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“Life is good!” Jack yelled to the world, leaning over the ship’s rail.
“Quiet down. Just because we were lucky enough to get a free cruise doesn’t mean you can ruin everyone else’s day,” Harry retorted.
“Oh shut up. We’re young, we should be having fun! Relax!”
Harry grew tired of the conversation. He began to wander off. All he wanted to do was ease his mind. Life hadn’t been going well for him. He lost his job and couldn’t pay his rent alone, so he had to take in a new roommate just to get by. And that new roommate just so happened to be the loud-mouthed, happy-go-lucky man, Jack.
At least he has a good heart, Harry thought to himself. A good heart and incredible luck.
This cruise was all Jack’s doing. He managed to win a free trip for two to Hawaii, and invited Harry for a “bonding experience”. He said how he wanted to better know his roommate so that they’d be friends.
Then, lost in thought, Harry noticed a song. It was melodic, carrying a beautiful tune throughout the ship’s halls. He had never heard anything that sounded this beautiful before. He had to see where it came from. Following the sound to its source, he searched each room in the hall. With each room he entered, he grew more anxious.
Where is it coming from? I must find it!
What was it? Could it have been a radio? A music player? No, it sounded too clear to be anything mechanical. Whatever it was, Harry knew he was getting close. Approaching a balcony three floors below deck, he found a woman singing.
She was as beautiful as the song. The woman had long, jet black hair. Her skin was clear and tan. Green emerald eyes rested in her head. A bikini covered her bountiful bosom and dress her waist, flowing gently in the wind. Harry thought she looked like an angel.
The woman gracefully turned toward him and spoke, “Hello, I hope my singing isn’t bothering you.”
“No, no,” Harry responded in a panic, “I think you’re beau—I mean, I think you’re singing is beautiful.”
“Why thank you,” she giggled. She had a cute, close-mouthed smile. “So are you going to introduce yourself, or shall I continue my song?”
“Oh um, sorry. I’m Harry.”
“My name is Brianna, but you can call me Bri. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“So uh, are you a singer?” Harry asked. Of course she is, idiot. How else could she have such a voice?
“Singing is my passion but not my profession,” Bri hesitated. “I’d rather not talk about what I do. It can get rather... difficult to explain.”
“Oh geez, my bad. I’m between jobs myself,” Harry stammered. Shit, I shouldn’t have brought up work... Now she’ll find out how much of a fuck-up I am.
On the contrary, the two seemed to hit it off after that, the conversation flowing from sports to the cruise activities, and she even sang to him. Harry was grateful that work became a taboo subject. He didn’t want her to know how he lost his job as a construction worker, how his hammer slipped from his hand while he was working near the top floor of a new building. It struck one of his coworkers on the head right before he put his helmet on. But she was able to make him forget about that. They spent what felt like hours talking.
Everything was going so well... until Jack came.
“Harry!” Jack called from the hall. “Harry, there you are! I was looking everywhere for you!” Jack, coming onto the balcony, finally noticed the woman standing next to his roommate. “Oh hello there. I’m Jack, Harry’s roommate.”
“You can call me Bri,” she said, giving him the same smile as she had Harry.
Jack nodded. “Sorry Bri, but we have to go now.” He turned to his friend. “Harry, did you forget? Our turn at the free dinner buffet is going to end soon! If we don’t hurry, then we’re going to miss it and sleep hungry.”
Harry begrudgingly complied. “I’m sorry Bri, maybe we can talk again later. I’m in room 3746.”
And with that, they parted ways. As they ate, Harry began to think. Why was she smiling at him? Is she interested in him? No, it couldn’t be, they barely spoke! But throughout the evening, Harry grew more paranoid, little by little.
After they finished dinner, Harry returned to their room. Since the tickets were won as a pair, they had to share a room here as well. It only made the jealousy brewing inside of him thicken. Wanting to clear his mind, Harry tried to get some sleep.
Harry dreamt that Bri and him were together. They were chatting again. He mentioned how he thought Jack was trying to steal her from him. She didn’t say how she felt, but she gave him the answer to his problem. The one way to ease his mind and be at peace.
Suddenly, Harry was awake. Trying to gain his sense of position in the pitch-black of the ship’s cabin, he found the switch to the bedside lamp. He looked at the clock. 4:53 AM. Harry turned to Jack’s bed. There he was, lying asleep. As Harry approached his bed, he caught a whiff of alcohol.
The fool must have tuckered himself out partying.
That makes my job easier.
Harry put his arms around Jack’s neck and squeezed. After about ten seconds, Jack woke up in a surprised panic. Jack had no clue what was going on; Harry was still shrouded in darkness and the combination of his surprise, inebriation, and exhaustion along with Harry’s girth made it difficult for him to resist. He struggled enough to give Harry some difficulty. To aid his cause, Harry slammed Jack’s head into the wall a few times.
After ten minutes, Jack stopped struggling. After twenty, Harry let go, convinced that Jack was no longer a threat to him. Harry didn’t think about how he would get away with murder while stuck on the cruise. Harry didn’t think about how he would no longer be able to pay his rent after he returned home. He didn’t even think about how he would get home. He only thought about Bri and her song.
In fact, he could still hear it now. Suddenly, silence, followed by a light rapping on the door. Harry knew who it was. On the other side, the songstress waited patiently for him.
Harry answered the door. Unable to contain his joy from seeing Bri, he embraced her in his arms. “I did it Bri. Now we can be alone, just you and me.”
“Good job Harry,” she smiled again. “I’m really lucky for having met someone like you. Two meals are always better than one.”
Harry didn’t hear what Bri had said. She took a chunk out of Harry’s neck and began to eat. And Harry continued to smile.
Written by Oeillade