The clock is ticking tirelessly, its faint sound echoing through the eerily quiet room.
It looks unusually empty but if you try coming close enough, you’ll find a girl crouched in a corner writing furiously.
Her hair unkempt, her clothes torn, she is humming to herself as she’s thinking, her pen vibrating rapidly in her nervously shaking hands.
There is a piece of paper in her hand that looks botched with drops of ink.
From a distance, those smudged circles almost look like smears of blood.
One can’t see the words in that paper but I know that she’s writing a letter.
Because that letter is for me.
And it goes something like this.
My dearest John,
Why did you leave me?
I thought we’d be together for years to come.
But you broke my heart, John. You really did. And it makes me so sad.
Sad for you. Sad for us.
The cupboard creaks.
As if on cue, she looks up, stopping her writing momentarily, as her eyes dart from side to side, her eyeballs tinier than anything I’ve ever seen.
Even though the day is being extremely windy, the wind chimes on top of the open doors don’t move. It makes me wonder if something is horribly wrong not just with the girl but with the whole house as well.
When I first saw you in the grocery store, picking vegetables and laughing into your phone, I knew you were the one. It was undeniable attraction. Love at first sight, you could say.
Even though you didn’t even look at me, my heart pounded in excitement.
I’m pretty sure that it is love.
But then again, you’re the only person I’ve ever felt that for. So, I may not be the best judge.
I knew one thing, then. I wanted you and I was going to do anything to get you.
The unwashed wisps of hair on her face seem to excite her. She darts her tongue out like a frog, her eyes going cross from the strain of trying to follow her action, as she tilts her head in an odd angle to catch her hair in her mouth. Once she manages, her chewing continues endlessly.
It disgusts me. She disgusts me.
But she also terrifies me.
I followed you around for weeks but you never knew.
By the end of the year, I knew you inside out. You lived in a mansion three streets away from me.
In the time that I followed you around, I saw you with over fifteen girls. So, it was clear to say that you hadn’t found ‘the one’ yet. I can be that one, John! I really can.
I know that you liked having healthy meals but ate a lot of salted chips in the weekends.
Also, beer was your favourite.
Do you know that I’ve stocked up my fridge with your favourite beer?
There is no fridge in this room.
So I don’t know what she’s talking about.
But if I squeeze my eyes into really tiny beads, I can see empty bottles of beer on top of a shelf.
There are over fifteen empty bottles.
Did she drink them all?
Or are those my used bottles?
I can’t decide which one of these options is scarier.
You were used to taking a jog around the local park at least thrice a week.
Did you ever see me follow you?
I was right behind you, inhaling your sweet scent and watching your powerfully built body.
You’d find a hot girl and jog along with her, matching her footsteps.
I’d long to be that girl. I’d long to share some space beside you and hear those sweet words coming out of your mouth for me and me alone.
These thoughts consumed me, John darling.
They became me.
The wind chimes finally begin to move a little.
It’s getting windier outside.
They sound like a warning to me.
She looks up at them, puts a finger up to her lips and makes a loud hissing sound.
I think she’s telling the wind chimes to keep quiet.
But no words come out of her mouth.
Just the trembling finger against the chapped lips of a deranged girl.
It was getting more and more difficult to get you out of my heart as the hours passed.
As each day passed, every waking moment of my mind and soul were consumed by thoughts of you.
For now, watching you from a distance was enough.
But I knew that eventually, even that wouldn’t suffice.
I needed you.
You were like my breath. Every inhalation of mine was for you.
I love you, John. I love you!
It’s been over four hours.
She sits there, crouched on her knees, as she adds papers to her already piling up collection.
The letter is getting longer now and eventually, she’ll expect me to read it.
She doesn’t know that I know all these things already.
A few twists of her hair are now dripping from her saliva.
I close my eyes in repulsion.
At night, I dreamt about you, my love.
They weren’t just dreams of our lives together.
I had hot, passionate dreams of our unending lovemaking marathons. They filled me with more longing and desire than I’ve ever felt in my life.
But I hadn’t prepared myself enough. So, I decided to take something of yours that would remind me of you till you could finally be mine.
One Friday when you gave your laundry to the dry cleaners down your street, I followed you and snuck into the shop after you left. The receptionist was really pretty, wasn’t she? And obviously interested in you. But she was a horrible female. I had to go through a lot of trouble to get your shirt from her.
I haven’t taken it off since.
She begins chewing at the shirt’s collar, her eyes vacant, and her smile revolting.
There are remnants of chocolate between her teeth.
Wrappers are strewn around her.
She holds a corner of the shirt and sniffs it, closing her eyes in pleasure.
With her grubby fingers, she picks up another piece of chocolate and pushes it deep into her throat.
Another wrapper gets thrown on the bare floor.
Then, she picks up the pen again.
I finally made up the courage to come up and talk to you that Saturday.
After spending hours at the parlour curling my hair and caking my face with make-up, I stood in front of you, my heart pounding, and my knees weak.
You were sitting at the coffee shop, sipping a cappuccino and reading one of Sidney Sheldon’s novels.
I knew by then that these were two of your favourite things.
Clearing my throat, I said “Excuse me, is this seat taken?”
I’d been practicing this line for over five months, ever since I knew that you stopped by this coffee place at least three times a week.
You shook your head and smiled.
That was all it took. I fainted.
Though all I remember next was waking up at your house hours later.
I knew it was your house the moment I opened my eyes because I had pictures of it stacked up on my wall. I took them to familiarize myself with my future home.
We hardly talked that night. I felt shy and my head felt dizzy with love.
The cupboard creaks again.
She looks up, her expression one of frustration.
Slowly, taking the support of the wall, she begins to stand.
Her knees crack painfully but she doesn’t even flinch.
Limping, she makes her way to the cupboard and bangs the doors shut.
“No peeking” She says to the closed doors, speaking for the first time in hours.
Her voice is high pitched.
But it has a strong base to it and suits her demeanour.
She limps back to her corner, giggling to herself as if she’s done something cute.
We made love that night. It was magical.
I knew you’d done this with multiple women before.
But I also knew that this was different for you.
I wasn’t one of your one night stands. You were obviously infatuated with me.
It was the most perfect moment of my life.
I decided that I’d bring my clothes over to your place that night. I’d waited long enough.
It was time for us to move in together and I knew I didn’t need to ask you. You were in love with me. It was obvious.
I walked back to my place, drunk on love and began throwing out whatever little furniture I had.
I wouldn’t need them. We’d buy new things for our home.
All I had left with me by the end of the day were my packed clothes and a few necessities.
My house had become bare. A perfect contrast to my heart.
I spot the luggage bag near the door.
It’s big and yellow.
I imagine it’s full of clothes.
She puts the pen down and stretches her fingers. They make tiny sounds like little bones are breaking.
If you look closely, you’ll notice how her fingers have blisters from tightly gripping the pen for countless minutes.
She calls it love. I call it psychotic behaviour.
That night I texted you telling you that I was coming over to your place.
When I didn’t get a reply, I called.
You didn’t even respond then, so I obviously panicked and dropped by your place.
It had become a very familiar route to me by then.
And that was when I saw it. Or rather, her.
I always knew certain factors would be responsible for destroying our love.
But I never thought you’d be one of them.
I sat there, distraught, knowing my life was truly over.
Tears streamed down my face as I contemplated ways to kill myself.
But then it hit me. Why should I be the one to suffer just because some random female stole my man?
I’d have to fight for your love. It was the only thing to do.
So, I stormed over to your place, in my last minute desperate attempt to win you back, and I still remember the words you said to me.
“Who are you?”
I shudder as the cold breeze brushes my bare skin.
She’s now writing at a very fast pace.
I think her letter is almost over.
Soon, it will all be over.
The rest is history, my love.
I’m so glad you’ve realized your mistake and come back to me.
My home is your home and though I don’t have much of furniture, we shall fill it with our bonding.
No one can take you away from me, John.
I love you.
My story has come to an end in her letter.
I can tell, because she’s put the papers down and is now hugging her knees, rocking herself to and fro.
The cupboard creaks again and along with it, the wind chimes start to sing.
She shuts her ears and starts rocking herself harder, her eyes wide and her lips shut tight from the spine chilling tune that she’s humming.
The cupboard creaks one more time.
I cannot control it.
As she gets up, I take a deep breath and watch her from the slight crack from between the doors.
My leg is starting to kill me now.
I clutch it tight and close my eyes, wondering when this will all end.
If only I knew that one harmless fling would bring me to my death.
Because I know that the only way that this nightmare is going to stop is if my heart stops first.
As she comes closer, she peeks back at me from outside the cupboard doors.
“I told you to stay inside!” She says, her tone that of an angry mother.
I stop breathing, scared witless that she’s going to hit me again.
But she just bends and picks up a drop of blood that has escaped to the floor.
And then she sniffs it.
I hear the ticking of the clock and then the ruffle of papers in her hand.
At a distance, the wind chimes sing again, warning me.
But it’s too late.