She kept apologizing for the condition of the efficiency apartment on the first level of her home, just to the right inside the front door. "I know it's not much, baby," she said, her brown eyes searching my face for approval, "but it's clean -- I cleaned it thoroughly myself yesterday -- and you have a full bath, and the kitchenette, and provisions, and -- most important -- a real bed."
I looked into those chocolate-brown eyes, and took her hands in mine. "It is terrific, mi amor. It is everything I could need, and more. Thank you so much for this expression of your love." And it was: the simple act of inviting me into her home, offering me shelter, and food, and of course, her love, was beyond wonderful, cementing what was already a deep, strong commitment, the love of a lifetime. Everyone should have a chance at a love like this, once in their lifetime.
And sleep, when it came that night, after five nights sleeping in the driver's seat of my car, was glorious, beyond blissful. My muscles relaxed, and physically I began to feel restored. But my mind, still reeling from the events of the previous week, continued to roil and spin.
I awoke in the night with a start, unsure of where I was. The room was dark, that kind of dark that you only experience in very rural areas, that blackness that soothes some, and terrifies others. The only source of light was the blue glow of the Brookstone CD player and radio. Through the open window, the sound of the crickets attempted to challenge the strong, steady rhythm of her breathing, and the full moon lit the luxurious curves of her body, and made the hundreds of ringlets that framed her face sparkle like the crown jewels.
As I turned over and closed my eyes, I heard the soft whoosh of the front door, and then the drag of the apartment door against the carpet, followed by the unmistakable "click-click" of a semi-automatic pistol being cocked. Realizing that I had no defense, I opened my eyes, to see a small LED shining on my face. As the light slowly came closer, I considered a two-leg kick to try to knock the gun away, but there was too much danger of her being in harm's way at that distance. So I waited. And then came the boom, boom, boom, and three flashes of light.
I heard myself screaming, and could not see anything. Then I felt her shaking me, calling my name. "Baby, wake up, you must have had a bad dream," she said.
"Yes, a terrible one, a really terrible one," I heard myself saying, "your ex showed up for a visit in the middle of the night, and he killed me."
July 27, 2010.
Copyright 2010, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.