Joined: 05 May 2012
|Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:17 pm Post subject: The Hidden Crime - Chapter 1 - Clean up, or come clean?
WARNING: CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE.
The entire story (to date) in beautiful, readable HTML, courtesy of the wonderful Dropbox. Great for catching up, too. Link: The Hidden Crime
Chapter 1: Clean up, or come clean?
Murky red water was filling up the wash basin. The sounds of my ragged breaths echoed around my bathroom. No, no, no, this isn't working. I grabbed my toothbrush and frantically scrubbed my wrists, my fingers, my elbows, and---oh god, no---my face. I kept scrubbing. And scrubbing. If anyone could see me right now, they'd think I've lost it. Maybe I have.
What happened last night? Fuck! Why was there blood everywhere? Wait, maybe it wasn't blood. I mean, I've never actually seen that much of it before. It was all over the white striped shirt I use when I go out to clubs. It stained one entire leg of my favourite pair of denim jeans. My bedsheets were practically soaked in it. And it wouldn't fuckin' wash off my hands!
No, I told myself again. Stop. Calm down. Think. I shut my eyes, and forced myself to breath slowly. Evenly. I opened my eyes and looked into the mirror. I shut the tap and walked out of the bathroom. Everything looks normal, in its usual place. In the living room anyway. Nothing…red. Then, I had to force myself to step into my bedroom. The bedsheet was once white. The patch on the carpet next to my bed was once beige. Spots and smears marked my brown wool blanket. It's blood. It's definitely blood. There was so much of it that I can practically smell it in the air.
I started to feel sick again. Maybe it was animal blood. What animal? You're in the middle of the city! If it wasn't an animal, then it must be…
I must have turned around and fled, because the next thing I knew, I tripped over a coffee table in my living room and fell onto my bookshelf with a loud cuss. Before I could do anything, my weight on the lower shelf pulled the furniture off the wall, and it came crashing down right next to me, books and all. But I didn't care about the furniture. Fuck the books. All I wanted to know was what happened last night. Why can't I remember?
I jumped at the sound. Someone was at the front door.
"Seb? You in there?" He knocked again.
Daniel Reece. My best friend since I learnt how to build lego cars and paper spaceships.
"Seb?" he tried again. "I heard something, man. Did something happen?"
"It's nothing, Dan," I somehow managed to find the voice to say. "Don't worry about it."
A moment passed before a reply came. "You okay, man? You sound kinda weird."
Mister emotions-aren't-for-public actually sounded concerned. How much noise was I making? If he heard it, then my other neighbours must have heard it as well. Although, they've probably already left for work.
Dan moved to this city before I did, when he landed a neurosurgery residency at a prestigious hospital. Some time later, when he heard that I was offered a job in the same city, he suggested that I move into the vacant unit next to his.
"Seb, come on man, open the door."
We probably only spent six months of our lives not being neighbours. Even when we were in college, we somehow ended up as dorm neighbours. I had seen him grow from the playful trouble-maker with pimples into someone who could be described as charming, intelligent and trustworthy. I think even his parents who loved him unconditionally was surprised at how well he turned out.
"Hang in there, Seb. I'll get the spare key."
It took me only about a second to realise that this was bad. Very bad. But, by then, it was already too late to call out and stop him. He had already gone back to his apartment. No, no, no, it's too soon. I hadn't even thought about what I was going to do, yet. Fuck, fuck, fuckery fuck!
Maybe I should just let it happen. There was no one I trusted more than him, after all. Even so, one look at me and he'll surely think I'm a murderer. I paused. Am I? No, stop. I have to think about what to do. I looked around my apartment. A washing machine next to the bathroom. A laundry basket next to my bed. A wardrobe at the back of my bedroom. A shower and a bar of soap. A shameful thought ran through my head: maybe I can try to hide it all.
I don't want to compromise my integrity, something that has been a part of me for, well, ever. But, I can't know how Dan will react when---if---he sees me like this. I do trust him, but, this goes way beyond best friend obligations. Is there another option? God-fuckin'-dammit. My head's been pounding ever since I woke up. Either way, I have to decide now. Knowing where he keeps my spare key, I only have a minute or two.
to be continued...