My hand takes its first dip into the cool, crystal water. The night is still young, but the sky could fool you. My fingers feel hollow as the liquid rushes to fill the cracks between them. The lake reminds me of a time with less action, less drama, fewer moments filled with anxiety and pain. I crave stability. I crave the "old times". I crave the days when time seemed to be frozen. A time where I found myself happy and loved. How do I go back to those days?
I brush that thought off and slowly stand up straight from my once crouched position. Blood rushes to my legs and I almost lose my sense of balance, but my sorrows allow me to steady my stance. I look into the transparent water. I see a bewildered face staring back at me. Why won't she look away? Why won't she leave me alone? She is built of odd features that look unusual to those that don't know her. I don't like what I see. 'I wish she wasn't me' I think to myself. I look further. I notice my dark, jet black hair, white, snow-like skin, black, cold eyes, and a crooked jaw. A smile could not be seen for miles. I cringe with disgust. I think about movies where women with beautiful, golden locks, vibrant, blue eyes, perfect waists, and dreamy personalities live seemingly perfect lives. They have people who love them, who will never leave them. I have none of those things. Peter made me feel beautiful and appreciated. He made me feel like that beautiful movie star. I didn't need the gorgeous hair and anorexic stomach to feel my worth around Peter. I long for his compliments and reassurance. But he just had to take that away.
For the past five years, Peter and I had visited Lake Tromperie together. I remember how beautiful our walks were. Around the water, red leaves would come and go, some getting trapped in the water, others lucky enough to escape the tide. We loved noticing these little details together. Peter would hold my hand, tightly tucked into his and would never let go. I miss his touch. He always smelled of cinnamon and sharp spearmint. He could never smell bad.
Flash forward to now, I walk alone. I hold my own hands. I smell only the nature around me. I pick up my violet purse and dust off the sandy contents stuck to the bottom of the fabric. I press the button on the clutch to reveal the interior of my bag, checkered with black and white fabric. Three things are found inside: keys to Peter's 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra, a red number 143 lipstick, and a Walther P99 Pistol, loaded with the safety off. I smile down at my bag, grinning as I think of this pain possibly being lifted. I pull out the gun, holding it by the handle and examining the contents a bit closer. I open a latch to reveal four of the five bullet slots to be filled. I close my eyes. I envision the way I felt the first time I fired the P99. My blood had rushed to my head, encompassing everything surrounding my brain, my nerves, and all the space in between. I remember my hands had lost all warmth to them, becoming clammy and cold to the touch. My heart had sunk lower than the epicenter of the earth. Regret had been almost instantaneous, but this time, I know there will be no regret. No hesitation. No second thoughts, whatsoever. I know this decision is final and something I can never come back from, but it is the only thought I am left with. It's the right choice. My only choice.
I want to take one more look at him before I complete my task so I softly place the pistol back in the purse, snap the violet bag shut, and cross the strap over my left shoulder. 'For later,' I think to myself.
I turn and continue down the shore until I find the rustic, old, cabin in my view. I approach the doorstep and take a breath. I look down at my feet to see my black sneakers are partially covering the words 'welcome'. How ironic. Memories flood my inhale. Of course, good memories never come to a good end, despite what all the fairytales and books have told me. Peter was my good memory, but not my good end. The last time I stepped in this room I did so with Peter by my side, and I left alone. This time I step inside alone and I hope to never leave.
I walk in and it is like time has no power here. Everything is exactly the same as it was 365 days ago. Everything is untouched from the half-opened cupboards to the TV remote upside-down on the floor, to the crooked couch pillows, and yes, to the back room door, still closed shut. I can almost still hear the clash it made when I slammed the wooden door into the frame, running out of the cabin without a thought. I take another deep breath. I can do this. I can do this.
I take large strides in my steps, keeping my vision closed in on the door. My eyes, perfectly centered on the knob, wondering what I'd see once I turned it. My feet make soft, brushing noises as my sneakers grace the surface of the red, patterned rug. I reach the door and find myself turning the doorknob. Curiosity always seems to get the best of me, making my patience all but nonexistent. I carefully open the door to reveal the dark, freezing cold room. The walls are all lined with wooden logs, just as I had remembered it. Suddenly, tears rush down my cheeks and I don't even try to stop them, I know it is no use. My watering eyes look over to the right side of the room. The large, grey freezer still sits, locked and closed just as I had left it. A smile appears on my face. It has been so so long. I walk over to the freezer and it's almost as if gravity had stronger control over me on that side of the room. What may seem like a basic freezer to some, holds my world and so much about me within just a few cubic feet. The excitement fills my heart. I stroke the face of the freezer with my tiny, boney hand. I can't wait to unlock its secrets.
The last time I closed this fridge was a year ago. I said goodbye to my best friend. I was mad. No. Furious. My blood almost poured out of my veins with frustration. Earlier that day on what seemed to be a perfectly crisp, autumn morning, Peter and I were taking what would be our last walk together. It wasn't perfect, nor ideal. Peter was confused. He wanted to end our relationship, our love. He was just acting stupid. He didn't know how lucky we were to have each other. I gave him a choice. Have me forever, or forget me. He made the wrong choice. I didn't want Peter to leave me. It wasn't his fault that he didn't know better. I did what I thought was right. I shot the .99 mm bullet right through his skull on the shore of Lake Tromperie. I preserved his soul to be forever mine. It is what any sane person would do. Everyone wants love, why can't I have love? Enough with the standing around, hoping for love to last. Make it last. I made it last. I took fate into my own hands.
My thoughts trail back to present time and now my hands find themselves gripping the side of the freezer. I softly open the side of the door. The shifting sound of glass moving on the interior sings but soon rests. A wave of cold overcomes me as the door opens wider. I suddenly catch a glimpse of the soft fabric I remember from a year ago. The rugged, ripped jeans, grey, simple sweatshirt, and old Nike's I have always loved come into view. His body, frozen in time, rests peacefully. His face still resembles the scared expression just as I last saw it before. I grace his cold, frozen cheek with my comparably warm hand. Suddenly a surge of pain hits me. I miss being with Peter. 'We won't be apart for much longer,' I think to myself.
With all the strength I have in my weak body, I pull Peter up from under his forearms. I began dragging him in the direction of the bedroom on the other side of the cabin. His feet, covered in ice, slide on the floor, but I am gentle as if not to break a fragile china doll. He is heavy, but my pain feeds me strength.
When it seems as if my arms are about to give out, I feel the soft fabric of the white comforter on the back of my calf. Without losing my momentum, I pull the still body up and onto the surface of the bed. I take a breath. I collect myself. It is almost time.
I feel my side for my violet purse. I grip the clutch and press the button to release the lock, exposing the interior. I inhale. I take out the red 143 lipstick and apply a fresh coat. It was always Peter's favorite on me. I open the bag again and return the lipstick. The all too familiar Walther P99 Pistol stares back at me. I remember the gun is loaded with four bullets now. "Let's make it three" I whisper. Soon my pain will disappear and I will be with my Peter for forever. I exhale. I drop my purse on the floor, letting the sound of the bump echo through the cabin. With the gun in my hand, I tiptoe to the other side of the bed frame and ease myself onto the comforter, identical to Peter.
I lay my back onto the soft mattress. Pain shoots up my vertebrae from the heavy weight of the body, but that won't seem to matter in a couple of minutes. I look to my left to examine Peter. He is still perfect, frozen and decayed a year later. I turn my face to the ceiling. I take another exhausting breath. Goodbye self-hatred. Goodbye loneliness. Goodbye regret. Suddenly ease fills my body and I lift the pistol up to my face. Thoughts of what is to come next rush into my head but I push them aside for I know if Peter is with me, it is worth every intention. I open my mouth. Without another thought, I touch the trigger ever so softly. That is all it needs. I feel nothing. I say hello to a new beginning.