I Am Not A Victim

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is the story of Melissa Cauthryn, the girl he tried to murder. Enjoy the sequel/prequel to I Am Not A Murderer. Will you understand her or will you side with him?

Submitted: November 15, 2016

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Submitted: November 15, 2016

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He doesn’t know he failed. He doesn’t know that the knife missed my heart by 3mm. He doesn’t know I wore a watch that alerted an ambulance if my heart rate was abnormal and that it would send my location. He doesn’t know that my last breath wasn’t actually the last one. My name is Melissa and I am not a victim.

That is what I tell myself, because the crippling reality that I was stalked by a gorgeous man who attempted to murder me, is quite possibly something that would entirely destroy me. If I don’t give him the satisfaction of being his victim, I still hold onto something that he can’t take away. He took everything. My pride, my dignity, my self worth. Anything that made me, me.

I met the man three years ago, when I was just a kid. 19 and freshly rid of my family and my life back in Jersey. I had a loving mother, a douche step father who beat the s--- out of her every other day. My real father died in 9/11 so there wasn’t much resolution on that part, which resulted in 7 year old me compulsively eating to fill the void of a lost parent. My mother didn’t know what to do, or how to help, so she fueled the fire and fed me. At the age of 9 I had gained 50 pounds making me 97 pounds. For those of you who don’t know how bad that was, I was 40 pounds heavier than a normal 9 year old.

I broke my arm the summer before 12th grade; Mama shoved her husband and I into the car and she rushed us to the hospital. My oil black hair slicked into a tight ponytail, Mama was aggressively speaking spanish to the doctor and my white step-father barely understood what she was saying. Later we both found out that I never got my 16 year old physical and since i was 17 it was severely overdue. We go to the back of the reception area, with my arm temporarily in a splint, I step on the scale and look straight forward. A dumb paper clown cutout with googly eyes was staring me down. The nurse tells me to step off and then announces “275” as if she was disappointed in me. Which she had no reason to be, I had never met the barbie in my life. I get the rest of my physical after the x-ray was taken and my cast was put on. They sat me on the bed bench thing, the paper crinkled and ripped underneath me, and it took me a solid 4 minutes to get properly situated with no noise of obnoxious paper. The doctor walks in with a shot for meningitis and bad news. Seeing as how the shot was clearly the better option, I did that first. After that was done, she looks me in the eyes and told me I was clinically obese, based on my weight and the fact i was only 5’2,  if I didn’t get my weight under control I would be at risk for difficult adulthood and could die as early as 5 years time. Ironically 5 years later I was stabbed. Weird how things work out like that.

When I was 18 I was about to graduate high school with little to no incidents in the confinement of Cherry Hill High School, until three days before senior winter formal. I had never attended a single dance in my life to avoid the humiliation of my peers seeing me in a dress. I have this weird fear that if they see me in a dress that is bedazzled and wonderful they will make fun of me. Say that I try to hard to look like someone who stands a chance. That I’m embarrassing myself trying to look pretty, which I will never be. This idea kept me safe from the cruel words of my peers for a whole three and a half years. Then came a boy. Thomas J. Guntry ii (to be exact). He wasn’t the most popular kid at my school, but he was the ringleader of the half hipster half preppy crowd, which I had always wanted to be apart of. Fun fact: he told people to call him TJ because he wanted no affiliation with his father Thomas J. Guntry the first who was a racist republican that hated everything TJ stood for. But anyway, the wednesday before the formal he walked up to me at lunch and asked if he anyone was sitting in the spot across from me. I look around to the rest of the table where no one occupied a single spot, and then I looked back at him and shook my head no. He smiled and sat down, soon after he began to shovel forkfuls of mashed potatoes into his face. I watched him as if he was a snake charmer and I was the serpent hypnotized by his tune. I’ve observed every inch of his 6ft frame from a distance, but now that he is right here, in front of me, everything is foreign. I need to take in the information of the newly discovered territory. His long hair covered his eyes and his flannels were perfectly worn in. He was one of the first boys at my high school to wear the skinny style jeans. With his head bent over his tray his eyes shift upward peeking between the strands of hair, and looks at me. I shoot my eyes back down at the flakes of lettuce that plagued my plate.

“Want some?” his voice almost made me drunk.

My heart jolts to a faster pace,”N-n-no thank you.” Even though I wanted it more than anything. I wanted to shove him to the ground and plunge fisfuls of the delicous mush into my black hole of a mouth.

“Melissa you there?” his words snapped me out of my food trance.

“Sorry what were you saying?” ending my apology with a half smile.

“I was asking you if you were going to winter formal?” he says with a chuckle.

I was absolutely speechless. Out of all the words that I learned in my entire existence, not a single one could form an answer. I was consumed with hope and fear that he would ask me, with embarrassment if I told him no and then had to explain why. Luckily he saw I was struggling and then just continued.

“Well, a couple friends and I are going to ditch and have a little get together out by the train tracks. Would you be willing to come?”

I had officially stopped breathing. I had never been to a birthday party or any social gathering whatsoever and now all of a sudden my dream boy asks me to a party.

“Oh, um, I don’t know. I don’t think you would really want me there.” I avoid eye contact.

“Hey. Look at me.” He says oh so sweetly. I look up and meet his crisp blue eyes that complimented his ragged dirty blonde hair. “There is no reason for you to say that. Come to the tracks saturday. Dress warm, we don’t want you getting sick before graduation.” He picks up his tray and leaves.

Saturday finally comes and I am standing in front of the mirror staring at the reflection to see if anything about my body has changed, when my phone makes a da-ding.

HEY THIS IS TJ. RUNNING BEHIND, MEET US THERE BY 7. :)

I put on my jeans from Ross Dress for Less, my knit sweater from Goodwill, my winter boots from Walmart (already falling apart at the toe). I grab my jacket on my way out along with my mother’s car keys and a stolen bottle of Vodka. I make it out to the tracks and there is a group of people and a large fire. I sit in my car on the opposite side of the railing, watching all of them. Another da-ding.

WE ARE HERE. IT IS ALMOST 8… WHERE ARE YOU?

Almost as random as a gust of wind I start to cry, wail, and scream. I bang my steering wheel. I catch a glimpse of myself in the rearview mirror, I see all the makeup I’d spent two hours doing run and clump across my face. I grab the Vodka, fill the cap, take the shot. Then repeat steps two and three. When I can no longer remember why I was crying, I close the bottle and throw it in my backseat. Da-ding.

I HOPE EVERYTHING IS OKAY. I’M REALLY SAD YOU DIDN’T COME… SEE YOU AROUND.

I throw up.

I put the key into the ignition and the car lights up. I look at the clock, it’s already 10:00. I open my phone to see I have 9 missed calls and 15 unread messages. F---. I read the messages, one is from TJ, the rest are from my mother who is yelling at me in Spanish. I put the car in reverse and slam the gas while turning the wheel. I stop, put it in drive and speed away. My tears come back and things get blurry, my wheel slowly is turning into the other lane. As I ascend a hill, bright lights and a loud horn jerk my hands to the right. I was pushing 50 on a 35 and fly off the top of the hill into the ditch. My car lands sideways, and begins to fill with the leftover rain water from the past week. I’m out cold, blood is dripping from my forehead and nose. My neck hurts incredibly, my head is pounding from pain that no amount of alcohol could mask it. I was leaned over the console, my chest throbbing from where the airbag impacted.  When I wake up I was in a hospital bed three days later. There was a tube down my throat and wires were hooked up to my chest and arms. My small sweet mother was holding my hand with her head on the bed asleep.

After my, well, incident, my mother got depressed. I got depressed. My stepfather slowly became more aggressive when he would come home and my mom was smoking on the porch and there was a mountain of dishes in the sink. I especially loved the nights when they thought I was asleep and couldn’t hear him screaming at her for not making love to him. When I turned 19 I had to call it quits. I shoved my clothes into my duffle bag, picked up my diploma from my old high school and drove away. I kept driving until I reached Philadelphia, and the only reason I had stopped was because of a girl in a purple wig. She was old, her body looked worn down, and her skin melted with gravity. She was out and about in a purple wig and a crop top with a neon yellow tutu, she did not give a single f---. If this random old lady has the courage and carelessness to do that, I could learn a thing or two from this city.

I park in some random two story garage and walk into some random bar with $80 in cash. When I get inside my face was long, I had dramatic dark circles attached to my eyes, and my brown irises hung low from months of mental exhaustion. When I plopped onto the bar stool I hear a couple of creaks and locked my breath. After about 10 seconds I exhaled and worry vanished. The bartender was about to ask for my ID, but noticed the expression on my face and just asked what I wanted.

“Something to slowly get me drunk. I want to restore the memory.” I say while looking at my hands.

“Bee’ah it es.” the man replied with some accent I had never heard before.

He hands me a pint of some amber colored liquid, and I take a sip. It was the first sip of alcohol since the accident. A shiver shook my spine.

One, two, three pints later and I’m at that point where I’m wearing my wig. I look over to the end of the bar, and an angel if I’d ever seen one. His curly hair made my eyes dizzy as I traced each bounce, his blue eyes comforted my achy heart, and his fit body made me feel soft. I remember the lady from the street and walk over to him, with quite a struggle I might add. I spill a slew of drunk pick up lines and sappy stories from my childhood, all while complimenting him. Each time I had opened my mouth, his lips pursed a little and his eyes grew slightly warmer. He looked scared. Then, when he spoke, his words rattled my existence. The brutality of how honest he was shocked me. I started to get up, my brain was baffled, no room for other emotions. Apparently my face conveyed that I was sad, because he grabs my wrists and pleads me to sit. And by plead I mean some sort of weird movie vampire esc grunt. I sit down and for three hours we talk. Which loosely translates to I talked till my drunken heart popped and he listened. It was nice. To just speak, and have someone not move, and just absorb every word spilled from my lips. I leave when every noun, adjective, verb, hyperbole, or metaphor I own was given to the stale beer air. I leave $29 on the table for my four beers and walk towards the door, I turn around thinking I left my phone and I see him pull out some strange tan leather journal, he scribbles something down, closes the book, and walks away. I run back to my car, and by run I mean a brisk walk, I put my key into the lock and turn it. My body slumps into my seat and I relock the car.

It is quiet. Very quiet. I can hear my heart da dud da dud da dud. I can sense the thick red blood roaring in every vein, clicking and and pulsating along the thin blue walls. I fall asleep to my body.

I wake up three years later, skinny and barely getting by. I get my clothes second hand and DIY my own high fashion heels. I work as a receptionist at a law firm and sleep with my boss. The ideal life. He gave me one of his credit cards, in his wifes name of course, to use whenever I go out and need a little boost. I pull into my favorite diner, and sit in my car for a minute. I pop in two meal replacement pills, down a protein shake, and walk in. As I walk in the door my favorite sweater snags my bracelet and causes a small hole on the bottom. Oh well, I’ll just have to get myself another one. I sit at my favorite booth and pull out my phone, scrolling through facebook, instagram, I get on snapchat and play with the filters. The waitress brings me my water with extra lemon, and I return to facebook pressing the search tab. I type in TJ Guntry, my finger hovers over the done button. With an extra kick of gusto I do it. He was the first name that popped up, and I might as well look at his profile. He is married now to some guy named James and they live in Portland. It makes me smile that he made it out of Jersey and away from his father. Then the fat Melissa inside of me becomes sad that I would never be able to be with my childhood crush, because he, in fact, is gay.

I gather my things and head out the door to my car, and then I see him. The handsome man from years ago. He looks exactly the same, in fact he might be even wearing the same exact gray shirt and dark blue jeans. After a minute of intense life realization through the exchange of verbal heat, exactly how every conversation with him goes, we get in my car and I start to drive. My body decides to cry, sobbing to be more specific. I am not sad that I could die, for I have pondered and accepted the idea years ago, but I am sobbing for something petty. The last time I had s-x was in a closet while listening to Michael Buble, and that’s not how I want to go out.

When we finally stop, he has me pull into some ghetto a-- farm field and turn off my car. I look at him while he fiddles with his watch. Then he tells me something that I hadn’t thought about since the accident. “Why should I live?”. For the moment I don’t want to die, so I spit off all the things that are artificial about me, everything that I had paid for that clearly shouldn’t go to waste. Then, I just give up, just give in. I don’t want to live like this anymore. I don’t want to starve myself, I don’t want to sleep with a married man, I don’t want to watch everyone else’s life go by while I wait for something to happen to me. So I tell him he might as well kill me. As much as my response shocked him, his response shocked me. He kissed me. It was rough, sloppy, it was easy for me to tell that this was his first kiss. I don’t know if I was honored, disgusted, or grateful. When he removes his lips, my eyes stay shut as I work to find the right words to say what I am feeling. Red. That was the first thing that I saw when I opened my eyes. I looked up and saw him staring at me. His eyes looked sorry, but his mouth looked angry. I knew he wouldn’t leave until I was dead, so I died. I took my ‘last’ breath, I sunk into my seat, and my body went limp. I could feel my veins pulsating and my energy decreasing significantly. I could not die, not here and not by him.

I can hear him wiping things down, and picking things up. He opens the door to the backseat and finds the water I make my protein shakes with. I can hear him pouring it over something, presumably his hands. The passenger and backseat doors slam shut and I can feel him walking away. I open my eyes and look at my watch (that monitors my heart rate due to the fact my heart was damaged during my coma, and if it drops too low or spikes too high too fast it’ll alert an ambulance), but happen to catch a glimpse of the giant knife sticking out from my chest. All of a sudden I can feel it inside me. I can feel it’s sharpness poking at my bones and innards. I can feel every skin cell and blood vessel it ripped open. I begin to panic as an immense amount of pain overcomes my brain and my center. It feels as though I was being shot and kicked in the head all at the same time, and then an alligator shark combo was digging into me looking for my heart to gobble up. It felt like my flesh and bones went through a meat grinder, and someone tried to put them in the right place afterwards with tape.

It takes almost 15 minutes for them to find me, and I was about 2 more minutes away from oblivion. After 5 days in ICU, and my first encounter with my mother since I was a teenager, I was put in observation for the rest of the week. The doctor said that I will have a small scar between my breasts that will fade in around 15 years, and since I was stabbed the police were notified. I was forced to explain what had happened in that bar all those years ago and what happened two weeks ago, and it was decided that I was to be put into witness protection.

It has been 10 months in the program. I have a new job, I have a fiance, and I am 5 months pregnant. But I am not a victim.

 


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