Psychopomp Magazine Summer 2014 - Page 13

Shilita Montez | 9

I had got inside the car with my heart beatin’ loud in my chest, then I backed the car out and drove. Drove down the hill from our house watchin’ the lights from the city below blur. At first I’d thought the blurrin' was from the rain that flowin’ down the front window, but then I realized I was cryin’. Well not cryin’ really, ’cause even though tears was in my eyes, they didn’t never spill over. Not even when I started shakin’ so bad I couldn’t stop. The tears sat still in my eyes ’till I blinked. Then they would go away and more would swell up to replace ’em. It was like the tears was fallin’ inside me ‘steada out. And I never even shed a real tear for Daryl. I’d taken my hand off the wheel to wipe at my face just cause that’s what I’m usta doin’ when I cry. But there wasn’t no tears on my face. My face felt wet though. When I looked in the rearview, I saw Daryl blood smeared on my cheek. The blood looked good there—like war paint. I’d drove all the way down to the bottom of that hill and turned off onto a dirt road. Then I just sat there for awhile ‘cause that’s where Daryl was. Not in that piece of meat, shot full of holes, lyin’ on our livin’ room floor.

It was early, early in the morning by the time I got out and walked back up the hill. Back at the house, I’d stood over the body that wasn’t Daryl and looked down at it. I nudged it a little with one foot and, when it didn’t move, I dropped down so I was real close and leaned over to pull up the eyelids one at a time. Same dark brown eyes underneath, but with no laughin’ light in ’em. I touched my lips to the forehead, the eyebrows, the nose, and, finally, the lips. That’s when I knew Daryl was gone.

If I wanted to be with Daryl, I’d have to go to the car.

I’d sat with the body most of the day. Starin’ at it. Tryna figure out what to do with it. I’d taken a shower. But watchin’ his blood swirl down the drain—I didn’t like seein’ it go away like that—diluted so it was pussy pink and not bright, shoutin’ red. But there was more in the car.

After the shower, I called the police to take away the body, and answered all they questions with the same hard stare and I don’t know. I just got here. Left early, early this mornin’. Don’t know why the body’s cold. Where I been? Just walkin’ around. Thinkin’. About what? Wonderin why my man didn’t come home last night. And they eventually left, but before they did, one cop without a blue uniform, but with hard blue eyes stepped to me.

“Hiya,” he’d said. A wet, scruffy toothpick was stuck in the corner of his mouth. “Hiya doin’?”

He stepped closer and I looked at his mouth so I could watch what he had to say. Bits of stuff from the little wooden stick was on his bottom lip when he asked, “Where’s the car?”