Short Story

One Night Stand

“Why don’t you come back to my place?”

I met Marc just hours earlier, and somehow I found my lips interlocked with his as we strolled toward the sky train.

I was in Vancouver on business. It was my last night, and on a whim I decided to go to Stanley Park for a free concert. There I was, swaying to the beat of Snow Patrol, when I saw him. Well, saw the back of him. His mane of honey blonde hair seemed to gleam in the night sky, the way he smiled, that leather jacket; I was entranced.

“Great band huh?” I shot him my best smile as I stood next to him at the bar. Please don’t be gay. Please don’t notice the mountainous pimple on my chin.

“Sure is, you want a drink?” He smiled back, his voice warm and deep.

That was all it took. We danced, we drank, we kissed. We had instant chemistry. Marc did something for film, although I can’t remember what exactly. He was 27, liked hockey, never married. Normally I would be extremely skeptical- offended even, if a man asked me to stay over after just meeting, but there was something about Marc that was hard to resist.

“Sure, let’s go.”

He lived in a loft downtown, off Robson Street, high on the 12th floor. Laughing together and stopping every few seconds to childishly make out, we eventually made it to his door. I began to feel nervous for the first time, suddenly shy and questioning my impulsiveness.

I took a deep breath as he fiddled with the key. Behind this door was this mans world, we were now completely out of the public eye. I suddenly thought about all the packing I had to do. Check out at my hotel was at 11…

I quickly shook these thoughts away and was relieved at the sight of his place. Dark and masculine, it was a quintessential bachelor pad. Grey walls, slick black couch and matching lounge chair, plasma TV with a play station beneath it, stylish modern art. The room smelled faintly of mint and aftershave. Was that aftershave? I swear it smelled like a Calvin Klein perfume I used to wear. My eye darted to his fully stocked liquor cabinet with a stack of GQ magazines beside it. Giving him some space, I sauntered awkwardly to the couch as he fixed me a drink. The cool leather felt hard beneath me.

“Grey goose alright, babe?”

I nodded in approval and he hummed while turning on some music, filling the room with strange electro – jazz. He passed me the drink when his phone rang.

“Sorry I have to take this. I’ll be right back okay?”

I nodded and sipped the drink. I could hardly taste any alcohol. It had an unfamiliar fruity taste – was that melon? I continued to swallow as fizz burned down my chest. I ran my finger along the rim of the glass nervously and looked around when my eye caught the abstract painting on the wall beside me. It looked like it was ripped from a sketchpad, definitely not something from Pier 1. It was a splatter of blood red colour with a few black bug-like details, done with thick smeary strokes. The piece made me feel uneasy, but then again I never really understood art.

Ten minutes had passed, who was he talking to? I gazed at the steel coffee table in front of me. It was meticulously clean. He must have just dusted. Did he expect to bring someone home tonight?

The table had two drawers that were beckoning me to look inside. I slowly pulled open the right side, fully expecting to see porn magazines or something off-putting, but inside were just TV remotes and an old newspaper. I laughed at my initial apprehension and peeked in the other drawer. What the fuck?! I almost screamed. My eyes widened and I felt an instant wave of nausea come over me. Inside were polaroids of naked girls who were passed out, bound, and gagged. I started to shake as I fingered the photographs; there must have been at least twenty. My heart raced and dizzily I managed to stand. I had to discreetly get to the front door. I just made it to the side of the kitchen when Marc emerged from the bedroom.

“Going somewhere?” He asked. “No, no, course not. I was just looking for you. You were taking a while…”

I felt scared, yet strangely didn’t want to offend him. He began to approach me for a kiss, but I couldn’t fight my urgency to move away. I started to analyze his face; his eyes were a bit close together, his fingers were slightly feminine with bitten down nails, the smell of the apartment was sickening – becoming tangibly sweet. I didn’t know how to leave without an explanation – the pictures were all I could think of. I felt the abstract painting lingering on the wall. The electro music seemed to grow intense with synth which made me uncomfortable. He grabbed my waist, and in a sudden adrenaline rush I grabbed a large steak knife off the kitchen counter and plunged it into his chest. It happened so fast. He crumbled to the ground, contracting slightly, blood oozing through his shirt. I watched as he became still- his eyes slowly glazed over, and all the colour diminished from his face.

Should I call the police? This was self-defense. I had to do it. They had to understand. I stood motionless when I realized the phone was ringing. I froze as the answering machine clicked in.

“Hey, buddy, I forgot something. You know those fucked up prop photos I gave you for next week? Well Mona said the scene got cut, too morbid or something, so we don’t have to worry about it. I’ll email you the new script tomorrow. Anyway good luck with the chick, she sounds pretty special.”

What have I done?


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