» The Tale - Dark Stories

- A September/2003 Special Feature -

by Liberty Lloyd

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The steady ringing of the telephone in my ear was filling my head with anguish. I had been trying to get a hold of her, of someone, anyone. Anyone, who could dull the constant sting of pain in my life that haunted my everyday.

No answer still. I must have let the phone ring longer than I had expected when suddenly the recorder came on, her voice beckoned me to leave a word of evidence from me calling. And so I granted her wish, I informed her it was quite important she return my call. Slowly, I hung the phone in its proper location and returned to my torturous lonely night.

If only she would have answered, if only someone truly cared. As I was walking to the garage I was doubtful that she would truthfully return my call as soon as she was available like it cruel fully teased on the telephone recorder.

Then something unexpected happened, the firm, loud sound of my telephone. Now waiting for me to reply to its unremitting song, filled the house with persistent ringing. I brisk fully walked to answer the call, hoping that she got my message, that she would give me a reason not to...... 

I hurriedly clicked on the phone to end her waiting. Still shocked, I tried to utter a hello, but I was silent. " Hello?" Her voice had a slight hint of annoyance but I paid no attention. "Hello, is this you?" In fear of her hanging up I snapped out of my daze and answered her. "Yeah, it's me", as I heard my voice aloud it was shaken and raspy.

I longed to tell her a million things and ask her every question in the world that I needed answered, but I was silent. I waited, then I decided that I should start by asking about him. I know she wouldn't want to talk about him but I had to know. "Is it true you want to be with him?" 

There was a short pause, then she slowly started to answer," yes, it's true". A feeling of distress and anger took over my body, but I dared not to say a negative word. I could not risk her not giving me all the answers that I needed so dearly.

So instead of screaming and yelling, I started to cry. Tear after tear rolled down my cheek and past my chin. I tried to keep my voice steady, I was going to tell her how I felt." you don't know how bad it mad me feel when I heard you laughing at me, I knew that one day I was going to get my ass kicked by him and his friends".

"You won't hurt me, or hurt yourself?" she once again asked from me.

I expected her to at least try and understand how I was feeling, but she didn't. "We weren't laughing at you, and you didn't get your ass kicked, it is your own fault coming over here and starting all that unwanted drama." she sounded different, in her voice where there was once love and pity now was bitter, mercilessness.

I could see that she was not going to give me the help that I needed, but deep inside there was still hope. With the phone to my ear I started walking back to the garage. Once inside, I started locating all the useful appliances I would need. The whole time she was telling me all the things that I did not want to hear, how I should move on with my life and leave her alone.

But how could I do that? How, when she was my life? "Why him? Why my friend?" I pleaded. "It has nothing to do with you" she replied. The rage inside of me was poisoning my thoughts. When I had what I needed I started to my bath room, where I intended to fill the tub with water that would make the small room into a steamy spa.

Once everything was in order I preceded to ask her one final question that would make or destroy every thing. The one question that had the power to make things right again. I know that I was all but good to her when I had her, and that I shouldn't have ever let her go. But I despise her for making me feel so unbearably helpless.

I had to know, everything depended on this. If I would be saved and she would hold on to my life or she would set me free, free to let go of this painful daze I call life. I went to my room and sat on the bed, and I prepared myself to inquire what was needed. "If I change, if I do anything, would you ever be with me again?" I could hear the sound of her breathing, I imagined her moving her eyes around the room searching for the right answer. "You promise you want get mad?" she said, her tone so delicate, like a child.

I replied by saying slowly and without feeling "yes, I promise". "You won't hurt me, or hurt yourself?" she once again asked from me. Without even a hesitance I said to her "yes, yes I promise". I awaited an answer, but in me I already knew what the outcome would be. I listened close, I heard her begin to speak and in the most crystal clear voice that I had ever experienced, she spoke, "no….. I'm sorry ".

At that moment I could not think to a time where my heart felt more devastated, and destroyed. All the outside noises and distractions were overpowered, the television blaring in the next room, the sound of the bath tub water, past its limit now, pouring out over the side and falling onto my hard tile floor.

I didn't believe that this one question, this one answer could change the path my life must now take on, but it did. "Well, I understand" I spoke calmly and pronounced each word to the best of my capability. " I guess I'll talk to you later". She agreed and the call was ended. What was there to live for now!?

She alone wasn't the one alone reason for this, but why not make her think it was. After all it is not about how this makes me feel, I won't feel a thing, it's about how they will feel when I'm not here to yell at or ignore any longer. They will realize just how much I mean to them, but by that time it will be too late.

I returned to the bathroom and turned the silver handle to the faucet, the water seized, now only a few irregular drops continued to hit the mini pool and make a chain of ripples. I sat on the toilet and thought to myself what a mess this was, and was I even sure that this would work? I had absolute no desire to be in a padded room for the rest of my life.

If I was going to do this it would be the last time, just not another "cry for help" or desperate plea for some one to listen to my pain. I recall seeing "it" done before, but only on some cheap horror movie. God only knows what would "really" happen to someone. Most likely I would pass out, or even go into a coma and be stuck. Stuck on this runaway train with no escape, to heaven or hell, life or death.

"No! There is no way I'm going to risk it, there must be another way, and easier way, a for sure way." Then I remembered, in the garage, there was a bright orange extension cord. I slowly got up and left the, now steam less, room, with the only evidence of my desired plan, the ceramic tub filled to the brim, and a disorganized array of house hold appliances.

I again, entered my garage, but never before had I recollected the simple task of just turning the small brass door knob, such a difficult one. I thought of how my moms face would look once she saw me, swaying back and forth, from our only tree in the back yard. She had wanted to cut down that tree, ever since we moved in.

I could still hear her shrill voice nagging, "what good is a tree? All it ever does for me is take up space and fuck up my house foundation!". Ironically, tonight I found a use for it. Hey, it's even doing her a favor, at least I won't be taking up any more of her precious space, time, money or unwanted love.

And when I was thinking of her and all the other selfish so called "friends", any bit of doubt and love that was hidden underneath my depression vanished. All that was left now was anger, revenge, and determination........................

A deadly combination for an abandoned boy, left all alone in his house. If only his mother didn't work those damned night shifts at the hospital, where she witnessed stabbings, shootings, and suicides. If only she had an inclining she would soon come home, and have to cut her only son out of that good for nothing tree, that should have been cut down long ago.

And if only she had said yes, or maybe, anything that would have prolonged his train ride that much longer. everyone wouldn't have had to go, and sit and stare upon the man they all killed, in their own special way.

She wouldn't have had to look upon his fathers, still unbelieving, tear stained face, or listen to his sister scream and curse god for taking her little brother. And she wouldn't have to feel the accusing eyes burn holes in her back, or hear the whispers down the hall, she wouldn't have to sit alone at night, wondering. "Was it me?"

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Copyright © 2003 Liberty Lloyd