I used the broom to open to open the attic door and asked Susan to retrieve a ladder for me. However, Susan doesn’t respond to my request. It’s silent. This isn’t a good feeling. I check on the children before examining the rest of the home. The logical thing would have probably been to remain in the room with the children and call the police, but something wasn’t right. I could smell desperation. For someone who couldn’t understand or feel important emotions, I eventually developed a little sixth sense of my own by the time I was eighteen. I no longer had to read body language to understand how others felt.
“Blood,” I said aloud. I’ve smelled it before, but only when it’s fresh. My parents always thought it was strange. The smell of fresh blood was now being diluted with chlorine. “Susan!”
I ran to the back yard. Susan was in the water and I jumped in to retrieve her. This fucking moron. I’m not surprised that she would go to such lengths, but she turned out to be a disappointment.
“Since you so heavily believe in reincarnation I should have let you die,” I laughed. She could have been stronger in her next life. I proceeded with doing CPR and called 911. I haven’t forgotten about the attic and I stress the situation over the phone. I should have stayed with the children. As soon as she regained consciousness I dragged Susan into the home and wrapped her bloody wrist. Karen’s shoes were still in the living room and the kids still in their room sound asleep. “What an eventful day.”
“Really?” Susan asked in a whisper.
“Yes, really. Why’d you do that?”
“Because...I killed Karen.”
That wasn’t the answer I was looking for. To be honest I was a little surprised, but I shouldn’t have been. Fragile things eventually break. You just never know how.
“You’re kind of smart Susan. If you could have told us or me what was going on,” I said.
“I should have but when it comes to Karen I don’t know. She’s the only family I have left. I wanted to protect her too.”
“The only family. Those kids are family.”
“They’re pieces of Karen and I love them so much. I just wanted to have Karen too.”
“I knew you were weak Susan, but I didn’t peg you to be insane enough to off Karen.”
“There are things you don’t know about us sisters. My dad wasn’t the only sick one. So was my mother. She never really cared about us. She just wanted to be unconditionally loved.” Susan paused to swallow back tears. “She chose me over Karen because I showed her the most love but I only did so because it was the only thing I could do.”
“So she didn’t show the both of you love?”
“Correct. She didn’t. Our dad met all our needs. Treated us like princesses but he really favored Karen. They did a lot of things together. Things that eventually fucked her up and mom ignored it. When she found another guy we moved out eventually settling here in Florida.” Karen started to pick at the bandages on her wrist. “That guy eventually did to me what was done to Karen. I thought it was karma for sucking up to mom and escaping. I thought dad would eventually do the same thing to me.”
“Stop picking at your bandages. And the next time you intend to off yourself…” I didn’t complete my sentence. I was annoyed and came close to pointing out that she slit her wrist incorrectly. “You didn’t want to die obviously.” Susan’s a smart woman. If she wanted to die she would have done that much correctly.
“I hate that you’re perceptive. You had no faith in me from the beginning.” She’s correct. I didn’t like her from the beginning. I could tell that Susan was damaged but I couldn’t prove it.
As EMTs were tending to Susan, officers were up in the attic, and I was in the room with the twins. We played as their mother’s corpse was being carried out of the house. Susan and Karen got into a heated argument about the children’s placement. Karen came to the conclusion that Susan was just as unhinged as she was and wanted to request that the children be removed from her sister’s care. At that moment I felt sorry for Karen. I preferred her over Susan because she was always more forthcoming.
As soon as everything was over I called Stefan to let him know that I was going to be late. I had to complete some paperwork and I also had to wait for another case manager who was on call. I could still make it on time to be proposed to. I often play dumb but I could tell this was going to happen sooner than expected. Being married is just another step to normalcy. And despite my own behavior I want companionship and Stefan wants me.
I hop into my car and leave the property. It’s difficult to see so I turn on my high beams. When out in what I call the country it’s preferable to be out in this area in the day time. There are barely any lights so it’s basically pitch black. So it’s no surprise that I would end up hitting a deer.
With any auto accident caused by an animal; it comes out of nowhere. I thought with my high beams on and paced driving I would have avoided this. I have all the luck today!
It’s an unusual color. A midnight black deer just ran in front of my car, broke my windshield, and caused me to veer off the road and into a tree. Might as well cancel with Stefan and call 911. I now have a fractured collarbone and lord knows what else.
With what little strength I have, I unbuckle my seatbelt and push my door open. While doing so I grab my phone and am just about to call when that damned deer starts crying. I approach it and look into its eyes, this animal reminds me of Charlie. Here I was thinking of quieting the animal. Step on its head or grab a tire iron to finish the job to stop it’s annoying noises.
“You remind me of Charlie,” I say aloud. And because of that I should end its life as quickly as possible. I don’t think any living thing wants to die in agony.
The pain in my chest hasn’t subsided. My breathing is ragged and I’m getting dizzy. I start dialing 911 as I go to the car to pop open my trunk. Instead I drop the phone and fall to the ground. Clutching my head, I can hear the operator speaking and I respond in barely audible words. I lay next to the phone trying to speak as loud as I can, eyes closed, not noticing that there is another presence.
The deer had stopped it’s wailing and I could hear glass breaking beside me. So either someone has come to rescue me or I am going to be murdered. And I don’t have any feelings about either options. I wasn’t living with any real purpose that would keep me tethered to this place. Whether there be an afterlife or not, maybe I’ll finally cease to be so restless.
“Time to go home lass,” says a male voice. I’m so weak I can’t speak. Instead I’m gasping so slowly that I recognize that I’m dying. Was the accident that bad? I guess so. And I guess that the reaper is actually a thing with a Scottish accent.