November 22, 2016

 I don’t know if you know what’s it’s like to be in love. Not that puppy dog type of love either. No, I meant the kind where you live and breathe them. When you fall asleep you dream of their smile. When you wake up their name is the first thing off your lips in that tired husky whisper. Where if they’re not near you, you feel as if your entire world has left and you’re alone with nothingness. The kind of love where if they talk about someone who has harmed them or done them dirty your first thought is the most gruesome way possible for said person to die. Not many have that kind of love I believe, but I did. Many years ago. When I was just a boy and times were good.
I was a member of a fairly wealthy family. I won’t lie, I had a cushioned life and I knew it. In our grand home there was my loving mother, Julia, my hard working father, Richard, my darling little sister, Mary Anne, and then there was me, Peter. I’m the one the servants called a mischievous little rat. Of course, they never said such around Mother, for she would fire them for saying those things of her precious children. The housemaid, her name escapes me now, was the nicest of the servants. She would always hand little Annie and me taffy while we were running throughout the home.  The rest of them, though, were old hags.
On my thirteenth birthday, my father had me taken from my home to attend St. Peterson’s Private School. It was where he, and his father, and his father before him had gone. Every man in the Tanner family tree attended St. Peterson's since it had been established. That’s where I met her. I’ll never forget her, not till the day I die, those blue eyes burned a hole straight through my soul. I was obsessed the second that I saw her. Delilah was her name. She had the prettiest shiny brown curls that framed her face perfectly. Her cheeks held a discreet coloring of pink and her eyelashes were curled utterly perfectly. The moment my eyes laid on her I know that this girl was the one I was destined to be with. My heart had thumped so loudly I was positive she could hear it from feet away. So I made my way to her to introduce myself.
“Hello,” she smiled as I stopped in front of her.
I couldn’t breathe. Her voice was the most beautiful melody my ears had ever had the pleasure to hear. I forgot how to speak, and if I had even remembered my tongue was too swollen for me to even manage it. I had just stood there for a moment looking like a complete fool. I remember her head had turned ever so slightly in confusion and I suddenly felt sick. How one girl could render me so speechless, so in love, I will never be able to understand, but that’s the power women hold. They’re dangerous, they’ll make you fall so quickly in love that you get sick and throw up your lunch all over the cement a few mere centimeters away from her perfectly white shoes.
I remember running after that to my new room never wanting to leave my bed again. I had ruined any chances I had with getting to know her. It made my heart weep and ache. I didn’t even know her name but I wanted to. I wanted to know her, to know what she likes, what she doesn’t, everything about her. I cried myself to sleep after that. There was nothing else I could think of to lessen the pain in my chest.
Some time later I was awoken by the sound of knocking on my door. My roommate had come and gone so it was just my tear stained pillow and I. I slowly and hesitantly opened the door. There she stood. In all her glory and grace. The girl with the beautiful hair and piercing blue eyes.
“Hello,” she greeted in the perfect sing-song voice.
“H-hello,” I had whispered as I cast my eyes downwards.
“My name is Delilah. You’re the boy that threw up by me aren’t you?”
I had nodded ever so slightly, “I’m terribly sorry. I don’t know what happened. You didn’t get any on you did you?”
She shook her head, her hair had moved ever so gracefully around her head, “I wanted to know if you were okay, but you never said your name. So I asked some of the boys and they told me.”
I remember feeling the heat rush to my cheeks. My eyes had jumped to meet hers startled by that statement. It was a mystery to me why someone as perfect as her may care if I was slightly sick.
“I’m Peter. Peter Tanner,” I offered my hand cautiously, “And yes. I’m okay I was just overwhelmed.”
“Nice to meet you, Mr. Tanner. It’s a relief you’re not sick,” she said happily, vigorously shaking my hand.
“W-would you like to come in?” I asked opening the door ever so slightly.
Delilah giggled and shook her head, “I can’t silly. Girls aren’t allowed in a boy’s room. It’s inappropriate.”
My face turned crimson, “Yes I-I know that but I didn’t want to be impolite. Good day.”
I immediately shut the door feeling as if my heart was about to burst. Her laugh was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard in my life. All I want to do now is make her laugh that beautiful, light, carefree laugh. I climbed back into bed as the day had come to an end. That night all I dreamt of was brown hair and blue eyes. It was the most restful sleep I had gotten in my entire life.
A few years passed before we had another conversation. It wasn’t until we were sixteen that we finally had classes together. When my eyes laid upon her after so long my heart, which yearned for her and her only, began pumping. Her once curly brown hair was now shortened and straight. Yet it still held that shiny look. She was surrounded by girls and guys alike. The center of attention. Jealousy flared deep in my chest when I watched as one of those boys placed a kiss upon her cheek. She was- is mine. They had no right.
I remember the second I walked into the classroom her eyes flew to mine. Our eye contact didn’t break for what seemed like forever. She only looked away when one of her friends called her name. Even after those three years she was the only one I could ever think about. Every second of every day I thought of our first meeting, hearing her beautiful laugh and melodious voice. And those eyes…they haunted my dreams. They were bluer than anything. A brighter blue than the sky, they held more depth than the ocean, they were what poets dreamed about writing. Just by looking at them you would be inspired to write a novel, to act in a play, to paint a portrait of this beautiful young girl.
“Delilah…” her name fell from my lips in an almost silent whisper yet- she heard me.
Her eyes widened and she stood to walk to me. “It’s Peter right?” She asked.
I nod ever so slightly and she lets out a small chuckle. That noise made me go mad.
“I’m surprised I remembered. Normally I don’t remember anyone’s name. It’s been almost what? Three years? Four?” 
“Three,” I mumble, “it’s been three years.”
“Hey, Delilah. Who’s your boyfriend?” One of her friends asked.
I felt the blood rush to my face. “O-oh I’m not her boyfriend…” I stuttered.
“His name is Peter. We briefly knew each other when we were little,” she smiled at her friend and me.
That feeling I got every time I saw her used to make me furious. Every time I saw her I felt sick. ‘Is this what love is?’ I remember thinking. ‘Being rendered speechless and constantly embarrassing myself? Watching as she lives happily not even knowing the torment she brings me?’ She was a wicked woman. A witch. That was the only explanation I could think of. She was a witch and she put me under her spell. Why? I couldn’t reason.
“Peter?” She asks ever so lightly.
“Would you like to sit with us today at lunch? Unless you have someone else you’re sitting with? But we could get to know each other better.”
My heart swelled. Here our love will unfold. “I would love to, Delilah.”
Her eyes lit up and she smiled showing off her pristine white teeth. “Wonderful! I’ll look for you and then show you where we sit.”
By now the bell had rang and it was time for our dreary lessons to begin. Throughout the entire class all that filled my thoughts, as usual, was my dear Delilah.
The day had seemed to drag on and on, but finally, after what felt like an eternity it was time for lunch. Delilah did just as she promised and waited for me to enter the cafeteria. She wrapped her small arms around me and pulled me into a hug.
“Hello, Peter. Go get your food. I’ll be right here. Then we can go sit down.”
When we were reunited after a few moments and she showed me to the table where her friends were sitting. Delilah sat next to another boy and then motioned for me to sit next to her.
“Guys this is Peter. He’s gonna sit with us.”
“Peter? Wasn’t that the kid that threw up on you when you first got here?” The boy who sat on Delilah’s other side asked.
“Shut up Jonathan,” she pushed him slightly while giggling.
I remember feeling my face heat with anger as I recognized that boy to be the one who had kissed her on the cheek earlier. I didn’t want him there. Not near my Delilah. Soon everyone all went back to their mindless chatter about meaningless things.
“So Peter, where are you from?” One of the girls asked after a moment.
“New Jersey.”
“New Jersey?! That’s across the country! What’re you doing here?” Delilah asks.
“It’s my family’s tradition to attend St. Petersons. My great grandfather’s grandfather established the school.”
“That’s interesting,” The other girl said, “but still wouldn’t it have been easier to attend a school closer to home?”
“My father isn’t one to stray from tradition.”
“Well, Peter from New Jersey, my name’s Rebecca.”
The rest of the lunch Rebecca had kept an eye on me though she didn’t try to converse. I tried my best to ignore her and focus only on my dear who sat next to me, but she only paid attention to the boy, Jonathan, next to her.
Over the course of the next few weeks, Delilah and I grew closer. Still though whenever that Jonathan was around she would only pay him attention. And that Rebecca girl was always in the background watching me. One day she had cornered me in a hallway after school.
“Hello Peter,” she smiled seductively.
“Rebecca. May you please hurry because I have homework to do.”
“Well I can’t help but notice you stare at me quite a lot,” she trails her fingers along my arms.
“I don’t. In fact, it’s the other way around. You’re the one who does the staring. I find it quite disturbing. So I kindly ask that you stop,” I interrupt.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I can’t help that I find you so attractive. I never knew they had such handsome boys from New Jersey.”
“If this is about my family’s money- no I will not engage a relationship with you so that you will have access to it. Your family is rich enough.”
She stops batting her eyelashes and attempts to look insulted. “How could you ever think that I would only like someone for their money? That’s absolutely despicable.”
I push Rebecca off of me. “I am not an idiot. As soon as I mentioned that my relatives founded this school you showed me much more attention. I know that people say we are the richest people in the country. So don’t you dare try and lie to me.”
She yanks her hands out of my grasp and storms off. “You’ll regret rejecting me, Peter. You really will. And since you’re so deluded by Delilah’s supposed purity I’ll have you know she’s not who you think she is. Not at all.”
Later that day I remember Delilah calling to me. When she fell into my arms crying I knew I had to hurt whoever did this to her. “Oh, Peter he’s so cruel. He yells at me and calls me horrible names and he… he’ll hurt me. Make it stop. Please, Peter, make it stop,” she begs.
“Who Delilah? Who does this to you?” I demanded as I made her look me in the eyes.
“My father. He does it to my mother and I both. I can’t stand it anymore,” she threw her arms around my neck and sobbed into my shoulder.
My vision went red with anger. How could someone ever hurt my precious Delilah? Especially her father. The man who is supposed to protect her from birth. He’ll pay, but not yet. I wanted to make sure he knew exactly what’s coming for him. I wanted to see his will crumble. I wanted to watch as he broke.
I placed a kiss atop Delilah’s head and rocked her in my arms. “Don’t worry dear I’ll stop him, but let me see the bruise.”
She looked up to me her eyes cast downward. A fresh bruise formed on her cheek bone. A gasp escaped my lips. The sight of her porcelain skin turning an ugly shade of purple only fueled the fire in the pit of my stomach. Her blue eyes were missing that carefreeness I had been so used to seeing. They only held sorrow and fear. True fear, like she knew her life was in danger with him.
“Please don’t tell anyone, Peter. It’ll only make it worse. Promise me. Promise you won’t tell anyone. Don’t even write it down. No one can know.”
With a heavy heart, I nod, “I promise.”
Those two words sealed the deal, because never in all my life would I ever break a promise to Delilah. She meant too much to me, but I wasn’t going to let her father get away with hurting them. So I would deliver my own punishment for him. As soon as I could too. He deserves the most gruesome death imaginable.
A few days later, after I had gathered my supplies I left the first note for her father. I was right there in the shadows of his window when he opened it too. I was always there in the shadows, watching as he became increasingly more feared for his life. It helped to cool the dying need for revenge briefly, but it always came back stronger. I knew it wouldn’t stop until he laid dead. That’s the only atonement for anyone who dares to harm my beloved.
Delilah knew something was going on. She never asked, she just observed. I withdrew into myself. I was too busy planning to involve myself in small talk with delinquents. Dear Delilah was the only reason I had been kind to those people.
“Peter?” She asked one day.
“Yes, my love?”
“Why do you say those things to me? We aren’t together. I am together with Jonathan. You know this. So why do you continue to call me your love, or your dear, or yours?”
I had to stop and watch her closely for a moment before I could find my voice to speak, “Delilah my-,” I had to stop myself from addressing her as my love, “Delilah, I am in love with you as I have told you before. I know you don’t see it yet but we are meant to be. You’re still confused, but I can wait. Jonathan will never be able to properly take care of you. He doesn’t know you the way I do. Only I can take care of you the right way. So I shall continue to call you mine, though you may be with Jonathan, you are my true love. Not his, not anyone else’s. And I am yours you just have yet to realize it.”
She stares at me for a long moment before she hurriedly stands. “I… I hear someone calling me. I have to go. I will talk to you later.”
“Here let me walk with you,” I offer her my hand but she jumps out of my reach.
“No! I mean… that’s ok Peter. Thank you, but you should probably be heading to your room. It’s getting late.”
She rushes away from me glancing back every so often to look at me. Each time I smile and give her a small wave. Why she runs I don’t know. She’s supposed to stay with me forever. A few hours later Jonathan came up to me.
“Peter?” He growled as he grasped my shirt.
“What do you want?” I plucked his hands off of my clothing.
“What did you tell Delilah? Because whatever it was it creeped her out. You need to leave her alone. She doesn’t like you at all.”
I simply smiled then I stepped in and brought his head closer to mine, “Jonathan, my friend, you are very mistaken. Delilah, my Delilah does like me. In fact, she loves me, she just doesn’t know it yet. It is because of you, she is so confused. So in all reality, you are the one who needs to leave. Are we clear?”
Jonathan pushes me away. “What’s wrong with you? Freak!”
As he walked away I had begun to compose another plan. He didn’t deserve a doll such as Delilah. She’s too pure, too perfect for him.
Since she had told me the things he had done to her I had left him a note on his gun case. I left one every night. After two weeks I held the final one in my hand.
‘Do it or I’ll do it to your family. Your choice.’
Her father was awake in the kitchen. A shotgun in his hand. I silently crawled up the stairs and placed the note on his pillow. Then I hid in the room next to Delilah’s. Footsteps passed and after a few seconds, I heard sobbing. When I heard the gun c*** I made my leave. As I was walked away I heard the gunshot. Joy filled my chest. At that point the only one left was Jonathan.
When I had walked into school the next day I heard Delilah sobbing. The sound of her crying broke my heart into millions of pieces. Jonathan was holding her up in his arms. Only two other people were standing with them. All those people who claimed to be her friends just left.
“Delilah, what’s wrong?”
Jonathan glared at me as Delilah looked up. “My father… he killed himself last night.”
“I’m so sorry my love-”
“Screw off freak,” Jonathan snapped, “we don’t want you here.”
Delilah gasped and pushed Jonathan away. “Stop it! He’s not a freak and doesn’t deserve you being so cruel!”
“He is a freak! Even you think so you’re just too nice to admit it out loud!”
“Stop it,” I had interrupted, “come, Delilah, I’ll walk you to your class.”
She nods and allows me to wrap my arm around her shoulders.
That night I decided was going to be the night I got rid of Jonathan. No one ever raises their voice at Delilah, not if I can help it. Jonathan’s dorm hadn’t been far from my own. I silently made my way in at around two in the morning. He didn’t even have a roommate. Oh- it had been too easy. It took me only a few moments, when I woke him I had expected him to attempt to fight back or make quite a bit of noise, but no. As soon as I said that if he didn’t listen to me I would destroy the thing he loves most in front of his eyes, he quieted. From there it got easier and easier. Just a few words and he was halfway out the window. And all it took was a slight push and the deed was down. Then I was out. Too, too easy. Of course, if I knew then what that would do to my beloved Delilah perhaps I wouldn’t have done it. My poor, poor Delilah. She tried to kill herself but all it did was leave her handicapped. She’s in my care now.
She’s why I do this. It’s all a tribute to my beautiful, broken doll. With you, she’ll never be lonely. I hear her cry at night you know because she misses having friends, but I can’t let her leave. They might take her away from me. And I can’t have that. She’s my world, she’s the air I breathe. Without her, I’m lost forever. I just hope that you’ll last longer than the others because it really is a pain to prepare you ladies so you’re pretty enough to be in her company. She loves dolls you know? How about this one? Your pretty brown hair will fit wonderfully with this dress. And not to mention those dark eyes. Oh, they’re simply magnificent. I think you’ll turn out even prettier than the ones before you.
Oh- why are you crying? Why do they always cry?  In fact, I believe out of all of you girls the only one who didn’t cry was Rebecca. Then again she believed I was just playing a Halloween prank on her, but still, you’ve got no reason to worry. It doesn’t hurt. It’s just a small pinch. Stop it! You’ll ruin your makeup. Please, ma’am. I don’t want to have to bruise you. That’s no fun for either of us. So stop with those tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you get to meet my beloved Delilah. Now- which would you like for me to start with? I won’t be able to fit everything inside of this tiny doll, but your hair and your eyes will stand out so wonderfully in comparison to the pale skin. You know my love’s skin is smooth and perfect just like this.

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