Jess

I knew he was no good from the moment I met him. I was good at reading people like that. It was because I was quiet. I could observe while others were distracted by the talk. Jess was easily distracted. She was the kind of person who only stopped talking to hear compliments. I loved her but she had a problem. She loved me too and I had a problem.
He almost stank. I could sense the sickness in him. It was dark and putrid. The most horrible thing, worse than even some of mother’s boyfriends. I called her mother. Jess said it was a way for me to separate myself from her. I told her that she was a champ at stating the obvious.
Jess felt it too. I told them that. When he put his arm around her for the first time. I saw her flinch. Jess never quivered for anything. But she was pure light, so his darkness must have disturbed something in her. They did not believe me. They still thought I had something to do with it- the odd best friend always hanging around, never saying a word.
I knew when he took her too. Jess left her window open for me on Friday night so I could sneak in and avoid mother’s new boyfriend. Her window was closed that Friday. By morning, when I knocked on the door for her mother, I knew she was gone. Even as we combed through every inch of the neighbourhood, and then the town, then the city… I knew she was gone.
They never found enough evidence to go after him. What that really meant was that they did not believe me. They let me go too, after Jess’s mum demanded they do it. I went to her house. I cried in her room. He cried too, at the service we had for her. A month after, a dog found a bone in the woods. It was a tibia. The rest of her came out of a shallow grave.
I found him at a bar on his 21st birthday. We had both moved out of that town. I still went back to see Jess every Friday. He did not recognize me. Not at first. There was a glimmer of recognition as I stuck the knife in his chest, but that might have just been my imagination.


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