"You're trying to make it sound like some sort of scandal," I said.
"A girl is dead!" my mother wailed.
I didn't tell her that I would be dead, too, by morning.
"You'll be charged with killing her," she said. Her hands were shaking. I watched them clattering against the steering wheel, her bones pronounced and too close to the surface of her skin. "You could go to jail for the rest of your life!" Her voice had been steadily rising in pitch since she picked me up at the county jail this morning. "Oh god, Billy!" she shrieked.
Other than a painful throbbing behind my eyes, I felt okay; serene, even. We'd talked about this many times.
"If anything happens to you, I'll follow you," I told my girl, gripping the end of my belt in my teeth. It was wrapped around her upper arm, cutting deeply into her soft white flesh. She was soft all over, like a dream. She ran her fingers through my hair. A little rivulet of red danced in the chamber for her.
"I know," she said.
She didn't tell me, no. She didn't force platitudes about how I should go on living without her. We were destined for this.
I remember the first time we planned to die together. We were kids, skipping high school and sharing a bottle of eight dollar vodka next to the creek that ran behind our trailer park.
She told me everything, about her mother and the men; how she slept with a night light. "Sometimes I think I might just lie down in the reservoir, only I'm so afraid to be alone under all that water," she said.
That's how I knew I loved her.
My mother pulled over to the side of the road so that she could hold her head in her hands and sob. I watched a cat rooting around in the garbage that littered the curb on the last day of my life. Everything was beautiful.
I'm getting back into the Trifecta Writing Challenge, this week. The deal is that you have between 33 and 333 words to write a story using the 3rd definition of a given word. They pick a winner every Friday and Monday. This week's word was scandal.