I climb the stairs, imagining Ted waiting with another expensive item—his usual apology after a fight. I’m excited to see what he’s bought this time, and ready to apologize for my horrendous outburst. I open the door, surprised the room is dark. In an obscured corner, Ted’s sits silently. The honey-sweet aroma of roses pervades the space. Another peace offering, I think. Before the door shuts, the black dress Ted bought at some posh boutique in Georgetown falls to my ankles, and light from the hallway casts my shadow floor-to-ceiling across the room. Moonlight’s pale glow colors the black room smoky charcoal. I assume the unlit space another erotic game.
I take one step slipping out of one and then the second heel. Something soft squashes beneath my foot and pricks my toe. I sense roses scattered about the floor. A romantic gesture . . . But Ted’s not the sentimental type. The loud silence is alarming as I drift toward his dark shadow. Why hasn’t he spoken?
A step from the chair, I stop when a familiar scent of orange blossoms sends a warning, but much too late, as the silhouette unfolds fearful. She lunges from the chair hurling rapid jabs, voice spewing fury. “How could you do this to me? How could you . . .” echoes with each consecutive blow, “How could you? How could you!”
Her swift actions are startling. I barely register pain from the first blow. Moonlight from the window lights my assailant’s rage. The strength of each stab leaves me powerless to run or scream. I catch her wrist stopping another blow. She doesn’t resist my grip but stands silent. Shock replaces rage. Her wild eyes blink sheer horror. I slide down her legs, collapsing to the floor. Silently trembling, she watches my naked, bleeding flesh.
She’s waiting . . . for me to die.
I’m not afraid to die. I’ve always believed I would die young.
I tilt my head and meet her eyes. I want her to see my demise—an eternally engraved image, a tormenting ghost—an inescapable, haunting memory. In the dark, her eyes are visibly moist. My blood drips from her shaking blade.
She shudders and mouths inaudible words lost in an ocean of surging blood. The essence of orange blossoms arises, evoking a breezy summer day atop a glistening white yacht. A strange calm besets me. I’ve always believed death would claim me sooner than most, but not this soon, not here, not tonight, and not by those hands.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish