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Good Girl(50)

By:Willow Winters

Ava’s my good girl. She never leaves to go anywhere without telling me. I clench my fists as I hear the large doors to the back entrance of the hall open with a soft creak. As my pace picks up, so does my heartbeat.

Adrenaline races through my blood. I catch the door just before it closes shut and open it as silently as I can. I peek out and see her walking into the edge of a line of trees to the left. I clench and unclench my hands. I want to pretend she’s going to be happy to see me when I get to her, but I’m not fucking stupid. That’s not going to happen.

Ava wouldn’t have gone off by herself like this if everything was okay.

I just need to find out what the fuck is going on.

I take a look to my left and then look to my right. No one’s out here. The night’s dark except for the light from the full moon. The air is crisp and feels cool against my skin. I can faintly hear her steps and the crunching of leaves and branches under her feet just beneath the sounds of the night. The crickets are loud as fuck.

I walk quickly and decide I don’t give a shit if she hears me as I enter the woods. I’m not gonna tiptoe through the trees to find out what my baby’s doing. As a branch cracks beneath my heavy steps, I catch a glimpse of Ava.

I see her silver dress sparkle with the barest hint of moonlight. I see her raise her wrist. Then I see a bright light. A reflection, just above her wrist. I don’t stop as my forehead creases in confusion. It doesn’t register as I speed up my pace to get to her.

Not until her eyes catch sight of me, which is the same moment that I snatch her wrist and yank it away. Her eyes widen and fill with fear. Her other arm lowers to her side and something drops to the ground with a loud thud. Her face pales and her eyes look at the ground.

My breath catches in my throat as I pull her body closer to me. She trembles in my embrace.

No. The reality hits me slowly.

No. This isn’t real. It can’t be.

“Ava?” She’s not looking at me. Her shoulders rise and fall as she takes in a ragged breath. “Baby, what are you doing?” Even as I ask the question though, I know. There’s a serrated knife on the ground by her feet. My heart twists in my chest with agony.

No. I close my eyes and brace myself against the tree next to her. My head feels light and dizzy. She was going to slit her wrist.

“Tell me this isn’t what it looks like,” I say with my eyes closed. I’m answered with silence. My chest hollows and my heart refuses to beat. My lungs refuse to fill.

“Why?” I ask, as I open my eyes and see her looking back at me with regret. “Why would you do--?” My voice cracks and my throat goes dry. I can’t finish it. The thought is just too fucked up. Why would she do that to herself?

She shakes her head and opens her mouth, but no words come out. I grip her shoulders in my hands and rest my forehead against hers.

This isn’t real. I keep my eyes closed, waiting for something. For anything to happen that wakes me from this horrific shit.

I love her. I would give her anything.

I thought she was happy.

I thought she loved me, too.

“I’m sorry.” Her breath hitches and her arms wrap around me.

Her touch is all I need. I wrap my arms around her and pull her close to me. I kiss her hair, her forehead. I cup her jaw in my hand and tilt her head so I can push my lips against hers. I need to feel her. I need to know she’s still with me.

At first there’s passion, but then she pulls back.

No. No. I can’t let her. She needs me.

Don’t pull away from me, Ava.

Her lips leave mine as her body moves away, and I’m greeted by the chill of the night.

“I’m sorry, Kane,” she says as she wraps her arms around her shoulders. I quickly rip off my jacket and wrap it around her slender frame. At first she resists, but she caves. She always caves to me.

“This is my fault, but I’ll fix this, Ava. I can make it better. Whatever it is.” I grip onto her hips under my jacket that’s draped over her shoulders. I pull her toward me and whisper, “I can fix this.” I can, and I will. Whatever happened, whatever triggered this...I’ll make it better.

Her eyes turn sad and I see the answer on her face, before she starts shaking her head.

“I’m too broken. No one can fix me.”

“Just tell me what’s wrong. What happened?”

“Nothing. I’m just not normal anymore; I’ll never be normal again.” I don’t understand. Where is my Ava? This isn’t her.

“Fuck, normal? Who fucking cares about normal?” I try to blow it off, like there’s nothing to this. But she’s not okay. I can help her though.

“I’m not okay, Kane. I’m happy I killed them!” she yells out, and I find myself covering her mouth and holding her close to me. You never fucking know who’s listening to this shit. This is a public place, and the fucking cops know it’s a family wedding.