“At one time, there was a defiant little girl, standing in front of the bull, like this… like this…warrior with a powerful look in her eyes with an unbudging will.”
“How would some beginning of a motivational statement help me?”
“Henry you know that’s not why you can’t have her back.”
“It wasn’t my fault! You know that!”
“Henry it’s been almost 2 years since it happened. You have to come to terms about what happened. I said this little motivational statement to show that even the weakest seeming things are strong.”
“What are those guys doing with your stuff?”
“They are packing the office up Henry since I lost my license I have to find new work. I don’t know why I’m talking to you right now. You’re the reason I’m going to be jobless, but Henry, were you listening?”
“That’s not fair, I need to talk to you, but that didn’t help me. I don’t have anyone else who can help me like you do!”
“I can refer you to another therapist Henry, but . . .”
“So what?! I’m being abandoned by the one person who still will talk to me?! Is that what I am a burden on everyone?”
“Henry, I need you to calm down. Just stop and look around.”
I look around and see the movers holding boxes, and staring at me like I’m crazy.
“Whatever Rida I don’t need you! Rida that’s a stupid name!” I say mockingly. I get up and walk to the door.
“Henry! I’m going to send your social worker my referral for another therapist!”
“You do that Rida, but it’ll only be for your peace of mind!” I turn around only to knock into every mover carrying the last of the boxes. The street lights burn my retinas, and make it hard to see where I’m walking till my eyes adjust to the darkness. I still can’t believe she thinks that what happened was my fault! I was only protecting her.
I wake up in my tiny twin size bed with the alarm ringing its classic, melodic, chaotic ring mocking me of how I am a failure. Of how it’s one of the only things I truly own. I hear a faint voice in the distance.
“Henry” It says in a sinister tone.
“Who’s there?!”I say quickly slowly rising out of bed in boxers, and a stained white t-shirt.
“You know who I am. I’m who . . .” I ran out to the kitchen frantically looking for the voice. The voice gets quieter and whispers.
“You’re a failure Henry you couldn’t save her, and by not saving her you couldn’t save yourself.” A man with a chrome face appears from the shadows in the hall. In a grumbling and angry voice it says,
“YOU ALWAYS THINK BACK ON THAT DAY AS IF YOU COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING. . . . . .” The next thing I know I’m on top of this thing, its face reflecting my chrome face of chrome. I am kicking and punching this monster of a man, but the next thing I know it stops moving. I panic striding back and forth across the apartment. I go to the bathroom to the cabinet, and take the bottle of medicine Rida gave me. I grab two and swallow them. I hear a pounding on the door, and my heart races to the point where I could have had a heart attack.
“ Is everything ok in there? Henry, why do I have to check on you every morning because of the ruckus you compose in here?!” I fall to the floor confused by what those words mean, “. . .every morning. . .”? But I don’t have time to think I need to open the door before the police get here. I peek out the door frame down the hall to see the body laying on the floor motionless. I go down the hall to open the door.
“I’m going to call the cops if you don’t open this thing!” I hear from the other side of the door.
“Rufus man no worries there is nothing wrong here I’m sorry about the noise I don’t mean to be loud I just had the television on a little loud.” I said in a fake calm tone after I opened the door. Me and Rufus looked into each other’s eyes. I don’t think Rufus cares much for me, and would be surprised if he believed me because of the bullets of sweat rolling down my face like an avalanche of water.
“Whatever Henry.” He says in his old Greek voice. “I’m tired of doing this every morning.” He says as he walks down the hall.
“Rufus what are you talking about I haven’t talked to you in a year now!” I shout, but only see rufus lift his hand to me to silence me as he rounds the corner of the hall to his apartment. I look back to the hallway to see the body missing from the spot it once laid.The pills calm me down, and I close the door and start breakfast. I grab some eggs, turn on the stove top and make scrambled eggs. I was full but in a way I’m not. I want to have justice. I want everyone to know what really happened that night so I can be sitting here with my daughter, and my girlfriend. No one but I and that thing knows what happened that night! The phone rings. I rushed to grab it because it was the ringtone I set for Stevie, my girlfriend. I pick up the phone.
“What are you doing, you monster? Why won’t you leave me alone?!” She said in a frantic voice.
“I didn’t leave you anything.” I said confused.
“Last night I saw out the window you put flowers on my doorstep!”I could tell she was on the brink of tears.
“I never was at your house. I don’t really know where you live.” I said for it to sound more believable that I don’t know where she lives, but I didn’t leave anything on her doorstep.
“You’re sick and a liar! It is sick what you left on the doorstep!”
“How are flowers sick, and I never left anything on your doorstep!”
“You left a bundle of half dead roses, and it had a note saying “You have the same amount of time left as these roses in this world if you don’t give back my daughter!” “Henry I once cared for you, but you are mentally sick and need to stay away from me!” I pull the phone away from my face, and snap the phone in half over my knee. I walked toward my bed emotionally drained from my brief morning, and blacked out on the floor head landing next to the fridge.
I had a dream of the chrome faced man in my dream. He had me by the throat flying me around like he was the ghost from the book the “Christamas Carol”, but showed me what little I had done with my life, and how I would never be happy unless I got my daughter. He set me on two skyscrapers with a tight rope between them on one end and had my girlfriend Stevie hold my daughter out, passing her to me. I stepped out on the tightrope to get her but I fell as soon as I stepped on the rope. I screamed but it didn’t make any sound. As I fell the chrome man held onto me as I fell so he was on top of me so I couldn’t see when we would hit the ground. I looked at his chrome face and saw my reflection in it, and he whispered, “No matter how hard you try you will always fail at getting what you want, so give up.” I hit the ground, and opened my eyes. I stand up and walk out on the balcony, and climb over the railing.
“What can I even do? I have tried to live my life and have only been tormented by myself, and I can’t live in the present to save my own life!” I close my eyes and let go. The rush of the wind is overwhelming and I feel the rush of my heart beating faster than a cheetah. Then I open my eyes, and look up to the side of the fridge. I am stuck with myself, and don’t have anything to do with myself that is worth staying for. I hear the pound on the door.
“Police open up!” I open the door.
“Sir, we have been made aware that there was screaming coming from in here is everything ok?” I peek down the hall to see Rufus peeking around the corner.
“Officer to be honest I just had a nightmare. I’ll be ok sorry about the disturbance.” I close the door, and walk out to the balcony. I watch the officers get in their car, and drive off. I know what I have to do, and now is the time to do it. I step inside the house, and grab my sweatshirt. Then make my way outside to the sidewalk. I walk to the part of town where the nicer houses are, and I peek inside to my daughters window. I see she is five now. I see her wheel out of the room to the sound of her mom’s voice yelling, “Dinner!” Being later in the afternoon the darkness covers me, and hides me within itself. I look at the window in the darkness, and the dark room. The window in the darkness reflects my dirty face back to me , and I wonder what am I doing here? But then there is a scream. I duck down in between the bushes outside her window, and wait for Stevie or the cops to end this awful day, or you could say two years. Ten minutes pass, and I hear no sirens or screaming just silence. I peek in the window to see the chrome faced man. He grabs his face and lifts up to reveal a face of the same color as charcoal, and reveals a little smirk with sharp teeth like a shark exposed from his mouth. I watch in shock as he lowers the chrome again and walks out of her room, and toward what is the kitchen. I open the window and climb in. I fell and hit a doll house in my rush. I ran into the kitchen where Stevie and my daughter were eating.
“Henry what are you doing?! Get out of my house!”
“I’m trying to save you, and my daughter!”
“Your daughter! What are you talking about? You have to get out I’m calling the police, and if you . . . .”
“Yes, she is my daughter!”
“Who is Henry?” She said in tears.
“Our daughter” I said desperately.
“Henry I haven’t seen you in person since our one date, and you left the restaurant early, because you passed out! I don’t know you!”
“Stevie, we had a family. It was you, our daughter, and me!” I walk closer to her, and she slowly backs up toward the oven.
“You’re insane, and need to leave now while you are still alive!” She was crying, and frantic.
“Stevie ?”I say just hoping she will calm down. She dashes for a cupboard above the oven, and pulls out a pistol. I run over and grab her, and the gun. We struggle for one of us to gain control of the weapon.
“Let go of me you maniac” She screams. I look behind her, and see the chrome faced man. He is larger than me now, and tears the chrome off his face. His face is smooth, and pitch black. He opens his mouth up above Stevies head and exposes his pearl white teeth. I let go of Stevie and say, “Watch out!” With just enough time before she fires three bullets into my chest. I use the rest of my energy to just point at the monster, and she turns around. She looks right at the monster, then turns back to me with a confused look.
“What you psychopath!?” She says heaving from the struggle. I look at her, and then back at the monster jaw wide ready to devour Stevie, then blink and see the face of a monster, but my face is looking back at me.
The monster that ruined my life was me the whole time.