• Midnight Angst

    Alice hummed as she walked through the park, thankful that it was the weekend. She didn’t have classes that day, and was full of energy. She had a date today, so her hair was pulled up into a ponytail, with her long bangs hanging over her right eye, showcasing the light green contained within it. Jim, her love, hadn’t been answering his phone though. He had even completely skipped out on their date. ‘At least,’ she thought to herself, ‘I get to walk around the park. It’s gorgeous tonight!’ The sun had almost completely set, but small rays of purple were still cast upwards from the mountain peaks. Stars were shining beautifully, bright enough to help the moon outline the smoke-like clouds. It was a perfect night.

    “Jim, what about Alice?” Alice stopped in her tracks, shocked at the names purred from a feminine voice somewhere close in the park. “What about her,” the unknown giggles, sounding faintly familiar. “Well, what if she sees us?” Alice’s heartbeat quickened, and she strained to hear where the sounds were coming from. She heard a loud giggle coming from the more cut-off part of the park, and slowly started to head toward there. “I mean, wouldn’t she be upset if she saw us together like this?” She was starting to recognize who the female voice belonged to, and was appalled… Serenity, her best friend, had been with her boyfriend. Serenity, the one who had set them up together, had gone behind Alice’s back to do this.

    She neared toward the other part of the park, just a few feet from them. Alice thought she couldn’t be any more shocked or hurt than with that last blow, but Jim chuckled out the final words that knocked her breath away. “Don’t worry; I broke up with her last week!” Her tears slowly fall, while whispering, “No, you asked me to marry you last week…” There were some gasps from ahead, as they turned and saw Alice running away. “Alice? ALICE!” Jim shoved Serenity away, and ran after Alice. “ALICE! PLEASE, STOP RUNNING!” As she ran, she shook her head jerkily, even though she knew Jim wouldn’t see. Her heart hurt too much to even be able to respond to him. ‘How could I not think he would get bored with me…?’

    Jim caught up to her pretty quickly, and grabbed her arm. “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry…!” Alice let her tears fall freely now, sobbing, “No, you aren’t… You don’t have to marry me if you don’t want to! Fine! You just didn’t have to cheat on me… And with her…” She tilted her head to the side, to look away from him, the despair clear on her face. “Please, just give me another chance!” Alice finally tilted up her face to look at Jim. His face was so desperate, but she knew he didn’t love her. Likely, he just didn’t want to be smeared with what he had done, or maybe he just wanted to try to erase his guilt.

    “No, Jim…” She finally looked him in the eyes, pulling off her engagement ring as she did. He watched as she threw it on the ground in front of him, and ran away. She wouldn’t be his guilt relief. But, also, she just couldn’t be around him. It would hurt too badly. So, she would just run. Jim stared after her fleeing figure, and broke down to the ground, shaking silently… “Alice… I’m… So sorry…”

    - Alice’s Apartment -

    She didn’t want to go in. She was so tired that she didn’t even want to go inside her home, where the pictures of him adorned her frames. “Alice…?” She looked up sharply, ready to run if it was Jim. She sighed with relief, when it turned out to be her friend Nikolai, and not Jim. He was staring at her concernedly, noticing her worn face, and red eyes. “What hap- are you alright? Who did this to you? Where are they?” He started to panic a bit, and she smiled slightly. Nikolai always worried over her, no matter the time or situation. Sometimes, she wondered if he would act this way for anyone else. She knew he cared for her a lot, but sometimes, it got a little creepy. He had nearly white hair, he was so light blonde, and it was all natural. His chocolaty puppy eyes always comforted her, though, always full of concern.

    Alice gently wiped at her eyes with her palm, and smiled at Nikolai. “Nothing is wrong, hun.” She got up, and started to open her apartment door, when she turned back towards him. “You can come in if you want… I’ll fix you some tea if you like, too…” Nikolai smiled slightly, as they walked into her apartment.

    Even though it was dark, cold, and quite obvious she hadn’t been inside since morning, her apartment still smelled like cinnamon. She never burned any candles, or had air fresheners, but the smell just seemed to stick. She never told anybody how she did it, but he loved those small little things about her. After they shut the door, Nikolai grabbed her arm as she started toward her small kitchenette. She gave him a startled look, and he sighed.

    “Alice… I need to confess. I know why you were crying… I’m so sorry…” She stood completely still, and paled slightly. “What… Do you mean…?” He gave her a sad smile, tilting his head down so his long chin length hair covered his face. “I was at the park… I didn’t see everything, but I could tell what was going on. I was shocked, but then I saw you. I couldn’t even begin to understand how you felt. I… I’m really sorry…”

    Alice’s face softened, and she went to brush the hair from his face, until Nikolai said, “Alice… I swear I’m going to hurt Jim. He is going to pay for making you suffer like this. I will make sure of it.” Too shocked to move, she watched as he left her apartment, her arm still poised to brush away the hair that had been there. She shook slightly, remembering rumors of her friend from before they had met. The rumors said that he had apparently been in and out of a mental institution for attacking somebody viciously. He was also so nice; she could never believe that before, but… His face just now was terrifying. Her legs got weak, and she slid to the floor. “Oh, god…”

    - Nikolai’s Apartment -

    Nikolai arrived at his house, and started to search through his dresser drawers violently. “Where is it? Where is it,” he said angrily to himself. He pulled the drawers out, emptying them one by one. His hand caught something metal in one of the drawers, and he grinned slowly. “There you are…” Nikolai put on one of his larger jackets, and put it in the right coat pocket. “I’ll make him pay for making her suffer… My poor angel…” And with that, he stalked out the door.

    - Later -

    Nikolai walked along the sidewalk, making a stop off at Alice’s before he got to Jim. From the state she was in when he had seen her at the apartment, he knew his angel was quite depressed. ‘I think I should check up on her,’ he thought lovingly. ‘She should enjoy seeing the present I have for Jim!’ He pulled out a key from his left pants pocket, and put it into the apartment’s lock. He had taken it from her without asking, but he was sure that she wouldn’t mind.

    When Nikolai entered the house, he was shocked to see that nobody was there. He entered the kitchenette, and noticed a note sitting on the counter. He picked it up, and quickly scanned the contents of what it said, his eyes widening slowly in fear. ‘Oh god… Alice!’ Nikolai panicked, and ran out of the apartment, without even closing the door, and headed toward the main park.

    Even though he would really not want to admit it, Jim was likely the only one to stop her from doing this. Afterward, he’d make Jim suffer, of course, but saving his Alice came first. He stumbled, as he heard somebody shout out, “Alice?!” He turned, looking at the person a few yards away. “Jim?” Jim stared back, whispering, “You’re looking for Alice, too…?” Nikolai glared at him, and held the gun in his right pocket. “Yes, actually. It’s all because of what you did to her!” Jim’s face tilted down, so as to look at the ground. It had obviously been a hard blow. “You saw, huh…?” “Yes. Look, we need to find Alice now!” “I know… I saw the note. That’s why I’m looking for her right now.” Nikolai grimaced and said, “You know that this is all your fault, right?”

    Nikolai glanced down at his watch, and started to freak out. “I have no time for this!” He pulled the gun out of his front right pocket, and aimed at Jim’s head. Jim’s eyes widened with fear. “Bye, Jim. This is for messing around.” Jim started to sweat as Nikolai’s finger squeezed the trigger. There was a loud shot that rang through the woods. Nikolai looked at his watch, and paled. He started to run toward the river bridge, begging to make it on time.

    ‘Alice!’ Nikolai ran as fast as he could toward the bridge. It was almost midnight; he had no idea if she had jumped yet or not. As he finally got closer, he heard a splash and tears ran down his face. He dropped the note he had been clenching in his fist as he dashed to the edge of the bridge, molding himself against the short railing. He quickly ran his eyes over the river, panicking… Finally, he saw the worst thing possible. A woman’s body quickly floating the river, bobbing back and forth between submerged and barely above the surface, toward the rocks. “Alice…?”

    “No.. Alice, no! I love you! You can’t leave me… Please, no…” Nikolai looked down at the ground, not able to stand the sight anymore, tears falling from his face. Tears were still clouding his vision, but he noticed a piece of paper on the ground. “Another note…?” He picked it up, shaking. He didn’t know whether or not he could read this for now. His angel no longer existed…

    Nikolai made up his mind, and opened it. Faintly, he could hear police sirens, but he just ignored them. He read each word, treasuring them. ‘She left a note, just for me…? Just to say goodbye…’ He looked over the railing again, not able to spot Alice. He quickly made up his mind, as the sirens got closer. He had used his only bullet on Jim, but he could join Alice the same way she had gone.

    He climbed over the railing, shaking. “Alice, I can still join you in the afterlife. Please, accept me.” He took his last breath, and stepped off the railing, and plunged down, to the river. Before he hit the water, before everything went back, before he awoke in the hospital with police around him, he swore his angel had been in front of him, protecting him. That was her present to him. He still couldn’t be with Alice, his beloved angel, but he was still alive.