I Miss Her

Trey Kaylor

I’ll watch you bleed
That’s all I’ll need

I won’t cry if you- die! die!
We’re gonna get revenge
You won’t know what hit you
We’re tired of being screwed

-Black Flag


I Miss Her

            I miss her.  The last thing I remember Clair telling me was that she loved me before bed that night.  I’ll never forget those bright blue eyes staring back at me in our dark apartment.  Her amber hair fell on her shoulders.  She was still just as beautiful as the day I met her.  I loved everything about her; her smile that let you know everything was going to be okay, the freckles on her chest, the slight, yet noticeable lisp she spoke with.

We met when I was about nineteen.  I was enrolled in the teaching program at The University of North Alabama, and I pocket dialed her number randomly.  My phone didn’t have a screen lock button, and out of the blue, it dialed her number. It sounds crazy, but in light of current events, stranger things can happen, like how quickly things can be taken from you. I pulled into a parking lot near our hometown to meet her for our first date. I was so nervous I forgot to turn my car off and the battery died. Damn battery. We ended up spending our whole first date trying to find someone to charge the damn thing.  She laughed and said she’d had worse dates, and then winked at me.  I miss the way she always kept her cool.

We moved into our apartment after we got married 5 years later. The authorities say I’m not allowed disclose a location, although I will tell you it was in a beach side area. A rock-throw away from the shore.  Often when she fell asleep, I would meet up with my good friend Frank for a couple of drinks at a nearby bar.  On that particular night when she was just about to fall asleep, I got up to go meet up with Frank for the traditional drink or two.   “Where are you going, sweetie?” I remember her saying, startled by my attempts to escape her death grip. I wish I had stayed.  I told her I would be back in a few hours.

“I love you babe. Please be careful.”  I miss her voice.  It used to be so clear in my head.  Now it’s just a muffled hum.

I walked into the bar and saw Frank at our usual spot by the bar tender.  He had already ordered the first round, an ice cold Miller waiting on me. He was about my size, five-eight and scrawny.  He was the closest friend I had, almost like my brother.

He looked at me and said, “These people are blind to what real pain is like.”  I agreed but decided not to push too hard for an explanation. He’d give it to me any way.

“They sit around, drinking their lives away, worrying about bills, mortgages, kids, college, work, whatever. It’s all horseshit and you know it.  And the more they dwell on it, the higher the demand for Zoloft and psychiatrists go up.”  He spits truth after a beer or two.  These people truly didn’t have a clue how much worse it could be.

We finished our drinks and our conversation and we parted ways. He told me to give him a call if I wanted to hang out sometime.  I knew I’d love too, but it was hard these days.  I just wanted to cuddle up next to my beautiful wife and…

On the sidewalk outside of our apartment was a rather large drop of red liquid.  As I walked, there were more puddles. The puddles led all the way to my door. I held my breath and went to unlock the door, but it was left ajar. As I opened the door I was smacked in the face by the smell of gun powder.  Something had happened very recently.

“Honey?” my voice fell almost horse through the fear in my heart.  I walked into the bedroom to find her laying on the floor in a pool of blood.

“No!” I’m not sure if I screamed or if it was in my head. I felt my heart in my throat. I collapsed at her side. I put her head on my chest and begged her to stay with me.

“I love you so much, never believe I didn’t, Babe.” she managed to say as she began to choke on her blood.  “He won’t make it far.”

Her eyes closed and I felt her last breath on my neck. I found my dad’s .45 lying next to her. She wasn’t shot, but the stab wound on her back was fatal.  I miss the feeling of her hands on my cheek.

The police found a man with three gunshot wounds not far from my apartment. I guess it paid off taking her to all those shooting ranges, though none of the shots were fatal.  He would live to see trial, or, at least, he might have. I knew him. He had an awful obsession for my wife a few years before, and we had to get a restraining order against him.  He would leave creepy notes to her under our door, or under her windshield wipers, the kind of love note that left you wondering if you’d wake up to someone watching you in your sleep with a knife in their hand. My thoughts on this idea seemed ironic after the matter.

At the funeral, her father shook my hand. He told me I was an amazing son-in-law.  He told me to keep in touch. I knew I wouldn’t.  I couldn’t be around the people she was closest to.  As her casket was lowered into the grave, I couldn’t cry.  I had nothing left to cry.  I just stood there emotionless. I miss the pet names she would call me.

We waited months, then a year went by, still nothing had been done. I didn’t sleep much in those months. Frank and I drank more than we should and he was there for me the whole way through.

“Let’s gut him!” I remember him saying when we were too drunk to stand at his mansion. (He developed a story for Invidio Ward, a popular gaming company, and made a fortune himself.) He started firing rounds from my dad’s .45 into his fireplace.  He never really had worries.  He just kind of drifted a long like he was stuck in his own head. I’m just glad I got him out of his parent’s house before he tried to throw a radio in the bath tub like in the movie Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas. You know the scene. Johnny Depp is told by his accomplice to throw a radio into the bath tub when the white rabbit peaks.

The trial finally came. I sat in my seat, anxiety crippled me.  When her murderer walked into the room, the taste of metal filled my mouth.  My vision went red, and I saw the veins in my eyes, and not even Frank could hold me back.  I jumped the barricade that separated us from the lawyers and grabbed him by the neck.  I punched him in the eye.  I could feel the socket crack under my fist, then again in the jaw. I know I broke his jaw. I felt him try to escape. I slammed his head into the corner of the witness stand and threw him to the ground.  The bailiff grabbed me, bringing me back to Earth.  I felt the sickening nausea of the adrenaline as it dumped into my stomach. I screamed “I want him dead! I’ll kill him where he stands!”  I miss her voice of reason.

The next few days went by in a blur.  Students turned in papers, people would give their apologies and I would nod. I don’t remember a lot of it. I did realize, however, I hadn’t seen Frank in several days.  I called his cell at least a dozen times to no avail.

I awoke startled in a sweat in my room.  It was midnight.  I didn’t remember falling asleep, but I remembered dreaming. Reality was pouring in vividly all at once. I reached over to tell Clair about the nightmare, then realized it wasn’t just a bad dream.  I started to check my fridge for anything to eat. Nothing but empty George Dickle bottles. Glorious.  I didn’t remember drinking those either.

As I sat in front of the static of the T.V., a car horn pierced the still air.  As I ran outside I noticed a black, late 90s model van was sitting in my drive way, the kind with the sliding door.  The door slid open to reveal Frank with a cattle shock prod in his hands, wearing his aviator sunglasses that were too big for his face (not to mention it was also 3 A.M.), and none other than my wife’s murderer chained to a chair.  “Get in,” he said. “Let’s make him sing.”

I jumped in the van without any questions. I knew Frank would tell me regardless. He looked at me through his dark sunglasses and said, “I paid off most of the higher-ups. They let me take him ‘for a ride.’” He laughed after that bit. “His record’s say he was murdered in prison.  I’ve gotten him all warmed up for you. Cattle prods will make any man yell for his creator.”

I walked up to my wife’s assailant.  He was covered in bruises and blood. It looked like Frank had already done a number on him, but left the finishing touches up to me.  I felt all feeling leave my body as I asked, “Do you understand what you’ve taken from me, you piece of shit?”  I looked at Frank’s homemade workshop he had created in the van. I found the buzz saw. This was the tool I needed to make this lesson hit close to home. I picked it up and revved the blade.  He began to whisper to himself hysterically.

He looked up at me as his whispering got louder and louder. “Do you want to know what it sounded like when the knife went through? She’ll love me after I do this, I know she will.”  Frank came around hard with the prod and hit him in the face.  It produced the smell of burning flesh, an almost putrid smell.  I drove the saw through his ankles, dismembering them completely. He’ll never walk again.  I then kicked his chair back, let him fall to the ground, and then grabbed his head, slamming it on to the floor board of the van.  I walked over to the work bench to find an evidence bag labeled Murder Weapon and my wife’s time of death.  Frank had also paid to get the item used to slay my wife from the police office.

“I signed the chief’s son’s game one time. We’ve been close ever since.” Frank explained.  “He said that this knife was never found, and then he winked at me.”  He gave a little cough of a laugh at this.  I took the weapon out of the bag and looked at the murderer who was bleeding on the floor board of the van.  He was still alive, though barely.  He had enough time to get what was coming to him.

I untied him from his chair.  As I did so, he took a swing at me.  I dodged and he fell to the floor on his stomach.  Seeing my opportunity, I plunged the knife into his back.  I gave it a little twist and held it there until he stopped breathing.  Frank picked me up and hugged me.  “It’s over now, buddy, it’s all over.”