She is already dead by the time her body reaches the last stair. She lands awkwardly in a heap at the bottom, her left leg pointing up the staircase, her right leg hanging out over her body, its bare foot dangling just past her head. Her arms flail, one across the hardwood floor, the other over her head, which is twisted at such an extreme angle it assures me that she is certainly dead. I stand there shaking a moment, clutching my head and reeling. I walk down the stairs slowly with my hand on the railing. I suddenly don’t feel quite so drunk. The world takes on a terrible dream-like feeling for a minute or two. I call her name lamely and wait, nothing.
My voice bounces of the walls and echoes throughout the house, it startles me. I begin to panic. How could this be happening to me? It had only been moments before she was standing right here, right in front of me, so alive, so angry, and now this? I had barely pushed her to keep her away from hitting me, just a little shove. I mean, I had to protect myself. It was self defense, right? Man, you’ve really done it this time, haven’t you Jimmy? Think of how this looks, just stop and think about how all this looks.
I take a few more steps down the stairs and look out the window, lights are on at the neighbors’ houses but I don’t see anyone in their windows. I don’t have much time. Think, think, think! I hurry over to the window, stepping over the body along the way. I close the blinds, it might already be too late but, then again, it might not. We were shouting pretty loud before the accident, the neighbors might already be onto me. I feel my left front pocket for my keys and realize they aren’t there, my heart races and I feel a large bead of sweat roll down my back, the first of many to come. I rush up the stairs to the bedroom and check the nightstand, they aren’t there either. Now, I really start to panic.
I tear the sheets from the bed and hear the jingle of my keys as they fly across the room. I dive on them like a mad beast and jump down the stairs and over the body as quickly as I can. I hurry down the hall and open the garage door frantically, inside, her car and an empty space for mine. I push the button for the garage door and it slowly begins to open. I rush out the open door and to my truck, it takes me a minute to start it because my hands are shaking so badly. I take a quick look around, nobody’s watching. I get it started and pull into the garage. I get out and close the garage door behind my truck. I hurry back into the house, down the hallway and back to the body. Her eyes are still open, watching me, I close them.
I stand there a moment, thinking about what I’m about to do. I finally work up the nerve and force my hands under her torso, reach for the armpits and lift her up slightly. Her body is still warm, and when I lift her torso up her head flops backwards so far that I’m almost sick right there. I begin to drag her down the hall and towards the garage, I let her go for a moment to open the door. I get over to my truck and open the rear door before returning to the body. I feel drunk again and I feebly struggle for what feels like an eternity trying to lift the lifeless body and carry it to the truck. I finally succeed and I carry it to the truck where I lay it across the back seat. I take a tarp from the back and begin to wrap her in it. As I cover her face, I hesitate.
“What the Hell am I doing?”
The sound of a car pulling into the driveway snaps me out of this thought and I dash through the garage door and across the house. Through the blinds I can see the headlights from the car, looming outside. I creep slowly to the blinds and pull them aside slightly, wincing in the potent white light. The car is parked directly behind my truck outside of the garage door. The car kills its lights and a man steps out. His face is familiar, I’ve seen it before in photos around her home. It’s her husband.