Short Story: Wilted Brown Eyes by @DarciaHelle

Wilted Brown Eyes

By Darcia Helle
Twitter: @DarciaHelle
Website: HERE


I’ve never accidentally killed someone. That’s the thought I have as I step around the bed and peer down at him. His eyes are open but I can tell he doesn’t see anything. He’s lying on his back, framed by the edges of the black and crimson rug I’d bought to hide the wine stain on the hardwood floor. The blood leaking from his head gets lost in the crimson, making it hard to tell where the carpet ends and his blood begins.

I ease closer, looking for signs of life. His chest isn’t moving.

I’ve never accidentally killed someone.

I sit on the edge of the bed and look into his unblinking eyes. They’re brown. But saying he has brown eyes is really not telling the story at all. Brown can be dark and rough like old tree bark or light and soft like a new leather jacket. Brown has so many variables. It’s really not a color of its own but more of a category.  His eyes are a wilted brown, like they’ve been left in the sun too long. Little dots of green brighten them, making me think of a crisp fall morning, before winter settles in and kills off that last bit of life.

I’ve never accidentally killed someone.

I always loved his eyes. The first time we met, he’d handed me a glass of champagne and said, “Hello. My name is Jake.”

“You have amazing eyes,” I’d said. Just like that. Words spilling from my mouth untethered.

Now Jake’s eyes stare up at the ceiling. The blood has stopped drizzling from that awful gash on the side of his head. His blood is on the nightstand. All over the sharp corner. Dripping off the edge.

I’ve never accidentally killed someone.

I sit for what might be a long time or might be a few seconds. Jakes’ eyes won’t look back at me ever again.

I’ve never accidentally killed someone.

Does it matter, really, if the act is intentional? Killing someone means they are dead, regardless of intent. Dead is dead. Right?

I’ve never accidentally killed someone.

I shake off this mantra I’ve been reciting in my head. Whether I’ve ever accidentally killed someone is of no importance. I killed Jake. And it wasn’t an accident.