An Excerpt from "Disconnected"

May 15, 2010
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It happened quickly and I guess I wasn't fast enough to respond. Quick, simple, done.
In the dead of night, I heard a creaking at the base of the staircase and so I knew someone was here. Living alone, I didn't expect that anyone would have access to my home without a key. Soft yet heavy footsteps slowly ascended the stairs and I could feel my heart race a little bit. A break-in? A burglary? Really now? That's beyond low. I mean, you can have some respect for someone who tries to rob a bank, but a house when someone's sleeping? Decoding a security system versus decoding the intricacies of the lock on my front door--you can't even compare that. Pathetic.
Maybe if I didn't move, the perp would think that no one was home. My eyes widened and I looked around the room without moving my head too much and I saw that the hallway lights outside turned on and a shadow had come across my bedroom door. Did this guy know where my lights were? His shoelaces were untied. How tactful. I quickly reached towards my end table and grabbed the phone while reaching for the top drawer with my other hand and I grabbed the taser gun that was hidden underneath some extra pillow cases.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the doorknob slowly turn, and click, the door was open.
"I have a gun," I said. "The police are three digits away and I can dial them in no time flat. Don't do anything stupid, a**hole."
When I looked into his face a little more, I recognized him.
"No, you don't," he murmured. A sliver of a grin appeared on his thin lips and I recognized that smile, too. That voice, those lips. A burst of shock seared across my body as I realized who it was. I just couldn't believe he was back.
"Jack?" I breathed; there was a lump in my throat as if this blast from the past had held on to it and wouldn't let go.
"No, you don't," he interjected as if I hadn't just identified him. "You don't have a real gun. You wouldn't buy one. After how many years of knowing you, you're too f***ing chicken to buy a gun. Didn't I tell you that you should? And look where you are now. Defenseless. With nothing but a taser gun. I told you to listen to me."
"Jack, get the hell out. It belongs to me now. It's mine," I said as I raised my voice a little higher. I almost hiccuped through that sentence, but I hope he didn't see through that. Too bad he always saw through me.
"We share it, Rita, we share everything. Half, remember? Divorce says HALF!" And at that, the irate intruder raised a hand and effortlessly punched a hole through my door.
"No, it's--" I started, but--
"Half!"
"Stop it."
"Half, dammit, half!" He made a quick motion and all of a sudden there was a gun in his hand, pointing at the spot between my eyes.
"Ok, wow, calm down for minute, Jack. Let's not resort to such violence, yeah? God wouldn't approve."
"Don't--talk to me...about God. God hasn't done s*** for me."
"God's not a vending machine, Jack."
"Shut up. Just--just give it to me. Don't make me 'resort to such violence,'" he said in his idea of a mockery of my voice.
I sternly said alright and reached slowly towards the lower-most drawer for the key he wanted so much, but before I could open it, he shot me.

Quick. Simple. Done.
The altercation couldn't have taken any longer than five minutes before he reached for the gun that shot his ex-wife with whom he had shared twelve years with. After he shot me, I was suddenly watching over him in third person and I felt disassociate from my body. It was like a freedom had come, a burden-less moment that would last for all time. It felt pretty good, I must say. I guess you could say that being dead isn't half bad, though seeing my dead body was a tad disconcerting. As I watched him ramshackle my drawers and not find anything, I giggled to myself to see how frustrated he must be, knowing that he had just killed the one person who knew where it was. This key was the key to a safety deposit box in the bank that contained stolen goods. We managed to break in to a jewelry store in a small town and get away with it. It was a small town. Even though we worked together, he claimed ownership over the loot and threatened to kill me if I laid my hands on them.
Jack didn't find the key because it wasn't in the drawer. It was in the safety deposit box. I figured if I can't have a share, he can't have it.

It's been years since that occurrence in my bedroom and I look back on it from time to time, but I know that there is a new life ahead of me. A life with God and peace, a life with no questions, a life full of answers, and a life without Jack. That jerk did me a favor. What a concept.





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