Love that Kills

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The first thing I noticed about her was her hands, her white-as-porcelain hands that held her thin fingers. She had seen me looking at her and smiled, her The first thing I noticed about her was her hands, her white-as-porcelain hands that held her thin fingers. She had seen me looking at her and smiled, her naturally red lips opening to show her teeth. I smiled back, no move-star smile but a smile nonetheless. The teacher had told her to take a seat; she sat in the only seat left, right beside me, on my right. When she sat down I looked at her, past my long fringe, to watch her write. Her fingers curled around the pencil delicately. She was left-handed, my favorite. "Hi, I'm Angeline, my friends call me Angel though," she said to me as she turned with her right hand outstretched. I grabbed her hand lightly, "I'm Luke, you can call me Luke," I said as she giggled. She withdrew her lovely hand and went back to writing, brushing her black hair from her eyes with one hand before taking the pencil in hand.

She and I joked and laughed with each other, every day I wanted her more, only for me. Her lips curled into a smile each time she saw me, her special smile for me, only me. Angel had always waved with her ghostly white hands, perfectly clear and thin hands. Sometimes we would play and I could grab her hand, bend on one knee, and kiss her perfect hand, touching my lips to it softly. One day she had come in, her face tear-streaked and paler than usual. "Luke! My mother... she was... I t-though," Angel burst into tears and ran into my arms, locking her arms around my neck. I was puzzled and hugged her back, rubbing her back softly. "What happened," I had whispered to her. She took a deep breath, steadying herself, and took a step back. "My mom was walking home last night from her job and s-she was a-a-attacked. Some guy came up behind her and put a cloth over her mouth. A-and when she woke up she was handcuffed to a table or something. The guy cut off her hands off, once she woke up." Angel said the last sentence differently; instead of saying it with fear and her shaking voice she had said it with hate and disgust.

I cringe, "Ew-I mean, I hope your mom's alright... is she in the hospital?"

"Yeah, they say she'll probably make it through this and be able to describe to us what the guy who did this looked like."

"That's good! I'm glad she's fine, but... where are her hands?" I asked hesitantly.

"The sicko took them with him," she said, her face was scrunched up into a frown.

She was my favorite. Angel. I loved her; I think I still love her. I can't sort out my feelings right now, I'm so messed up. It's all wrong right now.

Angel's mother turned out to be fine and described the guy that attacked her. It turns out he goes to our school, after the police looked into the case farther, they realized that it wasn't the first case of stolen hands in Zolot City, it was the eighth pair of hands cut off and all of the victims described the man who attacked them similarly. Her mother described him and shed a new light on the case, at least that's what the news said. The reporter had exclaimed that the killer was a student at our school, our uniform not similar to any other. I was in my house when Angel called, her voice hysterical. "Luke! I think I'm next! The guy sent me a letter! He s-said, 'Your hands are pretty, let me touch them.' Luke, what should I-," Angel's voice cut off suddenly, her phone producing a noise similar to that of a dropping box. Then the phone clattered to the ground. I ran outside, and didn't stop until I reached Angel's house.

The police swarm around her house, I called them, to say that she was missing, about the letter, and the phone call I kept replaying in my jumbled head. I didn't want it to turn out like this, with Angel I would have a different relationship, one that would last and I couldn't ruin without dying inside. Somehow I managed to mess it all up.

***

A MONTH LATER

Angel was still missing, and I seemed like the mourning boyfriend who cried for her loss but still believed she would come back, though I know she wouldn't. Angeline was with me, in my house. I carefully went into my house, and went down the stairs, into a large and dark room that is my basement. I could hear a quiet whimper, almost silent enough that it was only a breeze playing in my ears. I walked to the lit part of the room, standing in front of a girl, tied up and gagged. She looked up at me, her eyes widening and her head turning back and forth quickly, scared. "Sh! I've come to break you out, I found out you were here and had to get you out," I whisper to her lying easily. I can see tears well up in her eyes and a smile break out on her face, a relieved expression now on her face. She looked happy as I went behind her and pretended to untie the ropes; I was really grabbing a large knife on the table behind her.

I dropped the knife heavily on the wooden board her hands were handcuffed to. I looked her in the eyes, "Angel, I love your hands, they're so perfect. Just let me touch them."

Angeline's face stops moving, her relived expression turning into one of horror, shock, and disbelief. I smile at her, not to her but at her. I love her. "I love you," I told her and she shuddered. I let the knife stay in the wood, not letting the steel slide through her wrists just yet. My heart was beating loudly, and thumping so quickly. My lips touched Angel's pale, slender fingers. A rush surged through my body as I disconnected Angel's hands from her body. I hold them tenderly and put them in a jar filled to the brim with formalin, usually used to keep specimens alive. My fingers used to the routine, screw the lid on the jar and set the jar on a high shelf. This shelf has eight other jars with beautiful hands in them and my heart flutters as I look at them. I spin on my heels to face Angel.

The wooden board is soaked with her blood; the screaming that she produced has stopped. Her head had flopped forward when she passed out from the pain. She used to be so perfect, but now I can't see the beauty that was once there.

***

I know that months later I would be going into the basement filled with my treasures daily. I know this because that's what I'm doing now.

I slowly go down the creaky stairs, creep toward the lit portion of the room, and kneel in front of Angel. Her eyes are closed, forever, and her body is shriveled up. I rub my hand on her cheek before bringing her hands-in-the-jar in front of me. "I love you so much Angel. Do you know how much I love you?" And for the first time in years I cry, letting the salty drops run down my face and plop onto the reddish, wooden board. "I love you so much."

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