Every Breath You Take

You stand at the street corner, lurking around, switching from one foot to the other. You are chain smoking, throwing the consumed butts into the manhole. Light drizzling rain starts to soak your clothes, but you remain standing at the corner, staring into her window from the only possible angle right below the glowing sign of the Chinese restaurant, next to the crosswalk traffic sign. It gets dark now and you start to feel the late fall cold, yet you don´t leave your post. It´s about time she comes home from work, but she´s late and your nervous glance goes to your watch rather often. The longer you stand there waiting, the angrier you gets. She´s late, you think. She´s out with someone, is what you think next. You feel agitated and on edge. You feel like she´s betraying you. Again. She´s a lousy bitch, that´s what you think. You feel it in your guts that she´s out with someone. Probably that guy you saw her with the other day. She let this guy touch her. He had his arm around her shoulder and she was smiling at him, though you know it´s not for real. She doesn´t love him. She loves you. She still does, after all this time. You can tell from the way she looks when she stands at her window, staring out in the night sky, pondering. You can tell that she´s thinking of you, because what else is there to ponder about? She´s lost you, but you know that she wants you back. She wants you back desperately, but you take your time. Let her wait this time. Let her be the one to worry whether you´ll take her back. Let her be the one to make promises to you about your future life together. Let her be the one to beg. She will beg you to come back. But right now, your thoughts are distracted. She hasn´t showed yet and it´s getting late now. You watch the street lamps go on and you wonder where she´s at. You are still lurking at the street corner. People are rushing past you, carrying grocery bags or suitcases, their collars pulled up or their umbrellas opened up to shield them from the rain. They make you lose your focus. Too many people around you, you have to leave your post at the street corner, because they bump into you and curse and look at you and frown. You are making people angry. Yet you don´t care much. They know you are a person of respect. They might mutter under their breath, but they won´t touch you. You move closer to the wall and let the masses pass. You stare in the direction of her window and wonder if the lights will ever go on. You know that you have the best view from the backyard, but there is a gate now and you don´t have the key. You would have to climb over it, put it is rainy and the wooden door will be slippery. You don´t want to fall and make any noise. You don´t want her to know you are willing to take her back. Let her remain in the dark a little while longer. Let her almost drown in her worries and her self-doubt. She is so lucky to get you back. She knows she´s a lucky girl. She will be a good girl from now on. You had to draw a line. To show her that she can´t cross you, the bitch has learnt her lesson. You grind your teeth now. It is damn cold outside and she isn´t home yet. You wonder where she is. She enrages you on purpose. You are infuriated now. Let her come home, you think. Let her come home. You push your fists into the pocket of your leather jacket as you watch the people in the streets. You wrap your left hand around the object in your pocket. You wait to detect her in the masses. You wait to see her face. You light another cigarette. You take a pull from your cigarette and the smoke fills your lungs. You blow it out in short puffs and watch the nicotine smoke spiral upwards. You busy yourself with smoking. At least, you see her coming down the street, carrying a large grocery bag. She wears that jacket you hate. And the scarf you wanted her to throw out. She got it from her mother and her mother never liked you. Said you were too attached, too protective. Well, yes, you love to treat your girls like a princess. You love to give her a red carpet reception. You love to give her everything she needs. And all you ask for in return is utter honesty and faithfulness. And if you ask her to throw something away, she could just be a good girl and do your bidding. You watch her climb the five steps to the main entrance of her building. Her apartment is on the first floor. It takes her two minutes to check her letter box for mail, to climb up the stairs, to unlock the door to her apartment and to turn the lights on in her hallway. You´ll see the faint flare of the burning lamp in the window going out to the street. But she has to go into her office for you to see her from the street corner. Or into the kitchen. Her bedroom and her living room go out to the back. You feel tense now. You look at your watch again and wonder how much time has passed. You start to shift from one foot to the other again and light another cigarette. It takes her unnaturally long to get upstairs. It takes her more than four minutes to finally get to her apartment. You see the faint glow of the hallway light and you blow out the smoke that you have tried to contain in your lungs. You see the lights go on in the kitchen and you move a little closer to the wall to see inside. You can only see the wall cupboards and her hideous purple wall paper. You always wanted to redo the kitchen, but you had to check if she was worth the trouble. She is in the kitchen now, unpacking her grocery bags, walking around. She looks tired, you can tell even from a distance. She wears her hair shorter now and you instantly dislike it. She has beautiful hair and you once used to go through it with your fingers. You´d have to tell her to grow it back. This do doesn´t look too flattering. She leaves the kitchen now and you have to wait for twenty minutes in the drizzling rain, before she returns. You deliberate about whether you should climb over the gate and check out the rooms going out back, but you know she has to come back into the kitchen eventually. It´s half past eight already and she hasn´t eaten yet. You pull up the collar of your jacket and move a bit closer to the door of the Chinese restaurant. The marquee is closed, but you find shelter from the rain under it nonetheless. You stand at a better angle now, even though you have to make way for the people entering the restaurant. Every time the door opens, you smell the grease of the deep fryer, the distinctive smell of Chinese food and alcohol. The must be pouring it like water. With the door closed, the smell slowly dies down, but whenever the door is opened again, you have to endure the stink once more. You try to ignore the smell and be content with the shelter you´ve found, but you cannot ignore it for long. So you block the way and don´t move an inch. It doesn´t help to stop the people from entering the restaurant, they just walk past you, careful not to touch your uniform. But it makes you feel better about yourself. A man you haven´t seen before now climbs the few steps to the apartment building. You have never seen him before. With only six apartments in the building, you know most of the other tenants. But this guy´s new to you. Naturally, you suspect he´s going up to meet your girl. She´s being unfaithful to you. After all this time, she still betrays you. Anger starts to swell in your throat and you want to go in after him, watch him climb the stairs to her apartment and hear him knock at her door. You want to see if she greets him, even invites him in. You know that bastard´s here for her. You know it in your guts. Sure enough, she goes into the kitchen with him. You can see the both of them clearly now. She´s hugging him, constantly touching his arms or shoulders or his face and he is kissing her like she belongs to him but you know she doesn´t belong to him because she belongs to you and you feel the rage again and this time it clouds your mind and it makes you think dreadful, horrible things you shouldn´t be thinking but you can´t stop it because she is kissing him again and she is allowing him to touch her even though she´s yours and yours alone. You draw a deep breath and light another cigarette. Let´s see how far she goes, shall we? Let´s see if she cooks him dinner and invites him to eat with her and let´s see if he´s allowed to sit down on her couch in the living room, if she turns on a DVD, if they snuggle up and hug each other on the couch. Let´s see if she invites him to stay the night and lets him sleep in her bed. You bed. It´s your bed that foul bitch invites him in. She has no right to let him stay the night and she has no right to invite him into her kitchen and her life and her heart and her cunt. She´s yours. She´s yours and she should know better. You light another cigarette. They are in the kitchen, playing around, talking, kissing, and cooking dinner. You don´t know what they are cooking, but you sense it must be Chinese food. Basically, you´re biased by the smell coming from the Chinese restaurant, but you think they might as well cook Chinese. For what it´s worth, this will be their final dinner together. They eat in the kitchen and retire to the living room and all the while, you stand under the marquee and stare at them. They don´t know they are being watched. She doesn´t think you´d check up on her. The arrogance of their openly displayed affection makes you mad. You are blinded by your rage now and you decide to climb the gate. You don´t care about them hearing you anymore. They´ll think it´s a raccoon and continue to play love birds. You jaywalk across the not very busy street and go to the alley between her house and the house next to it. You can see the gate, but it´s too high for you to climb. Suddenly, you hear her laughing. You are quite sure it´s her and now the furiousness hits you. Like a madman, you storm out of the alley and almost run people over. They yell something after you, but with a few long strides, you have now climbed the steps to her apartment building. You take out the key you never returned and open the door. It doesn´t take you two minutes to go upstairs, because you don´t need to check the letterbox for mail. You run up the stairs and stop in front of the door to her apartment. You can hear them moving around behind the door. You unlock the door with your key and step inside her apartment. You can still smell the food, something she´s never cooked for you. She cooks it for the guy she wants to fuck, is what you think. She cooks it on her fuck dates, is what you think. They are in the living room. From the door, you can see their heads, tilted to each other. They are caught up in whatever they are pretending to have going on. You know she loves you. But this time she has gone too far. This time, she has crossed the line. She is an unfaithful bitch, she needs to be punished. She needs to be told about the consequences of her whoring around. She needs to learn her lesson. With long strides, you cross the hallway and enter the living room. You pull the object out of the right pocket of your jacket. It´s your unlisted service weapon that you carry around strapped to your ankle in case your service gun gets stolen. You draw in a breath and lift the gun up to the back of his head and pull the trigger. You see her spin around on the couch, her face distorted and full of utter agony and sheer disbelief. You smile at her and think that she hasn´t learned her lesson yet. So you lift your arm again, point the gun in the direction of her head, ignore her pleading stutters and that she tries to duck. You pull the trigger again.


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