Written by: Rizka Herdiani
Edited by: Zania R Putri & Indira Sukmariana
Illustration by: Pricharia Via
It’s been two years since you left me alone with heartbreak in that deserted parking lot.
“It’ll never work in the end, trust me.” You said in a pitiful voice, but your words were drowned out by the pounding of my heart. It muffled my ears as tears streamed down my cheeks.
Words jumbled out of my tongue as I tried to bargain with you, assuring that it could work. That everything that we’ve built together was worth the blood, sweat, and tears.
We quarrelled and cried together, trying to prove each other’s point about what is the best option for the both of us. Yet, the middle ground seemed to move far away by each spilled sentence.
As you explained away your reasons, my mind wandered to the time we met for the first time.…
It was summer when I met you, in a library not so far away from my flat. You were still a figure in my peripheral view, a speck in the midst of a sea of people. However, your apparent zeal and curiosity made you stand out. As you looked through from one bookshelf to the other, you didn’t even seem to mind the piling books in your embrace.
Curious, I took up the courage and came up to you. “Cardiology and psychology. That’s an interesting reading list you got there.”
You looked up from the book you were currently reading and smiled, “Well, you do need to learn how to calm a patient’s mental state when it comes to surgeries, especially if they’re about to receive a heart transplant. You don’t want your patient to die in a state of panic, right?”
We continue talking afterwards, about your interests in both studies and how you came across them. Apparently, you were a medical student. “Huh, isn’t that interesting.” I replied as I scanned through the bookshelf, “If you don’t mind, maybe you can teach me a thing or two?”
And you did. For months we’ve conversed on the inner workings of the heart, even to its intricate details. You once also told me that the heartstrings are fragile. A painful heartbreak could even cause them to break off from the seams. It can cause the heart to stop pumping blood, and all your systems shutting off before finally succumbing to death. “Also known as Broken Heart Syndrome.” You told me.
“Seems like it’s easier to steal someone’s heart from heartbreak than killing them, huh?” I chuckled at the mere thought of it. “I mean, why need to get caught literally red-handed just to steal someone’s heart when you can kill them with a mere heartbreak. Still painful, but it’s just emotional pain.”
You looked at me with an expression of bewilderment. “Excuse me?”
“It’s just a passing thought!” I grinned, “I’m not a serial killer, okay? Don’t worry about it.”
All the times I’ve spent with you made your presence become a part of me. The conversations then became long walks home, and later dates. The ones that we went together with were special, until that faithful moment that bound our hearts together.
You were waiting for me to open the door, your left hand holding a bouquet of scarlet roses. Your eyes gleamed and a smile was plastered on your face. You knocked, but no answer. You knocked once more, making sure I heard the second one.
Again, no answer.
Confused, you checked if the door is locked or not. The door was unlocked. You peered inside, “Anybody home?”
As you decided to enter my flat, you were greeted by the floor filled with pieces of broken glass and a knocked down bookshelf. Worried, you looked around and found one of the doors in the hall on your left open ajar.
You hastily ran to it, until you saw the scene that was unraveled in front of you. The body of a stranger, ripped apart, ribs exposed. Your eyes then laid on me, my bloodied hand holding a warm, beating heart. “I guess I’m finally caught red-handed.”
I put aside the heart as I brushed my blood-stained dress and grabbed the hunting knife next to me. We locked eyes as I showed my grin. “Shame that my dress is ruined now. I suppose we have to change tonight’s plans with something…. Wilder.”
I thought your eyes would be filled with horror. That you’d screamed, stumbled, and ran away. Instead, your face seemed unfazed without a hint of fear as you entered the room. “No worries, sweetheart.” You pointed to the corpse lying next to me, “But do you need a hand on that?”
You were quite peculiar, truly an enigma. Clearly, first impressions don’t always last, and the real you were finally unveiled when you saw the real me. As time passed, the adventures we had were wonderful, glorious even. You taught me all of the things that I haven’t known, molding me into a lethal murderess.
News broke out of murdered individuals with missing hearts. And yet, no one seemed to figure it all out. We laughed in awe as news of our antics spread out throughout the media. The public feared us and so we basked in their trepidation.
We were Bonnie and Clyde, except we were never caught. Perhaps, we were even better than them.
With all the sacrifices that I gave to you to make you happy, us happy, it was worth the price. But here you are, deciding to give it all up.
As my mind snapped back to the reality of the situation, you looked at me with full concern. “Are you alright, my love? You look pale.”
I shook my head, my tears had finally stopped. My heart and my mind was racing, yet I stayed in my ground and begged.
“Please don’t go.” The tears once again streamed down my cheeks. The first time my emotions were unhinged. “I know that you have your reasons, yet the thought of your presence existing no more is too painful for me to bear.”
And without you, I would never be the unstoppable force that you adore so much. Without you, I would never be the person that I am today. So, please….” I abruptly embraced him with all my might, hoping that he wouldn’t leave, and whispered, “Stay.”
The next scenario should’ve been you processing every minute of our passing lives together. The adventures and the antics. The love that blossomed in the midst of it all. You’ll apologize and then kiss all my sorrows away. In the end, this melancholic affair is no longer in our memories.
Instead, you shook your head while you casted a sombre smile. Your eyes were full of brimming tears that seemed to be held back, hiding your sadness.
“No, no, sweetheart. It’s better like this. The two of us separated.”
You caressed my cheeks and then kissed my brow tenderly with longing. As you gazed into my eyes, you uttered the words that I hoped I didn’t hear. “Besides, you are a much better killer without me.”
As you stepped out of the car, red fingers wiped clean from our previous murder, you took a last glance at me before finally closing the car door. I didn’t expect that this would be the last time I ever see your face and your blood-stained fingers.
It was the last chapter of our tale of terror.
That was the night you left me with my heartstrings out of it seams. Along with that was the ripped hearts of those whose souls you’ve stolen together with me.
But weren’t you aware that your last one was mine?