Prequel to "This is Worse":
I've caused pain before, but not like this. I've done things I can't undo. I have caused other pain, but never damaged someone so much that they can't come back from it. This is worse. I wasn't even in the room. I was at the other end of the house and I come back to this. There she is laying on the hardwood floor. She is face down, her auburn hair flowing over her, and blood pooling around her. I heard her fall from my bedroom where I was laying down. Resting after a long day at my new job. She never even screamed. It was just a loud bang. I ran as fast as I could to figure out the noise and this is how I found her.
She was the last one to believe in me. I had been down the wrong path to many times before. I wanted to get out of the rut I was in. To prove everyone wrong. That I wasn't just a drunk who would fight anyone that got in my way. I hadn't touched a drop. I had been in and out of jail since high school. Everytime I got put back in, it was because I was drinking and I beat someone up. I knew I needed to clean up my act. I knew I needed to set things right. My cousin being the last one to try and actually help me. She believed that I could be a better person. She let me into her home. Gave me my own space and loved me.
Alcohol wasn't allowed in the house. That was her main rule. I have been abiding by it since I got out. She picked me up from jail and let me stay at her home. She took me in when no one else would. I just knew I couldn't let her down. I always helped her around the house. Dishes, sweeping, even cooking dinner. I watched her daughter when she needed to run to the store or would be late from work. She trusted me and I trusted her.
Now I stand in the kitchen over her bleeding body. Unsure of what to do. The only thing I know is everyone will believe I did it. That I pushed her. Or I punched her. That I did something to hurt her. She's more than hurt. She's dead. She's gone. My last remaining hope is gone. I wasn't even in the room. No one will believe me. I don't know what to do. I can't leave her like this.
I fall to my knees and gently roll her over. I have to hold back a gasp as I see what she has fallen on. She must have been holding a knife in her hand. The knife has been impaled across her face. Her eyes are wide open as it is imbedded across, cutting into one of her pretty blue eyes. I don't dare try and take it out. Blood is still seeping out of the wound. The life that has one filled those sky blues is gone. Nothing left but darkness and death. It cuts down to the corner of her chin, right through those plump lips that everyone always raved about. The shock alone could have killed her. There is no way I could have saved her.
I have never killed anyone. Only caused pain and suffering. This is something I never would have done. I feel pain in my heart from looking at her. I have never felt the urge to cry as much as I do now. I want to bring her back. I need her to come back. Why did she have to leave me like this? She knows I'm nothing without her and now I'm alone. More so that I have ever been. I need to call an ambulance. But I know the minute I call someone, I will be put in jail. I can't go back to jail. I can't go back to jail. I have been there enough times, I don't want to go back.
I have to run. That's it. I must run away. I know running will look bad, but it doesn't matter. It will look bad no matter what I do. I stand back up, gazing down at the stiffened corpse of my beloved cousin. I let the blood continue to stain the floor. Something that will not be able to be removed. At least not very easily. A reminder that I didn't get to her in time. She bled out before I could make it out of my bedroom. She fell on her own accord and I know they would say I'm at fault. I rush back to my bedroom. I grab my backpack from under the bed and stuff it with as much clothes as I can. Then I head back to the kitchen, carefully walking around her. I grab water and food.
I lean down to her, bushing away loose hairs. I gently close her one eye. The one without the knife sticking in it. It is the best I can do with the situation. I say a small prayer, hoping God is looking out for her. Praying he has taken her into his arms and told her how good she has done. How she has been there for others when they don't deserve her. I wish I could have been there for her. I would have never let her fall. That knife would have never been in her hand. I'm so sorry, cousin. There is nothing I can do at this point. I will leave and call the tip line. But I can't stay here. I can't get put back in jail.
I make my way to the front door. Staring at all the pictures on the wall. The family photos. My cousin, her husband and her beautiful daughter. I look at every one of those smiling photos and think. Think that I came into their household and now they lost a mother and a wife. This isn't my fault, but it sure feels like it is. I couldn't save her. There was nothing I could do, but I know they would never believe me. I step out of the front door. The rain is pouring out now. Flooding the streets. I step off the porch, letting the rain fall over me. I look back at the house I had become to call home, standing in the showers. A home that is now a nightmare in this storm.