Written by James McCann
‘You’re beautiful,' that’s what I told her. ‘Deeply, deeply beautiful.' And she was. Not just to me but to everyone. She was five feet, maybe five-one, black, black, hair that fell down over her pale shoulders in curling tussles. Her eyes were large, dark brown pools that, crazy at it sounds, I swear to God you could drown in. Her nose was thin and came to a type of squared-off point, the sort of nose that gives out a sneeze you’d expect to belong to a cartoon squirrel.
She was cute, pretty, you couldn’t believe how attractive, I could never truly get across to you how gorgeous she was, I’d have to show you photos or something, but we don’t have time for that right now. I’m sure one will find its way onto the news in the next few days, at the very least her picture will be in the papers. Totally out of my league, totally out of this world. Even my own mother told me she was too beautiful for me, she was too pretty for me. I guess in the end she was. She was too pretty for this world.
When we’d first got together, she was just about to get her first exhibition at some arts gallery across town. I’d heard rumours at the time that the sleaze who owned the place had a habit of launching new, unheard of painters in exchange for, shall we say, services? "Giving head to get ahead", it’s called.
Of course, back then, I didn’t really care. She was just a really good looking woman whom I happened to be introduced to one night at an arts exhibition. By the end of the night, the two of us were hunched up against each other in a closet, acting like a couple of teenagers. It got heavy pretty fast from there. There wasn’t a long “getting-to-know-each-other” phase. We knew each other like kindred spirits the moment we shook hands.
For the next three and a half months we lived in each other’s pockets. We were inseparable. After a while I noticed he kept calling. On the phone, coming round to her apartment, constantly asking to see her down at the art gallery. I knew something had to be done about it, I knew it was me who had to do it, as well.
It would be easy enough, use her phone to text arrangements to meet him at the gallery, go and meet him and whereas he’d be expecting to meet my beautiful princess, I’d kill him. Maybe even do it with one of his own statues. Then of course I’d take his phone. I wouldn’t even let my beautiful, pretty thing know what was going on.
And that was when it dawned on me.
Everyone was right, of course. She was too pretty for me. She was too beautiful for me. She was, and always would’ve been, out of my league. After that art gallery bastard, it would’ve been someone else eventually. A mechanic. A check-out boy. A dog walker. Anyone. There was no way I was going to be able keep her, Jesus she was perfection.
Walking-fucking-perfection. She really was the type of woman that inspires truly awful poetry in college kids, and strange tingling in pre-pubescent boys.
Just… awe-inspiring perfection.
So I decided there was no way I was ever - that I could ever - keep her from other men, there was just no way I could ever keep her. I’m just not good enough for her, nobody was, but in finding that out she’d have to leave me. She would never leave me, I would see to that.
I waited for her to come to my apartment for dinner, she looked amazing. The type of face that you see in pictures and just feel hollow inside because you know you can’t touch the beautiful, perfect contours of her face. I placed my hands on the side of her face and kissed her tenderly. I led her through to my bedroom, the bedroom we’d shared many, many wonderful times, and I gave her a tulip. A rose was too obvious, and the first ever painting of hers that I had seen was of a tulip.
She lifted it to her nose and drank in its aroma. When she lifted it to her face its beauty drained out in comparison to her features. She raised her green eyes to mine, we made eye contact, and then with a brisk whip of my wrist, her throat was slit open. The wound stretched open in slow motion, growing to a wide yawn, blood spilling down across the front of the white shirt she was wearing. My white shirt she was wearing.
The claret drenched the tulip, giving it the appearance of melting, something straight out of a Salvador Dali painting. She liked Dali. The crimson soaked its way downwards towards her blue jeans, completely encompassing the white of the shirt. She brought her hands to her throat as though she was strangling herself. The blood seeped through her fingers.
It didn’t take long for her to die, drowned in her own blood. I sat for a long while on the edge of the bed and just watched her. Flat on her back on the floor, her left leg was bent at the knee and tucked under her extended right leg, the limbs making a grotesque, perverted figure four. Her arms splayed out by her sides, her head cocked to the right, a dark red, already congealing, scarf of blood oozing out across the floor reminding me of if she’d been on the back of a motorbike or on a rollercoaster, her neck garment flapping in the wind.
She was dead now. Just in that instant she had crossed over from life to death, from here to there, from having all the potential to now being the perfect work of art forever more. She would never have her purity soiled by those others who aren’t worthy of her.
That was six hours ago. The city’s quiet outside. I chain smoked through two packs, something I’d completely given up during my time with her. I’d not really touched a drop of alcohol, either. Except the odd glass of wine over a romantic dinner with her.
I have her blood on my hands, her soul in my heart and her eyes on my mind.