Of Excitement and Last Breaths (Short Story)

I could feel the last burst of energy drain out of her as she went limp in my hands. I released her neck and stood up straight. I stretched my spine; she had been much stronger than I expected. I touched my forehead where she had hit me with her phone and felt a lump beginning to form. I brought my hand to my eyes. No blood. I looked around.

What a mess.

She had thrashed so much, the contents in her bag had spewed all over the place, she had knocked the stool over with her flailing legs. I started to walk towards the stool when I heard a squishy sound. I had stepped in ice cream that had spilt from one of the many nylons I had helped her carry to the front door. I sighed and righted the stool. I picked up the contents of her bag, put them back in and placed the bag on the couch. I looked at the spilt ice cream.

I hate when they make a mess.

I found paper towels in her kitchen and wiped the ice cream up. I glanced at her one last time, her eyes frozen in perpetual…shock? Fear? Hard to tell. I closed her eyes and walked out shutting the door behind me. I straightened out my shirt. Moments later I was behind the wheels of my car, windows wound all the way down, driving through the streets.

I was beginning to get bored of this. It had been fun with the first one and the second and the third and now ten girls later…not so much. I still feel the rush of excitement when my hands are around their necks and the life begins to seep out of them, but that’s it. The end. It has become routine. I was right back where I started—boring and uninteresting existence. Everything about my life was routine; I drove the same taxi every day, picked up random strangers, ferry them to their destinations and by 11 pm, I clock out for the day. I just wanted to exit my boring life of driving people around and making chum change. I needed excitement. I needed to feel the blood pumping in my ears as my heart raced. Titi, my wife, used to give me that. She used to be such a fireball in bed that I could hardly keep up with her. Oh, how my heart used to race. Electricity shooting down my veins, toes curling in ecstasy. And then it stopped. She stopped. I don’t know what happened but she stopped being my fireball. Now, it was just routine. Uninteresting, boring sex. Conversation went to hell as well. My job was bearable because my home wasn’t boring. Titi was all the excitement I needed. She made everything else okay until it wasn’t anymore.

“Nothing”, was the response I got every time I asked what went wrong until I stopped asking.

I had continued like that for what felt like decades and all I just needed was to feel excitement again. And I got my wish. It had been just another uninteresting day that had dragged on too long—everyday seemed to endlessly roll into the other, it was a miracle I hadn’t driven my car into a tree killing myself along with my passenger— when I picked her up. She was going to be my last passenger for the night. She had gotten into the car, said hello as she dumped her bags on the seat. I caught a whiff of vanilla as she settled in. It was quite pleasant, but something about her irked me out.

“Adeniyi Crescent”, she said in that perfectly lovely voice. It irked me out. I looked at her through the mirror and she was typing away on her phone. She was beautiful. The way the top rested just above her navel to reveal a slender waist curving into an even slender hip and… I couldn’t see farther than that. It irked me out.

“Could you please turn up the radio just a little? Thank you.” She said, cutting into my thoughts with that voice again. Under different circumstances, she could talk me to sleep with that sweet, quiet voice that made every word she uttered feel like a song.

“Okay, ma’am”. I responded as I dialed up the volume. I glanced at her through the mirror again. She was looking out the window now, my eyes trailed down her high cheekbones to her lips and down to her slender neck, slightly raised as she rested her head on the back of the seat. I imagined my hands on her neck, squeezing tightly. The harder I squeezed the more her eyes bulged, arms flailing widely by her side. I felt a slight stirring in my pants. I sat up straighter.

Hmm...

I had not felt an erection in weeks. We had slowed to a stop at a traffic light and I glanced at her again. This time, I imagined her trembling in my arms as the life seeped out of her, and I felt it again. My heart was beginning to race and I could hear my heart beating louder.

Oh? That’s interesting.

We got to her destination, she paid for the fare thanked me for the ride and got out. She was perfectly pleasant. That irked me out. I watched her walk to her front door, swinging her slender hips this way and that, completely oblivious to the eyes that followed her every step. She got to her front door, fished for her keys from her bag, unlocked the door and stepped in.

Well, that’s all folks.

I was about to back out and drive back to my boring life when I saw it. I reached back to pick it up and it was a bar of soap. It smelled just like her.

Must have dropped from her nylon.

I knocked on her front door.

“You dropped something in the car”. I responded to her query.

I heard the door unlock and she opened it a crack. And then in that instant, a blinding rage and a bit of longing overtook me and I pushed the door in her face, she fell back and in a split second, I was on top of her. My hands immediately found their way to her neck and I squeezed. Her eyes grew wide and she began to thrash. The harder I squeezed, the harder she thrashed and the harder my erection got and the faster my heart beat, sending electricity shards down my spine. Then slowly I began to feel her energy go out and she went limp in my hands. I released her and took in a long breath.

Ah…Now, this was fun. I haven’t had this much excitement in a while.

I looked around and saw the bar of soap, I picked it up.

A little memento.

I smiled and straightened the lone chair in the living room. That was my first and like they say, you always remember your first. It was clean, no mess and she had got my heart racing again and I knew I was going to try it again. The third—or was it the fourth?—had made such a mess. Spilling a bottle of wine on the floor. It had been so hard wiping it all off. I just hate it when they make a mess. That’s why strangling works best, no blood, no mess. Plus I get a rush feeling the life go out of them. It’s the best feeling.

I drove my car to the front of my house, hesitated for a bit and then got out. I stepped into the living room and found Titi watching TV. She turned her head slightly,

“Welcome. Hope you had a good day.” She said.

It’s the same greeting, every night. I mumbled a response and walked towards the bedroom.

She walked into the room to pick up her phone by the night stand.

“Dinner is in the kitchen.” She mumbled.

She was walking out of the room when I pulled her back by her shirt and threw her onto the bed. I don’t know if it was frustration from the day and the fact that my favourite pastime had lost its appeal or just an accumulation of anger from the last 9 months, but before she could say a word, I was on top of her with my hand around her neck. I relished the look of shock on her face. I have never laid hands on Titi, I don’t know why, but I just never did, until tonight. I was beginning to feel a rush, just like with the other girls, when she kneed me in the groin. Pain shot through my head as my grip loosened around her neck. She tried to crawl away but my hand gripped her leg. Despite the pain, I couldn’t let go of her. This is the most reaction I had gotten from her in months. It was exciting.

“Finally, I knew my Titi was still in there somewhere. Feisty!” she tried to kick me away but I wouldn’t budge. My grip was surprisingly firm considering the pain I was feeling.

“Let me go! What is wrong with you! Let me go!” she continued to struggle. In a show of strength that I couldn’t fathom, I pulled her back on the bed, hit her hard across the face and took her neck in my hands again. Her eyes were shutting as I squeezed harder. She kept thrashing wildly and trembling in my hands. Despite the pain in my groin, I could feel a slight movement. And then something hard crashed against my skull. I put my hand to the side of my head and felt a warm trickle down my face. Blood.

Oh, now she has made a mess.

And then she hit me again. My body slid off hers as I began to go numb. As I went down, I noticed, in her hand, the object that had caused so much mess. The seashell lamp. I had bought it for her on one of our many trips abroad. I looked up at her face and saw the same placid look as she started to walk away. I tried to smile as my head fell to the side and I watched her walk towards the living room.

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