I Close My Eyes



It was an accident...

Calm down, breathe. In, out. In, out. This is my attempt at calming the emotions that have been intensifying since that night. It is futile: pain, guilt and fear consume my mind. I try to focus on the sound of running water, try to allow it to distract me, desperately try to block out my invasive troubled thoughts. Panicking slightly, I reach for a glass and turn back to the water rushing from the tap. As I do, I think of standing here two days ago. My hands were covered in blood – her blood – that seemed to resist being washed away. Frantically, I’d washed my hands until they were numb… but I could still feel it. The warm, sticky sensation that made me feel nauseous. I look down at my hands. They are red, stained with blood. In that instant, I fall apart. The glass slips from my fingers. Crash. It shatters into thousands of tiny shards. I stand frozen, unable to move as my lungs fight for air. Struggling to think straight, I close my eyes. Slowly, I open them and see that my hands are shaking uncontrollably, but are clean. No trace of blood.

Disorientated, I stumble out of the kitchen, in the direction of the front door. But it in itself is an obstacle that my fragile mind battles to overcome. The memory of her comes crashing over me, submerging me once again in the horror of the moment. The sound of a car door slamming alerted me of her imminent entrance. I looked through the window at her figure casually approaching the front door and felt anger building up inside of me. Why would she do this? For a moment we just looked at each other: I was searching her face for some sort of explanation, any logical answer as to why she would be coming home at this time of night. When I failed to find one, I felt a fresh surge of pain that hurt much more than the worry or uncertainty. I could see everything that my life revolved around stopping from that moment, as definite as death would stop my heart from beating. She looked at my face with a slight frown upon hers and then began to laugh. Her, light, careless laugh summoned a deep desire to lash out at her. I stepped towards her, and she stepped backwards, but it happened too quickly. She hit the ground with a dull thud. Shock and confusion were the last expressions to ever cross her face and I saw then, what I had done. I knew then that I was mistaken. But it was too late. I fell to my knees next to her sobbing helplessly with complete hopelessness and defeat. Blood was flowing steadily from the gash in her head, surrounding us in a pool of blood. I had to do something, to get rid of it, to get rid of her body. They'd know it was me. I shouldn't care, I shouldn't care. But fear infiltrated my brain and I panicked.

I shouldn't have done it, any of it. Suddenly, I'm running away with no intention of stopping. Nothing could help me now: condolence only makes my grief unbearable, suspicion only heightens my fear. Brakes squeal as cars screech to a halt in front of me but still I do not stop. Gradually, roads and houses begin to disappear as the trees on either side of me get denser. Those trees are a blur, undistinguishable in my current state of mind. My breath eventually runs out and I pause, gasping for air. Trees are surrounding me on all sides now but I find their concealment comforting. Rushing water is present once again, this time louder and fiercer. My eyes find its source and a paranoid scream escapes from my lips — for floating on the surface of the water is her body. She lies limp and lifeless, looking as fragile as a child, with her skin pale and hair flowing behind her. Innocence seems to radiate from her. Unable to stand it any longer but unable to tear my gaze away, I close my eyes. When I open them, she is gone.

I don't realise that I am running again until I am forced to stop. The ground in front of me falls away and the rocks that my feet misplaced moments ago are still tumbling down the side of the rock face. My breaths escape shakily. "Jake," her voice is inside of my head. "Jake, why did you do it?" I didn't mean to. I didn't mean to do it, I almost scream. I whirl around, searching for her. "Jake." This last word is all it takes. I step back and feel like I am falling, free falling through the empty air. Agonising pain racks through my body as I realise I will never find her. I have nothing left without her. I am unable to move, as though every bone in my body is broken. The metallic scent of blood washes over me and I hear her voice for the last time, "Hello Jake," she whispers. Pain sears through me and I can't take it any longer. I close my eyes.

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