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Porcelain

Porcelain

A Story by Once upon a time

The death of a person can be so grotesque, and yet cathartic. This was the moment when her eyes finally began to see. Life came to them in a rush of excitement, leaving her body limp. Her pink lips parted slightly, allowing her soul to bypass the grasp of her tainted hands. As her eyes watched, a tear escaped them, her beautiful spirit was finally free, and she was left to wallow in the disgusting shell that she became.  He released his grip from her brittle neck and it left his handprint, painted a beautiful shade of plum, around her pink flesh.  Her head dropped limp, looking over her shoulder. Flowing red hair circled her head like a river of blood on the snow white quilt that covered their bed.  Mr. Gaines lay down next to his wife’s plastic body, his head even with hers, and he looked into the hazel eyes that only a moment before held knowledge of the world that he would never understand. Now they were merely glazed windows into the beautiful carcass of a woman that had been rotting months before she had died.
            Two children, a boy and a girl, were everything that Erin Gaines wanted out of life. She was smart and beautiful, but she never felt the need to do anything other than become a mother. She grew up taking care of her siblings after her mother walked out on her father when she was twelve. “I never sign up for this,” were the last words she heard her mother spit as she closed the door on her children forever. With eyes brimming with tears, Erin swore she would be a better mother than hers ever was. You never think how profoundly a parent leaving can affect a child, and the course your actions will place them on.  

Erin was brilliant and full of opinions that she wasn’t afraid to share with anyone who would listen. She was imbued with such passion and independence that it made her irresistible to men.  Jon loved when she would rant about a political topic. Her hazel eyes seemed to glow a bright yellow, full of intensity. Her red hair would brush across her porcelain skin, highlighting her flushed cheeks. Jon was an insecure man, and awkward in his mannerisms. He was bright, but never intellectual, and he felt embarrassed when he was with Erin and her scholarly friends. He would twist up his hands in his shirt and look at her from under his eyelashes and ask her why she was with him, why she loved him. Erin, with her loving radiance, would grab his hands and catch his eyes with hers and say that she knew he was a loving and caring man, and would one day make a great father.

“I remember the moment I knew that I loved you,” Jon brushed the backs of his fingertips across the agape mouth of Erin’s stilled face. “You were angry with me because I didn’t understand why you cared so much about gun control,” Jon sighed and his breath rustled the fiery bangs on Erin’s brow. “I still don’t.” He paused for a long time.

Eventually Erin and Jon were married. Their honeymoon stage lasted a year until Erin decided that it was time they started a family. Jon use to joke during this stage of their life that he thought starting a family was a code word for having a lot of sex, but Erin took it a lot more seriously. After a couple months, when she didn’t get pregnant, she began taking ovulation tests and choreographing their love making based on rumors she had heard about ways to get pregnant. Jon hated when she would take a pregnancy test. Erin would finally come out of the bathroom, her eyes red and puffy from sobbing.  She was devastated, broken.

Jon looked away from the empty eyes, “I loved you Erin; I wanted to give you the baby that you needed so much. It hurt me too, you know.” He looked back at her, the eyes not listening.

It was humiliating, seeing the doctor. A man that was better educated, better paid, and better looking than Jon sat across from the desk in a white coat, holding a classy fountain pen and tapping it on the desk. Dr. Schneider swiveled his chair and simultaneously looked at a high point on the wall and leaned back.  His feet countered his weight and popped up on top of the ebony wood desk that was surprisingly organized. He brought his pen to his mouth and furrowed his brow as if he was thinking hard about how to explain the test results to the Gaines’.

“There is no easy way to say this,” his voice was dripping with honey as he finally made eye-contact with Jon, the sympathy apparent in his eyes, “your sperm count is irreparably low.” Dr. Schneider held Jon’s gaze and seemed to be waiting for something. Jon glanced over to Erin who had already begun crying. “Jon, this means you cannot have children,” the doctor said as if he was trying to make his point clear. Jon didn’t respond, he merely reached across to hold a hand that was violently yanked away by his sobbing wife.

“You acted like it was my fault…” Jon sat up, his back to the stiffening body of his wife, “…You acted like I had done something wrong that caused it.” Jon’s voice got louder as if he was trying to speak over her. “I didn’t do anything wrong Erin!”

It was excruciating to watch Erin drifting away from him. He was broken and useless as a husband. He couldn’t give the one person he loved what she needed to be happy. She didn’t smile anymore and Jon was responsible for her pain. She would look at him, her eyes empty of compassion. He saw the love leave her eyes and contempt took its place.  She slipped through Jon’s fingers as he grasped frantically to save his marriage. She must have hated him.

Erin eventually began to smile again. The color came back to her soft porcelain cheeks and her eyes sparkled. However, when she looked at Jon they were just as cold and bitter as they were before. She didn’t try to hide the fact that she was having an affair. She would disappear at night, and when Jon would ask her where she was going, she would scoff at him, turning her back and pushing her blazing hair away from her face in defiance. He loved her so unconditionally that all he did was pretend things were fine while she walked over him. 

He might have been able to live forever pretending. As long as she was with him, and she was happy; he was happy. But then it came along and ruined everything. How could Erin keep up the façade when her belly was swelling? The house was cold and loveless, and she floated around in a bubble of happiness that only touched her. Her eyes didn’t see Jon anymore.  

“We could have just kept on pretending Erin, but you had to go and get pregnant,” Jon glanced at the round belly that lay still next to him. The evil presence that nestled in the womb of his wife was probably still alive, slowly dying. He took comfort knowing that the baby would never be born.

The sun was dipping behind the horizon when Jon finally got home from work. The house was dark, and a light shown from the bedroom. Erin turned and looked at him when he walked in the room. Suitcases were strewn around the bedroom and she had been busy packing.

With a stutter brought on by shock, Jon looked at his wife, “what’s going on?”

“Oh come on Jon,” Erin said in a scornful tone as she dropped her arms in protest to his question, “you’re not a stupid guy. I’m leaving you. I’m pregnant and it’s obviously not yours.” Spiteful eyes bore through his soul, tearing at his heart. He turned away from her to avoid the pain, and she continued packing.

“Erin…” Jon whimpered. She stopped and shot an annoyed glance at him.  Jon walked up to her. He wanted to feel her against him. He wanted her to be his again. She pulled herself away from him and smacked him. “Stop it Jon,” She snarled.

Jon began to sweat, and dizziness overwhelmed him as he brought his hands up around the thin neck of the woman he loved. A wave of nausea flooded over Jon and his hands squeezed her brittle neck. She clawed at his hands, trying to break free from them. These were the hands that had once caressed her with tenderness. These hands were supposed to hold her child.

“Jon,” she tried to mutter through her collapsing throat. The muscles pulsed hopelessly beneath his palms for breath. She made a wet gurgling sound and her body convulsed under the strength of his hands. Her eyes opened wide, and shook with the realization of her own death.

A breeze came through the open window, bringing with it the crisp cool air of the early fall and the smell of burning wood. The room was lit by the glowing of a small lamp on the nightstand. Jon placed his arm gently over his wife’s body, and pulled her close to himself.

“Soon it will just be us again,” Jon whispered.” 

© 2013 Once upon a time


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Added on November 27, 2013
Last Updated on November 27, 2013
Tags: psychology, short story, morbid, dark, murder, adultery