Warning: Mature content. This is a work of pure fiction. Any resemblance to real life is unintentional. It is based on a fear I’ve always had.
They say she lost control of the car. It wasn’t impossible. The roads were covered with freshly fallen snow. The wet, slushy kind. They say she died instantly. That she felt no pain. That there was no time for her to register what had happened. Just like that she was gone.
People say she had such a great life ahead of her. That it was a shame that her talent was now forever lost. No would could ever hold a candle to her. Not now. Not ever. A prodigy. A genius. Only one of her in all of history.
But people didn’t know her. Not really. She was the type of girl who got whatever she wanted. When she set her mind to it, it was hers.
And as hard as it was to believe, she had wanted this.
Her name was Eleanor. His name was Kieran. They were as in love as anyone could be. Eleanor had found everything she ever wanted in a man. While he had his moments, he was still the love of her life.
Then everything changed. Kieran had been working as a mechanic for years. He was sick of the work, sick of the people, just sick of it all. So he quit. It was the best decision he had ever made. Or so he thought. Eleanor worried that they would be financially screwed by his decision, but she had never seen him so happy. So she told herself she would work twice as hard to support the both of them until he was able to find himself a new job, a job he loved.
Months passed by and things between them became more and more strained. Her finances were beginning to suffer, but that didn’t make her love him less. Rather, it made her love him more. But she could see that it was taking a toll on him. And as a result, he became more and more distant from her. Cold. Refusing to show her affection. Sleeping elsewhere instead of next to her in bed and when he did come to bed, he didn’t touch her. He didn’t want to engage with her. He had nothing to say to her. Not anymore. In his eyes, he was not a man. What man could not provide for his family? He took his frustrations out on her. The one person who loved him more than her own life.
Finally, he stumbled across a job working in security. He had always wanted to go to the police academy or law enforcement, but he wasn’t exactly academic minded and didn’t feel like he was ready to compete against those who were more focused than he. So he took this as a stepping stone into the career he wanted.
There he met some girls. They worked at the place he was acting as security for. One in particular caught his attention. Her name was Madison. She was petite and cute and knew her way around guys. She had him twisted around her little finger and Eleanor could see it. But Kieran couldn’t. Kieran never believed for one moment that Madison had him in his sights, that she had intentions for him. She did everything she could to seduce him and he fell for it all. To Kieran, Eleanor was becoming more erratic, more emotional, and he had had enough. But he strongly believed in being loyal to the one he was with and Eleanor had no intention of breaking it off with him.
One week, she went away to visit a friend abroad, unaware of the feelings that were growing inside Kieran. Feelings that were no longer for her. She received a message halfway through the week: We have to talk. For the rest of the week, a cold fear gripped her heart. What in the world could Kieran want to talk about? He was the kind of guy who wouldn’t talk about serious matters over the phone or via text. This had to be serious.
He picked her up from the airport as promised and they went for dinner. They hadn’t gone out for dinner for a very long time. It was his way of controlling her. She was never the type to make a fuss in public. She would have tried to control her emotions. He knew that.
“Ellie…I know that things have been rough for the last few weeks…and I know we decided that we had to take a break from each other, but do you ever think that maybe we don’t belong together?” started Kieran.
“Kir, of course I have. But regardless of what happens, I think we can work through it. We’re a partnership, which means I have your back and you have mine. Is there something going on that you want to tell me about?” Eleanor returned.
Kieran shook his head. He wasn’t going to be the one who broke up with her. If she wasn’t happy, he knew she would do it.
“Then I don’t know what the problem is. I love you more than anything in the world. I would do anything to make this work. Do you think we don’t belong together?” asked Eleanor.
Kieran shook his head again, “Look, first and foremost, you are my friend. We were friends before this and I hope that we’ll be friends after. You mean a lot of me, Ellie, but I don’t know if a relationship is what’s right here. We started in different places when this relationship began.”
Ellie nodded, “I understand…I…I’m not hungry anymore. Can we go home?”
Kieran signaled for the waitress to bring a couple to go boxes and they headed home.
Eleanor sat at home alone thinking. Kieran was out working the night shift for his security job. She had never felt more alone. She played with her phone while staring blankly at the stove clock opposite her at the kitchen bar when it sprang to life in her hands.
She didn’t recognize the number, but she decided to pick up anyways.
“Do you know where Kieran’s at?”
“Who is this?”
“Do you know who he’s with?”
“I demand you tell me who you are!”
“You’ll find him at 92 Citadel Crest Green NW,”
Before Eleanor could ask who it was again, the caller hung up. She put down her phone with a sigh. Was this all a joke? Kieran was at work. He had to be. It was only 2 a.m. But what if he wasn’t.
She paced back and forth, debating whether she ought to follow up at that address or not. Eventually she grabbed her purse, jumped into her car, and drove to the address she had been told. She sat in the car for a while before going up to the house. Even in the car, she could see that all the lights were turned on and the house reverberating with loud music. She rang the doorbell, waiting for a response, but with all that noise, it was unlikely anyone had heard. She tried the door and found it to be unlocked. She cautiously made her way into the house, seeing his shoes at the front door, she proceeded further, looking for him. The main floor was empty, save for the blaring speakers and what appeared to be Kieran’s shirt. Her favourite. The plaid one. She thought she heard giggling upstairs and followed it to a bedroom with the door opened ajar. Quietly, she peaked in, glimpsing a group of girls in the room. Kieran was among them, utterly naked, half conscious, and completely drunk out of his mind. She gasped, quickly covering her mouth to silence herself. She watched as a blonde kissed him, straddling him, gently raising and lowering herself on him, and he kissed her back with a passion Eleanor had thought was dead in him. She stifled her tears, taking a deep breath she pushed the door open. The other girls who were watching jump to their feet.
“Who the fuck are you?!” one exclaimed.
“You know you’re trespassing!” exclaimed another.
She pushed passed them all.
“Get off of him!” she said, throwing the blonde off of him.
“Who the fuck are you?” asked the blonde.
“His fiancee,” she said, pulling Kieran to his feet.
“Ellie?” asked Kieran, slurring. “What’s happening?”
“I think you’ve had enough to drink for one night. Let’s get you dressed, go home, and we’ll talk about it in the morning,” she said.
“Okay,” he said obediently.
He allowed her to lead him around, doing whatever to him, just like he had been doing earlier. The blonde brushed her hand against Kieran, extracting a moan from him. Without thinking, Eleanor slapped her across the face.
“What’s your problem? We were just having a little fun,” exclaimed the blonde.
“If you ever touch him like that again, you’re going to lose that hand. If you ever put your mouth on him again like that, I’ll rip your tongue out. And if I find you on top of him like that again, I’ll kill you,” Eleanor threatened her.
“Wow, I can’t imagine Kir ever wanting to marry a girl like you,” sneered the blonde.
Hearing another woman use his nickname felt like a slap in the face to Eleanor. It took a minute for Eleanor to regain her senses.
“I swear to God-” Eleanor began.
“Ellie, Maddie, please don’t fight,” managed Kieran, “Maddie, you probably shouldn’t have done that.”
“That’s not what you were saying earlier…what was it you were saying? Oh yes, fuck me like you mean it,” smiled Maddie.
Kieran returned her smiled, trailing off at the end, “Did I say that? Well…”
Eleanor didn’t wait for a response, she steered him out the door, back down to the main floor, picking up his shirt as she went, and helping him into the car. She took a deep breath, calmed herself down just enough to be able to drive home.
When they got home, she cleaned him up and got him to bed. He fell asleep quickly, but the same could not be said for her. She tossed and turned, unable to get the images, the words out of her head.
Kieran woke with a splitting headache. Eleanor was lying next to him; her eyes red from crying all night.
“Ellie? What happened last night?” asked Kieran.
“You don’t remember?” she asked quietly.
“You were at work?”
“I-Ellie…I’m sorry…no, we had the day off…I should’ve told you…” said Kieran.
“Was it so I wouldn’t ask you anymore questions about that Madison girl?” asked Eleanor.
“You promised me nothing was going to happen!” exclaimed Eleanor, borderline hysterical.
“Well, I’m not sure what happened,” said Kieran.
“Exactly what I told you would happen. You aren’t as loyal when you’re drunk as you thought you would be. You said you’d never let it get that far, but with drink, your inhibitions are lowered. You would do anything and everything you said you wouldn’t do sober. They knew exactly what to do. You let them take advantage of you. You fucked Madison for God’s sake!” Eleanor cried, “I’m your fiancee! Or does that mean nothing to you?”
Kieran’s jaw dropped, “Oh my God, Ellie. I’m so sorry…I don’t even know what to say.”
“Why were you at her house? Why did you continue to do the things that you knew made me uncomfortable?” asked Eleanor.
“I had to blow off some steam. You were driving me nuts!” exclaimed Kieran.
“Then you should’ve talked to me instead of messing with girls behind my back,” said Eleanor quietly, “I think I should go home…”
“You are home,” said Kieran.
“No…my parents…” she said, climbing out of bed.
In the weeks that followed, Kieran broke off the engagement and Eleanor came by to return the ring and clear out her things. It wasn’t long after their separation that Kieran began a relationship with Madison. On the face of it, he told everyone that he had loved Eleanor to the very end, but due to irreconcilable differences, they had decided to part ways. He told everyone he knew that Madison was more compatible with who he was, with the lifestyle he had always dreamed of. He told Eleanor she had deserved better, but really he thought he was the one who did.
Weeks turned into months and Eleanor began to worry. She had missed several periods and every morning she woke unable to eat after a night of being unable to sleep. For the first little while she thought it was because of the stress that she wasn’t having her period and the eating and sleeping was due to heartbreak, but after several missed months, she decided to conduct a pregnancy test. It came up positive.
She stared at it a while. Kieran didn’t need this in his life. The only person she ever cared about. The one who was her whole world. Gone. She didn’t need to ruin his life further. She still loved him despite everything.
And though she had told herself over and over that no man was worth dying for. That she would get over him one day, she knew she never would. Kieran had and always would have a part of her that no one else would ever have.
She wrote a letter, telling Kieran exactly how she felt. She enclosed the pregnancy test and mailed it to him as she made arrangements for her other plan. She arranged her affairs, leaving everything to Kieran. Nobody knew.
She had always been fascinated by Death and she could feel his cold on her everyday. Some days he came by and sat with her, talking to her, listening to her heartbreak. Some days he would just hold her and tell her he loved her. That he would protect her. The days got colder. Her fingers ice. And when she would reach out, he was always there for her.
And when she left that day, she went out knowing she was never coming home. She was going some place else. Some place better.