By Khris Ramella
Simone broke her dreamy gaze out of the grimy third story window to glance over at Glen. He lay there so peacefully, the sheets tucked neatly around his soft, rounded chin. His hands were laced together and resting on his chest as if he were in a soft, silent prayer. She was surprised that the heat did not disturb him. The summer had been a hot one. It was night now and still the air was thick with humidity and oppressive heat. Simone could feel the moisture cling to her skin as the stifling air wrapped itself around her, languishing at her neck, getting caught deep in her throat.
Simone brushed off her damp brow, shifted her weight on the windowsill, and returned her gaze to the street below. Through the dirt smudged window her attention focused on the women on the corner. Simone recognized the strained, tired look on the faces of the half nude women who paraded their bodies up and down the block. She felt the anguish; thinly veiled by polite smiles as they waved down the next “date.” She smiled and again glanced over at Glen. If it weren’t for him she too would be out there tonight. Simone though, was different from the rest of the girls. She refused all of the pimps. She worked mostly with regulars and referrals and when the streets were necessary she stayed away from protected turf. She put money away and kept up her appearance. She took every opportunity afforded to head uptown to find a real boyfriend. Simone just wanted to be loved. She deserved to be loved.
She presented her best appearance and made the rounds of all of the best clubs and restaurants. Her exotic, smoky looks opened doors and provided endless refreshments. She passed herself off as a secretary in an accounting firm. Sometimes she’d find what seemed like a sincere one. They would stay around for a few weeks and then disappear. Simone struggled to understand why they always left. She was fun, sophisticated and particularly good in bed. She would begin to feel comfortable, almost human, in the familiar routine of new love. She would eventually tell them she loved them and they were gone as fast as they came. Then Simone met Glen.
Simone knew the first time their eyes met in an intense instant that he would be forever. As he walked over to her full of self-assurance and wanting, she could picture his lips parting to utter a simple, “I love you too.” It was all she really wanted. To be loved. Simone was right. The last two months have been a whirlwind. Glen sent her flowers weekly. She used a friend’s address and was thrilled to hear of the deliveries. He spoiled her with the nicest restaurants and cafes in the city. They shared movies, museums, books, and concerts. They snuggled and giggled like the lovebirds she was so sure they would remain.
After tonight’s dinner and a new movie they checked into a sleazy hotel for a night of sizzling lovemaking. Simone had given herself sexually like she had never before to Glen, and he had been surprised and delighted at her skills in bed. He often teased little Miss Secretary about her proper, conservative work appearance. “No one would ever guess you could do that!” he would whisper in his pleasure. Simone had decided tonight would be the night she would reveal her feelings of love. She had held out long enough and was brimming with anticipation. At last she could give up her other life. Simone could get a real job and often thought of what it would be like to welcome her love home after a long, hard day.
The heat didn’t slow down their passion and after a very satisfying evening of hot, steamy sex, Simone took Glen’s strong, sensual hand in hers. She gently kissed and stroked each finger. She looked deep into the eyes of the man she loved and said, “I love you Glen.” She stared at those lips as she waited for them to part with their declarations of love and adoration. Her heart beat loudly and overflowed with joy, when they finally did.
“Simone, I think you are wonderful, but I have a family.” Simone jumped as the scene replayed itself in her mind. How long had she been sitting there anyway? She eased herself down from the windowsill and went over to the dingy mirror. The reflection surprised her. A lonely little girl had replaced the happy woman of earlier this evening. Her face was damp with sweat and red from what looked like smeared makeup. Her shirt, Glen’s shirt, was splotched with red and heavy on her chest.
Again she gazed over at her lover. It seemed like days since she snapped out of her disbelief in time to hear, “…I thought you knew. I’m sorry Simone. Maybe we shouldn’t see each other anymore.” Something inside her snapped and she remembered the knife under the box spring. He had no idea she had been here before or that she kept the knife hidden in case a client got out of hand.
The rage was deep and the knife in her hands high above the man she loved. “No Glen, you can’t leave me. You love me, don’t you? I deserve to be loved!" Simone called the police quite calmly and expected them soon. They took their time responding to calls in this neighborhood. Simone felt sorry for the little girl in the mirror. She looked so sad. She deserved to be loved. Simone walked over to the bed and lay down next to Glen. She took his slippery hand in hers and kissed it softly. She looked at the sleeping angel, her very true love and said, “I couldn’t let you leave.” Simone plunged the knife deep into her own heart. “I love you,” she whispered. “Now we will be together forever.”
This was originally published in print, Art Hive Magazine | Issue 19 | Fall 2016