Perfectly Balanced by Terasa Skultety


“I was trying, Deidra, I really was, for years to be something I’m not. I’m not like all you giggle and bounce types. Shondra or whatever her name was, that cheerleader type, I hid her under the bed because she wouldn’t shut up about her penchant for other cheerleader types. I like a man. Do you know what I mean, Deidra? And I don’t like to share my man. Can you understand that concept?” I flicked her nose. “Well? Can you?”

Vacancy stared back at me, silent, her jaw slack, drool on her chin. Had I hit her that hard? I hadn’t thought so. Deidra worked with Lon, as had Shondra, or whatever her name was.

“See, the thing is, I wanted to be your friend but you were so insistent on talking to him and, you’re here, and I get so tired of it. He doesn’t know I do this, of course. He never will. Do you remember Francine? Well, she didn’t go home for Christmas. I wanted to talk to her, that was all, about her soul, you know? I thought, if I could just get her to pray with me. We went down to the lake, it had been raining. Those leaves were so slippery, the mud underneath. She hit her head on a hard stump. Can you beat that? I just wanted to tell her that she was pretty enough to find her own boyfriend. You have your own boyfriend; I’ve seen you with him. What’s the matter? He not know where to put it? Is it little? Lon has a big penis doesn’t he? You probably call it something else, don’t you Deidra? All you girls are so crude, what do you call my man’s giant penis? Do you call it a dick? Do you call it a cock? Do you say the word fuck? Do you say that he is fucking you? I know, that’s why all you little tramps come sniffing around my door. He makes love to me, Deidra, love, real, true love.”

Lon, they took one look at him and that was it. Women say they don’t have a type but good heavens, look at the movies. If it isn’t tall, dark and handsome, and that was Lon, then it’s the blonde rogues, the Brad Pitt look a likes and wannabe’s.

The hammer was getting heavy in my hand. I didn’t know what to do with it, couldn’t put it down so I rested it against my thigh. I could feel the moisture soaking through my jeans. So gross, strands of her hair stuck to it. Deidra was in his apartment, he had gone to work. I went over there to drop off his laundry. There she’d been getting out of his bed at noon, naked as Blue Jay in bird bath! We’d been hanging pictures, the day before, and it was sitting there on the dresser, a nice ball-peen. They really don’t make them like that anymore, perfectly balanced in a way that only a carpenter would appreciate. We worked; two Summers on one of those build houses for the homeless things, me and Elon, only I called him Lon. We were so in shape after all those days working like that. We could go for hours, sweating through the sheets and, I let him have me even though we weren’t married, I mean, he promised. I knew he wouldn’t be like Jimmy, they would never find Jimmy. Really, be so much easier if Lon didn’t flirt so much, but, he couldn’t help it. When you’re that good looking, you learn to flirt early, it’s probably self-defense.

“Oh Deidra, you really are bleeding. I’ll get you a beanie or a wrap, or something. You are going to have to walk down to the car Deidra, I am not carrying you. Shondra, dragging her up those stairs so I could hide her under that bed, make it look like there was a campus killer on the loose, well, that really did a number on my back. So, you are going to have to walk down to the car and get into the trunk on your own.” Lon had a knit beanie somewhere, it would help hold in her mess. I had thought when they found Shondra under the bed with the note tacked to her chest, directions to the chapel on campus, they would at least become leery, that they would behave themselves for a while. But some women just don’t think right. They were somber for five minutes and then right back to it. Sluts. Little slut girls, little evil slut girls.

The political and moral climate had changed, they thought sickness was in. They thought a game of sexual cat and mouse was good fun, erotic even. Mess with someone else’s man like that, be coy, try not to get caught but really, so in my face with it, toy with a woman’s heart. Shondra had turned stunning shades of red, purple, blue, fading into a grayish black and so quickly in places. I wished I had been able to see her face better through the plastic, her strawberry colored hair making her face look like a cellophane shrink wrapped package of hamburger. It had to be stopped, their world of easy sex and sickness, I wasn’t going to put up with it.

Deidra’s head was nodding, her shoulders doing this weird jerky thing, annoying. Those were not good signs, her brain was probably beginning to spasm, some circuit in there disconnected.

“What is it with you sluts? I mean, I do everything for him and with him. I mean, really, everything. And one of you boob types takes off your shirt and decides to rub up against another boob type, some of these men their brains just shut down. But I have faith you know, Deidra? You know? He’s mine. Do you understand me, Deidra? What is it with you? You all think it’s so avant-garde to go through your lesbian stage or your post college experimentation phase, or your thinking your bi phase, while you have your first real job and you’re so damn proud of your independence and your sexual liberation, and it’s all just something you are doing to try to prove how sophisticated you are, before you settle down. Trust me, you are not any of those things. I can tell. I can always tell. In a few years you would have gotten married to a portly investment banker, Deidra, had two kids, you’d have 2.5 if you could actually work that out and maybe you would have with an abortion after your first affair, with your neighbors husband. You’d have baked cookies for the PTA. You’d have been as straight as a razor’s edge and would have tried to hide all this, tried to hide your “Girl’s Gone High” naked photos from Spring Break. You’d have buried all of it, the same way I’m going to bury you for having sex with my boyfriend!”

Oh dear…there was blood everywhere…Oh my…had I raised my voice?

The trench coat didn’t fit very well. I suspected that there was blood dripping from under it, from the edges of my shirt, as I walked out to the street. Lon wouldn’t miss it. I’d never actually seen him wear it and he wouldn’t care much anyway. He spoiled me really, he was so funny, he’d probably make a day of it, trench coat shopping. I’d had my eye on some red boots. It was his fault anyway, none of this ever would have happened if he hadn’t been with Veronique, she was the first. I’d stood there at the edge of the woods, they’d been in his Lamborghini, I hated that car, slut magnet. I could see her butt in the air, her shirt off, that black and pink lace bra, she’d been flashing it at everyone all night, her boobs pushed up in his face. She had gotten so drunk, Lon had volunteered to drive her home. He was just nice that way. I stood there with that rock in my hand, feeling it cutting into my palm, hearing her moan, saying “Lonny” telling myself to wait. Lonny! No morals at all, none of them. They still hadn’t found her, Veronique was missing. Like Jimmy.

Maybe Lon would move in with me now. Certainly he wouldn’t want to live in that apartment anymore. Why hadn’t I thought of it sooner, it was so clear. You know, it wasn’t so much that I judged them, this world is a fallen place, I know that, it was just, why couldn’t they be immoral with someone else? Lon’s money and family pedigree perfectly matched my own. I had plans. Big church wedding, Saint Bernadette’s Auxiliary board later on, after our kids were born. I had plans. Moral leaders were needed. Hopefully they wouldn’t blame Lon for Deidra’s death. If he would stop fooling around it would make things so much easier, but, I was determined to save him.

The hammer had gotten a nice bath in the sink and then conveniently disappeared into a receptacle behind Yoakum’s, best place in town for Chinese BBQ. We went there all the time but my gosh, the garbage out back! I knew no one would ever find that ball-peen, hated to see it go. The front door to Lon’s apartment had been left open, just a tiny bit, some intruder must have wandered in and poor Deidra, what could you do? My fingerprints were all over the apartment anyway, after all, he was my boyfriend.

That ball-peen had felt so right in my hand, perfectly balanced.


Terasa Skultety (known to some by her pen name, Kathryn Soverane) has published several stories with Thunderdome and Slit Your Wrists. She participates online at the these fine establishments; Facebook, Googleplus, Twitter, and at the writing communities The Velvet and LitReactor

Visit Terasa at Winsome Vein.


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