Time Lapse

My girlfriend Amy rushes in through the front door with two apparel clothing bags. She tosses them onto the table. She says, “Hey, honey. I have to pee,” and heads straight to the restroom down the hall. She’s in there a while, which was good with me, as I want to finish the chapter I’m reading before she starts talking. I put my book down just as Amy comes out of the bathroom.

“What’s going on?” I ask.

“I got the cutest outfit over at Forever Hip. Oh my god, I love it. I’ll try it on for you in a minute.”

“Cool.”

“I saw two guys kissing at the mall. It was disgusting. They were full-on tongue and everything. It was like that hadn’t seen each other in a long time. I was thinking they needed to get a room.”

I threw up a little in my mouth. “That’s gross. What’s this world coming to? I mean I don’t hate them or anything, but seriously, there’s no reason to be getting all gay out in public.”

Amy says, “You should tell Carlos this story and get his opinion. He’s the exact opposite. I don’t think I have ever seen him with a guy.”

“I have a theory about that. I don’t think he’s really gay. I just think he doesn’t have any game. He can’t get any chicks so he tells everyone he’s gay. Maybe he actually thinks he’s gay. I don’t really know. I just know he ain’t gay.”

“I’m sorry dear. He’s one hundred percent gay. Do you remember him dancing and signing, my lovely lady lumps, while we were playing pool? I knew right then he was the real deal. There’s no way he’s straight. You’re totally wrong.”

“Agree to disagree. Just don’t get me started on gay marriage.”

“Trust me, I won’t.”

Amy went about looking at her clothes and I picked back up my book again. I only got halfway down my page when my phone rang.

“Hey Carlos.”

Carlos replies, “Hey buddy. I was going to be there around five-thirty but then they asked me to stay late. I’ll be there about six-thirty. I really need the overtime. You know how it is.”

“Yeah, no problem. I haven’t even started cooking yet. Did you want rice and beans or just a bunch of tacos?”

“Surprise me.”

I ended the call and said to Amy, “Carlos won’t be here until six-thirty. His gay ass is always late.” We both laugh.

It’s six o’clock and there is a knock at the door. I think it’s strange as Carlos still hasn’t left work yet and we’re not expecting anyone else. Amy looks at me and I nod to her. I get up and walk over to the door.

“Just a minute,” I call out.

I wait for a response. Nothing. I scratch my head and open the door. No one is there. I turned to Amy and say, “You heard the door right?”

No response. I look around but I don’t see Amy. I swear she was standing in the kitchen when we heard the knock. I wonder where she ran off too. Perhaps the restroom. I roll my eyes as and shrug my shoulders as I shut the door. I walk back to the couch to pick up my book, but before I sit down I turn and stare over at the table.

Feeling dazed, I call out “Amy?”

No response. Instead of sitting down I walk over to the hall. I see the bathroom door open and the light is off. No Amy inside. I walked into the bedroom and looked around. No Amy.

“Amy. Where are you?”

I check the living room. No Amy. Was the noise I heard Amy leaving? Did I make eye contact with her when I heard the knock? I go to the door and open it. I walk outside into the passageway.

“Amy? Amy?”

No response. I am getting worried. I go back inside and grab my phone from the couch. I pull up my recent calls. I select Amy’s name. The phone dials and her phone rings. I see it’s on the dining room table. I walk over to the table perplexed.

I spin around my living room. No Amy. I go into the kitchen. No Amy. I walk into the bedroom. No Amy. I walked into the bathroom. This time I flip on the lights. No Amy. I start to turn when impulse takes over. I grab the shower curtain. I throw it back and see the tub is filled with water. Amy is under the water. Blue. Not moving.

I stare at her body. I’m not sure if I should touch it. She’s clearly dead and I don’t want to get blamed for the murder. I’m not sure how she was killed. This doesn’t make sense. At this point, I’m wondering if it’s possible that I killed her and I just don’t remember. I have no idea and my mind is coming up with tons of crazy ideas. I stumble a little and I squat down to sit on the ground. I put my hands on my head and I am trying to think about my next move.

I could call the police but they’ll blame me. I could not call the police, but then I’m getting rid of a body. Also would need to figure out how to tell Amy’s friends and family a reason for her disappearance. I need to call the police, but what do I tell them? I know I didn’t do this. At least I don’t think I did this. Should I tell the police I just got home? Should I tell them how I could have sworn I just saw her alive before a mysterious knock at the door.

That’s it. The knock at the door. What was that? Someone came in and killed Amy while I was answering it. Without making a sound? It must have been the world’s greatest assassin. That doesn’t make any sense. I would have to be a fool to tell the police that part of the story. They would lock me up for sure if I told them anything close to that.

I should tell them I just got home and found her this way. But where will I tell them I was. I haven’t actually been anywhere. I could tell them I was at the store, but what if they checked? I could say I was out for a walk. They could check, but would it be reasonable that no one saw me? I wonder if any neighbors were outside who would swear that I never left my house. That seems like my best play. I should say I was taking a walk and when I came back she was dead.

The doorbell rings.

I quickly break down in panic. I reach for a towel and fumble it. Tearing it off the towel rack and dropping it into the water with Amy. I take out the towel and it’s soaked. It held the water long enough for me to raise the towel above the tile, then whoosh, all the water floods the floor. I step into the water soaking my shoes. I step back and bend down in a vain attempt to slap dry my shoes. It doesn’t work.

The doorbell rings again. I start walking towards the front door. The carpet makes a soggy noise from my wet shoes. My phone begins to ring. It’s Carlos. I knew he was at the door. I decline the call.

“Coming!”

I then realize that I didn’t cover Amy back up. What if Carlos needs to use the restroom? I’ll tell him I have a plumbing problem. I won’t let him in. How am I going to get rid of him? I’m not sure what to do, but something needs to be done. Like the police, I don’t think Carlos is going to be understanding about Amy being dead in my bathtub and me trying to cover it up. I can’t really believe I am covering up a murder. How did it come to this?

My phone starts ringing again. Carlos starts pounding on the door.

“Yo! It’s me! I’m here. I see your cars here. Where you guys at?”

I rush back into the bathroom splashing the puddle of water on the floor. I grip the shower curtain and close it. I leave the bathroom while trying to smooth my hair as I walk. I feel like I‘m crazy. My entire body feels tingly. I’m losing my mind. I approach the door and I stop. Looking down at my clothes. They’re a mess. They scream murderer. I can’t believe I’m a murderer. It’s the only thing that makes sense. I have to explain this somehow. I open the door.

“Hey Carlos. I’m sorry you came all this way. Me and Amy are, well we are, having a thing. Dinner’s no bueno today.”

“Ah come on man. It’s me. Whatever is going on, I’m sure I can help. What did you do?”

I’m flabbergasted by his question. How did he know I did something? I wasn’t even sure I did something. Yet here Carlos was. Standing here. Knowing that I killed Amy. I can’t believe I killed Amy.

“Hey man, calm down. Are you crying?” Carlos says as he reaches out and puts his hand on my shoulder.

“It’s just not a good time buddy. Let’s hang tomorrow or something.”

“Okay man.” Carlos turns to leave and then spins around and stares me in the eyes. He yells, “Bye Amy!” Carlos turns and walks away.

I shut the door and walk towards my couch. I sit there for a minute and think. Yeah, thinking is good. It would help. I sit on the couch. I can’t think of anything to think about. I pick up a magazine. I squeeze it and roll it. I caress it. My cat jumps on the couch and starts purring. She hops on my lap and I pet her. I heard that petting a cat can reduce stress. I definitely need to reduce stress.

“You two love each other so much,” Amy says.

I look up startled and see Amy standing near the dining room table just as she had been the last time I saw her. I don’t understand. I’m delighted to see her but confused. I don’t follow. I start shaking. What’s going on here? I hop off the couch.

“What’s going on Amy? Where were you? What happened? I mean. I mean.”

“Hey. Hey. What’s wrong honey?” Amy makes her way over to me and puts her hands on my shoulders. “What’s wrong? What happened at the door? I figured it was Carlos. Who was it?”

“It was Carlos. I told him we couldn’t do dinner. That we were fighting.”

“Fighting? Why on Earth would you tell him that?”

“I thought we were. I don’t know. Are you okay? Have you been to the restroom?”

I looked down at my feet and my shoes were dry as a bone. The carpet’s not wet and neither is the couch. I look around the room and everything seems to be in its place. I push off Amy’s hands and I walked straight to the bathroom. I turn on the light and look at the floor. No water. I fling open the shower curtain. No water. No dead Amy.

“Honey, are you okay?” Amy says while standing behind me.

“Yeah, everything is fine dear.”

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