Afterimage

31Jul10

Inside a house of bright pastel colors, Annette sat on the bed—shocked—with blood on the floor. The police had swarmed the area. Different varieties of light scattered across the house as reporters and media scrambled to get their scoop. The most controversial murder has finally been solved.

Annette stared at the unmoving body of her best friend, Rose, and her heartbeat quickened. Her eyes darted out all over the room in panic.

“What have I done?”

The door burst open and lights scattered inside the room. Men in uniform entered the seemingly dead room; void of life and emotion. She watched them as they took away Rose’s body on the ground without a word.

A hand grasped her clammy ones and she looked up with wide eyes. A blur of a figure registered in her sight and she tried to focus but tears had started to well up. She let them fall as she heard a soft voice say:

“You have to come with us.”

Her palms spread out on his chest and her eyes looked at him lustfully as she pushed him down on his seat. She threw her right leg over his body as she saddled his lap, her thick locks spread across his body. “What’s your name?”

He whispered against her heated flesh, “Alex.”

Her fingers trailed down across his arm and she found his silver watch gleaming with the help of the low, dark lights: 9:45 PM

A smile had appeared on her lips as she captured his lips in a hungry kiss. “Nice to meet you.”—

“Why did you do it?”

Her eyes blurrily looked around the white room where she was confined in. A man early in his thirties studied her as she opened her mouth to speak, but the words wouldn’t come out.

She pursed her lips and closed her eyes as she let out a tired sigh. Her mind had started to wander as she blankly stared at the wall in front of her. Why?

She hurriedly ran towards her next class and passed by students in a haze. Her eyes scanned the surroundings quickly but as she did a double take, her eyes widened in realization. The same brown hair and dark eyes that she had grown fond with… her Alex.

She halted in her steps and she beamed in glee. She started to stroll towards him but stopped dead in her tracks as she saw a figure beside him with his arms tightly wrapped around a girl’s waist. Her whole body suddenly felt numb and her mind distorted.

I thought you liked me…” She murmured with gritted teeth.

A hard slam on the metal table shook her out of her trance and she jumped on her seat. She looked at the man in front of her, afraid. He narrowed his eyes at her as he pointed an accusing finger at her direction.

“Answer me!”

A pair of dark eyes glimmered in mischief as fingers trailed a sensual caress across a feminine jaw. “You have to be careful when you’re alone, Annette.” A teasing voice warned her as she turned around to leave. “I heard there’s a killer on the loose.”

Annette whipped her head to the side in laughter. “Rose, do you believe that nonsense? You already know that the people around here love gossiping. The stories might not even be true.”

You’ll never know…”

Her eyes glazed over and her mouth dry, she tried to cough up her thoughts out loud as her voice roughly came out:

“I didn’t do it.”

—”Look, Annette! It’s quarter to ten! I’m late for my appointment!” A voice echoed in her mind but she chose to ignore it. Her steps had gotten faster and her hand had dived inside her purse hurriedly. “Annette?”

Wait—wait, Annette…”—

The man laughed and shook his head in disbelief. “Why are you still trying to act innocent? All the evidences have pointed at you! Stop lying and just confess to us why you did it!”

She tightly gripped the phone in her hands as she listened to the screams at the other side of the line. She tried to stop the tears that threatened to fall but that did little to the heartache that she was trying to endure.

Mama…” She sobbed as she felt her knees gave way. “Papa, please… leave mama alone… please…”

“Do you gain satisfaction of seeing them die?” The policeman questioned her snidely. “Of seeing them bleed?”

Annette’s eyes started to sting as she turned her head away from his inquisitive glance. “I wouldn’t hurt them… I wouldn’t… I…”

—”Do you believe me now?” Rose asked her as she locked the doors of her house. “Now Christine is gone… and…”

Who is after us?” Annette muttered under her breath. “We never had enemies before…”

Annette…” Rose shook her head as she frowned at her friend. “We’re prostitutes. There are people that are bound to hate us.”—

“But you did…” The man whispered softly to her. “You were the one who killed them.”

Annette looked at him with a dazed expression. Her eyes gave nothing away as she stared at him. He looked back at her with a pitying frown. “You killed all your friends.”

—”Annette!” Rose shrieked as she ran around the house in fear. “Please, stop it! You’re scaring me!”

Annette held a pocketknife tightly in her grasp as she cried softly, her mewls echoed inside the large room. “Why? I thought you loved me…”

Annette—please, Annette…” Rose sobbed uncontrollably as she stayed a good distance away from Annette. “Please, you’re not yourself—you’re not—”

I thought you loved me, Alex,” Annette seethed. “I thought you loved me.”—

The man in front of her gave one last withered sigh and shook his head. “You’ll be shown to your cell in a bit. I’ll talk to you again in the morning.”

He left without another word.

Annette turned her head to the side and saw her reflection on the glass window. Her hair was a mess and her eyes were puffy and red from crying. Her cheeks were pale and her clothing was in disarray. What happened?

Annette quickly grappled Rose’s hand roughly and shoved her against the wall. The screams of pain escaped Annette’s hearing as she knocked off the clock on the wall. The hands of the watch fixed to the time that haunted her in her subconscious: 9:45 PM

And she couldn’t help it. Her body had taken over her senses and as she drove four deep plunges with the knife in Rose’s body, her thoughts were in a jumbled mess. “Why can’t you love me?”—

“Let’s go.”

She didn’t notice the guard suddenly appear and she was suddenly hurled on her feet. Her legs wobbled slightly as she was forced to walk out of the room in haste. They strolled across the secluded corridor of the prison and she was pushed inside a cell without another thought.

She fell on her derriere as she felt her whole body went numb. “I killed them.”

She cupped her face in her hands as she let out a sob. “I killed them all.

“Sir?”

The man behind the desk arched a brow in curiosity. “What is it?”

“The new prisoner… Annette De Leon,” the guard stated nervously.

“What about her?”

With her feet dangling above the ground, Annette De Leon’s arms limply fell to her side as her neck stretched with her white dress robe tightly wound upon her fragile neck. Her eyes tightly shut and her mouth bled with her teeth buried in her lower lip. Her forefinger oozed blood with a puddle underneath her figure. Stained with the red substance, the wall was covered with the words:

“I didn’t want to do it.”

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