Inherently Bad | Quick Piece

Note: This story contains images of crime, violence and grief/loss. If you are sensitive to these issues, I would suggest not reading this piece. Please read my Quick Piece Breakdown for further explanation. I wanted to give a warning because of what’s happening overseas.

We were watching our usual crime scene show with the faux blue and red flashing before our eyes as the police step out of their cars to face the crime scene. I looked at my girlfriend, Jolie, her eyes widening as the crime scene slowly unfolded with the shining red dripping from all corners of the room. Cue the credits and ending music as well as a loud groan from Jolie. “That was so good!” she said as she stretched, her beautiful hair cascading down her back. “I’m not sure if I can wait for next week!” I jumped up from the couch and started stretching with her, purposely bumping my arms into her. “Man, I’m so tired right now!” she yawned and sat on the floor. We sat together in silence, listening to the throbbing of our apartment complex. “Do you think people are inherently bad?” she said. I couldn’t see her face anymore, but something wavered in her voice. “That episode must’ve really gotten to you.” I said, feeling her breathing. She shook her head and got up to get ready for bed. By the time I finished getting ready, she was already fast asleep.

“What is it?” I called down the hall while rubbing the gunk out of my eyes. “What’s happening?” Loud pounding sounded at my door and when I cracked it open, a brisk morning breeze and two police officers met me. “Can I help you?” I mumbled. It was still too early for me to comprehend anything. “Mr. Berry, we have some unfortunate news.” the officer on the left said. I looked up at him and saw his eyes stern, but hurt. “You probably want to sit down for this.” I was still confused about what was happening, but I lead them inside where they perched themselves onto my couch. I sat in front of them and the next fifteen minutes were the worst moment of my life. They started off slow, but the story picked up pace as they explained to me that my dear Jolie set the neighbor’s house on fire, the neighbors who had just moved in and then burst into the house in an attempt to save them. They explained to me that they weren’t sure about her intentions, but they were sorry for my lost. As if their sorry would mean anything to me. As if they understood what it felt like to suddenly be devoid of my beloved. And as quickly as they had arrived, they left. The house fell silent, but the silence was so painful with the ringing in my ears, reminding me of Jolie.

It’s been a week since the incident. My beard has grown long and patchy, take-out boxes litter my floor with small biospheres starting to form. I read through the text messages last sent from Jolie for the thousandth time today. I can do whatever I want.