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My life was a dark abyss without reason or rhyme. I floated through the years unaffected and dethatched. How could I even attempt to be anything but as I live in this world of two-dimensional people? They followed an ancient rule of conformity, refusing to be more than cattle. My world was a bland painting of black and white. These characters I met were barely comprehensible to me, striving for temporary success and monetary gains. Their total disregard for anything profound and exquisite irked me till no end. I was positive there was more to this existence. I could not be surviving to become like the robots I see all around. There must be a reason for living; something that will paint over the colorless canvas of existence with bright shades of fulfillment.
I had been fulfilling one of life’s menial chores by purchasing more food for the next few weeks in one of the cheap grocery stores that littered the town center. My eyes trailed over the loud covers of commercial brands that promised me that I could never find delicacies such as these. The store suffocated me with a cloth of unclean warmth as the latest pop tune screeched from speakers in the ceiling. The boredom-ridden cashier chewed a piece of gum obnoxiously, popping and snapping too many times in a minute. A jingle signaled a new customer in the store. I didn’t glance up to see who it was. My guess was that it was one of those idiot farmer’s wives. It almost always was. I grabbed the nearest box of cornflakes to finish up before being dragged into a mind-numbingly dull conversation.
“Those are disgusting,” The remark paused my escape. I rolled my head and what I saw struck me deadly still.
It was beauty incarnate, staring at me with eyes that captured the fields of the Garden of Eden and a mouth carved into a smile Mona Lisa would envy. The lifeless world I trudged in was revived, vivid with color and meaning. This girl, this epitome of perfection, was the reason I had been searching for. The aimless path I had traversed with was clear as I had found that there is beauty in this godforsaken world and it stood feet before me.
“You okay?” Her eyebrows scrunched together in a mixture of worry and confusion.
Her words brought me back to reality. I smiled a casual smile, “Oh, I’m fine. It is lovely weather today, isn’t it?”
The wariness in her countenance was replaced with humor. “You aren’t really going to talk about the weather, are you?
I shrugged, my eyes kept on her. “Well, we could talk about how lovely you are.”
My words caught her off guard as I expected. When a woman receives a comment, she will ultimately brush it off as annoying or false. However, in the miliseconds before this reaction, there is on one more genuine that tells her true feelings. It is quick and one can miss it in a blink of an eye. I am very practiced in this and found her initial reaction and hid it away in a chest in my mind. Her eyes widened and an amused smile lifted the corners of her lips before she gathered her features in a look of disapproval.
“Well, you have a quick tongue,”
I didn’t deny it. “What’s your name?”
“Does that bluntness usually work for you?”
She rolled her eyes at the ceiling, “Rebecca. And yourself?”
“So are you really planning to buy that?” She asked, raising an eyebrow at the box in my hand.
I glance at the food, “Are you telling me you don’t love Captain Crunch?”
“I guess if you’re into pencil shavings.” She took another box off the aisle and handed it to me, “These are worth more for your money.”
“Thanks,” I nodded, smiling. Nothing warms a heart like smiling.
“Rebecca, what are you doing?” A stout brunette with freckles appeared at her side, eying me curiously.
She sighed, bothered by her friend’s intrusion. “I was just talking to….” She gave me a pointed glance.
“Nick.” I nodded at her friend in greeting.
Her eyes flicked back and forth between her friend and I, assessing the situation slowly. A sly look came over her face and she nudged Rebeeca in the side. “Do you want me to leave you two alone?”
Rebecca let out a small laugh, shaking her head as her blond locks flew left to right. “We were just saying goodbye. Weren’t we?”
I was hardly willing to let her leave at all, let alone so quickly after meeting her. However, disagreeing would cause a scene. I nod, masking my disappointment.
They turn to go to another aisle. A sudden madness takes over me as I realize I might never see her again. I reach forward and touch her arm.
She stops and looks back to me.
“Would you like to get a coffee?”
She pauses, tilting her head in consideration. “Now?”
I gave her a toothy grin. “If you can.”
Her eyes flickered over to her friend. A brief conflict overtook her visage as she contemplated whether or not she should. Finally, common sense lost. “Okay!”
She said good-bye to her friend and we both left the shop, neither finished with our shopping. We walked in unison to the only coffee shop in town, chatting idly about the past football game. Sports were a tedious subject for me, yet somehow she discussed them that made them seem like something from the gods.
I bought her a drink (a vanilla latte with extra cream) and we took a seat in the back of the busy shop. I would have preferred it to be empty. I hated having to see the other customers glance and awe at her, especially the other men. Who were they to look upon such a gift?
We sat in comfortable silence very briefly before I began asking about her life. All her qualms most would have about sharing too much disapatied and I was fiilled from one ear to the next with her entire history. As she babbled on about her beauty pageants and upcoming college career, my mind watched the idiots surrounding us. Their eyes are tainting it—her. I have waited my entire life to find something like he. Why should they get to see and know her too? They don’t understand who they are looking at. They can’t even grasp the true exquisiteness of her exsistence. Exquisiteness that might never appear on the earth again, that will fade in a couple of years of aging.
The thought of losing—the thought of sharing such a gem made my heart constrict and my hands clench briefly in fury. This could not be. No, the world—forget the world, I—could not live knowing she would fade away. This can’t happen. Her beauty needed to be preserved, kept unharmed by the effects of time. She needed to stay seamless for me. I had to stop it.
“Would you like to see something wonderful?” I inserted after she finished rattling off a tale about her old friends.
“What is it?” She asked, eyes glistening with playful curiousity.
“It’s a surprise.”
We left the coffee shop, walking away from the center and out off the tiny village to the outskirts. I kept her busy by asking more trivial questions. We came upon a little stream that was surrounded by beautiful red carnations that rose from the ground like an army. I had found this place after an hike a few months back. It was beautiful. At least, I had thought so until today.
“Oh my god,” She twirled before stopping in front of rhythmic water.
I grabbed a rock from the ground soundlessly, following her movements. I admired the lithe grace she had. “Yes, you are.”
As she turns to smile at me, I raised the rock and slam it into the side of her head. My arm moves repeatedly with abandon, unmarred by her scream. Red flies into the air and covers my clothing. She started to stumble, arms raised in hopeless defense. I caught her with my free arm. I held her in an embrace as my other arm continued its attack. I can’t recall how many times I hit but I stopped before it damaged the face. Blood flooded freely from the side of her head. Her hair was painted in dark liquid. Her face, however, was fine. (Slightly paler, but still flawless).
I tossed the rock away and carried her body to a heavily flower populated area next to the water. They accepted her easily, brushing against her skin like guardians. It was fitting for beauty to hold beauty. I cupped some water from the ravine to wash the blood out of her hair. It took a few minutes, but by the time I was done, the evidence of the wound were hidden. She looked like sleeping beauty, except her bright eyes were open and staring at the sky.
I caressed the side of her face, humming in success. She was truly mine now.