In any story, the villain is the catalyst. The hero’s not a person who will bend the rules or show the cracks in his armor. He’s one-dimensional intentionally, but the villain is the person who owns up to what he is and stands by it.
It lay there silent, even with the promise of speech written in black sharpie. I don’t know how long it had lain there. Two years at least. That was how long he’d been dead. Two years.
How had I missed it for two years? How had he known? And did I really want to know? Now?
He died on a Wednesday. Windy Wednesday. I remember the cold surrounding everything, reaching in between the folds of my coat as I hurried towards work in the morning. He still lay in bed, asleep, as I leaned down to kiss his flushed cheek. Blonde tousled hair, strong jaw, lids closed over crystal blue eyes.
When we first met, he was conceited and arrogant and vain. I loved him. Too handsome and he knew it. Talented. He sang like an angel. Rock and Roll God. He was drunk, probably high. I found out later that he never used drugs. Hardly ever drank. What I had seen that night was just the sheer joy of his being.
I hated that and I hated him.
I loved him.
In the end, hate won out. He lied, pretending to be what he was not.
Now, the silver disc stared up at me like a plea. Listen to me, it seemed to say, hear me!
He’d loved me with a passion both deep and strong. Wanted me. Needed me. Gave me whatever I wanted except the one thing I had to buy for myself.
The silver disc stared up at me like an accusation.
There had never been a suicide note. Nothing was left except the broken body after he jumped. All the talent and those looks, the betrayal, gone. Crushed.
Did I want to hear his voice again? His song, for it was almost certainly a song. Did I want anything of his that I did not already have? Hearing him would not make up for his lies.
I know he had been drugged that morning. I don’t know if he woke as he was stumbled to the balcony. I don’t know if he woke as he was shoved to the rail. Did he know, that moment before? Was there a single moment of clarity when he saw death?
What did he know on the long way down?
Picking up the silver disc, I broke it between my hands, shock of his knowledge vibrating across my flesh as it shattered, mirrored splinters scattered across the bare wood floor.