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It was the first time that I killed something. Did I say something? Actually, it was a person. A person, once, I fell deeply in love with. But now, as the singing goes, he is dead. Except, I did not pull the trigger. I killed him with a knife.

Can you believe it? Me, a five-foot woman, killed a 6-foot man with a shining blade, intestines inside and out. It feels so good, now that I remember it. The room is pitch black, only the curtain trembles occasionally with the wind. I don’t know where the wind comes from. Windows are closed. The weather report says it should be a peaceful night. I used to hate peaceful nights, I thought they were dull, tedious and lifeless, but now after all the charge, they really are lifeless.

How do I begin my story when everything happened so fast and ended so fast, and I guess my life ended too, when I propelled the blade into his spine – boom, he fell, and was dead. Laying there, motionless, he faced the door through which my memories came in and out, in and out, and it reminded me of the slide I once took when I was 5.

That was a good year for me, and perhaps the only good year. I remembered the day my father took me to the park, it was a local park, nothing fancy, yet joy submerged me. I never forgot that feeling, tingling with excitement, thrill, childhood gaiety.

My father seldom smiled, his face stern, body toned. Slap, smack, strike, constituted my father. He beat my mother until she ran away, and then, he hit me frequently. And when he took me to the park, I thought God finally answered my late-night, swollen-eyed prayer.

Naturally, I was wrong.

I was left alone in the park, until someone from the institution picked me up and moved me from one home to another. I lost count, and when I turned 18, I met Eric.

Then, he was no longer Eric. How should I address him in the future? My late husband? My lost lover? I simply did not give a fuck. I shed no tears because this was the night I had been waiting for. The past year had been difficult, and that was what the writers call an understatement.

Have you ever been held up high and smashed to the ground? You lose consciousness, and when you wake up, another wave of dark tide awaits you…You hope the day comes sooner, but it never happens. No daylight can stop the beast. He perches quietly on the higher ground, waiting for you to wake up and suffocate you with the shadowy, starless night.

And now, the wind comes in, along with it, is the taste of liberty.

Eric treated me well in the beginning, he bought me flowers, walked me home, took me out for dinners. But nothing good lasted long, not in my world. He lost his job during the pandemic, someone called him Chink on the street, but he was Vietnamese, he served in the Iraq war. Not that it matters.

He loved America, but his love remained unreturned.

And I became the symbol for his deterred American dream.

It is because of you, your white skin, your pale, lifeless white skin…And what about mine? I served the country, what did you do for America? Answer me , what did you do for this country? Nothing …literally nothing.. you and your skunk white family …you ruined me and you ruined this country…”

I didn’t know what to say. Was I privileged? I tried to search for the answer in my memories. Was I privileged when my mom died of an overdose? Was I privileged when my father left me in the park? Perhaps I was privileged, because after all, I went to college and got a job in a store. I guess I was.

At first, I felt sorry for Eric, so I let him beat me. Night after night, whenever he was drunk, he beat me. Whenever he felt sorry for his life, he beat me. I thought about fighting back, but I gave up. I pushed his face, scratched his arm, pulled his hair, all in vain, only a heavier punch awaited me throughout all my efforts of getting myself free.

And that night, I found my weapon.

A fruit knife. I think Eric was the one who bought it. I used it to open my parcel, to cut fruit, to gash my wrist and then to murder Eric.

Bio: Literature teacher; life-long words player. Longing for retirement. Particularly interested in James Salter type of syntax and fascinated by James Baldwin’ s world.


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