Guilty Only Of Love
Take Me Somewhere: A Writer's Challenge, Issued by: Jennifer Arnett
For your enjoyment as you read
Guilty Only Of Love, Part I
by: Lorenzo M. Vasquez III
This man couldn't take any longer, could he! Maybe, I should nudge him a little to get my point across, hurry the heck up. I need to get on this train quick and with little fuss.
I can’t believe I’ve found myself in this situation. Shoot, it’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would have thought this mathematical brain, James, would be on such a goddam slippery slope. Maybe, it’s not so slippery. Maybe, I ain’t meant for Chicago. This is my escape! My escape from love. I’ve never been more distracted in my life. Did I take this teaching gig at this hell forsaken high school just on a romantic flame? One, I could torch each night in the windy city with Maria? Just to show her we didn’t have to settle and we could see the land of the free, one state at a time.
I am her savor. Saved her from a subpar life in Mexico. A foolish thought, and a fool I am. For three years, a long distance relationship and suddenly marriage! Blind eyes my friend.
Oh, the sight I lost for allowing these jubilant feelings to overpower rational thought. And, Robert! My colleague and a part-time professor at the University of Chicago. My only friend in this cold city. We’ve had many great conversations. We gave an ear to one another, to ramble our frustrations over these seemingly unteachable adolescences. Teenagers who worry more about their next hit or what colors he or she is wearing. They could care less about our instruction. Robert and I found inspiration in each other. We foraged together and challenged the administration! When left high-strung, we drafted our exile from this unthankful profession time and time again.
It was foolish of me to invite him over. But, he provided the intellectual conversation I periodically fancy. Maria is my love and obsession, but her intellectual capacity was far from satisfying. She was my love, nonetheless.
All the nights we shared. Maria always took special care to comfort our guest. She made sure he was warm in our drafty apartment. Made sure he was feed. Lit his cigarettes, refilled his crown and coke, and rubbed his goddamn shoulders every time he was tense. I should have stopped it! Stopped it right there when a glimmer of hope might have existed. But my blind eyes! She seemed happy and to enjoy his company along with me. Besides, she felt the same for me as I did for her. Unbreakable love, a passionate fever, and satisfaction only in the presence of one another. Oh god, another foolish thought!
What could I expect. The romantic flame couldn’t be lit every night or weekend. She took the role of homemaker. The dull life I bestowed upon her was a mirror resemblance of the life she left in Mexico. Obviously, she’d become dissatisfied with my fictitious promises. I couldn’t bring her the stars, so to speak. And, with her burdensome upbringing, I shouldn’t have been surprised to watch her search for the stars elsewhere.
In hindsight, Robert was the perfect cavalier to swept her away. Owner of a Ph.D. from Columbia University, nice house in the suburbs, nice car, and the actual ability to work and live where he so pleased. She was beautiful, voluptuous, and keen at attracting what I now consider the hapless romantic fool. Ha! They were perfect for one another, and I? Ha! The real American, with thousands of dollars worth of debt, an undergraduate degree, and a laughable salary: the card to be played to bring these two together.
They cozied to one another quickly and were terrible at hiding this, to my disdain. She’d sneak in a kiss while I turned my back, gnaw at his ears while I retrieved another bottle of Crown, and whispered “I love you’s” when she walked him to his car. No matter how exasperated I became I held back and said nothing. Nothing at all. What a mistake, I guess.
It hurt and pinched a nerve but I was hopeful. Hopeful, she’d stop and want nothing more but to move on with me. What a fool I was!
Their romantic flare became more conspicuous. Maria apparently wanted to spend alone time with a few friends she met at the corner store, and Robert became less and less available to conspire with. Those darn fools couldn’t have made it more obvious. What hurts the most was she was drawn to his spell. Our passionate fever was now their passionate fever. How could this have happened? We were inseparable! Plans were drawn to travel the country, buy a house in the perfect suburb, have kids, grow old together, and cherish our dearest grandchildren. I’m sick! I’m sick! Why!
They formicated everywhere they could: his house, the movie theater, at the park in his car, behind abandon buildings, restrooms, and in my bed! My! Bed! I could not help myself but to watch and do nothing, like a coward. A helpless coward with no dignity! And each time they were done I ran and cried like a pathetic fool. So pathetic, I still had the absolute nerve to comfort her when she arrived home. I rubbed her back and feet, made her breakfast, and declared my love. Still, at every opportunity, she crawled to the contemptible fool!
Now my hands are dirty. I tried so desperately to take my life but, I’m a coward. I let him take my woman. Like a coward! So . . . I stabbed him . . . in his sweaty back as he made passionate love to my lovely wife, Maria. I will never forget the fear shooting through my spine as he turned to face me. I stabbed him in the gut again and again. The dying light in his eyes fading into my conscious. The sorrow I felt as Maria lay there naked, uncontrollably screaming in shock in his silk laden bed. She wouldn’t let me comfort her and tell her everything was okay, it’s only us now. She turned pale, her lips purple, uncontrolled shaking, and eyes glistening from tears. The tone in the room became clammy and I looked her in the eyes and said my last goodbye. The knife pierced her pale skin and lodged between her ribs. I made sure she looked into my crying eyes as she gasped her last breath.
The ringing of the doorbell startled me. Running the way I had hiked and sneaked in was tedious. What a long run back to the city. The emotions were heavy and a burden on my consciousness. But it frightens me to admit a sudden relief struck as I settled into my apartment before police showed up. Already, I miss her more than anything, but I have comfort in knowing it is all over, for the most part. I am glad it has not been difficult giving the police the run-around. The pangs of the affair divulge hearty emotion which makes apparent to the police my sorrow of the “unknown and unforeseen” betrayal and the death of Maria. Nonetheless, it’s time to get moving before they uncover who is responsible for the heinous details of yesterday’s violence.
They will want to charge me with murder, but I did not commit murder. No, no, no! I was merely acting on the ravage of love. I am only guilty of love. And yes, maybe I did escape this love. Maybe this is a new beginning. It’s time to hurry home and say my goodbyes to the family and commence on a new adventure, never to look back again. Let’s get this train rolling because I’m growing a little impatient, again.