by Jami Miller
I was nearly twenty-one at that time. Andy and I had been dating for almost a year and a half. We had moved into a trailer about six months earlier. It had two bedrooms; one the size of a closet, and the other just big enough for a full-size bed. The walls were covered in dark wood paneling that left the trailer to feel gloomier, and smaller, than it already was. The trailer really was only big enough for one person, yet Andy and I still shoved ourselves in there, together like cellmates. It was my first time being out on my own, and hell, the rent was only a hundred dollars a month. Besides, I figured it would help Andy to trust me. Not like he didn’t have reason to, but it couldn’t hurt.
The trailer was located in a conservation area surrounded by woods. Wild animals like turkeys and deer would graze in our yard. I would watch them from our living-room window early in the mornings. Ten miles from town, the trailer seemed so far away from society at times. Secluded from everything, Andy and I had complete privacy, but I always hated the trailer. It resembled a bachelor pad, covered head to toe in Bob Marley newspaper clippings and posters. Andy was obsessed with Bob. Everything was decorated in Rasta colors: red, yellow, and green. I found it hideous. The trailer never felt like home to me, subleasing it from his uncle. It felt like Andy’s territory. Besides the fact I kept most of my valuable things at my parents’, the only thing about the trailer that was mine was the cable bill that was in my name.
I was a waitress at a local pizza place back then, who had just gotten done working a twelve-hour shift. Work was typical that day. We had been somewhat busy. Most of the customers were impatient and rude, as usual. The air conditioning broke down in the restaurant that day, and with the ovens going in the middle of June, it was well over a hundred degrees in that kitchen.
I had been running out orders, cooking pizzas, as well as bussing off tables and answering phones, and I did not even get one break, not one cigarette, not one breath. I smelled like rotten tomatoes and raw sausage. I had been sweating all day. My hair was soaked from sweat, and my feet were killing me. My uniform was stained with pizza sauce and ten different kinds of salad dressing. All I wanted to do was go home and take a long, hot shower to wash away the filth.
The minute I clocked out, I rushed to my car and sped to the trailer. I always did, in order to avoid an argument with Andy over where I had been. He had caught his ex cheating on him, long before me, and was always afraid I was going to do the same thing. When I reached the trailer, I pulled into the gravel driveway so fast that a cloud of dust filled the air. I pulled my Sebring convertible with the busted windshield, from him, right behind the new Cadillac his grandfather had bought him.
Andy was waiting at the front door and greeted me with a hug, after he looked me up and down.
I gave him a quick peck on the lips and said, “Hi.”
I set my things down on the couch and headed straight to the shower.
I shut the bathroom door behind me. I didn’t lock it though, because Andy was known to get upset about that. I turned the water on and began undressing while I waited for the shower to get warm. The minute it started steaming, I jumped in. The water beat down on my back like a two-handed massage, and it was exactly what I had been waiting for all day. Shortly after, Andy slammed open the door, ripped open the shower curtain, and began yelling at me.
“How are you just going to come home and go straight to the shower?”
I took a deep breath and slowly replied, “Dude, I just got off work.”
“Where were you really? Have you been cheating on me?” He started with his questioning.
I was not in the mood to deal with his accusations, or intense arguments, derived from his own insecurities, so I jumped out of the shower and began quickly getting dressed in the same dirty clothes I’d just thrown on the floor, while Andy stood there screaming obscenities in my face, showering me with his own spit.
“That’s it, Andy. I cannot do this shit anymore. You are driving me fucking crazy,” I yelled at him, maneuvered my way around him, out of the bathroom and down the tiny hallway to grab my keys and pocketbook off of the couch.
Andy ran past me to the kitchen and began digging in the silverware drawer. He grabbed the cheapest steak knife I think we had.
I walked to the front door and turned the handle, when Andy ran back past me to the bathroom and stood in the hallway, holding the knife to his throat and yelling, “I am going to fucking kill myself.”
At that point in time I truly believed he was bluffing again, just like every other time I had tried to leave him, so I yelled, “Go ahead, Andy. Put us both out of our misery and fucking kill yourself already.”
I watched him as his eyes turned to crazy, and he pushed that rusty knife deep to his throat, and in an instant, he sliced his neck from one side to the other. He dropped the knife immediately and gripped his throat in his hands, while the crazy in his eyes turned to fear, and I saw blood dripping out from under his palms.
I dropped my things too, and screamed, “Andy,” as I ran down the hallway to him.
I started crying hysterically, sobbing, telling him how much I loved him and how I really didn’t want him to die.
He pushed me away though, hard, and I slammed against the wall, but I went back to hold him anyway.
He cried in my arms as I led him into the bathroom light to examine his wound. He removed his hand as if he was showing me how much he really loved me, like a cat who brings you a dead mouse as some sort of sacrifice.
I could see that the cuts were shallow though, superficial. They were deep and disgusting, and could probably use some stitches, but we both knew he was fine, like a teenager who pops just enough pills to throw up for attention. It wasn’t deadly.
He jerked away from me and yelled again, “I don’t want to live if you’re not going to be with me,” and then he began filling the tub up with water and jumped in with all of his clothes on.
He grabbed the plugged-in boom box on my wooden table next to the tub. I tried to grab it from him, but I fell into the tub as well. Andy pushed me out, and my head fell into my wooden table before smashing into the porcelain sink. Somewhere in the middle of us fighting for his life, I managed to unplug the radio. I quickly jumped up with it, and tried running into the living room, but Andy chased me, and I found myself trapped in the tiny hallway, fighting with him over both of our lives.
I threw the radio and shattered it to pieces.
Andy got pissed off and shoved me down to the ground, hopped over me, and went to the bedroom to get the shotgun. He came back and stood over me, looking down at me, as he cocked that gun and put the barrel in his mouth, all the while staring me straight in the eyes.
My vision blurred from the tears pouring down my face. I looked away, pulled myself up, and headed to the front door. I hesitated for a split second before I turned that knob, but he left me with no other choice than to stomp out of that trailer.
I slammed the door behind me before I heard the gun go off. I left, and I never looked back.
Category: Short Story, SNHU Creative Writing, SNHU online creative writing