“I killed him.” I smiled maliciously at my friend, who looked as frightened of me as ever. Clearly he wasn’t too comfortable associating with a murderer, but I couldn’t be bothered about it. He’ll leave just like everyone did, but that was okay.
The ugly lone light bulb that was illuminating this garage made everything look a disgusting shade of olive-green. His face was already yellowed ever since I did it, but who was I to keep peeping around him?
His metal chair screeched painfully as he inched closer to the lustrous table dividing us, and along with dividing our physical bodies, it was separating our universes; Kyle, the friendly jock from high school everyone loved and adored, then there was me, sad, lonely and impulsive, now on the run from the law. At least that’s what Kyle tells me.
“Why did you do it, V? Why? What could have been so tempting about him that you ruined your entire life just to take his?” He sounded so tired, and so done with me. Perhaps I shouldn’t have gone to him for shelter, but I had no other option. He was the only friend of mine that had an eight in his phone number.
“I don’t know. You think if I’d known I would’ve done it?”
He leaned over the table, yet another screech sounding. His expressions were suddenly harsh and upset, and I knew I was running out of time. It was only a matter of time, anyway.
“V, I’m gonna ask you again: why did you do it?”
“If I’d wanted an interrogation I would’ve handed my ass to the cops. I haven’t yet, so knock it off.”
I never wanted to kill, though. My intentions weren’t murderous. It was simply the reaction of someone who had seen something wrong and tried to fix it. If everyone could have seen it happen, I would’ve been forgiven, but Kyle tells me that’s not how it works.
It’s such a hassle having to fix everything by myself because no one ever tries to do it. No one cares. They would never step in which is why I hate the human race. But he was looking at me again, and his pupils were dilated like he was a scientist studying a new animal specimen. He was pissing me off.
“Are you gonna help me?” I asked, frustrated, but on the inside, I was starting to feel scared. His eyes were merciless, and I was getting more uncomfortable, but it was okay. It didn’t matter.
He debated it silently, and if you had strained your ears long enough, you could almost, almost hear the gears turning in his tiny jock brain. Except Kyle was on top of my grade, while I struggled a little below the non-fluent in English.
My eyes darted at the closed door while he thought about whatever he wanted to think about. It might not even have anything to do with me; it was just a yes-or-no question. The door was sealed shut, and it was made of shiny stainless steel, but under the poor lightening, it looked like rotten metal, if metal ever rotted on planet Earth.
Then, I rose up, like I always did, and paced around the square-shaped room, leaning against the walls for support. That, like it always did, calmed my nerves down, but when I noticed Kyle looking at me with heavy suspicion I had to do a few more laps.
There was no reason why he wouldn’t just empty a gun’s barrel in my head, but then I realized that he didn’t even know who was dead, and that eased matters a little. “Sit down, V. I have some questions to ask.”
I obeyed, sitting down and forcing myself to look him in the eyes while mentally visualizing a health bar like those in video games, the bar filling with a blue liquid until the end, representing the eighty percent. The blue liquid was Kyle’s trust, and I was at a twenty percent, approximately.
“Tell me exactly what happened, Vera. Slowly, and in detail. That’s your last bet.” He didn’t need to tell me that. I already knew I was running low on excuses and he was going to confront me sooner or later.
I took a deep breath, even though everything could be summarized in five minutes. I wanted him to think I was facing my inner self, admitting to him something I wouldn’t even admit to myself. He’d lose if he believed so, and I would have the upper hand and he’ll get me out of this town. Maybe even out of the country…!
“Location: the metro station. Time: around eight at night. I was waiting for the metro, obviously, and there were very few people there. If I remember correctly, there were two other people.” I did remember correctly. Everything was engraved in my memory, it was only a couple of hours ago, but I had to pretend, didn’t I?
“Was there something wrong about the two other people?” Kyle coaxed, but I knew better.
“Not really. They just seemed a little tipsy…Oh! They were two men, and one of them looked like your brother. I haven’t seen him in a long time, so I can’t really tell. Remember that summer in 2016 when we pulled that- “
He let out a muted growl. “V, focus.”
“What was I saying?”
“What happened after seeing the two tipsy men?”
I fidgeted with my hands behind my back. He didn’t want to know, really, unless…
“Okay. I saw them. They were laughing loudly and they were…off for some reason. I took in their appearance and noticed one of them was wearing a black and white pullover with those little diamonds on them…” I demonstrated through tracing tiny diamonds in the air. Kyle nodded, showing zero emotion. He probably recognized it because it was his brother I was talking about, but he didn’t need to know that. His eyes were pits you couldn’t make out the end of. They seemed to be practically vacuum, empty.
“Your eyes are like him.” That called his attention, and he was immediately staring at me with such intensity I wouldn’t have handled in different situations. “Not the one that looked like your brother! The other guy. His friend, maybe.”
His shoulders relaxed, and his back slumped on the back of the chair, his eyes watching my every move. He saw it, the eye twitch, and I had his attention again.
That was when I realized we were never really friends. Had he been my friend, he would’ve hugged me and learned the truth slowly. He wasn’t doing that. He wasn’t my friend.
“I noticed something. Your brother’s…lookalike’s friend was wearing a white shirt, and that white shirt had seven printed dots on them.” I dropped the bomb ominously, waiting for his reaction.
I stared at him, and he stared back, but he made no move of surprise or anger.
I was dumbfounded. I was getting dizzy at the remembrance of that inappropriate shirt, shaking at how it upset me. Kyle wasn’t even helping matters; he was sitting there, acting as unaffected as ever while I panicked!
I screamed out, “Kyle!” just as he said, “Vera!”
“Please let in some air.” I begged whilst swimming through my tears. He reluctantly got up and unlocked a window, opening it just a crack. “You’re almost there, V. You’re just going to tell me what happened next.” I could barely hear him. It was too painful and I couldn’t breathe, but for some reason he was still persistent! Why was he like this?
“He pissed me off, Kyle! He…I don’t know, he just did!”
“I’m going to need more clarification, V-”
“What do you even want from me?!” I shot back, raising my stinging eyes to meet his. He was being heartless, because I didn’t know whether to tell him the truth or not. Did he deserve the truth? Of course he didn’t. But did he want it? Unfortunately, yes. That doesn’t deem him worthy, though.
“He was pissing me off, because of his shirt! Okay? Now leave me alone.”
“You killed him because of his shirt?!” Kyle exclaimed. His ears were now a bloody red under the light, and I was running out of time. The police were coming. I knew it. I knew they were coming. They were probably around the corner of the street, coming to get me.
“Okay, Vera, wait, wait. Which one did you kill, exactly? I am so lost I don’t even know who you ended up killing.”
“I pushed the guy wearing the white shirt off the platform in front of the metro.”