Olivia Grace-

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: February 12, 2018

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Submitted: February 12, 2018

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PROLOGUE


 

The last time I had ever loved someone, she died. Olivia Grace, the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I've dated around before I met her, a few guys and a few girls, but the day I met Olivia I felt as though someone had reached down my throat and grabbed my heart to tear it from my body. She was stereotypically gorgeous: her blonde hair came to her shoulders when straightened, but on an average day the very tips curled up just below her ears. Her eyes were the gray-green of a succulent. “Like city smog,” she used to correct me with a smile. In school, everyone had a crush on her at some point in time, but she shied under attention. The kind of girl that could easily be popular if she had any desire, but instead kept her head down in class and always had a faraway look in her eyes. It's cute, people would say, so bookish and adorable. Then months later their interest would fade. Mine never did.


 

I remember our first date, holding her hand as I drove her around in my old Honda and grinning like it was the first time I knew how. She laughed at me then, saying I should stop treating her like artwork on a museum wall. I only smiled in response, but the whole time that I drove aimlessly through the neighborhood I couldn't take my eyes off her. I had to force myself to pay attention to the road ahead of me instead of the way eyes fluttered when the breeze blew through the open window, or how she unconsciously touched a necklace at her throat whenever I said something that made her laugh. A half-hour later I dropped her off at her house and walked her up to the door only to find my stomach churning anxiously. She must have seen the worry in my eyes because she promised me she had enjoyed herself, and that we should definitely get together another time. Maybe for coffee, she joked, somewhere I wouldn't potentially wind us up killed. And then she leaned in and kissed me, and I remember in that moment of blind infatuation that the only thing I could ever wish for was to spend the rest of my life with her.


 

It was four years before I decided to make my teenage dream a reality. We were 21, now, and had moved into a cramped apartment together in upstate New York. She worked full time at a fashion outlet, and I myself had a part-time gig working in a coffee shop a few blocks down. Marriage had been a topic of discussion for months, and she was wholeheartedly on board with the idea. We had been dating for long enough to realize that we couldn't picture ourselves with anyone except each other, and I was just as willing to take the next step in our relationship. I didn't have a million dollar ring to propose to her with, but nonetheless I scraped up every dollar I could from my job and bought her a delicate little ring, a single amethyst embedded in the facets of a titanium band. I was proud of my choice, and as the object in my palm glimmered in her favorite color as I walked out of the jewelry store, I was certain she would be too. My heart was beating in the jittery way I used to get back when we were 16 and she was kissing me for the very first time. This was it, I was thinking, it's about to be forever. I will truly have this woman beside me for the rest of my days.


 


 

I was so wrong.


 

She never even got to see the ring.


 

When I walked down the apartment hall our door was ajar. A sharp scent hit my nostrils when I pushed it open and an uneasy feeling forced its way through my gut. “Olivia?” I burst in and the case fell loose from my fingers, the ring spilling out and cracking on the floor. She had to be here somewhere, our apartment was small. The kitchen? No. Living room? I turned my head, the TV was on static and the remote was cast aside on the empty couch. Bathroom? Empty. There was only one room left, blind panic was pumping through me as I flung open the bedroom door.


 

I found her laying in bed. “Olivia!” My voice broke halfway through as the scene swum into focus. The sheets flung on the ground. The mattress stained with dark handprints. Blood pooling around her twisted body and turning the bed a dark crimson. And her head, God, her head. It was crushed, as though a massive hand had seized it and crumbled it up like a paper ball. Her skull was caved in, a gaping dent splintered with shards of bone and sodden hair strewn about the gore. The room around me was blurring rapidly and if my heart had been beating fast before, now it was sluggish and heavy in my chest. I lurched forward and stumbled over something on the ground. I couldn't tell what it was, the stench of blood was obscuring every sense I had. I could feel myself losing my grip on consciousness and was dimly aware of my pulse pounding in my skull, then an overwhelming sensation of darkness swept over me and I crumpled to the floor.


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

JOURNAL ENTRIES


 

November 8th, 2017

It's been a month since... that day. The therapist says I should write down how I'm feeling, but now I just feel like I'm in 10th grade again, ranting into my journal after I was dumped. This can't help me now, I'm not a writer, I don't know what I'm doing. All I know is that the one person in my life that I loved more than I thought possible is lost to me forever. A diary can't change that. Nothing can.


 

The therapist also doesn't want me to stay by myself and I'm glad to comply. I haven't returned to my apartment, the pain is overwhelming, and even if I got a new place to live alone I might never be able to fall asleep at night with the knowledge that whoever murdered Olivia is still out there... waiting. The police scoured the scene but didn't find anything. I pressed them to keep searching, but they refused. I don't understand why, there has to be some evidence, how can you mutilate a body that badly and get away with it? How could someone do that to her? To me? God, I'm shaking... This isn't what I'm supposed to be using this stupid book for.


 

They did find one thing, at least. Her phone. It was in the corner of the room with the screen cracked, and they gave it to me to unlock. The last screen she had open was the instant messaging app and a message to me was partially typed out.

[

I shuldve told you befroe about them I didnt think it was serious but theyr here now im so sorry oh myg od I lov

]


 

It cuts off. I can only imagine she meant to say “I love you”, it makes me shiver every time I think of it. She must have been so scared, home by herself with the love of her life mysteriously gone. If only I had told her I was going to buy her an engagement ring, if only she hadn't gotten off from work early so I wouldn't have left the house at all... Writing is supposed to help me, but I feel so many more times worse. Its hard to breathe without choking up... I think I'm going to sleep. Probably won't ever write in this again. I have a headache.


 

November 21st, 2017


 

I found this book again when I was packing my stuff from my parent's house to take with me to Tanasha's. I miss the feeling of a pen against paper, might as well keep it. When I was younger, the prospect of living with a friend would've sounded incredible. Now I'm only relieved I won't have to be alone. I'm grateful for her company, of course, but I can't go a second of my day without thinking of Olivia. Colors, scents, songs, everything reminds me of her. I'm glad, at least, that I met Tanasha. I ran into her on my way out of the hospital a day after I passed out, and it was the least likely place to meet someone new or make a lasting friendship—but there I was, trembling and traumatized, when she had come up to me and asked if I needed help getting to my car.


 

I vaguely remember her offering to drive me home, but I was embarrassed to tell her that I was going to be moving back in with my parents so I rejected her offer. She then asked if I wanted to get some food and I agreed, so after the meal she gave me her number and said we should keep in touch. We actually did, and after a few months she invited me to move in with her. I didn't have much in my life besides my family, so I found myself agreeing.

She's a decent person, now that I'm rooming with her we've had more chances to talk and shes an amazing listener. Not that I've ever really been the person to open up, but I guess after a month of having no one to talk to but my therapist, whom I've never truly become close with, and my parents that I hardly get to see anyway, I found myself coming up with anything to tell her at all. I'm not used to being this reliant, Olivia has always been all I've ever needed in life. But now...


 

I need to stop thinking about her so much. It makes me dizzy sometimes, the fear that prickles my spine every time I'm in a room alone. I have the awful feeling I'm being watched. I suggested to Tanasha that we should have cameras installed outside the door, “just in case”, but she hasn't been on board with the expenses. She's making tea right now, and I'll be going back to work tomorrow so I should stop worrying over nothing. I'll need the rest. And it can't hurt to keep this silly book around a little longer, I suppose.


 


 

November 30th, 2017

Tanasha got a commission offer from some rich lady that lives a few hours away, and after seeing the result of the digital portrait she was so impressed that she asked if Tanasha could do a physical painting of her in person. She'd taken classes before in college so she agreed, and now for three hours each day I'll be alone in the apartment. It's very different from my old one but the first time the door closed behind her I felt so bare, so exposed. I've been checking through the peephole at intervals and there's never anyone there, but I'm too anxious to stop checking. I can't focus on anything, not even at work today. My boss is concerned that sales are going down because I'm so distracted on the job, but I doubt people care enough to pay me the slightest bit more attention than the cup of coffee I hand them.

I just heard a sound from behind me. I don't know why this desk is facing the wall, I don't feel comfortable with my back turned to the unknown. God, that sounds stupid on paper. This is why I've never liked writing, it makes me sound foolish. I don't know why I'm so jittery either, there's no one in the house but me.


 

I wish Tanasha had a pet, that way I could forge an excuse for the sounds I'm hearing. Sometimes I wonder if I'm making them up, like voices in my head. I don't want to think about that, things are already hard enough. I'll write another day when Tanasha is home. I have a headache again.


 


 

January 1st, 2018


 

We don't have two separate bedrooms but I have my own bed and dresser. We share a closet and basically everything else. Out of curiosity I asked her why she invited me to move in with her, and then asked why she's still single. “Because I don't want a relationship”, she told me, “I don't want to set myself up for heartbreak. I just want someone to talk to and keep me sane, so I don't have to go through my days alone. It's nice having some that's there for you.”


 

I agree with her, friendships are beautiful too. I don't think I'm a perfect friend, but we're so close already that I feel like she's the best I have. But I would give anything to have Olivia back, my beautiful starry-eyed Olivia who knew me better than I know myself. Why wasn't it me that was killed, instead? And how can Tanasha expect me to keep her sane, when I don't feel sane myself?

That's stupid, of course I'm sane. They say that insane people aren't aware that they're insane—they see the world in a different way, a different clarity, entirely unaware that other people may see things differently. The only clarity I feel is when I hear a faint scratching on the wall, or a rustle just out of sight, and my whole body becomes unnervingly alert as waves of fear roll over me. “It's the dishwasher, it's old”, Tanasha says sometimes. She always looks so concerned for me. Other times, “Maybe there are rats in the walls, this building sure is a mess.” I hate rats. They terrify me. But right now I would do anything for there to be a swarm of rats in this building instead of what haunts my dreams every night.


 

January 5th, 2018


 

It's not just the sounds, now. I was cooking dinner last night and there was a face, glinting off the microwave door, staring into my eyes. I whirled around but there was only Tanasha sitting at the table and asking me when food would be ready. I had never been so relieved to see her. And this morning, when I was getting ready for work, I could've sworn a shadow moved in the corner of my room. Olivia's height, I realized. The thought scared me more than the shadow itself. Now that I think about it, that's not the only thing I thought I saw that reminded me of her. Strands of golden hair on the table, gray-green eyes in the mirror blurred by steam when I stepped out of the shower—No, that's impossible. I'm seeing things! That's it, I'm delusional. None of this is real. What if nothing is real? Am I really living here? Am I dead, too? Is this all just a figment of my imagination?


 

What am I doing, I can't think straight anymore. Nothing makes sense. I feel like I'm living a nightmare. Why won't you leave me alone? Please just let me be. I just want to forget.

January 11th, 2018


 

Tanasha is my only lifeline. She hugs me sometimes, murmuring that things will get better. Of course I'm not thinking straight, I just lost my almost-fiancé, she tells me. It comforts me enough to relax as long as she's around, but the moment she steps out the door panic sweeps over me. I've had enough of this, if someone is after me I can't sit around and do nothing about it. My breathing is coming in shallow gasps. I locked the door after she left and bolted all the windows.


 

I'm sitting in the middle of the room, now, trying to focus on the paper enough to write. My eyes keep darting around to every shadow, every whisper of sound, it's dizzying. What if I faint? Will I wake up in the hospital? What if Tanasha comes home and finds me laying on the ground with my face crushed in?


 

I think I'm hyperventilating, it's hard to breathe and there are tears in my eyes.


 

I just moved the table in front of the door. No one can get in now. Oh, what about Tanasha? When she comes home I'll look through the peephole. I will let her in. No one else. I can't trust anyone. My heart needs to stop racing, the room needs to stop spinning, dear God what am I doing?


 


 


 


 

January 12th, 2018


 

Tanasha hasn't come home yet. I woke up on the floor by the door and it's light out again, a day has passed. Has it? Maybe it was more, I can't keep track of time, or my own mind, icantthinkatall... If she's not home, something must have happened to her. But I can't go out and make sure, I can't leave the apartment, I'm not safe. But what if it's the apartment that isn't safe? I have to move.


 

Alright, now I locked myself in our bedroom, I can't bear to see the rest of the apartment without thinking of what might be crouching in every shadow that my eyes aren't carefully watching. It's brighter in here and I can clearly see every corner. The bedroom door is on the opposite wall, leering at me. I'm only shaking slightly now, I have Tanasha's favorite book clutched in my hand—what could I do with it? I could throw it. It is hard and the corners are dull but solid. I could use it to defend myself, or-


 

The walls were closing in around me a second ago, I could feel them. They stopped now, but they threaten to collapse again. My mind is swirling and I can't focus on a fixed point from among the blurred shapes of the room. There's a warm wet substance running down my arm as I dig my fingers into my flesh but I pay it no mind. I have such an awful headache


 

Someone just knocked on the apartment door. I have to go see who it is. I'm too scared to leave this room, im internally reeling, the only thing that I can focus on is the words I write on this paper. I will be back. I have to see if it's her.


 


 

January 13th, 2018


 

It wasn't her. I didn't see anyone when I looked through the hole. Someone is after me, I'm sure of it. The walls pulsate and swell and bear down around me. Occasionally I hear footsteps in the hall, but never the sound of a door opening or closing. Whoever is there has not yet gotten what they came for, and they're not going away.


 

I saw myself in the mirror recently and my own reflection terrified me—I haven't eaten in days, my cheeks are hollow and gaunt and my eyes are streaked with red. Red, oh God, red like the blood that soaked through her scalp and tainted her skin crimson—no! I will not think of her I willnot thinkofher iwillnotthinkofher I will think of the walls and floors and all the gaps between I will protect myself I will stay strong and


 

I dropped the pencil. My fingers are shaking so much I can't even hold the pencil. Why am I shaking still, what is wrong with me? Am I dying?


 

There's another knock at the door. I will be back.


 


 

It was Tanasha. I let her in. She's standing in the doorway, now, asking if I'm okay, how I've been, that she's sorry for leaving without notice, asking me why I'm writing in the book instead of looking at her. I told her I'm fine, I wasn't worried. That's true, isn't it? I wasn't worried. I have things figured out, I took care of myself without her, I am still alive.

Her face is swimming in front of me, her dark brown eyes swirling and paling to milk. I reel backwards for a second and she sharpens back into focus. Now she asked me how work was. Work? I have work? Oh, at the coffee shop. It's been weeks since I've last gone. Was that my job? I had a boss, I think. I don't remember, everything is foggy in my mind. I'm fineimfine imfineimfineiwillbeokay.


 

I tell Tanasha that, and she smiles. I think she sits down, I'm staring at the door now. She's saying something but I'm not paying attention. I see her blonde hair flash in the corner of my eye—blonde? I thought her hair was black... my head hurts, I attempt to push my chair away from the table but my arms are leaden, so I turn to look at her. Her smile doesn't waver. She's staring at me and I don't like it.


 

Don't worry,” she's saying, and my fingers are trembling. These words are becoming crooked and tilted. “They're coming,” I tell her. She has to know. “They're coming for me. I don't have a lot of time.”


 

She's still smiling. “I know.”


 

Why don't you do something? I'm going to die, Tanasha, please help me.”

I don't like begging. Doesn't she see that I'm telling the truth? I reach out and grab her sleeve, twisting my fingers into the fabric desperately. Clinging to it as my only lifeline to the rapidly changing world I'm trapped in. I just want to hold on to her like this, plead with her to stay with me, to not leave me here to die. She's not leaving, though, she stands up. I think she's going to help me now, everything is swimming and I'm not sure what she wants me to do.

 

There's a clicking sound and the overhead light goes dark. The only light is from a candle on the counter, and it smells like wildflowers. Olivia's favorite, she said it always reminded her of clean sheets and fresh spring days, when the dew would shine in the early morning light. I told her it sounded very romantic.


 

I'm aware of Tanasha's voice. Her face is flickering in haunting shades of scarlet and vivid orange and I detect a tang of something stronger than flowers. I still don't know what she's saying, there's so much noise in my head. A song, too, I think. I can't remember the name, it was by an old band I used to listen to in my childhood. I smile. The candlelight sears my eyes.


 

There's something in her hand. Is that a hammer? I can't see it clearly. She's walking towards me now, and her blonde hair shines in the flickering light with a necklace gleaming at her throat. Amethyst? Blonde hair, gray-green eyes. Like succulents. The pounding in my head reaches a crescendo as though the full might of the ocean has come crashing down around my ears. I'm still writing, I have to keep writing. She's raising it over her head, my hand is growing heavy. My vision blurs. Is this what Olivia would have wanted? I miss her. And I love her more than anything.


 

Do you know that, Olivia? I lo


 


<<>>


 


 


 


 

Sunday January 14th, 2018

 

THE DAILY NEWS


 

SUICIDE FOLLOWING TRAUMATIC

 

MURDER


 

On January 13th, at approximately 11pm, a young adult whose identity has been withheld from the public committed suicide just months after allegedly finding their wife dead in their bedroom. The suicide victim moved into a new apartment after living with their family for a short period time, and suddenly took leave without any word as to where they were heading—a decision likely made out of shock and trauma. The last month of their life was spent alone. Not once did camera footage show the victim ever leaving the apartment, and due to the lack of available food the body showed signs of severe malnutrition. Shortly after moving, the victim ceased to show up to work, likely due to a declining mental condition as the result of total isolation. The apartment was later searched for evidence of what might have drove the victim to the tipping point, but nothing was found but the burnt remains of a book laying beside a candle. It appeared to a journal, too charred to recover any information. In fact, no one had been in contact with the victim until the day of their death, when a single phone call was made to the victim's parents. The message was short but conclusive: “I'm sorry. She didn't deserve this world, so I set her free. I'm coming to join her now. Goodbye.”


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