Spark of Madness by Bremon Billman


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SUMMARY: Sort of introspective - guy looking back at this really strange relationship he had with an even stranger girl.

I suppose you could say that she'd always been planning to kill me.

But asides from that, we really did love each other. That girl, Mariah, down at the pub, she tells me I'm just fooling myself. And sometimes, late at night, when the gnarled shadows of tree branches creep across the unadorned walls of my apartment building...sometimes I think she's right.

But in the morning or afternoon or any bloody time that's not two-thirty in the morning I can take out all my old memories of her like photographs and look them over...

...that one, when she's laughing in the sunlight, head thrown back, red hair tossed flying...

Or that one, when she's looking at me and I can see the love in her eyes, see it laid totally bare for any other poor bloke walking by without her on his arm...

Or even that one, when she's got the knife at my throat...if I look real hard, I can still see the sunlight, the laughter, the love in her eyes...see it in the way she says "Sorry, Rob" just before she draws back the knife...

...And yeah...I'll nod to myself...yeah, she really did love me.
Even when the police report came in, when that well-meaning sergeant took me aside and told me she'd had a history of mental illness. That every so often some poor bloke she met would end up in the Thames like so much rubbish...he couldn't change my mind.
Even when he told me she'd probably been planning to kill me since the day we met, been acting a part in a play since she met me...
He couldn't change my mind.

We really did love each other.

I told Mariah the whole story the other night at the pub. She looked shocked, but under it all, I could see that little spark just waiting in her eyes. That...sunlight...in her eyes...
And just as I was opening my mouth to maybe ask her out, she smiled...
...said, "Ah, rob, your heart'll be the death of you," and left with some bloke that didn't look twenty.

His picture was in the paper the next morning...marked "Obituaries."

But they loved each other...

They really did.