We Five had always felt that we would be bound by fate, since the day we first met. We lived a vagabond life, working when and where we could, and finally traveling when either we were run out of town, or the wanderlust hit us again.
To this town we came, shacking up in an n old, abandoned Victorian house. Little did we know, though looking back, I think I could sense it, that this house would be the final resting place for our circle of friendship, and that things would never be the same. I remember the night we fist arrived clearly. Me, being the leader of our group (I don't know why I was the leader, it just had always been that way) was driving the van. Riding shotgun was Shimi, making lame cracks as usual, but we all laughed anyway. In the rear seat were Dess and Aria, sitting on either side of Seine. They both were playfully flirting with him, and occasionally laughing. Being the more somber one, I was lost in my own thoughts. To them, I was known simply as Xy.
We all knew very little about each other's pasts because our tales were pretty much the same: a life of abuse and neglect from our parents, and being an outcast in our places. This is the fact, I think, that drew us together.
We finished the ride to the house, and parked out back, bringing our few possessions in.
The events of that night were scattered, and much too horrid to describe, but the results of which were the deaths of two friends. I don't know what let loose the tension, but I know that the tension had always existed. The dead were Shimi and Aria.
Aria lay sprawled on the couch, and looked almost alive, as if sleeping, had not her throat been slashed, a pool of blood making a crimson background for her upon the white sheet draped over the couch. Shimi, however, looked quite the opposite. Blood was splattered all about the kitchen, smeared everywhere and the tables and chairs lay overturned or smashed. The cupboards were open and their varied contents strewn across the room. Shimi lay in the corner, barely recognizable; he was so mauled. A bloodied axe lay in the corner of the room opposite him. It appeared that Shimi, not large by any means, had struggled quite ferociously, but in the end was overcome. I tried to hold back my vomit at the sight of this grizzly murder, but threw up anyway.
I walked, dazed and confused, into the lounge, where I somehow knew my surviving friends would be. We all sat, in a daze, not speaking, trying to recall the night before. The day was over, before I even realized, and night fell. Not wishing to move, even then, we three drifted off to deep sleep, not even realizing that the other, or others, of us, was a murderer. Nor did we notice the sickly sweet smell the bodies had started producing in the warmth of the hot summer day.
That following morning, still in trancelike shock, the three of us, still in silence, cleaned both rooms of blood and by late afternoon had buried the bodies and paid our respects to our mutual comrades. We went back to the van and ate our fill, as we hadn't eaten in a day and a half, then went to bed before the sun went down, sleeping in the chairs again, resting peacefully for what would be the last time.
It had been a week after the brutal slayings that things finally fell apart. Around midweek we all came back around. Dess and Seine had been occupying themselves with sex, trying to block that night from their memory. I had been starting to remember the events. I remember screaming and shouting, and somebody crying. I can only guess at the entire course of that night, and never know for sure why it happened, but I think I know pretty much how it went.
As near as I can guess, Shimi and Aria were having a quarrel. They were drunk and Shimi could get really mean while drunk. The argument got out of hand and one way or another, Aria was killed, and Shimi was standing over her with a butcher knife. The rest of us rushed in to the room, and saw Shimi, sobbing over his deed. It is then that my memory fails. I keep trying to remember more, replaying the scene in my mind over and over, hoping to catch a glimpse of beyond that point. My thoughts were interrupted as Dess and Seine walked into the room, taking a breather from their loveless act. Dess, beautiful and stunning normally, looked tired and not like herself. Of course, we were all tired, having slept but a restless sleep for the past few days. I don't think we could have gone much longer then, had we not talked of the night shortly. I felt that I needed to talk with each of them separately. So I made idle conversation, steering away from that night, and anything reminiscent of our friends.
After a short while, we fell silent, and not long after that, Dess excused herself to take a shower. By this time, it was late afternoon again, and with Seine and I alone finally, I started asking him what he remembered of that night. We talked about what we both remembered and where we blacked out (which was pretty much at the same time) and we talked more, hoping that speaking about things would somehow bring back the memories. The sun had gone down on another day when Seine finally remembered.
He suddenly burst into tears, his body wracked with sobs of anguish so thick and sorrowful I could not make out what he was trying to say. I leaned forward and pulled him into an embrace, letting him cry into my shoulder. I attempted to console him, but to no avail. We stayed like this for a while, when I saw Dess walking down the stairs. She got to the bottom and headed towards us, Seine not hearing her because he was sobbing so hard. Now she stood over us, a hand behind her back. I saw her raise the butcher knife, and the placid, yet teary expression of her face in the reflection of the blade. Know this as my last chance to say goodbye, I kissed Seine warmly, yet quickly on the cheek, whispering "Goodbye, my comrade," in his ear. There was just enough time for him to register the thought before she bore the knife down, burying it to the handle into Seine's back. His face contorted into an expression first of pain and confusion, then into that of relief, as he drew a painful gasp, and breathed the words, "Goodbye, my friends." As he exhaled in a final sigh. Seeing Dess stand over Seine's body, I finally realized what had occurred that horrid evening, after I blacked out, the memory coming back in a rush.
Seine, upon entering the room that night, and seeing his friend standing over Aria's body, had lost control. He chased Shimi into the kitchen. There were screams, then thumping, and finally silence. Now I understood why Seine lay dead, and I watched Dess's face, still placid, explode open with emotion.
This set me off to the tragedy, and we both clutched each other, hugging and comforting each other in the chair.
I must have fallen asleep. Seine's body lay where it had fallen, and Dess lay sleeping in the chair next to me. Our circle was broken, and I lay awake, asking myself, "What now?" but I already knew. I walked outside; the early morning sun was not quite warm yet. I went to the van, it seemed like ages since I had last seen it, and checked the gas tank. It was just above half full. I went and got a gas can and a tube, then siphoned the fuel into the can. I brought the fuel into the house, and left a note to Dess, telling her my goodbyes and good wishes, and also told her to set fire to the house. I left the gas, note, a lighter, and $300 cash on the table. Then I went into the lounge where we had slept, and kissed her on the cheek, saying exactly what I had said to Seine, and walked out the front door.
Before I knew it, I had put 300 miles between the house in the van. I had lost all of the best friends I had ever had, and yet, never before had I felt so happy. Later on in life, I would muse about why things had happened the way they had, and I am only sure of one thing. I had dealt with the power of love at it's strongest and most hateful, and still survived. In doing so, I had lost more than friends, but also my past, and my future.