I killed Dex. I hid his Epipen. It’s my fault. I killed Dex.
Like some kind of sick mantra, that’s all I could think about as I sat at the back of the church during his funeral.
I felt so guilty that I couldn’t see straight. Sam had insisted that I stay at her place and I had taken her up on the offer. The walls of my own condo contained way too many memories of Dex and I saw him everywhere – sitting on the couch watching tv with his dirty shoes perched on my antique coffee table just to upset me, standing at the fridge grabbing a beer and inspecting the left-overs in my fridge…
And the last time I had tried to sleep in my bed, I could have sworn that I felt him crawl in next to me…That was the night I called Sam telling her that he was haunting me in my own house. I was totally fucked up by the situation. I was in an episode of the X-Files. No, I was in my own episode of my “eX-Files”.
I know that you are asking yourself why I wasn’t happy that Dex was dead.
Besides being responsible for him dying with no Epipen in sight, there was a tiny sick part of me that still felt something for him. Don’t ask me what that something was. I mean, how was I supposed to feel about the death of the man I thought was the love of my life but never really was because he had made me fall in love with who he was pretending to be? Yeah, that’s a mouthful and still much too for my brain to process.
Of course I hated him. I couldn’t help it. I had wished him dead for so many things. The arguments. The bringing me down. The rape that led me to lay on my back while a doctor sucked life out of me at a clinic across town.
My emotions were all over the place but guilt reigned supreme.
You’re also asking yourself why I would ever go to the funeral of such a monster…
Well, I wasn’t going to attend but Dex’s mother called and personally asked me to. Yeah, she knew that we had broken up months before but she had always been sweet to me so I felt I had no choice. Tell me, what was I going to do? Tell her that her adopted son had violated me in the worst ways possible? No, I wouldn’t do that to a grieving mother. Dex was dead and the details no longer mattered to anyone but me. I would keep my mouth shut until the police realized what I had done. I didn’t want to think about how fast I would crack if they interrogated me about why my fingerprints were all over his Epipen when they eventually found it. Would they look for it? How deep would they dig in a case like his? Would I spend the rest of my day in jail?
I’m getting off topic….let me get back to the part about Sam and I sitting at the back of the church after I politely refused to sit with his parents in the front pew. Yeah, you know that I was staying clear of his casket. The last thing I wanted to do was take a final look at the man I had killed.
“Are you sure that you don’t want to slip out while no one is looking? We still have time to leave,” Sam said.
I shook my head at her. “No, I’ve got some praying to do.” Yeah…praying my own soul.
“You’re a better person that me Cara. Never in a million years would I have come here if I were in your shoes. But I guess that you did love him in the beginning…”
Little did she know that I wasn’t a “better person“.
Just before the service started, a trio of elderly ladies slipped into the pew directly in front of us. But instead of listening to the minister, they spent the entire time commenting and pointing out people they hadn’t seen in a while. Then they started gossiping as old ladies do. Sam and I gave each other looks as the three of them took turns whispering.
“Is his girlfriend sitting up front with the family? I don’t see her.”
My heart immediately flipped until I realized that they were talking about Becky, not me.
“No. That last girlfriend was just a casual thing. I heard that she left town a few days after it happened!”
“I heard that too! Someone told me that she was some kind of weird vegetarian and that he had an allergic reaction to a peanut burger they ate. What the heck is a peanut burger? Young people these days are so odd with this weird food!”
My mind flashed to the first time I met Becky and noticed her chickpea burger order that specifically said “No Nuts” in large writing. Becky would never have made that kind of mistake and besides that, the two of them had broken up.
Or had they?
I gave Sam a look and she raised her eyebrows at me. She was thinking the same thing.
“No wonder Becky left town,” Sam whispered in my ear. “Didn’t she tell you that she would make Dex pay? What if she did?”
My mind raced. Becky wouldn’t have stooped that fatally low…would she? And even if she had, the fact remained that I had hid Dex’s Epipen, not her.
Now it was the third older woman’s turn to gossip.
“Well, I heard that the restaurant gave them the wrong order and that’s how he went into shock.”
“Whoa! No wonder that girl feels bad but if that’s what happened, it’s not her fault. Then again, he might still be alive if she ate normal food like normal people!”
“Aren’t people with severe allergies supposed to have medication on them or something?”
You know what I was thinking…
“Yeah, but his mother said that he didn’t because he was careful about his foods.”
I could have thrown up right then and there as I pictured Dex rushing to the bathroom and not being able to find his Epipen because of me. Sam sensed my discomfort because I felt her hand on mine. I managed to make it through the service but I was out of the church like a bat out of hell the minute it was over. Sam was going to take me to her place but I wanted time alone to process everything and insisted that she take me back to my place.
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I need time to think,” I told her. When I walked into my lobby, I was so distracted by the thought of his ghost in my place again that I didn’t realize that someone was calling my name over and over again.
I turned and coming towards me at full speed was a sight that I never expected to see….
Continuation: Y is for “Yearning”
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