Washed In Blood

Renato Bratkovič

Every now and then comes the moment when you need to do something illegal – say, drink a whiskey before ten in the morning at my age. ‘Cause you know it was going to happen sooner or later. ‘Cause you know you can’t postpone it indefinitely. ‘Cause you know the guy deserves it! I watch the door through the empty glass. He said the first time was the hardest. To kill a guy, for instance. The second time it becomes routine. I show my thumb to the bartender. He nods.

* * *

He entered quietly, turned on the light, kicked his shoes off, and disappeared into the bathroom, unaware. The sound of rain came in through the open window, mixed with a jet pissing into the toilet. The light from the foyer was spilling into the room through the crack in the bedroom door, his shadow crawled past and fetched a beer from the fridge. He’d take his time … He always did.

* * *

Another whiskey lands on my table, where the light that shreds through the shades is spread instead of the tablecloth. I think about what he said afterward. No way, he said. I’d kill you both, he said. I wonder if, in my case, it would count as the first and the second time? I pat my belly and nock the drink back.

* * *

He wearily surfed the channels in the living room, although he had always thought TV was a terrible way to waste time. As long as I’d known him, he’d waste it more on another beer. Then he’d get up and take a shower. I started losing my patience. I started doubting. And the rain rustled.

* * *

I’m not the liquor type, but there’s no way I can face him sober today. We need to talk, is all that came from my mouth. And where. And when. I pick up my glass and nod to the bartender. He checks his wristwatch and sighs.

* * *

Am I really going all the way? Once you decide, that’s it, I guess, although it’s all about life. You don’t fuck with life. You fuck for life. Exactly – life! So there’s no turning back.

The light splashed into the bedroom, his shadow, twice as big as he was, stuck to the wall menacingly, with his hands on his hips.

What are you doing here?! How did you–

Through the window.

* * *

I turn the glass in my hand and two ice cubes knock against each other, getting smaller and smaller. Almost exactly like we were knocking against each other all those weeks when he was trying to convince me it was finally time to… It strikes me how everything’s changed so suddenly. Everything. At home the door has crashed closed for ever, while he crashes the door into the bar open and approaches me. He sits opposite me and looks into my eyes inquisitively.

What do you want to tell me?

* * *

Lie next to me.

He pondered a bit whether he should throw me out or accept my game, but a completely naked and innocent sixteen year old girl in his bed was too tempting… Especially if she had resisted for so long.

Did you take pills?

* * *

Did you really mean you’d kill us both?

What do you mean, kill you both? What are you talking about, honey?

I pull a little box from under the table. With a used pregnancy test inside. His eyes drill into me.

* * *

He was right – the first time was the hardest. After the first push I felt burning. The next ones were becoming tolerable and then the pleasure began. He filled me with life, or at least that was my plan… When he finished, he pulled it out, washed with blood.

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