That 'Good' True Love

Submitted for Contest #20 in response to: Write a story about a character experiencing anxiety.... view prompt

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Dec 18, 2019

General

Love will make you do crazy things, the craziest things. And if you have never had true love before, it can be scary when you finally have it. I did not want to worry about our love; I did not want to panic about losing her, but the thoughts of her leaving me just kept entering my head, making me scared. I panicked. I did the only thing I could think to do to keep our love going. Well, to be honest, we did not have a love at first. It was just me fantasizing about her.

 I remember how we met. I worked at a company called The Service Center. This center helped people become educated about jobs, find jobs, keep jobs, find employees and more. I was on the hiring committee. Part of our job was to pick a person to interview and decide whether or not they were hirable. When her packet came across my desk, and I saw how beautiful she was in her photo, I wanted her. I agreed to interview her and was excited when I did. She was so beautiful and very well knowledgeable about our company. I was impressed. Even though she had all these good qualities about her, her packet was a mess. She did not have two good recommendation letters, her passport photo was expired, and she did not give us her background check information. So I gave her a chance, told her to get all that information in as soon as possible. After she had, I told the company that she was the one to hire.

After she was hired, I knew everything about her. I knew what apartment the company would put her in. I knew what city and country the company would have her stay in. I knew which center she would work at. I knew who her boss and co-workers would be. I knew her material status and phone number, email address and previous address from her job application. I knew when her first day of work was; I knew how many tattoos and piercings she had. I knew every little thing about her. I was in love with her.  

I thought it would be appropriate if I showed up at her apartment after her first day of work. You know, to see how her first day was and how she was adapting to her new life in a new city in a new country. She did not think it was weird when I showed up at her apartment with a welcome gift. She let me come inside and we talked for hours about her first day.

“I cannot explain how crazy it was today.” She told. “There was a line outside the building that went all the way around to the back of the building. People here really need jobs.” I agreed with her on that. In third world countries, it was hard for people to find jobs. So it was our job, the Public Service Center’s job to help people find jobs. However, for the safety of the workers, the centers were only located in major cities. Many of these people in third world countries travel for days, weeks even months to stand in a long line to find a job.

“This job can be a lot to handle.” I said.

“Is that why you thought to check up on me?”

“Yeah”

“Do you check up on all the people you’ve interviewed?”

“Yes . . . lucky for you, you were the only one that I’ve interviewed in the past three months.” I lied.

“No, very convenient for me” She gave me a wink, which started our love relationship.

 I began to visit her after she had gotten off of work daily. I would bring dinner; we would sit, talk, and eat for hours. We had established an actual dating relationship. Everything I have ever wanted, I had. My dreams had actual came true. But for some odd reason, I could not accept it. I worried constantly day in and day out that our relationship would come to an end. I did not want to lose her; I could not lose her. She was the best thing that had ever happen to me, and I was in love with her. I would have generalized anxiety everyday about losing her. The worry was accompanied with days of being fatigue, having headaches, muscle tensions and I even had trouble swallowing. I knew I had to make her permanently mine. I knew the only way to get rid of my generalized anxiety was to make her permanently mine.  

The plan was great. It was flawless. I even had some help from a few of my buddies, who by the way did the exact same thing when they worried about losing their loved one. Nothing went wrong the day we executed it.

 A month after my friends and I executed my brilliant plan, she came to my job in tears. We talked in a private room.

“I know you experiencing pain too. We both went through a horrible tragedy. So I know how you feel, putting on a brave face to go to work every day; it’s hard.” She whispered. I lightly touched her hand. “I’m sorry,” she apologized; more tears ran down her perfect cheeks. “It’s just . . . I’m pregnant.” I wanted to hug and kiss her right then. But I remained emotionless. She took that as shock and unbelief. “I know. My exact reaction too, it’s just that I do not want to raise this kid alone, and I do not want to get rid of the baby either. What had happened to us, it’s not this baby’s fault.” She laughed nervously. “I guess what I’m trying to say is Will you Marry Me?” It was not the engagement I had imagined, but I was engaged to her, and that was what I wanted.

“Yes,” and like that, we were engaged. Within a month’s time, we were married. My love and I were permanently together.

Months later, she gave birth to our baby boy. He was perfect: seven pounds and seven ounces. He was nineteen inches long. His brown eyes glistened as he stared into mine. I was finally happy. My life was finally complete . . . or was it?

The guilt of my evil plan bothered me. I worried day in and day out about my love finding out what I did. Would she still love me afterwards? Would she file it under an act of love and not care? Would she leave me, taking our small family with her? The headaches returned and it was hard for me to swallow again. I stopped eating. She noticed.

“You haven’t been eating lately. Is everything alright?” I gave her a gentle smile. I cuddled my face in the palm of her smooth, soft hand. How could anything go wrong when everything is going right?

“I’m fine, just tired.” She smirked. “Tired from checking up on all those you’ve interviewed lately?” I smiled at her. She was such a jokester. She knew from the beginning that was a lie. I never checked up on anyone after I had interviewed them. I chuckled as I rubbed my hands through my hair before I looked into her eyes. “You’re so pretty. I love you.” She kissed me.

“I love you too.” As she walked away, my anxiety came back. I had to do something if I were going to keep us together forever.

Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and months into a year, before I knew it our baby was turning one year old. My love was excited. I was not. I couldn’t be excited. I worried that she knew that she had found out. She had been weird the past couple of months. No sex, she slept in the baby’s room. Our conversations weren’t long. I found myself going to work early and leaving late. Did she know my little secret? She had to have known. The anticipation killed me.

I thought approaching her about it would make things better. I cornered her in the kitchen the day before the baby’s birthday party. She held him on her hip as she prepared a bottle for him.

“You know don’t you?” I staggered into the kitchen, barely able to hold myself up. “Tell me the truth and tell me now.” She turned around, confused.

“Sure,” she snorted lightly “I know.” My eyes widen. Was she joking or did she really know? I braced myself with both hands on the island.

“You know what I did to you? You know it was me? That’s why you’ve been avoiding me?” My love, my heart, my wife stared at me silently. Her confused face transformed to worry.

“Have you taken your medication today?” I slammed my hand against plates and cups, throwing them all off of the island and onto the floor. The baby cried from the noise.

“Why won’t you answer me?” I screamed at the top of my lungs. I was so loud that I knew our neighbors heard us.

“Okay, you need to calm down.” She tried to calm the baby, but it did not work. I staggered closer to her.

“I’m sorry,” I cried.

“For what?”

“I’m sorry for what I put you through.” Silence. Did she not accept my apology? “I didn’t mean it. I just wanted you to permanently be mine. The thought of losing you killed me. I worried about it constantly. I had to do something to keep you. I had to do it; my friends and I had to do it, don’t you understand?” I rubbed my face in her chest. She wasn’t breathing. I looked up. She cried. The same tears she had that day when she came to my job were the exact same tears she had right then. If she didn’t know before, she knew now.

I wrapped my arms around her. “Don’t leave me.” I cried. She tried to wiggle free. The baby’s cries were muffled between us. I didn’t want her to get free. I tighten my grip. She wiggled more. I tighten my grip even more. “Don’t leave me,” I repeated. Within those moments, the police banged at our door. The banging startled me, I let go of her; her motionless body hit the floor. Her eyes were open, but they didn’t have any life in them. I fell to my knees. What have I done? The front door crashed in, the police stormed our house. They found me in the kitchen as I wept over my dead family.

I was taken to the police station. All night I told them my side of the story. That it was not what they thought it was.

“Then what was it?” I inhale before I answered. “I loved them. I just held them too tight.”

“Don’t say another word,” my lawyer busted into the room. He sat down beside me. “How dare you integrate my client without me.” He scolded. The detective that questioned me folded his arms. “We were just asking questions, trying to get a clear understanding of what he thinks happened.” My lawyer calmed down. He exhaled roughly. “Let me do this.” He turned toward me and exhaled again. “What do you think happened?”

“I held them too tightly and they died.”

“Who?”

“My wife and my child,” how could they not know who? Did they not see the bodies? My lawyer and the detective eyed each other.

“Explain to me what happened from the beginning.” My lawyer told.

“We fought, my wife and I, about what I did to her in the past. She knew what I’ve done. I know she knew. It killed me. I worried about her leaving me for months. I held her in my arms and begged her not to leave me. She wiggled while I held her, but I thought it was because she was trying to get free. So I tighten my grip around her and the baby . . . the baby was in between us. Before I knew it, she was motionless, dead. They both were dead.” I cried. The pain of knowing you’ve lost everything you’ve ever wanted in seconds was real. Their deaths were because of me.

My lawyer shifted in his chair. He faced me. “We searched your house; no one other than you was there.” I was confused. How could they’ve miss two dead bodies in my kitchen?

“Their bodies, I was crying over their bodies when the police found me.”

“The police found you crying in your kitchen in front of the sink. No one was there. You were not over any bodies.” The detective said. Now I was really confused.

“No, they were there. Her lifeless body dropped from my hands onto the floor. Her eyes stared into mine. They accused me of everything.” I yelled. My lawyer tried to calm me.

“Hey, hey, hey, we’ve talked to your friends. We’ve talked to your co-workers; we’ve talked to your neighbors, especially the one that called the police. They all said that you were a quiet, lonely guy . . . there wasn’t a woman. There wasn’t a baby. That never existed.”

“What?”

“You’re anxiety got the best of you. It made you worry about never finding love, so your brain made the situation up for you.” My lawyer explained as if he was a psychologist.

“No, she’s real. I interviewed her.” The detective cleared his throat. It was his turn to speak.

“The young lady you interviewed that day died a week later in a car accident. She never worked for the company.” I stood and paced the room. Were they lying?

“No, I-I w-won’t believe t-this. I-I c-can’t believe t-this.” I stuttered.

“You have to believe it. This is the truth,” My lawyer yelled. “You didn’t kill anyone because she died in a car accident one year ago. The baby you claim she gave birth to never existed. Your brain was scared you would die alone, so it did not accept the truth. I’m sorry, but it was all in your head.” The detective and my lawyer left the room. They left me on the ground in a ball. Was this the truth? Was she dead? Did she die from a car accident? Did our baby never exist? Did my anxiety get the best of me? I cried. I didn’t want to accept it. I missed her. I loved her. The truth hurt.

Five minutes later, I stood up, brushed the dirt off of me and sat back down at the interrogation table. The detective returned. “Am I allowed my one phone call?” I questioned. He stared weirdly at me. I gave him a half smile. “Sure, who would you like to call?” he quizzed.

“My wife”

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