And That's the way it Goes

March 5, 2005

Her name was Claire, but she made you call her Jessie.

In the mornings she would eat Captain Crunch with skim milk that was always bordering on the edge of turning sour. It matched her apartment, which always had the faint scent of decay in the air. She liked to wear black. Maybe pants, or a skirt, but always topped with a blazer that had an outrageous sparkly pin stuck above her right breast, just below her name tag.

After her Captain Crunch she would drain the milk from her bowl and put on her stilettos and walk 14 blocks to the library where she worked as a librarian. She would spend 12 hours a day listening to little kids ask her about the Dewy Decimal system, and would pretend to be interested in their desire to learn about pioneers. She learned to tune them out with great efficiency; they always asked the same questions anyway.

The highlight of her day always occurred at 11:10am on the button. She would walk up the aisle at the far left side of the library, where someone could find information about the government, and because so, the aisle was always empty. At the end of the aisle was a lone table surrounded by three rickety chairs.

Tom always sat in the chair facing the wall. He had brown hair that was quickly fading grey, and at the time seemed to be about 46, though Claire never asked. He showed up every day at 10:58am, and would sit in that chair and wait for Claire, although he knew her as Jessie. That’s what her name tag said, and he had no reason to question the authority of a name tag.

For 3 weeks at exactly 11:10am Claire would walk down the aisle and ask Tom to put away his pornography. It was library policy that there should be no pornography allowed due to the abundance of children. Everyday at 11:12am, he would ask her to go for lunch with him. She politely declined every time.

On July 14th, Claire went for lunch with Tom at 12:33pm. They ate at a small diner that looked as though health codes hadn’t been followed for 40 years. She had a sandwich, Tom did too. Tom walked her 4 blocks back to the library and asked her for dinner. She accepted and they went for dinner every night for the next two weeks.

Tom began to spend the whole day at the library so he could be near her. He didn’t bring the pornography anymore; he’d spend the whole day staring at a picture of her they had taken one night in a photo booth. The kind where you get 4 small black and white photos for $2 and then think it was a waste of money because you never get your whole head in the shot, or if you’re lucky, you’re just making a completely crazy and stupid expression.

On August 12th, Tom spent the night at Claire’s. She woke up the next morning with mascara caked to her eyes, and eye-shadow smeared across her cheeks. The faint taste of vodka was in her mouth; Tom had stayed up all night watching her. He said he couldn’t sleep, he was too happy.

She told him to leave, and he killed her. There was a struggle. He was mad that she wanted him to go, even though she just wanted to get ready for work. He started yelling about how much he loved her, and she started to laugh in his face. She told him he was just happy not to be looking at pornography anymore, to be getting the real thing. That’s when he grabbed a knife and stabbed her 17 times in the midsection. Before leaving, Tom took her name tag and pinned in to his shirt.

Claire was found a week later by her landlord when she started to smell.

Tom got a job at the diner where they had their first date. He wears her nametag and goes by Jessie. He still continues to eat sandwiches to this day.


Gina said...

Stephanie write more!! Its been days since you have posted. *LOL*

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