“It began the morning after Dad died; or rather, the morning after I found him in the garage, painting the floor a deep, vibrant red”. I catch my lips curling into a grin, “It’s not as though he’d ever been artistic” I mutter in the direction of my cellmate.
“It smelled like a chain workshop, and the metallic smell got worse as I got closer to him...” I paused as I felt Juan’s gaze upon my shoulders, so I turned to see him leaning toward me, listening intently.
“Why is the air smelling like chains, Omar?”
I couldn’t hold it back this time, my lips bent in anticipation as I replied, “Blood, Juan. My father painted our garage in his own blood. No paintbrush, no paint, just a simple 8mm pistol and a steady trigger finger.”
“Bad family makes bad thoughts, but not bad person Omar. Why they put you in here?” Juan asked, still leaning forward on his rickety cot.
“Well that’s when I met her, Juan. I left the garage, walked into the kitchen and there she was.” I juggled the next sentences around my mouth as I pondered those few events, how momentous they were for me as an 11 year old.
“Meeting Jen, it was like we’d known each other our whole lives, and from that point we were inseparable. Strange though, in each of these memories, her face is just a blur; and there is nothing before Jen. It’s as though my body decided that my life without Jen wasn’t worth remembering.”
This was the first time I had spoken about this aloud with anybody, and though I’d only met Juan three days prior, I felt I could trust him.
It was about 2pm on a Thursday afternoon in mid July, the sun was high and mighty, but so to was I. I’d just been offered a promotion, and although pizza restaurants were fast becoming a thing of the past, I couldn’t wait to tell Jen about it. It had not been 10 years since we first met; in fact it was 10 years to the date in 2 days time.
I raced home, weaving through the nonchalant traffic on my red and black 50cc scooter. A skill that it appeared not every driver was comfortable with, but made my adrenaline pump, so I did it all the same.
We decided to celebrate that night by going out for dinner and drinks, something that wasn’t out of the ordinary for us, except for the fact it was a Thursday night. I remember grabbing Jen by the arm and asking her something along the lines of “Which kinds of people go out on Thursday nights?”
To which she replied, “It’s just another day, Omar, and this one in particular, is your day.” She always knew how to ease my nerves.
Jen mixed us a cocktail she called the ‘Mr. Manager’, which we both threw down before walking out the door…
And that was the last thing I remember before I woke up in a blockbuster car park alongside Jen. The back seat of the car we were in was playing host to a variety of fluids, varying from reds to deep browns to almost whites. On the floor at Jen’s feet was a sandwich bag filled with some form of white powder – I presumed it to be the cause of my sudden amnesia.
Jen was of small stature, curled up on the passengers seat in what I could only call the fetal position, but not for long. I shook her, but she wouldn’t move, so I shook her some more, until finally she let out a sigh and her eyes flitted open.
“What happened last night, Jen? I can’t remember nothing, and what the fuck is this shit on the back seat?” I cradled my head. I needed answers but couldn’t handle the beat that my hangover was playing on my skull.
Swiveling around, I thrust open the door to release the wall of warm waste that was forcing it’s way up my throat. Unable to get my footing in the dazed state, I fell into the freshly laid puddle of stomach juice, and God knows what else.
“There’s rags in the boot, Omar.” Came Jen’s voice from inside the car, followed by the clunk of the boot release mechanism activating. As I stood up, dripping in bile, I made eye contact with Jen, she had several rips in her dress, but that was it. Her skin was glowing, her eyes seemed full of life… even her voice had the usual upbeat tone to it. It puzzled me, but I had bigger things to worry about, so I proceeded to get the rags to clean myself up.
I opened up the boot, hoping to see a fresh change of clothes. In hindsight, I realize that I was still probably more than half cut from whatever was in that sandwich bag.
“WHAT THE FUCK?!”
The boot slammed shut just as quickly as it had opened and I to the front seat as quickly as I had rolled out.
I snatched the bag out of Jen’s hands, dipped my key in and snorted – within seconds my face went numb and I turned, wide eyed to Jen.
“91st and Wegner” I mumbled…
“Hey what’s that now, Omar?”
“The dude from the corner of 91st and Wegner rd.”
“Oh yep, Craig, I think it is?” stumbled Jen.
“His body is in the back, Jen. How the fuck have we ended up in this shit? What did we even do last night?!” my mind kept racing back to the 11 year old boy in the garage.
“Answer me Jen!” I scream at her, distant sirens becoming louder by the second.
As I turn to face her, she is laughing hysterically, tears streaming down her face; her head turned to face me, as if she were one of those clown games at a carnival.
“Sir, put your hands up and exit the vehicle slowly.” A voice came over a megaphone, “There are twelve officers here, and only one of you, we have you surrounded so there is no use trying to escape.”
“10 years a fool, Omar.” She said
The drivers side window smashed as a police officer sunk his taser deep into my skin until. I passed out.
“And that’s it, I woke up in here.”
“Looks like this could be my swan song. Morningstate psychiatric facility, the final chapter in the life of Omar Jenson Forster.”
Written by: Lachlan Thomson
Lachlan is a budding young writer, who's biggest struggle is finding time to put pen to paper. Spending his time studying, working, or out and about Brisbane, Australia. Still relatively new to the writing game, we look forward to future instalments.