Short Story: Where She Belongs

Megan Lee, BFR Staff

He fell in love with her sitting on a park bench. Her skirt, decorated with small pink flowers, rustled and flowed softly in the wind as she sat alone, absorbing the chirps of the birds and the ripples in the pond. It seemed to him as if she belonged there, as if she were born to exist exactly in that moment. Her long, blonde hair shined in the fading daylight, flowing with the wind in wispy tendrils. Her soft red sweater blended into the burnt fall landscape. She was supposed to be there. Perfect.

Then a man arrived, and the beauty was broken. She rose from her seat to greet him, this man, this black mar on an otherwise unblemished painting. They walked away together, holding hands. He held her hand carelessly, as if not aware of the graceful creature in his presence! As if she were nothing.

He walked away, angry, inconsolable. Nothing ever stayed perfect forever.

He watched her again as she worked at the diner, the dirty, disgusting diner. She was clearing away grimy dishes, still filled with other people’s half chewed food and spit. She carried away the soiled cups and plates as their eyes followed her legs, extending from underneath her waitress uniform, as they debased her to something animal, something impure. He stayed for exactly two cups of coffee, then violently crumpled up his newspaper and left the diner, the two memories of her warring in his mind. One was perfect and beautiful, the other tainted with disgusting reality.

He needed to keep her in the park forever, where she belonged.

He couldn’t sleep at night. He could only think about her in the park. Her sitting, poised perfectly as the days turned to nights. Her sitting, as the moon shined on her skin, illuminating its whiteness. Her sitting, as the stars illuminated her eyes as they stared, unblinking. He imagined her sitting as fall turned to winter and then to spring, the dandelions blooming and fluttering in the wind around her perfect immobile figure.

He would take her away, he decided, to where she was supposed to be. It had to be quick and clean, he decided, or else she would be damaged, and it would not be perfect anymore.

She walked up to her front door, jingling her keys as her weary heels clicked up the steps. Just as the lock clicked, her mouth was covered with his hand, and a quick, straight incision was made across her neck. As she fell, he caught her in his arms, nudged the door open, and carried her limp body across the threshold.

The next morning, she was sitting on the park bench. In the same red sweater, in the same floral skirt, in the same heels, she sat unmoving. The sun shined on her hair as it twirled and danced in the wind again. Even from behind the caution tape, he thought she looked beautiful. The blood had all been cleaned, except for just a little that had soaked into her hair. The stitches around her neck were barely noticeable, and although her head drooped to one side, he could still see her eyes shining in the light. Perfect.

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