After the disappearance of an ex-girlfriend, there is only one suspect that the police are questioning. However, naturally, there is more than meets the eye.
As we watched one another, her mouth twitched. Any minute, a ghost of smile would flicker as it always did. A lick of the lips, with a studded tongue, would follow. From a distance, it would give the impression of being flirtatious. Up close, it was a glowing happiness that meant only one thing. In the next few minutes, somebody would suffer terribly.
Her passion had always been pain, and she would have made a good dominatrix or dictator.
It didn’t matter who was receiving, she just wanted to be involved. They say the most ordinary are the ones to watch, and it is correct. She always had been toxic. Not beautiful, at least in a traditional sense. Her hair was greasy, slicked almost accidently, in a spiky bob; her face round like a plate, and freckled; her features plain and unremarkable, but made up well; her nose crooked, her chin slightly too long, her left eye with a tendency to wander off on its own adventures. Still, something shone about her. Perhaps it was the instant sense of shyness that radiated from her very skin, or the gothic clothing style she preferred, or the fact that she looked like a manga character. Her petite figure that was surprisingly buxom didn’t hurt.
Over a coffee, people would get on with her in a deep way- often feeling as if she had always been an old friend. That is exactly how she lures you. Spun webs of invisible, impossibly sticky, strands that snare you. Struggle and they bind you tighter, until there’s not even air to breathe. And then, pain comes. Lapses in mental capacity become obvious, and her mask drops for a second. Like a parasite, her fingers cling to flesh, her touch sickening. You are her whole world, her reason for living. Without you, there is nothing. If you were to leave, then death would become her new best friend. And, of course, you stay. Life is too short to have blood- literal or metaphorical- coating your hands. As you allow yourself to be a part of her mind games, she reels you in with just the hint of a smile. Completely aware of the guilt she creates, and happy to have you trapped.
When we broke up, my mind was not prepared for the turmoil. Even after three number changes, it became clear that I would never escape her. My essence belonged to her, and she would reduce it to ashes with glee. At night, she would ring repeatedly- refusing to surrender until an answer was got. On picking up the phone, only sobbing would be heard. Words were never uttered, and perhaps she felt them unnecessary. Or perhaps she was worried that I would hear the fake sadness riddled
in her voice.
And then she disappeared.
One night she went for a walk, down by the river. Never returned. For a few days, nobody noticed. Her family never spoke to her, so they didn’t worry at the lack of contact. In fact, it was me who initiated the investigation. Not that I was worried, per se, at the lack of contact but more confused. It seemed unlikely that an obsessed girl could so easily change her tune. And there was nobody else. If there had been, she would have bragged about it loudly to me- just like she had done to her ex when we’d started dating. At the time, I thought nothing of it- I was a fool, oblivious to everything, instead focused on frequent sex. If she had been psychotic to everyone, I wouldn’t have noticed or perhaps even cared.
Five days after she vanished, police arrived at my door. With a few words of warning, they took me into the station. For hours, we stared at each other over an interrogation desk. Him, trying to trick me into a confession of murder; and me, trying to demonstrate her true nature. Self-defence, he suggested with a wry grin. Or a lover’s quarrel. Or jealousy. Apparently, she’d told her housemates that we were going to dinner- an attempt to patch up our problems. Of course, there was no meal planned. There was no chance that I would be in the same room as her- not now that I had glimpsed her true self.
‘We’re just trying to find her, you understand. After she left her house she went for you. It is a ten-minute drive, or thereabouts, so she should have arrived around nine-ish. However, you claim she never arrived.’
‘She didn’t. Look, if I had housemates then they could back up my story. Can you not check the cameras on the street?’
‘Normally, yes. However, those cameras have been broken for a while now. You would know that, volunteering for the council,’ the officer raised an eyebrow.
'How do you know that I volunteer for the council?'
'It's called research, genius.'
Although it wasn’t hot in the room, sweat stained his white shirt. His face was one that was prematurely old, accompanied by specks of grey in his otherwise red hair. Despite his large, hooked nose, the most distinctive feature of his face was a Stalin-esque moustache. At times, it was difficult to see his mouth move.
‘Now, can you think of anywhere else she might be? Maybe a friend’s house, or a new lover’s.’
I shook my head.
‘Have you had any contact with her in the past week?’
I wanted to lie but there was no point. If he wanted to, he could just check my message history. Perhaps he had already done so and wanted to see if I was lying.
‘A lot. Since we broke up, she been contacting me constantly. I changed my number a few times, but she kept discovering it. Hell, I tell you. Psycho, you know?’
‘Is that why you killed her?’
‘I didn’t kill her, and that accusation was not appreciated. If you think I killed her, where is your evidence?'
He stared at me wordlessly. His cold gaze was piercing me like a knife, but I tried not to show my discomfort.
'Look, I have no idea where she went- she has no idea of logic. She could be at a friends house, or she could have moved to Tokyo or she could have jumped in the river. Anything is possible for her.’
He wrote down a few words, in scrawled blue ink. From where I was sitting across from him, it was illegible- like the hurried hand of a doctor. However, there was no denying that he was still suspicious.
And for good reason.
Eve Jones was currently under my bedroom floorboards.