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Out of Options

by

Sophie Green

(based on her short film "Steel Obsession")

All characters and events in this story are fictitious. Any similarities to real people or events is coincidental and unintended.


I got to know her on my art course. Iíd often be working next to her in class. Sheís very talented, and very dedicated. Her art is her life.
   Sheís really pretty. Iíve never known anyone as pretty as her. All the boys look at her. Girls donít look at me the way boys look at her. Oh, they look at me all right, but not in admiration. Itís something that Iíve had to become used to, ever since the accident.
   I felt that she was different, that perhaps she could love me, despite my appearance. We got talking in class, just small talk, but thatís more than what most people gave me. And when she chose to stay behind in the evenings so would I, and weíd continue talking.

It was during this time that I fell in love.

Once Iíd found this love I decided to pursue it. A love like this is rare, I couldnít allow it to be ignored.
   Finding the courage to ask someone out is especially hard when itís something youíve never done before. You run it though your head so many times, but when it comes to reality it turns out to be nothing like you had imagined.
   Iíd often follow her from class to class, trying to build up the courage to ask her out. Occasionally sheíd see me and Iíd quickly walk the other way, too nervous to approach her. Surely she must have been able to work out that I was interested in her? And as she still spoke to me in class in the way that she normally did, well, surely she must have liked me too? Thatís not an unreasonable assumption, is it?
   And so, eventually, I found the courage, and approached her. ďOh, itís you,Ē she said, as she spotted me. ďWell, what is it? What do you want?Ē I could sense a tone of discontent in her voice, but I believed that her tone would change to one of joy once I had said what I was about to say. I believed that she would have been glad that I had finally said what Iíd been meaning to say for so long.
   It was now or never. ďErm... would... you like to go out with me some time?Ē That was it, Iíd done it. I had now just confirmed what we both already knew, that I was in love with her.
   ďWhat?Ē she said, ďEr, no! I donít think so!Ē My heart shattered. This didnít make any sense. ďYou idiot! Just because Iím the only girl that talks to you doesnít mean that I want to go out with you! God, I felt sorry for you, thatís all! I wish I hadnít now, if this is how youíre gonna take it! Iíd never consider going out with you. I mean, look at you, youíre a freak! A freak who goes around following a girl just because they said two words to them! Just piss off and stop following me!Ē She then turned around and walked off in a hurry.
   How could she do this to me? Get me to fall in love with her, make me think that she felt the same way about me, and then turn like that? How could she do that?!

That was yesterday. Yesterday was the day when she showed me complete and utter disrespect. Today, though, she will respect me. Oh yes, sheíll respect me all right.
   Iíll get her to respect me through the use of a surprise that I have hidden up my sleeve. I took it out of my Dadís shed. Iím surprised he still kept it there, ever since my brother and I found it all those years ago. My Dad uses it for chopping up small bits of wood in the garden. My brother and I decided to have a go for ourselves one day when we were little, but it all ended with the accident.
   At least I know first hand just how sharp it is. Itís odd to think that the very thing that disfigured me, and therefore weakened me, now empowers me. The blade isnít very big, it fits into my hand quite comfortably, and thereís plenty of room in my sleeve for the handle. As long as I keep my arm close to my body, no one will spot it.

Today Iíve been spending my time walking around the corridors, everyone blissfully unaware of my surprise. I canít help but smile. More people than usual are looking at me today, wondering what does a freak like me have to be happy about. Let them look all they like, todayís main event can be a lesson for them all.
   I saw her a little earlier, sitting at the bottom of some stairs, talking to a friend. I was standing at the top of the stairs, out of her view, but I could still hear every word. ďHe bought me roses the other day,Ē she said. I didnít know who it was she spoke of.
   ďOh thatís so sweet,Ē replied her friend.
   ďYeah, and he took me to the cinema and we sat in the back row.Ē
   ďReally? And then what happened?Ē
   ďAh, now that would be telling!Ē On hearing this I attempted to clench my fist, cutting my hand on the blade. Fortunately the blood didnít drip. I couldnít afford to give myself away, not yet at least.
   ďSo, do you think heís the one?Ē
   ďYeah, I do, I really do. I just want to be with him forever...Ē
   I had heard enough, and so I went down the stairs and walked past her. Now that was exciting, being able to get so close to her, with my surprise up my sleeve, and yet have her completely unaware of it.

I decided not to take any more chances, and so I stepped out of view for a bit by disappearing into the toilets. I needed to gather my thoughts, and mentally prepare myself for the task that is before me.
   Looking at myself in the mirror I kept telling myself that I had to do this, I couldnít let what she did go unpunished.
   But why do I have to do this? Is it really necessary? I am better than she is after all. If she canít accept me for who I am then thatís her problem. I could just let her live with it, and show her how good I am. Wouldnít that be a better way to punish her?
   To find someone else, another girl. Not one like her, one who can find it within their heart to love me. We could fall in love and be together. Then that would show her what sheís missing out on. Yes, I could look for someone who will make me happy, and make all my dreams and fantasies come true. Yes, that would be a good way to end this.
   But who am I kidding, where am I going to find such a girl? Theyíll all be the same, theyíll all think that Iím just a freak, not a real person with real feelings at all! No, itís foolish to think like that, to think that anyone could love me. Iíve been cursed for life, I can see that now.
   After reaching this conclusion, my thoughts returned to what I had just recently found out, that the little bitch has a boyfriend now. I wonder who it could be? It doesnít really matter I suppose. Iím not going to need to have any dealings with him, heís done me no wrong. Heís not the one that put me down yesterday. Itís only her that needs to be punished.
   Come to think of it, she didnít mention any boyfriend yesterday. She could have just said that she was already with someone when I asked her out. I could have accepted that. Yes, I could have. So, why didnít she just say so?!
   Then I worked it out. She just couldnít resist the perfect opportunity to put me down! She must have been harbouring thoughts like that for weeks now! She said that she had just been feeling sorry for me, which means that she had always seen me as a freak, the same way as everyone else does! All those acts of kindness in our classes together were just a show, a mask for what she was really thinking. She probably saw the whole thing as some sort of sick joke!

That settled it, we have to punish her now.

Once Iíd collected my thoughts I left the toilets, and have since been lurking around in the shadows. Iíve been following her around, but this time Iíve been careful to make sure that she doesnít see me. I donít want to spoil the surprise, I want it to have maximum effect.
   Itís become quite late now. There was a beautiful sunset a while ago, it turned the whole sky red. We could have watched it together, if we had been together. We could have watched the sun go down, and the moon rise, and all the stars come out. We could have looked deep into each otherís eyes. I could have shown her the love I bore for her, as our lips slowly met...
   That would have been magical. Itís a good night for romance.
   Itís just such a shame that instead tonight brings with it darker things.

There arenít many people about now. Not many people choose to stay behind this late. But she is. She loves to spend hours on her paintings. Iíve known her to stay behind so late the security guards had to ask us to leave so that they could lock up the building. The fact that sheís staying behind late tonight is perfect for me. Thereís no one around who can stop me. Her love for her artwork will cost her dear.

Her art was her life. Tonight, it will be her death.

Iím not quite sure whatís going to happen once Iíve done what I have to do. The security guards wonít be coming round for another hour or so, theyíll probably be the ones who find her body. That gives me plenty of time to escape. What Iíll do then, I donít know. Maybe Iíll come in tomorrow as usual, and pretend to be upset when the news breaks and spreads. No doubt theyíll work out eventually that it was me who did it. And then theyíll all know my reasons why, and theyíll all be sorry that they werenít kinder to me.
   And then what? I suppose the only thing left for me to do then would be to make my own exit from this world.

I donít have any regrets, I know that I have to do this. There is no hope for me. Hope for me died on that day, the day that I had the accident.

Iím out of options, I have to do this. Iíve come too far, I canít turn back now. I have to be strong and see this through.

I can see her now, through the window in the door, washing some paintbrushes.

It is time.

I have to do this, there is no other option for me.

Iím sorry, but I have to.

This is it, this is the end.

Goodbye.

Copyright © Sophie Green, 1998, 2003

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