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A Little Nothing

She wishes she was sorry. She really does. With the gun now cool in her hand, and all the blood drying under her boots, yes, of all the things she wishes could be different — she wishes she could feel sorry.

Why had she taken her gun? Why had she thought only of violence? David hadn’t been a threat. Not really. A punch to the face would have done the job of keeping him away just fine, even though she feels her words should have been enough. Was it the fact the he ignored her no? Or was she the problem, for indulging him the first time? The only time. God why isn’t she sorry? Shouldn’t she feel something? Everything has changed, so why does it feel like…

She wants to be sorry. For her dry eyes and damp, crimson stained fingers. She wants to feel some sliver of regret, of sorrow or even grim satisfaction — but there’s nothing. Even her rage has faded from her mind. She feels exactly as she did before the gun had gone off. Before she had added ‘murderer‘ to the long line of words she could use to describe herself. Annoyed, a desire to be left alone, and a strong urge to go back in time and leave that gun in her drawer. To stop herself from pulling the trigger.

Why had she killed him? She doesn’t understand, and her emotions seem to be no help. There is nothing in her head. Nothing except the grim realization that all of this had been for nothing. There will be no justice, no joy or sorrow. There is nothing to be gained, there never was. There is only loss. And she’s not sure which of theirs is worse. The loss of his literal life, or the one she could have lived before she’d pulled the trigger. She mourns her past, the woman she used to be, and that is all the mourning she has in her it seems. She cannot mourn the body at her feet. She wants to, Lord does she want to, but to fake it feels wrong.

She should feel remorse, shouldn’t she? She should feel horror and sorrow, or even a twisted fleeting pleasure at David lying dead at her feet. Never to speak those words she hated so much. Those lies he believed.

He shouldn’t have believed. Not in those words, not in her. Both of them were worthless in the end. Meaningless. Why had he believed she loved him? She never had, not once in the many years they’d known each other, in that distant way you knew the man who bagged your groceries, or the person who sorted your mail. What had she done that had convinced him that she returned his affections?

She hadn’t hated David, but she sure as hell had never loved him. They weren’t even friends, she was just polite to him, as kind as she would be to anyone. The kindness your taught as a child, to be polite and considerate because you don’t want trouble or to raw attention to yourself. And if her actions, the actions she performed to practically everyone she met on a daily basis, were hinting at anything close to romantic interest, why hadn’t anyone else come chasing after her? Pressing for her attention, her love? David couldn’t have been that desperate, could he?

Though she supposes he didn’t carry all the blame. After all, she had agreed to that first date. Had she given him false hope? But what could one mediocre date matter? She never agreed to a second, no matter how hard he pressed. She went out of her way to avoid him, for god’s sake! What, did he delude himself into thinking she were playing hard to get?

The pool of red beneath her feet offers nothing to her internal anguish. Maybe he would have told her the answers to her questions if she had asked? Though she supposes it’s a moot point now. Nothing about poor dead David or the pre-conceived fantasy relationship he must have had swimming in his head matters. All that matters now, is what she does next.

Why had she killed him? Had she been that desperate to get him to leave her alone? She doesn’t even remember why she had pulled the gun, nor when she had decided to fire. She doesn’t think he had been threatening, their words hadn’t been loud or cruel. Had she only fired, because yet again, he hadn’t listened? She told him, hissed through her teeth that she never wanted to see him again. That they weren’t even friends, never mind lovers.

Would they both have walked home tonight, would she have stayed her hand, if she hadn’t noticed the way he had bit his lip, his eyes shining with uncertainly as she asked him to promise to leave her alone? If he had just let it go — but it wasn’t all his fault, now was it? After all, he was the one lying in his own blood. Didn’t that make him the real victim here? She doesn’t know. She doesn’t understand anything anymore.

She doesn’t know if anyone heard the gun go off. She doesn’t know if anyone knew she was meeting David or had seen them leave off into the night together. She does know how to dispose of a body, of her gun, a gift from her father that hadn’t yet been registered to her.

Could she do it? Get away with murder? Did she want to?

She still feels numb. Still, she waits for a reaction, but nothing comes. She clicks the safety on her gun, turns on her heel, and marches towards the nearest phone booth. Her hands are steady as she drops in the coins, listening to the clink as they gather in the machine. She waits for the call to connect. Waits for fear or anger or any kind of emotion that might send her running for safety or bring her to tears.

But she feels nothing. She thinks perhaps there is nothing wrong with her. But, she supposes, that hardly matters now. The line clicks, and the voice on the other end is clear and calm. Like her own voice as she speaks into the receiver.

“Hello, this is Nicole Straw. I’d like to report a murder.”

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