. Submerged by the heavy snow, I grab a shovel and flashlight in the shed. I need to find him. I head towards Canton’s only cemetery.

It took a while to find his grave. But, my flashlight finally points to a gravestone that reads “Dylan Kowalski.” I should have been invited to the funeral. No one knows me, even though the town is so small. I begin digging out the grass. It took hours to finally reach his coffin. But I finally heard a sudden thud. My shovel vibrates from the loud hit. I begin to use my hands to brush off the dirt, awaiting to open the coffin.

As I open the coffin, I realize he’s not the same before. Makeup gently applied, smooth tuxedo. His head leaning towards one side from the decapitation. I take a out a cut out picture of him from the yearbook. Placing it in one of his suit pockets. I brush his hair with my no longer cut forefinger. I want to open his green shallow eyes. I push him slightly towards the left to lay down next to him. I put his arms around me as we gaze upon the stars. He strokes my palm. The man laying next to me. We giggle.