Love is such a fucking stupid emotion. It ruled me and then it ruined me. It chucked me out like the trash I was, but see, even when I was at my lowest because of it, it still ruled me. Yeah, I'm talking about a girl. Adora's her name, and damn, she is hot. Or was. Got that California look- blonde hair, blue eyes, big tits. The works. Course, there was more to her than just looks, and I loved the hell out of her. I'd even started putting a little money together for a ring.

Course, such things couldn't last. That damn bitch dumped me. 'Oh Anthony, we can still be friends!' Yeah fucking right. Take a shit on my heart and see if I feel friendly towards you. And then I was in a bad place for a while. Since I couldn't be friends with her, I got to be Best Friends For-fucking-Ever with beer and whiskey.

One morning after Adora left, I was reading the paper- I guess I'm a little old-fashioned- when I saw her name next to the words 'dead' and 'murder.' And let me tell you sons of bitches, I sat there and read every juicy word. The fucking bitch got what was coming to her. Deep down, of course, I felt depressed and teary eyed, but I was a man. I'd long since learned to hide such emotions.

On the whole I felt... Vindicated. And a little angry that some perp stole what I half wanted to do, but mostly vindicated and triumphant. I celebrated that day by calling in to work sick, and kicking my feet up with a bottle of scotch.

It took the cops a whole 24 hours to pay me a visit. A little hungover the day after I got the news, I opened the door to some men in blue. They came in, asked me a few questions, and got my alibi. I told them I'd been at the bar drinking then came home a little drunk. The bar had a taxi service for drunkards like me for such an occasion. I didn't know what time I got back, but I knew it was late.

The cops left. I went to work, got bored out of my fucking mind, and then left and turned on the TV. I flipped past channels. I saw the News station, and stopped there for a moment.

'Adora Belle, age 26, was murdered last night,' said the reporter. 'According to the police, this was done between the times of 11:00 and 12:00. Any information leading to the murderer's capture will be greatly appreciated.'

I flipped past it, and reached another channel, and was happy watching it when I got a buzz. Someone wanted to get up into my apartment. So I shifted myself and let them in.

'Hello, Mr....?' said the suit that stood outside my threshold.

'Anthony. Anthony Baker. But call me Anthony. And who are you?'

'I am Detective Conor Robertson. May I ask you a few questions relating to the death of Adora Belle?'

'There were cops all ready here this morning, though.'

'I prefer to gather gather information first hand. Other people's perceptions may block my own. But as I have read their report, we can skip the simple questions and move to the better ones. Shall we?'

'Uh, sure. Am I suspect?' I said showing him in and turning off the TV.

'Oh, I wouldn't put it like that,' he said, and then asked, 'What was your relationship with Adora?'

'I'm her ex. Ex-boyfriend.'

'When did you two break-up?'

'A week or two ago.'

'I see. How were your feelings towards her during that, ah, 'week or two ago?''

'I fucking hated her of course. What the hell did you think? Haven't you ever got dumped?'

The detective scribbled something in his notebook.

'Where were you the night of the 21st, Anthony?'

'You mean the night she died? I ain't good with dates.'

'Yes, that is the time I am refering to.'

'At the bar until late, took their taxi service for drunks home, and then slept.' This was probably true. I didn't quite recall the bits after getting in the taxi.

'I see.' Down came the pen to the notebook. Scratch scritch scribble scratch.

'I have one last question for you, Anthony, and I am being deadly serious with you.'

'Ok, shoot.'

'Do you, in fact love Adora Belle?'

'What the hell does that have to do with anything?'

'Please just answer the question.'

'With each of the fucking halves of my broken heart.'

'Thank you, Anthony. I will see myself out.'

The detective soon disappeared, and I collapsed onto my couch. His questions raised some questions in my mind, and my anger at Adora started turning to doubt. What had happened that night when she had died? Who had killed her? And did the police suspect me? Cause if there's one thing that I knew beyond doubt was that I did not belong on the suspect list. My hands were clean of blood.

Still, I knew how to resolve these questions, and I grabbed a bottle of whiskey and said goodbye to soberness.

In the morning I went through my routine. Each time I passed a window I failed to see the cop car outside my door. That is, until I exited the apartment building and was staring directly at it. The fucking asshole cop inside it gave me a cheery wave, and went back to his stereotypical donut. Did they actually suspect me? I knew my alibi wasn't perfect, but how could they suspect me? I didn't do it, though. I didn't fucking murder her!

I didn't do good a work. I was thinking about the cop car and whether or not they suspected me. Calm down, I told myself. He was probably just being friendly. He was probably just parked there, eating breakfast, before going out to ticket people. There was a Dunkin Donuts a couple blocks down. It did make a certain kind of sense.

Such rationalizations were shattered when I got home. There was the same fucking cop in the same fucking spot. He even had a fresh donut of the same type as before. They fucking police actually had me as a suspect?

I, quite simply, reacted. I tried to appear nonchalant as I headed to my apartment, and flipped open my laptop. Visiting the news station website, I searched for information on Adora Belle's murder. I had to find a way to clear my name, or at least figure out whether I needed a lawyer. The website wasn't very informative, but it did give me her address, where the murder happened.

Thinking would come later. I printed off a map, with directions to the murder scene labeled. I stuffed it in my pocket, and then, just in case, grabbed my gun. A Smith&Wesson; Model 10 revolver. It felt the night for it, and I had a feeling that one way or another, I wasn't coming back.

I left the backway so the fucking cop wouldn't see me, and headed off to Adora's apartment. As I stalked the streets of the city, a thousand emotions burned in my chest. But the one that burnt brightest was a desire for the truth.

I stopped outside her apartment building. Tall, sleek, modern. The type of place she'd pick out. I didn't think I'd been there before, but something about it seemed... familiar. Which couldn't be right. I shook my head. My head felt almost cramped.

Entering the building, I saw a reception area and an elevator. As the receptionist might not take too kindly to me, I took the stairs.

About halfway up them, I saw a pile of vomit. Police tape surrounded it. I stared down at it, something in my head just aching to burst. And then it came. A flash of memory: me, drunk, so very drunk, vomiting in the corner, less drunk because of it. But this couldn't be right. I- I wasn't here before. I haven't been here before. I'm- I'm so confused.

Then I remembered the square from seconds before, and how it had felt familiar. Another flash of memory: I saw myself on the street corner, watching Adora Belle walk into this apartment. No no no, this couldn't be it, this couldn't be happening! I didn't kill her! I didn't kill Adora Belle!

I sprinted up the stairs, taking them two at a time. Running down the hall, unsure of which door was hers, when I saw a room number- 412, and fell to the ground due to another memory: Adora walking into room 412, me soon following. I shook my head violently to clear it. I did 't do it, I probably just found the body and left and forgot it.

It took me a moment to try to open the door. It was locked, but I was scared and confused and angry and I kicked it down, pounding it several times with my fists and feet until my knuckles bled and the door came down. I felt the hot tracks of tears cut their way down my cheeks, but I paid them no mind.

The body had long since been removed, but I saw the remnants. The chalk outline on the floor of the living room. A small pool of dried blood around the neck. The memory was coming, the memory whose contents I knew was coming, but I stopped it, refusing the truth.

I staggered forward, and then heard footsteps behind me. I turned, and saw the Detective Cooper Robertson.

'Hello, Anthony,' he said calmly. I remained silent.

'Have you put it together yet? Have the memories surfaced?'

I shook my head, not answering the question, but instead refusing the truth.

'You killed her, Anthony. You killed Adora Belle.'


'We have DNA from the vomit, fingerprints from the knife you used to slit her throat. You murdered Adora Belle.'

'No.' This time I couldn't stop the memory, it surfaced, rose up like a rogue beast. I fell to my knees as I remembered myself kneeling over her with a large kitchen knife, and the feel of it sliding into skin, cutting into her neck. 'NO!' I screamed in agony.

'But this is not it. There is more.'


'We ran a standard SOEC kit- Sexual Offense Evidence Collection- and it came back positive. Adora Belle was raped before she died.'

I fell to my knees, tears freely streaming down my face. The memory came, the whole memory, quietly this time, a thief in the night, taking its rightful place.

I had been in the taxi going home that night, slightly drunk, just drunk enough for my judgement to be shot. Then I had seen her, Adora Belle, walking home. I'd followed her to her apartment. She did not have any idea. I had stalked in, went up the stairs, had waited and watched for her to emerge from the elevator. When she did, I had stuck my foot in the threshold before she could close it, forced my way in, and told her that I loved her, that I knew she loved me, that I would show her how she loved me. Adora Belle was in shock as I ripped off her clothes and raped her. Afterward, I had realized what I had done and killed her in anger at myself and at her.

'No,' I whispered. It could not be true, yet my mind said that it was.

'Anthony Baker, you are under arrest for the rape and murder of Adora Belle...' Conor Robertson's voice melted together as he read me my rights. I wasn't listening, the tears were flowing too hard for me to be able to.

'You have the right to... What are you doing?' He said as I raised my Smith&Wesson; model 10 revolver to the side of my head.

'These memories... They need to go away,' I told him quietly. 'They need- I need to remove them.

'No!' Conor yelled and charged me to stop me, but there was simply too much distance between me and him.

I cocked the hammer, smiled, and pulled the trigger.

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