Fear gleamed in their eyes as they looked at me, confronting me about the murders. Their pupils always dilated when they looked at me, but seeing that it was fear felt so much better than knowing I could be desired but never loved.
Hold on, are you accusing me of being the murderer? I said, laughing. Obviously they were correct, but I thought I had them consumed enough by... well, me, that they would never dare suspect a thing, let alone bring it up. It felt almost like a betrayal.
They shook their head. No, I'm just pointing out that-
What? That the murderer wears the same kind of perfume as me? So the murderer's probably female, but that hardly narrows it down. I'm not the only person in the world who wears that perfume. It's a common scent. I crossed my arms and stared them down, trying to make them feel guilty for accusing me, for not trusting me even though they were the only person who ever cared.
It's not just that. It's that everyone dead is someone who has personally offended you-
That's because everyone in this school has personally offended me, I interrupted. And now you've added yourself to that list.
But they seem to be the people you hate most. And then that one boy died right after you asked me for suggestions and I said him.
Coincidence, I shrugged, forming a pout with my lips. Why did they have to suspect me? It already wasn't enough, but it was all I had. Why make it worse? Come on, babe, what reason do you have to doubt me like this? I'm your girlfriend. Before letting her respond, I pressed my lips to hers. They let out a little sigh, intoxicated as always. It was going well. I tangled my fingers in their hair, they snapped at my bra, tugged at the hem of my shirt-
My knife came loose and clattered to the floor. Before I could grab it, they picked it up for me. I watched as understanding dawned on their face.
I was so screwed.
There are plenty of reasons someone could own a knife, I tried, knowing it was futile, wishing they would stay.
But of course, they shook their head. I can't date a murderer. This has been nice, but I'm going to leave before I get too tangled up in this mess.
You can't leave. My voice, always so controlled and calculated around them, shook with fear. If they left, I would be all alone now, even more alone than I already was. Baby, you can't leave. I love you. Baby, how could you think this? Baby, I'm your girlfriend, stop doubting me. I love you. I love you.
They took a step forward, lips parted.
I love you, I repeated.
They stopped and went silent for a very long time. Your love is like poison, they said finally. I'm done drinking it. And then they ran before I could say anything at all.
I didn't expect anything different, really. Who would stay with a murderer? But I'd hoped they would. I'd hoped that, even though they couldn't love me, they wanted me enough to stay, in whatever artificial way they could, because it was better that nothing.
How dare they. How dare they be the only person to ever treat me in any way that wasn't awful? How dare they appreciate me when I'd never felt that before in my life? How dare they give me the smiles and awe and words of affirmation I craved until I knew I couldn't live without them? How dare they do all that, and it was never enough? How dare they leave me, leave me with nothing?
If they didn't want a life with me, I didn't want them to have a life at all.
In a hazy fog of rage, I left a note on their windowsill, accompanied by a rose. You're next.
By the time I climbed up their house that night, I still couldn't think beyond the loop of "how dare they." They through a knife through the window at me, and it shattered the glass. Shards rained down on me, slicing my skin. I laughed. Drenched in blood was the way I longed to be, and it didn't matter that it was my blood instead of theirs. Even the cuts couldn't sting- revenge was all I cared about as I pinned them to the bed, my elbow against their neck.
They whispered something incomprehensible.
I drew the blade across their neck, and blood seeped out.
I'm sorry, I whispered, the words spilling loose from a hidden place deep inside, one I hadn't even known existed. I didn't want to kill them. I wanted them by my side forever. And I was sorry I dragged them into this mess, that I craved any sort of appreciation so much that I grew as addicted to them as they were to me. I love you, I said, even though I didn't. I loved the idea of them, of having someone who loved me. No, who came as close to loving me as anyone ever could.
I kissed them, hoping to feel everything I'd felt once. Hoping to feel wanted, if not loved.
Then, I left a rose on their chest and climbed back through the window.
Roses, they choked out, just before I left. Roses. They'd always been intoxicated by my rose perfume... intoxicated by me. The perfume was as artificial as anything they'd ever felt for me. Sweet and meaningless.
It wasn't love.
It was desire, and that was as close as I would ever get.
No one could love me.