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"Would You Love Me?"

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A man stared at me through a cracked window. His face was distorted and his lips were enormous.

"Who are you?"

"You know who I am, my dear child," the man responded. His mouth contracted through the glass, revealing his white teeth and bright smile. I could not see his eyes.

"I'm sorry, Sir, but I do not recall meeting you before. Can you tell me when it was?"

The man turned his head upward, revealing his neck.

"I can."

I took note of his shaven appearance and his friendly voice. I felt warm talking to the man, and asked him another question.

"Please tell me, Sir. It is embarrassing not to remember."

He laughed and lowered his head.

"I was there in your adolescence, when you disobeyed your parents."

I felt my face redden, and I looked away from the man.

"It is okay, my dear child, I forgive you."

I turned again to face him, his smiling mouth expanding and contorting behind the shattered glass. My warm feeling returned, and I began to speak.

"I do not remember you there, can you give me another example?"

The man let out a low chuckle.

"I was there when your lover walked into your bedroom, and found you sleeping with another woman."

I closed my eyes, and recalled what she had said to me that night.

"I did not see you there either. If you provide another example, I'd be very grateful."

The man stopped smiling.

"I watched your fists meet her face, and your knife meet her chest."

I felt my eyes water, and my throat became heavy.

"It is okay, my dear child. I forgive you."

I stared at the distorted figure, and felt tears roll down my cheeks.

"You are kind," I said to the man, and saw his smile reappear.

"Would you love me if I asked you to?"

"Yes, I would love you. You would forgive me when no one else would, and for that, I am grateful."

The window fell apart, and there was no longer a barrier to separate us. The man grabbed me by the neck, and pulled me to the other side. I gasped for air, and the large hand continued to choke me. There was no longer any light, and the warmth I had felt behind the window intensified.

"You are not the first to love me, my dear child."

The man breathed into my face, and I felt my mind go numb.

"You belong with me, and with me you will stay."

As the man I promised to love left the broken window and carried me into the depths of He**, I felt my body burn, and my soul fall into the darkness.





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