They found me at the dining room table, stagnantly, knowingly losing my mind. Country music was crooning its way into the dining room doors, the singer's melancholy voice mourning the loss of a tight-jeans-clad lover. The lyrics were as original as the films on the Hallmark channel, but I didn't care.
Crossing my legs at the ankles, I watched as my serrated knife seduced the exoskeleton of a brick-red apple. I admired the way the apple skin folded neatly, peeling in hair-like curls around the blade, before lackadaisically spreading themselves across the rotting varnish of the tabletop. Flit, flit, flit. Mesmerized by the movement of the skins, I repeated the motion in a careless haze. Apple skins had never been more graceful, I vaguely noted. A passive smile lifted the corners of my lips, and I rested the knife and apple against the table. Leaning back in my chair, I observed my hands, cracked and guilty as they were. They had scraped the skin off more than just apples.
An odd thumping noise obscured the unrelenting music, and my eyes lightly danced over the cluttered table until I found my phone lying there, vibrating against the mahogany. I had a pretty good guess as to the caller might be, but in my mind rang out the old adage of introverted cell-phone owners: if it's important, he'll leave a message.
Letting out a long breath from between my clenched teeth, I absently plucked an apple peeling from the table and pressed it tightly between two fingers. A dull pain nagged at my other hand, and I clucked at my own scattered brain as I registered that I had been grasping the knife blade-side-up. Funny how I didn't notice until the blood had dripped halfway down my arm, as though attempting to make a straight line right to my heart.
I heard a knock at the door, and my half-baked mind wondered if it was my own hand against the table, knocking on wood - you know, for good luck or some such cliche. Then I watched the door swing open and crash against the pile of shoes I'd left lying there (I'm such a slob, at times). By the time my mind muddled through its nearly endless reserves of apathy, I realized the door could not have swung open of its own accord. The realization hit me just a split second before the first gun entered, held by a pair of hands that were attached to a breathing, sweating, vengeful body.
I smiled as my own body rolled up to its feet, relying on the table to keep me from teetering over like my psyche. My waist-length hair brushed the table, causing a shower of apple skins to flutter to the floor, as though groveling at my feet for the mercy I had never granted anyone.
"Hello," I said, because what else is there to say when fate finds you at an altar of apple skins?