“So, how long do you think Mr. Cliffield was here for?”
“I, uh, I think, ten or fifteen minutes. He came to drop off some flowers and ice cream and that was about it. I thanked him and he left”, I said pointing to the flowers on the kitchen counter.
I watched the police officer scribble something down on his notepad before he spoke again. He was very intimidating even with the female officer standing beside him, somehow I felt guilty. I wiped a tear from my eye with the back of my sleeve.
“Ms. Dubois, do you have any jealous boyfriends we should know about, that might want to see Mr. Cliffield dead?”
“No, I don’t. My boyfriend passed away two months ago. . .”, my voice trailed off as I thought about Aulad.
I hadn’t heard from him since our fight last night.
“I’m sorry for your lost”, the female officer said speaking up.
“Thank you”, I sniffled.
“Alright, if there’s anything that you can remember that was unusual about him at all, give us a call”, the officer said handing me his card.
“Alright”, I said taking the card and closing the door.
“Alicia I, I–I I’m so sorry and I can’t believe it! Who would kill Jaxon? I mean to strangle him and then stab him multiple times?”
Kara shook her head and began to sob loudly.
“It just doesn’t make any sense”, she continued.
“And you, my God, I can’t imagine what you must be going through Alicia…I wish I had never even bothered to set you up with him.”
“You didn’t know he was going to…to be murdered”, I muttered.
Kara shook her head, “I’m going outside. Kevin is supposed to pick me up any minute now”, Kara sniffled as she grabbed her purse and her overnight bag. “Call me later”, she mumbled over her shoulder.
I watched Kara leave out the door and I locked the door behind her. I looked over at the vase full of yellow and pink roses mixed in with bits of baby’s breath from Jaxon. They were alive and healthy but he wasn’t. Tears stung my eyes as they began to run down my face soaking Aulad’s blue t-shirt.
“Why are you crying over him?” Aulad’s raspy voice came out of nowhere filled with agitation.
I looked up at Aulad’s face, it was torn with anger.
“Aulad, I just saw him last night. . . he was murdered. Don’t you have any sympathy?” I said angrily.
“What for? Maybe if he wasn’t trying to steal my girlfriend he wouldn’t have gotten killed!” He hissed.
“Aulad! What is wrong with you?” I screamed not caring who heard me.
“How could you not care? We are talking about a life! So what, if he had a crush on me and brought me flowers, he didn’t deserve to die!”
All of a sudden, I got a sharp pain in my stomach as if I was the one who had gotten stabbed.
“Aulad, did you–”, My mouth didn’t even want to continue the rest of that sentence.
“Did I what, Alicia?” He hissed.
Sickened with fear, I mustered up the courage to ask him, “Did you kill Jaxon?“
Aulad snorted, “Did anyone ask me how I felt when I died? No! Did anyone let me grieve? No! I sat there in the darkness, alone, wondering why did this happen to me! Why did I die! I had a future, a life, friends, my band! No one asked me how I felt. No, I had to listen to you cry, “why, why, why? Why me, why my boyfriend? Woe is me!” He mocked me with a whiney tone.
I sat there in horror, afraid to move or make a sound.
“What about me Alicia? What about me! I’m here for you and I always will be, but you sit there and cry over this– idiot as if he means something to you as if he were me! So yes honey dearest, I killed him! I watched the life drain from his body and then I stabbed him 130 times! The number of days you should have grieved over me!”
His face was so close to mine I could smell the foul stench of decay on his breath. Whatever this thing was, it was not the Aulad that I knew. I closed my eyes and put my hands over my ears.
“You’re not real! Get out! Get out! You are not Aulad! You are not welcomed here! Get out, get out now!” I opened my eyes to find my room empty.
Afraid to call out his name, I ran over to my bed and hid underneath the covers. How could this have happened? I thought as I cried. It wasn’t him this whole time and now Jaxon is dead. This all my fault, I’m the reason why he’s dead. Oh my God, this is all my fault, I cried.
I woke up the next morning to Aulad laying next to me. Scared out of my mind I jumped out of bed, backing up against the wall searching for something to defend myself with.
“Get away from me demon!” I growled.
Hurt and confusion found it’s way to Aulad’s beautiful face. I noticed that he wasn’t transparent anymore.
“Lici, y-you had a nightmare. It’s me Aulad. Come here.”
I hesitated for a moment, “how do I know it’s you?”
“Lici, you know I would never ever hurt you, baby. You know me”, he pleaded with his arms stretched towards me.
“I looked into his sad brown eyes, something was different about him. I slowly walked over to him and tapped his fingertips to see if what I was seeing was real. Warmth and no electricity. I breathed a sigh of relief and fell into his arms. I felt his warm arms wrap around me, cradling me like a child.
“Oh, Aulad! I had a horrible, horrible dream! I dreamt you died, and then I brought you back to life, then you killed some guy because he liked me, then you turned into a demon…Oh my God I love you so much! I love you, I love you, I love you!” I said kissing Aulad’s warm solid face.
“What’s wrong?” I asked when I noticed Aulad wasn’t as excited as I was for him to be alive and that it was all just a dream.
“You don’t remember do you?” he asked with tears in his eyes.
“Remember what?” I asked getting worried.
“I’m still dead Alicia.”
I stared into Aulad’s eyes trying to figure out what the hell was going on.
“Then how come I can feel you and not see through you?” I asked getting a little upset. If he was playing with my emotions, this wasn’t funny.
“Sit down”, Aulad said quietly.
“I don’t want to sit Aulad, tell me what’s going on? Was it a dream or–”
“You died Alicia”, he said cutting me off and holding his head down.
“That night, when–, you were so upset, I tried to scream your name but you couldn’t hear me, I begged you, but you–” Tears started to roll down Aulad’s face.
“I what?” My voice quivered as my own tears started to fall.
“You took all those pills, and then you laid down and– you died.”
“No, no, no, no no! No! I–I didn’t d–, I didn’t mean to k–k-kill . . .”
Aulad stood up and caught me just before I hit the floor.
“My parents! Kara!” I cried. I opened my mouth to scream but nothing came out.
“Aulad– tell– me– this– is– a– dream”, I cried.
“I’m so sorry baby, I’m so, so, sorry baby!” He cried holding on to me.
I lost control of my body and used Aulad as my support crying uncontrollably.
Aulad and I laid in silence for days. We didn’t talk, we didn’t move, we just stayed still in each other’s arms.
After three days of stillness, Aulad’s voice broke the silence, “Alicia, it’s time for the hardest part.”
“What could be worst than committing suicide by accident?” I said solemnly.
“You have to go to your funeral”, Aulad said getting up from the bed.
I got up too. “Okay”, I sighed.
“Wait, can you go with me?” I asked holding my hand out for Aulad to take.
“Of course I will, I will always be here for you. Forever.”