When I used to lie in bed, and my mind would drift through millions of random thoughts, I’d often wonder if I were to die—what would be the best way? Suffocation? In my sleep? A sudden fatal accident? But I never thought it would be this and I certainly never thought I’d be stuck inside a box tucked away in an attic waiting to be discovered like some type of morbid genie.
I had no idea how long she had cursed me into this box, but I know how I got here. Ellie. Ellie was once the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen with long, blonde hair, and bright sky colored eyes. Everyone coveted her while we were courting and my pals sure thought she was a doll. But a doll Ellie was not, she held a secret about herself deep inside. A secret that she’d hid so carefully behind the facade of beauty and flattery. She was a goddess.
Not a figurative goddess from the stories and flicker pictures, but an honest to goodness goddess. I, of course, had no idea what she was when I fell in love with her, but it didn’t take long to figure it out. I’d only made a single mistake, and she’d cursed me, murdered me, and trapped me inside this heart-shaped box for all eternity. It was a tiny mistake; I swear. Itty-bitty. But the one slip up cost me everything.
You all know the saying, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” Well, I am here to tell you that Hell has no fury like a goddess scorned, and that is a stone cold fact. I’d have taken a scorned human any day. How was I to know how she’d react when she found out about Sharon? I was a man, after all, and fully entitled to a few distractions. I worked hard and deserved the benefits of that toiling. A good woman would have never even complained, let alone slayed me for my actions. But Ellie was not a good woman…
I’d returned home from poker one night with lipstick on my collar and Sharon’s perfume clinging to the cotton fibers on my dress shirt. Ellie stood in the dark kitchen in nothing but her nightgown and tilted her head as she watched me make my drunken way into the house. Her blonde hair floated with every movement of her head as if it was its own being, a ghost even. I closed one eye to get a better handled on the whiskey soaked vision of my wife and scowled at the look on her face.
“Why you up, Ellie?” I slurred as I undid my shirt buttons and continued through our small house towards our bedroom.
She said nothing in response, but I felt her behind me. I tossed a look over my shoulder and my heart quickened. I’d swore her pretty blue eyes had flashed red. But that was impossible, so I’d shaken it off and continued on my last moments among the living, completely oblivious to the danger I was in.
I folded my used shirt over the plush white chair that would quickly be coated in my blood, and began to work off my slacks. Ellie stood with her delicate hands folded in front of her, hands that had stroked every inch of my body in pleasure more than once, and simply watched me undress. Guilt, an uncharacteristic emotion for me, made my skin grow hot and gnawed away at my temper.
“What is your problem, Ellie? Get the fuck to bed.” I snapped as I folded my pants to rest next to my dress shirt.
“You’ve been with another,” she said, breaking her silence once and for all.
“That’s no concern to you. Let’s get some sleep.” I am ashamed, now, to admit that those were my final words as a breathing human.
Ellie stalked closer with the slow gait of a lioness, and a creeping smile spread across her face. “You’re right, my love, it’s not my concern. But I do hope you’ve saved some energy for me this evening.”
She ran her long fingernails down my bare chest and I shuddered as my heart raced. I’d thought I’d be too exhausted from my earlier romp to be excited again, but Ellie had a way of clouding the mind with pleasure.
I smiled back at my wife, tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, and thought that I’d be happy to make love to her tonight. That would be my last clear, non-chaotic thought. Ellie kissed my lips and plunged her sharpened claws into my abdomen. I gasped as pain shot through my body and gripped her shoulders to prevent my own collapse.
She leaned in to whisper in my ear, “don’t be so surprised, my love. No one cheats on the Goddess of Love and lives to tell the tale. But this isn’t the end for you. I’ve got big plans.”
Her big plan, as it turned out, was to trap what was left of me into this heart-shaped box. Alone. With no one but my own mind to speak with. With no food, comfort, or sleep. To stay inside this darkness alone, slowly sliding into a quiet madness. Allowed out of the box, but never allowed more than a foot away from my prison. So, that’s the truth. The complete story of how I ended up here and what I did to deserve the heart-shaped box.
“So you’re telling me you’re dead and that’s why you are in my attic?” The beautiful woman folded her arms over her chest as she eyed me with suspicion.
“Sort of… I am not completely dead. Cursed is more accurate,” I replied.
From the moment she knocked over my box while moving into this old house, I’d been watching her and waiting for the moment when I’d be able to properly introduce myself. I did not know what time in history it was, but the ladies showed much more skin these days, and this particular lady seemed to live alone like a spinster. I’d been planning how to introduce myself when she’d barged into the attic with a box bigger than her own self and dropped it unceremoniously on the ground, kicking up years of dust. When it had settled, she stared at me in shock before screaming and running for the stairs.
I’d managed to calm her in exchange for my story about how’d come to be in her attic. Now she continued to stare at me and the look reminded me so much of Ellie that sweat broke out over my skin and I forced myself not to shake in front of the lady. While secretly hoping she wasn’t a secret goddess as well.
The beautiful woman narrowed her eyes, made an unpleasant noise from her throat, and picked up my box. Before I had a moment to react, she carried the box to the attic window and tossed the empty box right outside. I hollered as it sucked me through the house wall and I landed with a painful oof onto the hard packed soil below.
I glared up at the window where the less beautiful woman leaned on her elbows to peer down at me. “Huh. That was interesting,” she shouted down at me. “Guess it’s true.”
I huffed as I clambered to my feet, dusted off my slacks, before snatching my box off the ground and stomping back into the house. She stood at the base of the stairs and smirked at me.
“You can take your box and go,” she stated before walking towards the kitchen.
“Go?” I hurried after her. “I can not go. This is my home.”
She poured herself a steaming cup of coffee, and the smell made me ache. I’d never be allowed to touch such innocent pleasures again. My face must have given away my heart-break because she heaved a heavy sigh. “Technically, this is my house now, but fine. We can try to cohabit as long as you leave me alone and don’t be a creep.”
"A creep?" I furrowed my brow at the term but it seemed important to her. "Never a creep." I promised.
She sipped her coffee and glanced at me. “We will think of rules to make this work. But I have to finish moving my stuff from my ex’s.” She set the half-drunk coffee on the counter and without conscious effort, my eyes followed the cup.
“You can’t eat or drink anything?” she asked me as she grabbed a black object off the counter.
I shook my head.
“Huh. Seems harsh for cheating. I’d have just killed you.” She smiled at me, punched me in the shoulder, and strolled out of the house.
I turned my eyes back to the coffee, which now sat next to my heart-shaped box, and mumbled, “I wished she had.”