“Days like this I want to drive away, pack my bag and watch your shadow fade”, played on my phone, making me wake up from my nightly coma. Another day was here and I had to rise for work. I got up looking over in my bed to see my loving boyfriend sound asleep. Damn wish I could sleep like the dead like he could, I said to myself. He turned his back to me as I headed for the shower, letting my pajamas fall to a pile on the floor. Turning the shower on I let the warm water hit my chilled skin, feeling like an embrace of calm. I heard the curtain open as I watched my boyfriend join me,
“Hey sleepy head”, I said to him, “how did you sleep?” Giving him a kiss on the lips, he smiled,
“Well, since I got to sleep with you.” I giggled at his comment. He always knew what to say no matter how cheesy it was.
We washed ourselves, and I headed out the bathroom to my closet. Turning the light on, I realized that it smelled different. It didn’t smell like the normal clean clothes, it smelled like something died. I shrugged it off thinking it was an animal or something that was caught in the wall, I’ll just tell Kwan to get it. I looked into my closet got my clothes and headed into my bedroom.
“Hey Babe”, I called.
“Can you check to see what that smell is in the closet, it smells like something died in there?”
“Are you sure it’s not just dirty clothes”, my eye twitched at his comment.
“No it could not be the clothes cause I just took them out so go find what the smell is in the closet.” He huffed and I knew something was up; he never huffed unless he did something that he wasn’t supposed to do.
“Why are you huffing, what did you do to my clothes, you weren’t wearing them again were you?” he huffed again.
“No I did not wear your clothes, and you will never let that night down will you”, I giggled thinking about my tall man in a short cocktail dress. Gosh the man has legs for days.
Looking back at him, I saw he was trying to avoid my eyes, “Look I have to go to work, so you need to do what you need to do to make my closet not smell like a dead body. Do you understand if I come back and find that the smell is still there, there will be consequences?” I said as I headed out the door. I heard him mutter some curses in Jamaican before I shut the door.
Work never seemed to end, people calling left and right for something; then having to deal with angry authors, the horror of it all. The headache that had started to brew from the day’s events escalated as I enter the door to my house. It smelt like the dead had risen in my house and moved in. I looked around the house for the smell. The kitchen was clean; no garbage was left neither in the trash, nor the garbage disposal. I checked the living room and family room but the smell was not as bad in there like there were little hints that were here and there but other than that it smelled like it usually did. I checked the offices they were perfect. I went upstairs to the bed rooms. The smell assaulted my nose, “Oh My God!” I screamed as I walked through the room. Opening the windows to let some of the spring air in, I got closer to my boyfriend’s closet that’s where it smelled the worse. Opening the door, it felt like a gush of air hit my face, the smell overpowered me, covering my face with my sleeve, I turned on the light. The sight that caught my eye shocked me; blood covered the floor and walls of his closet. I knew he didn’t have a lot of clothes over since he lived somewhere else, but there was not a stitch of clothes in the closet. With the blood there was an arm and a leg at the door, both sawed off from the looks of it. In the back there was a torso of a woman, her bra and underwear still on, another leg with a stiletto heel attached and an arm the fingers looking pristine like she just had got them done. But the thing that scared me the most was the head. It sat on the shelf looking at me, the eyes still having color, and almost life in them. The mouth was open almost like she was screaming for help. I screamed at the sight of her. I knew I had smelled something amiss. I closed the door and ran down stairs. I ran in the kitchen to see Kwan sitting at my counter, sipping something that smelled like some broke-back-coffee that he loved so much.
“Hi Butterball”, he said calmly
My body shook with fright; he was too calm for his own good.
“What the hell is going on”, I screamed.
“Why is there a dead body of a female in your closet? Is that why you were huffing this morning because she was in there? I knew something was wrong with you.”
He slowly got up, his movements reminding me of a cat, stretching himself with ease; he looked at me with a look that I have never seen in the four years that we had been together.
“What’s going on? Who is that in your closet and why are they dead? And come on if you’re going to hide a body you could at least bury it in the backyard or something not in the closet. You are just trying to get caught, didn’t those detective shows teach you anything about hiding a body.” I cried the tears were starting to fall on my face.
“Well Pucci how about you have a seat first then I will tell you,” I sat on one of the bar stools next to the counter. Kwan brought me a bottle of water out the fridge.
“Ok where to begin oh yes, so what’s going on is that that woman upstairs is my former boss. She had decided that she had enough of her simple sabotage with just trying to make me work overtime. So I found her trying to sneaking into your house a few nights ago, when I caught her you were out and I had let myself in to surprise you, but instead I found her in your bed. I yelled at her to get out, but she refused saying that I was hers, and not yours, and that you wouldn’t know what to do with a man like me. Now you know I never hit a woman,”
“I don’t know about that now since you killed one.”
“Would you just listen,” he let out a sigh, “Well I yanked her off the bed and tried to throw her out, but unknown to me she had a knife under her skirt and tried to stab me. In turn we struggled and then in the heat of the moment I stabbed her, dismembered her body, but before I could get rid of the body you came home so I took my stuff out and put her in there I did have her wrapped, but I think your dog went in there.”
I looked at him, shock filled my face. The man I had loved not only killed someone, but killed for me; I didn’t know whether to give him a hug, or smack the shit out of him. Seeing his face made me want to believe that his loving self would come back, but I knew he did it and I didn’t know if he would do it again. He looked at me, the look of love shining behind the hard exterior; I wanted to be mad at him, I really did, but I couldn’t. I sighed what to do what to do.
I put my head in my hands he put his hand on my shoulder, “Babe please don’t worry I will take care of everything, I am going to get rid of the body tonight and then I will redo the whole closet how about I make you an extravagant walk in closet.” He smiled, I hate when he smiled he knew I was a puddle of goo when he smiled.
I sighed this was going to be a long night, “alright” I looked at him, “So we need to get rid of her fast before the smell hits the neighbors cause right now it is reeking my house, and I refuse to keep smelling it. And this closet you promise better be good and I am deciding how I want it and if it is not too my speculation and liking I’m turning you in you got me.” His smiled faded; to the look he gave me the calm look. “Well, Well so you got a back bone, well a deal is a deal, tonight we get rid of her and tomorrow we get you a new closet to your specification.” Damn his smile.
We waited till dark to remove her, Kwan grabbed the torso; while, I grabbed everything else. Placing her into a shower curtain in his car, we both got into the front seat of the car and drove. The drive felt like forever, but the silence was killing me. I tried to sleep but, the guilty feelings seemed to keep popping up when my eyelids would close. I looked at the body that was back there, I felt kind of bad that she had to die; I mean we never got along because of the fact that she is my boyfriend’s ex, but still she had no reason to be a bitch about it. Sighing, I wonder what she thought about when Kwan had killed her. Was this how she wanted to die by the hand of her old lover? I looked at Kwan, his face stern and fastened to the road. I wondered what he thought about as he killed her, did he enjoy it? Was he at least remorseful about her? I didn’t know and I was afraid to ask thinking that the answer that I wanted was not going to be there.
The look of disbelief was on my face, we drove to an iron factory. Now don’t get me wrong I had never thought about dumping a body into a factory, but this seemed so mobbish. I wanted to question the dumping ground, but the face that Kwan was giving me was one that had the look that Cartman gave in that South Park episode where he was a cop and was yelling, “respect my authority”. So I backed off on asking. We got out, grabbed the body and went through the iron door, the paint peeling off the frames, made the feel of the place feel like we were entering hell. Walking in we walked down ladders that had seen better days; crossed over a few platforms that creaked as we walked on them. I was scared as I felt the heat hit my face, looking down I saw that the larger of the furnaces was on. Hearing the bubbles exploding inside made me want to turn back, sighing, I had made a promise and I really wanted the closet, plus my hands were dirty now too.
Looking down I saw a few men working still, pondering I whispered, “Hey babe I thought this place was abandoned”
“It is, but I have a few connections and they agreed to get rid of the body for me we are just dropping it off.”
“Really connections, next thing you are going to tell me your apart of the mob.” He laughed at my comment.
“No I am not part of the mob, just know a lot of people.” Never mind, I thought, I will not push the issue.
We dropped the body into the furnace, Kwan told me to stay here while he talked to the guys. I stayed on the platform. I thought about how my closet was going to look like and how I wanted to be done. Plush carpet, nice cherry wood, and lots of storage for all my clothes and shoes; the closet was going to be beautiful. Then it turned into thinking about how nice it was going to be to not have a house smell like a dead body. Returning a few minutes later, he grabbed my hand as we walked out of the factory. When we made it outside, I felt the night air fill my lungs. Kwan looked at me, “I love you” he said. “I love you too” I said back.
The next day started off as usual: got up, showered, put clothes on, made breakfast and then I was out the door. The smell seemed to have died down a little, but I knew decaying flesh is not going to just disappear overnight. Thinking about last night made me worry, not only about the woman in my closet, but my own life. My boyfriend killed someone; even if it was for me, but he killed someone. What if I am next? Pondering, I thought about it on the way to work. Could he kill me if he wanted to get rid of me? Would he just dispose of me? So many questions entered my mind as I entered my office building.
Come on Courtney just breath and forget about it until we get home, my brain kept telling me over and over again. The day went by, deals had been made, ideas promoted, and books were to be read. Yes, the ideal day for an editorial assistant. Coming home I saw a few cars parked along the road and my best guy friend’s truck at my house. I saw him come out the house the wood on his shoulder, his bare muscled chest glistening in the evening sun’s rays, god damn it he was gorgeous. I breathed a sigh of frustration, really Courtney snap out of it you had your chance with him but you blew it. I hated my brain today; it seemed to be saying everything I didn’t want it to say.
Parking in the driveway, he saw me and leaned against his truck, “Hey miss thang how are you doing”, he said with a smile. Damn men’s smiles.
“Hey Shawn”, giving him a hug; trying not to want to hold on to his muscles and scream, “take me in your truck, Now!” He hugged me back, I felt him all hard muscle underneath my blouse, gosh I hope Kwan comes over tonight, I thought. He let go of me and looked into my eyes. He has those eyes that you could just see right into his soul, when you looked at him he seemed so happy, but I knew better he was sad over the situations in his life. With his girlfriend being a Class- A- Hooker, his oldest son becoming a father at such a young age and having to take care of him, and his boss being a plain old jackass I have to saw my friend was taking it all well.
“So are you taking care of the problem?” I asked hoping he would say something of encouragement.
“Yeah since your boyfriend can’t even hold a hammer, so he called me and a few others in to help; which, I don’t mind to get a day off of work, or to come visit you.” I smiled at least he could get a day off.
“Well you know you should come over more don’t be a stranger hun. I have a second room if you want to come stay for a weekend to get a break from life, and Kwan won’t mind if you stay.” Kicking myself for that comment, damn it why did I say that, brain you need to stop.
“Thanks”, he said. “I will take you up on your offer one day.” He turned to grab the rest of the supplies on his truck. I walked into my house to see that the place was flooding with guys, some I knew some I didn’t; my libido went crazy.
“Hey Courtney”, a few said.
“Hey baby how are you doing”, the ones that I didn’t know asked. Saying my hello’s and a few hugs later I ran to the kitchen, taking out something for dinner, but wondered what the men in my house were going to think if I made food for two and not thirty. Sighing I guess I could order pizza and get beer since they were doing me a favor. Walking around the house I went and asked each group of guys what they wanted on their pizza, I ended up ordering 6 cheese, 6 pepperoni, 3 meat-lovers, and some other concocted pizza that one of them decided he wanted and gave me money for. Writing everything down, and leaving an IOU, for Kwan. I left to get the pizza and grabbed more beer then I think the brewery could hold. Thank god for me getting an SUV cause I would have never been able to get that many cases of beer in a regular car. Thinking to myself, if one of them messes up my house, they are out. I laughed at myself as I drove home. It was turning into a crazy week, but it was slowly getting better.
Returning home, I saw Kwan’s car in my drive way, good he can deal with the men while I do some work in my office. The few guys that were outside I asked to help me get the food and drinks out of the car. As we entered the kitchen, I saw Kwan at the dining room table talking with his best friend Mike. Mike was a nice man, a little too cocky for my taste, but nice. He looked at me then rose to his feet, he was super tall too, at 7’5 to my 5’4 I wanted to crawl into a corner, but instead I ventured to grab a chair and stand on it to hug him.
“Hi Mike, hi baby what’s going on”, I said as I placed some food on the counter while the other guys came in with more. Kwan looked at me, and the food, “So that’s why I have the IOU, ok no problem.”
“No I got this for her since I have to make sure your butt stays out of jail now.” I laughed at his comment.
“Aww Mike you are too sweet” Giving him a kiss on the cheek. Hearing a growl, we look at Kwan; a face of anger graced us. “Down boy”, Mike said to him. Shaking my head, I decided to make him feel better. Sitting on his lap I kissed him, letting the passion and love flow through the kiss. We stopped for air as we heard some of the men yell, “Hey you two get a fucking room.” We laughed at it. Grabbing a few slices, I said my goodbyes and left for my office.
Reading manuscripts never seem so annoying, between the sixty that I had to read I had only gone through twenty on the slush pile and they all seemed like the same idea. That vampires and werewolves could fall in love and live happily ever after. Ha what a damn lie that is.
Knock knock, came to my door, “Yes how can I help you.” I said still looking at the pile of books.
The door opened slowly, I looked up to see Kwan.
“Hi Hun what is up how’s the project going?” I asked
“It’s zine”, he said his accent coming through thick. Hmm, I wondered, what he had in mind the only time he lets his accent slip is when he wants something.
Entering the room, closing the door, he sat in one of the chairs across from me. I looked at him. He smirked. I died a little inside. God damn his smile. He crossed over the desk, pushing the manuscripts on the floor picking me up putting me on the desk putting his lips to my neck.
He whispered in my ear, “Alright babe now I’m going to take care of you as soon as you wake up.”
I woke up to Kwan above me, he looked at me.
“Babe, are you ok you were talking in your sleep.”
“Yeah it was just a nightmare, something about you killing your boss and such.” He looked at me and laughed.
“Really I killed the she- devil.”
“Yeah you did” he laughed as he got out of bed.
Getting up from the bed, I went into the closet. “Wait why does it smell like a dead body in here. You have got to be freakin kidding me.”
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