The lives of Perry and James take a drastic turn after she discovers his secret.
|Perry sat within a thin veil of darkness.
It was just before dawn; a slender strip of crimson was drawn across the horizon of a dim sky, a humble ray of light peeked through the window and into the living room etching his silhouette perfectly as he moved.
"James" she whispered and his ears perked up.
"You went to see her."
Perry" he sighed "I can expl−"
"You said it was the last time. You promised it was the last time." She struggled to maintain her tone but her words were still frantic "You said that she was out of your life, you just want to be with me yet you keep going back to her! Why?"
He glared at the murky floor beneath his feet "Perr, I don't know"
"LOOK. AT. ME!" She shrieked.
Her eyes were intense emeralds shinning, straining to hold back tears "don't call me Perr"
Gliding back and forth in a fit of hasty steps, she paced then settled to stand in front of him.
Peeking at James, were French manicured fingers wrapped around the stem of a small, black, six-shooter; comfortably clutched by her side.
His eyes bulged in surprise "Whoa! Perry, what is that?"
"Don't pretend you've never seen it, I know you remember when I had to pull it out of your hand"
"Okay, well put it down."
"NO!" she snapped. "No, you will not be telling me what to do James! I want to know what it is with her. Do you love her? Does she make you happy?" she hesitated at the last question; fear colored all over her face like it was her worst nightmare. "Do you want to be with her?"
"I don't know what this is" he shook his head.
"Bullshit James!" Perry cast her hands up in the air "You think I'm stupid? You know very well what is. You keep going and coming back, promising you're not leaving after, all, we've been through" her wrist flung around as she spoke, his eyes followed her every movement scared of the piece in her hand.
"For God sake be careful Perr! That thing could go off! You could hurt yourself"
"I SAID DON'T CALL ME PERR!" She screamed. "You don't get to do that. You don't get to be concerned!"
"Does this scare you, James, huh?" Perry taunted.
"Of course it scares me. You're waving a gun around. I don't want you to get hurt"
"I am hurt, so much" her lower lip trembled "I am hurt James and it's your fault!" Glaring back at the dark spherical abyss, James put both hands before him blocking the gun muzzle from his view.
"Let's talk Perry, we can fix this. I'm sorry, okay."
"Sorry fixes nothing James! GOD! You really don't get it. YOU'VE MADE LOVE TO HER!" she shouted, her voice coming out wounded. "You probably told her things, nice, sweet things. Words meant for me not her! You can't stand here fixing it by saying sorry. Think James." She spat. "Think long and hard about what you're doing because she doesn't love you!" Repeatedly, she slung the small pistol to the side of her head while the vain on her neck stuck out in frustration. James's heart was thumping out of his chest, scared half to death that she'd pull the trigger on herself.
Perry brought the gun close her face "You say this gun scares you...remember when it didn't? Do you think she would have wanted you then? That Thursday at sunset. I remember how the sunlight hit your skin, I thought you were perfect. Except your hand was around this grip and the muzzle was shoved in your mouth" she placed the gun between her lips, resting it coolly on her tongue then pulled it out "like that, counting down to blowing your brains out." She paused. "You had been cutting again, blood was streaming out of the open wounds on your wrist. It was everywhere. I took the gun away and you yelled, screaming, begging me to let you kill yourself. You didn't know that morning was the last time you'd see your mother, it hit you hard seeing her things gone."
The strong streak of crimson had blended to sultry orange, that light reflected on his pale face and distant eyes. She could tell he was remembering.
"And when you were lying limp on the bathroom floor, face first in a puddle of your own vomit. I can still smell how it stunk." Perry sneered "There was an empty bottle of pain killers and your breathing was so, shallow. I collected trash for days, threw away drunk bottles of cheap alcohol and used broken blades and slept so many nights on that worn out couch at the hospital so you wouldn't be alone"
Exhaling, Perry caught her breath.
"Remember when your father would show up to beat you, saying you are not man enough. He'd whip you with his belt... at 24. The scars those lashes left behind are the same scars I kiss when we're in bed, tell me... does she do it too?"
"Perry" he cooed.
"Have you told her where they came from?" she went on. "How he said no one would love you, said it so many times you grew to believe it. Until me." she held the gun at her chest, its slanted barrel pointing below her collar bone "Until I showed you how to not only love yourself but someone else as well."
Her knees collided with the crisp floor, head hung low in defeat as the sound of her sobs ripped through the air "I've given you everything Jay, I broke myself trying to make you whole"
James ran to her side, his finger slipped under her chin lifting it so she'd face him.
A comfortable silence sat between them, his eyes gripped hers; threatening tears blurred out her pupils but it was clear the green in them was pure pain.
"Are you pushing me away because you still think you can't be loved, I...I've run of out ways to show you" her voice cracked.
James slowly extended his hand towards her lap, fingers grazing against the gun, but Perry jerked aside. Swinging her hand behind her back and tightening her grip on the nine millimeter.
"Don't even think about it." she said.
The sky behind them blushed pale blue with tame spots of yellow, strong light still streaking through their window. The sun had risen.
"Perry" James whispered "think back, to when I told you I was damaged goods. We were sitting on the edge of my bed at the campus, our backs hurt every day from that stiff mattress." He chuckled.
"You said it made no sense for me to stay by your side" Perry replied.
"Yeah" James nodded. "But you stayed; you've always stayed."
"So then..." her hand circled back to her lap, sitting on the rear of her palm with dead white fingers still clinging to the gun. "Why do this?"
James fidgeted with his fingers, his eyes hooded in shame while biting his lower lip "I think I might love her"
Numb knuckles brushed her cheeks, sweeping away oncoming tears "Perr, I'm grateful for everything and I don't wan−"
James's body hit the ground, instantly.
Her cheek sunk on to the wooden floor, mere inches from his face. Rings of dark brown stared at her, their usual twinkle of life burning out. Blood surged out of the hole between his still hazel eyes, trickling down the bridge of his nose then dripping on to his fair pink lips.
Perry skimmed her fingertips over tender splatter of his blood on her face, smiling that he was dead.