Blood-Stained Memories

April 26, 2011
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“Deep breath in, deep breath out,” I thought to myself. Slowly, I breathed. Time passed as the words transferred from my mind to my lungs, more time than I had. In a flash, I was there. Standing right in front of him, his fists clenched, his eyes piercing me with the flame that forever kindled. The flame of murder.
“Why are you here?” his question hit me like a bullet through my heart.
“You. I want you,” my answer slipped out through my tight lips; my words floated in the stagnant air between us.
“You can’t stay here, Rosie, you need to leave,” He sighed.
“Matthew...”
He reached in his pocket. The shiny metal of his knife glistened in the light.
“Now,” He whispered. And with that, I was gone.

That’s all I remember now. That night seemed like forever ago. His face was still so clear in my mind as I walked away. So naive, so unaware of what was to happen next. Knowing the outcome would be dreadful, but refusing to believe what I was seeing. I remember the floorboards, freshly stained with blood, underneath my brother’s dead body. Matthew’s knife left so carelessly there as evidence. The remorse strewn across his face that day in court, 4 years ago. Why I had loved the boy, I do not know. It’s still a mystery to me. Just like the mystery I was setting out to solve. The mystery of why I still loved him, Matthew, a killer.

I don’t know what it was about him that constantly pulled me back in. His face, the numerous scars accenting his pale, slender cheek bones, winding around the circles of his eyes. The way they glisten each time he speaks, each scar packaged with a story, a place, a time. Maybe his eyes, so beautiful, seeing things in a way no one else does. They perceived reality in a way totally different from the norm. The way he looked at me, the look that made me take a second glance and sigh each time I saw him, each time I think about him. Handt seen that look in a long time, handt seen his face at all since the night, that face permanently burned into my memory. None of those make sense. And why does it matter? All my life, I’ve known him. From day one I knew he was trouble. But trouble in the best sort of way. The kind of trouble that makes you wanna give your all to make it work. His voice rang out in my mind. “I’m trouble, Rosie, pure trouble,” he’d joke with me, his quiet laugh masking the truth behind his words as he’d push me gently, then resume hanging out with my brother. They were best friends. Had I really been that blind? Mathew was a bad idea. The little GPS of my mind is telling me to make a u-turn at the next opportunity. I’m reminded of the constant pain he caused me to suffer these past years, the things he did, the person he was. My parents, they don’t know him like I do. They have me under lock and key, thinking Matthew might come for me next, protecting me from the unknown.

The unknown- like maybe he’s not such a bad guy anymore. Or maybe the 5 years he spent in Juvie have changed him. Maybe he’s looking for a fresh start. Is he safe? That’s questionable. Is he sincere? I know without a doubt. I tell myself this over and over as I fold the paper back into it’s original square shape, giving into to each crease. I hold it tight in my palm, my hand beginning to shake ever so slightly as a pull in tighter. I re-play the words of his letter again in my mind, my anxious heart pounding in my chest, watching his words scrawled across the faded page. Why was I so nervous? All he was asking for was forgiveness, for a second chance. Isn’t that what I'd wanted ever since that excruciating night, the night everything became real? I neatly place the letter back into it’s envelope. My name never looked prettier. Nether did his, right above the return address.





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George S said...
May 10, 2011 at 1:04 pm
What a great little story! This gives me the creeps, actually. I love this line in particular and will remember it for a long time to come: "The little GPS of my mind is telling me to make a u-turn at the next opportunity."
 
btibbet said...
May 10, 2011 at 10:44 am
I read this before but still..... I LOVE IT
 
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