I glare at her insipid, vacuous face. It’s a face that some people have called pretty, but these are the morons that haven’t seen the ugliness inside the little bitch.
Then I carefully draw my scalpel down her tear-soaked cheek. The flesh parts easily, smoothly, for a second or two merely showing the pink inner tissue, with little blobs of yellow — fat perhaps? Before I can look closer a crimson line of blood wells up in the wound, then spills down her face.
I clasp my hand over her mouth, muffling her cries of pain and anguish until they subside.
She stares straight back at me and I see her eyes widen — big brown eyes, the colour of shit on my shoe — she’s scared. She should be, the hideous little cow. I feel sick every time I have to look at her spoilt, stupid face.
I pull my hand away from her mouth, still staring deeply into her wide, dull eyes.
‘I hate you,’ I spit, the venom in my voice turning it into a ragged hiss that I barely recognise. ‘You ruined everything. You ruined my whole life.’
Suddenly, and without warning, a bubble of rage rises up in my chest, hot needles of electricity coursing down my arms and into my hands, my fingers, curling them into fists involuntarily.
Before I know what I’m doing I slam my fist into the girl’s mouth – once, twice, three times, feeling a tooth crack under my knuckle, splitting her pouty lip wide-open.
I stop, panting from the sudden exertion. My knuckles throb, the skin on them split from the force of the blows.
When the girl opens her mouth, I see smears of scarlet over her broken teeth. She’s about to speak.
‘Shut up!’ I scream, moving my face to within inches of hers. ‘Shut up, you stupid, ugly, little bitch’
The rage is flowing through me again, my fists clenching and unclenching over and over. I want to hurt her so, so much. She deserves this and so much more.
‘Nothing you say will ever be important. Nothing will change what you did.’
I try to compose myself again, turning away and breathing deeply, trying to squash down the wave of adrenaline I can feel pumping through my veins. My bleeding hands ache at my sides.
‘It’s because of you that Jason’s gone.’ A sob wracks through me. ‘You killed our baby.’
The sobs come fast then. ‘I miss him so much. He was my whole world, my everythi…’
Then I look up and see it. Contempt in her eyes.
It’s like an explosion inside my head, a burst of fireworks that releases sparks of rage and pure, unbridled hatred. It takes my breath away, leaving me stunned at the sheer power of what I’m feeling. It feels like a weight pressing down on me, suffocating, relentless and it’s all I can do to stop myself howling like an animal.
Nobody has ever hated like this. Nobody.
I knot my fingers through her stringy, sweat-soaked hair, twisting then yanking, the girl’s hateful face is jerked savagely to one side by my fury.
‘You disgust me,’ I spit and reach for the leather belt beside me.
The wild look in her eyes as I raise the thick strap over my head spurs me on.
‘You will pay for what you’ve done,’ I tell her, the metal buckle on the belt glinting in the light as it swings back and forth. ‘We’ve got all night.’
On the final word, I swing the belt down hard, fast, lashing it across her bare, pale thigh.
For the briefest of moments, there’s a whooping whistle as it slices through the air, before the belt cracks against her flesh, so loud that it sounds like a rifle report. The impact causes an angry red welt to appear on the skin almost instantly.
‘That’s right…’ I snarl as I raise my arm to strike again, relishing this opportunity to inflict even a fraction of the suffering I’ve experienced because of this little bitch.
The sound of the strap on yielding, agonised flesh, punctuates each and every word. Her legs are now a zig-zag pattern of whiplash wounds, a dazzling array of inflamed pinks, angry reds and deep, heavy purples. In the places where the buckle struck her, the skin has split and a steady trickle of crimson blood runs down her shins. The mix of striking hues reminds me of an August sunset, but this is even more beautiful. It might just be the most wonderful thing I have ever seen.
I place the belt back on the shelf beside me, breathing hard. Then, my hands limp at my sides, I lean closer to peer at her again.
She raises a shaky hand towards me, as if to fend me off, the universal sign of ‘Enough’. She mutters something under her breath, hateful words, whispering insults even as she begs for some respite.
‘Shhhhh,’ I whisper, as I gently encircle the little finger of her raised hand with my right fist. Then, with a sudden and violent twist of my wrist, I break it.
The bone makes a sound not unlike wood snapping on a log fire. When I release the finger it veers off crazily at the second knuckle, almost a perfect right angle to the hand.
It’s all so easy.
When I finally return my gaze to the little bitch’s face I see that it has gone deathly grey, a clammy sweat on her forehead. Her eyes look glassy, her breath a series of hitching gasps that blow bloody bubbles on her ruined lips. She shakes her head as if to deny what’s happening… or is there a faint coming?
‘No, no, no…’ I whisper as I reach up and grip the slick chin with my left hand. ‘Keep your eyes open, you’re not going anywhere.’
I wind my right hand back and slap the girl’s face hard.
Finally I see a spark of clarity in her stupid eyes, but still the eyelids threaten to droop.
‘Keep your eyes open,’ I growl. ‘Keep. Your. Eyes. Open.’
Her hair hangs over her face, matted with blood and sweat, and I feel another surge of anger towards this weak, useless whore.
‘Don't you dare close them!’ I scream, the red-hot hatred burning out of me, buoying me once again.
My fingers dig in deeper, holding the little slut's face perfectly still. Little blossoms of white flare on her skin under the pressure of my fingertips. I notice a string of pink drool running down onto my hand and I loathe her all the more.
It’s so strong that I can barely focus on her hateful face, the eyelids still drooping. Weak. Useless. Disgusting.
I grab the scalpel once again and scream into her slack face: ‘You don’t want to look at me? YOU don’t want to look at ME? When I feel sick every time I have to see you, knowing what you did, knowing that you’re still here and he’s not? And YOU don't look at ME?’
The scalpel comes up quickly. Her eyes dart towards it.
‘That eye will never see me again,’ I say. My voice sounds strange, dead, emotionless. Something has broken inside me, but I don’t care. I raise the scalpel to her right eye and then I slice it across her bottom eyelid, smoothly cleaving through the thin flesh.
I blink a couple of times, unable to work out quite what has happened, then realisation dawns on me. I haven’t completely severed the eyelid, it’s still attached by flimsy strands of mutilated skin.
Carefully, almost delicately, I reach up and pinch the loose, bleeding eyelid between my thumb and forefinger… then I tear it away. It comes away with a fleshy twang that I feel as much as I hear it, then I fling the useless piece of flesh onto the tiled floor.
For a few seconds, all I can hear is the gentle pitter-patter as droplets of blood splatter on the floor below, some of it sprinkling onto my bare feet. There’s an odd, rhythmic quality to it. It’s almost soothing.
Minus the eyelid, the hateful face before me seems cartoonish, comically lopsided. If I hadn’t broken inside I might have laughed at the ridiculousness of her stupid, ugly visage.
But I have broken, a long time ago when I said goodbye to Jason, so rather than laugh I put the scalpel to one side, then reach for my belt again. I push it into the swollen mouth to quieten any further screams and cries, the jagged edges of broken teeth scraping against it.
Then, when the belt is secured, I reach up to the wounded eye again.
The warm, slippery blood actually helps, allowing me to slip my finger into the socket relatively easily. As I hook my index finger behind the eyeball and start to gouge it out, I’m struck with how similar it feels to an over-ripe olive, a yielding globe that soon loses its integrity as I furiously tug at it.
Removing the eyeball is harder work than I thought, an ordeal for which I’m forced to bite down hard, gripping the girl’s chin with my left hand once again to keep her head still while the finger and thumb of my right hand rummage around at the wounded organ in her head. Suddenly, and with an audible ‘pop’ it springs loose, the eye tumbling out into my slick palm. I’m only dimly aware of the tortured whimpers filling the air as, very carefully, I close my fingers around the eye, then reach down for the scalpel once again. I bring the blade up to the gaping socket and, snick, sever the optic nerve.
Filled with swelling fury and pain, I crush the ruined eyeball in my fist, then hurl the flattened mush that remains into the bathroom sink, before I spit out the leather belt and return my gaze to the face in the mirror before me.
I push back my stringy, sweat-soaked hair to get a better look at the empty eye-socket that weeps on to my cheek, but I don’t flinch. Instead, I lean closer, my breath fogging the glass.
I barely recognise the girl before me.
That was what Jason said before he left me, after he found out about the abortion.
‘I don’t even know who you are anymore,’ he'd said, his beautiful blue eyes full of tears at my betrayal. He could barely even bring himself to glance at me when he walked away.
I don’t blame him. I can’t even stand to look at myself, to see the hateful face of the one person who ruined everything staring back.
I raise my left thumb to my left eye, pulling the lower eyelid down.
‘Never mind,’ I whisper as I pick up the scalpel and raise it to my one good eye, steeling myself for the next step. ‘We’ll soon take care of that.