I stared at her face, her closed eyes, and at her mouth, which was still host to a silent scream; she had never been able to utter a sound. I recalled the way she reached up and wrapped a hand around my arms, to pry them off, how she dug a nail into my skin. Then I smiled.

I had positioned her on my couch, wrapped her in a blanket, and sat beside her. Tate’s body slumped to the side so that her head hit the armrest. There was nothing that existed in her anymore, nothing to hold her body up. No energy, no will, no life.

I made sure to wipe the blood from my cheek with a cloth, and then I threw it away. I took her cool hand in mine and clipped her nails until the skin of her fingers bled. I knew there would be no way to trace anything. But what I didn’t think about was her throat; delicate, lovely, and bruised with a heinous dark print.

I glanced over at her and frowned. I had to figure out a way to get rid of the marks or I was going to jail. Not that I intended for her body to be found, or that I was going to be around if it was, but just in case. I had the urge to reach out and stroke her hair, to press my lips to hers again. The last time I kissed her, I tasted that final breath leaving her.

She didn’t put up much of a fight, which surprised me; I expected more from someone like her. I would watch the way she would get upset with her friends and I wanted that anger, that heat, to be with her when she realized the end was coming. More than anything, I wanted to hear her call me a bastard, to twist and squirm in my grasp, to tell me how much she hated me for ruining her life.

Suddenly, curiosity got the best of me and I dug into the pocket of my jeans before pulling out her ID card. I gazed at it for a moment before my lips stretched into a smirk. When I started to laugh, I felt like I couldn’t stop.

Today was her birthday.

I wonder if her friends remembered, or even her mother. I knew what it was like when people forgot important days like that. So for five years when my family had continually forgotten mine, I found that the small feeling of neglect was enough to drive me to anger.

I had never been a volatile child, but some things just happened to set me off, like when my brother had been given a new toy and I hadn’t, well, I guess that just made me feel like I had to smash his fucking truck against something hard. Did I mention it was over his head?

The look on his face when he screamed as the blood poured from the wound, right down his forehead, was priceless. He was wailing when my parents came in and saw what I had done. My mother was screaming at me, calling me a lot of names six-year-olds shouldn’t even know about. My father had called the ambulance.

I had contained my anger for a good part of ten years, and when I turned sixteen, I decided all bets were off. I remember one time when my mom wouldn’t let me date a girl I really liked, because of how the girl’s father saw me, She told me I would just embarrass the family somehow. My mother, the ever supportive life wrecker.

That was the only fuel that was needed to feed the fire. That fight was the king of all fights, or so I thought, and lasted until the early morning hours. She was screaming about what I did to Nate when I was six, like it mattered now. When I called her an intrusive bitch, she slapped me.

I shoved her into the kitchen counter and had to stop myself from sending my fist into her jaw, my own mother. When she clutched the counter for support, her eyes widened at me. Then she called me a bastard, a piece of shit, and a horrible son. She told me to get the hell out of the house and never come back, that she hated me for what I had turned into.

What I felt wasn’t the anger from when I was little, or even the anger of my parents being disappointed in me. It was something new, something strong, and I knew what I would do with it. The rage I felt was lethal and I didn’t care.

She hesitated, and for a split second that was all it took for me to react. I reached behind me to grip a plate and slammed it into the side of her face and neck. She went down immediately, no screaming or whimpering. There was blood pooling around her head, ruining our pretty white titled floor. I didn’t notice I was shaking until stared down at my hands; they had curled into fists with my knowledge.

I could hear my father coming from his room. He stopped in the threshold of the doorway that connected the kitchen to the hallway and looked at me, then at his wife who lay bleeding, presumably to death, at his feet.

I couldn’t tell how he felt until he sank to his knees, cradling my mother’s body in his lap, and cried. He kept saying something to her but I couldn’t make out the words; they were whispers through sobs.

My father almost killed me, too, after that. I would have loved to see him try. He didn’t need any second thoughts as he reached for the phone and called the police. His words still come into my mind every now and again.

A monster killed my wife.

The End

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