Goodbye Girl


Worst part of waking up this morning was having no idea where I was. Or anything else. My glasses should’ve been on a nightstand. I should’ve woken up on my right side, one arm over the edge, almost falling over. No light in my room. I scrabbled on the nightstand through piles of change and receipts and my .22 to find my glasses, the light switch on the wall above. I should’ve woken up alone.

There was a girl beside me this morning. Maybe this was her place. Maybe I got lucky that night. She was kind of cute too. Naked, blonde, one hand curled under her pillow and the other clenching the sheet-the only blanket on this bed-to her fake-massive chest. Her mouth hung half open. Maybe she was trying to keep me from looking. I bet the rest of her was good too.

The window behind me let too much light in here. Blinds half drawn sent bars of sunlight and darkness across the place, over me and her and on the dirty floor to the bare cracked wall on the other side. No idea what time it was. Where the hell’s my watch.

Jesus Christ my head was killing me. I needed Tylenol. I was hung over. No doubt about it. Another blackout-another round of waking up, senseless, after another night I’d never remember. I was nauseous. I was naked. I slipped out of the sheet, throwing it off my legs. I looked back. I didn’t wake her up. My feet hit cold floor. Boxers and pants and shirt and old shoes twisted in a mess a few feet ahead. My glasses brushed against my foot, the cheapass Walmart watch wrapped around one stem. I grabbed both, slipped them on. The watch ticked too loudly. The glasses helped me see too much. There was the mess on the bureau in front of me. The girl owned too much makeup. Big black bottles of mascara and half-empty cases of eye shadow in seventy colors and ten different lipsticks and who knew what the fuck else were thrown around in the dust. The mirror above it took up half a wall. Spots all over, nail marks through most. Someone trying to scrape it off sometime soon. My shirt on, I pulled my pants and boxers up in one swoop.

Pants’ buckle with the phone in my pocket slammed to the floor. The sound echoed in this room, trapped, like a gunshot. I glared at the girl. Nothing. Still nauseous. I bit my tongue to hold my stomach back.

Then the smell hit me. Not body sweat, the sweet smell of boozed love-making. Something savage. Something sour. I walked towards the door, past the bed. I almost tripped over the kid’s body. He was too skinny, brown haired, green eyes shocked open already glazing over. Top of his head shattered like a vase, hair and chunks of pale scalp splattered on the wall far behind him. Who knew how long he’d been there, when he’d bloat.

I looked at the girl again, from above the corpse. The back of her head dripped down the side, to the floor, big chunks. My jacket on the door. I felt around for the gun. Not there. The check was-fifty grand from “Helen” for “laundry”, in tall scribble. There was her name. Kid on the floor? No idea. I should’ve felt something. I didn’t. He was dead and I had my money. A glint from the puddle of brains on the floor-my .22, under her manicured hand. The ring on her finger matched his. I’d killed him last night, fucked her (I hope) and one of us blew her brains out. Maybe she did. I’d have to break my wrist to get at her skull.

Sirens-wailing, racing for me.

Go for it? My prints were on the bullets, her blood caked on the custom grip and the stub barrel. If they saw it, they’d find me. I lunged across; tried not to step in two bodies’ worth of blood. Heavy in my hand, it fell in my pocket, comfortable.

Car doors slammed twelve feet under me. Maybe not even real. No time to find out. I ran through the door. One more fucking day in paradise.

~ fin ~

Matt Mattila has had fiction and non-fiction in numerous magazines, anthologies, and live events online, in print, and in person. He lives on the wrong side of a Connecticut city, but you can find him easily on Facebook and his blog: