Bound by Death
Unexpectedly, his face turned to stare at something behind me, and I was left to stare at the face of my killer. It caused the hair on my neck to rise and my heartbeat to thump loudly in my ears. Really, it shouldn’t surprise me or cause so much fear anymore, after all, I had been looking at him for around two weeks now. But, every time I see his face, I immediately felt like I should run, as far as I possibly could to escape. Once, I even tried, and I was left so weak that I could hardly move for over an hour.
I watched from the corner of the room as he tucked his children into bed, kissing them on the head before whisper a quiet goodnight to each of them. After the two children were in bed, he turned and walked down the hallway to the room he shared with his wife and crawled into bed with her.
Watching him with his family disgusted me. How could this man live a life like this after what he had done to me? How can he just go about daily life while I am rotting in the ground somewhere? The worst part was that I was trapped here, and I couldn’t leave, I couldn’t even touch anything. Once, in my rage, I even tried to throw glasses against the wall, but I couldn’t pick them up. Instead, my hand just passed through them, as if I had tried to pick up water. There was some resistance, telling me that something really was there, but I couldn’t touch it or move it, it didn’t feel solid.
The next day, right before his family got home, he left. It wasn’t unusual for him to not be home when everyone else was, he usually worked late, or at least tried to. I think he wanted his family to come to expect him not be home at five, instead he usually just wandered around, doing nothing well into the night. But, what was strange about him leaving today was that it was a Thursday, and he didn’t work on Thursdays, but I was starting to realize that his family didn’t know that.
When he left, I followed a few steps behind him. It was about five and the traffic was starting to pick up from all the people getting out of work. He weaved around the crowded streets and down to the subway. He slid his ticket into the reader and pushed the turnstile to walk into the station. He didn’t look at any of the maps that clarified what subway to get on, instead, it seemed as if he already knew where he was going and walked deliberately over to one of the lines that went north. I got on the subway behind him and with it so packed, I ended up behind forced to stand partially through people. No one seemed to notice except me, but it tingled, and it made me feel as if I was hollow, it was in these moments that the reality of my death really set in because most of the time it was pretty easy to forget when someone’s arm wasn’t going straight through you.
We only went three stops when he made his way off the subway. Again, I followed behind him, making sure to constantly only stay a few steps behind. When he made his way up the steps that led out of the station and he was on the street above, I immediately recognized where we were. My heart thumped loudly in my ears and I wrapped my arms tight around myself and tried to gain control of my breathing. I was starting to realize I was getting too far from him and took off running, trying to avoid the pull that caused me to lose so much of my energy. This time, I succeeded, but that was until I saw exactly where I had chased him to.
When I saw the bar, I stopped in my tracks. Visions from the night I was here just two weeks ago overtook me, his smiling face catching my eyes from across the bar when he walked over and handed me a drink. I went through a rough break up just a few days before and I was drowning my sorrows, it felt nice to catch someone’s attention, and when he offered me a drink, I had accepted. A tear escaped the corner of my eye, knowing that so many things could’ve saved me from this fate.
I was still frozen in front of the bar when I realized how far away he had gotten and the invisible rope that kept me bound to him pulled at me like a bungee cord that I had let get too far. I didn’t even have a chance to run to him when suddenly I was pulled through the air, going through walls and doors as if they were mist until I landed in a heap at his feet. Every bone in my body felt the strain and I groaned as I picked myself back up off the ground. I rested on the chair next to him and rubbed my seemingly bruised arms as he ordered a beer.
When the bartender brought him the beer, he turned around and surveyed the bar. It wasn’t super packed but was pretty busy for a Thursday night, people were still walking in, presumably to have a drink or two before they go home to their families. Then, he started surveying the patrons, his eyes landed on one girl, sitting alone across the room. He turned back around, ordered another drink and I watch him slip something in it as he made his way over to her.
Once I saw here, I screamed in her ear, telling her to run, to not drink it, to call the police. I tried to push the drink out of his hand, all to no avail. I was still screaming, trying to stop the events that I knew would unfold as she looked up, smiling at him pleasantly and happily took the drink from him. As she took a sip, I knew she sealed her fate, and I couldn’t help the tears that streamed out of my eyes as he led her out of the bar and onto the busy streets. It felt like only seconds had gone by and we had already reached the apartment he kept secret from his wife and kids. I couldn’t bear to look as she died, and I felt as if I had died all over again right along with her. I heard weeping, and when I turned back around, her ghost stood over her body and I ran over to her, holding her tight.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered, even though I knew that it wouldn’t help, “I’m so very sorry” and I cried right alongside her for everything we had lost.
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