Ellen spent the night at my place for the first time last night. It was very unusual because I’ve never had a woman over before in my life. Somehow, it didn’t feel awkward or wrong. I made an effort to make her feel welcome so I offered her a drink and played her some of my rock music, but I could tell it was mostly banging and screaming to her ears, so I let her choose and play one of my vinyls. We have different tastes in a lot of things, but we get along really well regardless.
We started our day by picking up coffee and strolling down the shopping mall. Ellen insisted we stop by her favorite furniture store, so we did. Each of us went in a different direction and explored the space separately. Once I was done, I walked back towards the entrance looking for her. When I found her, she was standing almost completely still staring at something in the distance I couldn’t see. As I walked up to her, I saw her lean in and open her arms as a young boy ran up to her. When they finally embraced and I heard him call her “mommy”, I immediately stopped and walked in the opposite direction. I watched them interact from afar and soon, I noticed a man standing a few feet away from them. His eyes were wide and mockingly naughty. He shot a venomous glance in my direction, but I didn’t react to it. Instead, I picked up some random object and stared it, minding my own business. Ellen didn’t exchange any words with him. Instead, she focused on her child. When the two left, I stayed in my spot and waited for her to come to me.
– “He wanted to bring my kid so he could see mommy with her new boy toy.”
– “Boy toy?!”
– “That was Kurt, my ex-husband. He’s been stalking me ever since he suspected I was seeing someone else.”
– “But we’re not—.”
– “He doesn’t know that…”
We paused for a second then resumed looking at furniture.
– “Did he see you?”
– “I think so. Yeah.”
– “What did you do?”
– “I just made eye contact for a split second then got out of his sight.”
– “See how psychotic he is?! He needed to see who you were. And he used my son to fucking do it.”
We left the mall around lunch time and drove to her place. Ellen’s house is a large and enchanting English Tudor surrounded by many pathways and hidden nooks. The exterior and its surroundings are worn out and lived in. We were too lazy to cook, so we opened two cans of smoked trout we found in her pantry and ate in her sun catcher. Inside, I finally discovered her deep interest in the psychic realm. She had an altar and ritual books spread in corners on the wooden floor. The predominant smell of incense and candles immediately put me at ease. We could hear the gentle wind blowing through the trees as well as the chirping of the birds hanging on the roof above us. After eating our food, Ellen grabbed her deck of tarot cards and drew some cards for me.
– “You’re someone who’s willing to work extremely hard, someone who doesn’t give up, someone who reacts quickly to what’s going on around him. Those are your strengths. Being responsible for yourself and other people isn’t something that usually comes easily for you in this life. It’s a block you’re going to keep on coming up against. If you want your soul to be fully developed, you have to delve into the world of emotions. Suppressing your basic emotional needs will cause you to repress and rebel. A lot of cards are reflecting a need to be more in touch with your emotional side. Part of that is accepting and embracing your inner darkness.
– “But won’t that make me bad?”, I curiously asked.
– “Not necessarily. We all have darkness within us. We have as much dark as we have light. It’s how we deal with darkness that matters. When you experience anger or sexual lust and other parts of yourself that you may or might not like, you’re encouraged to acknowledge that they’re there. You don’t have to act on them or hurt other people, just accept that they exist because that’s how you’ll evolve in this world. Part of the journey of life is to go through these dark emotions. There’s a native saying that goes like, ”We all have two wolves inside of us: a white wolf and a black wolf. Which wolf wins? The one you feed the most.”
The afternoon was spent at the museum. When we left, we found ourselves in front of an arriving windstorm, so I suggested she spends the night at my place. When we were ready to sleep, she laid on the couch and said she’d be fine sleeping on it. Knowing how uncomfortable my couch is, I knew she wouldn’t be. She was just being polite. I could tell she wanted to sleep next to me, so I let her even though I know she’s attracted to me. I can’t give her what she wants, though, and I feel terrible because of that. Ellen is lonely and longing for companionship. She’s had very few boyfriends, and after becoming a stay-at-home mom and then divorcing her husband, she feels like she no longer deserved that; like her chances of getting herself out there and succeeding in meeting a guy who’ll make her happy were very low. Yet, she appears happy to me. I know that part of it is a façade, but there’s no doubt that she’s a positive person. She lifts my mood every time she’s around. She’s a kindred spirit who’s fun and adventurous all the time. She’s very rebellious and doesn’t give a fuck about anything, yet she has opinions about almost everything. She’s a good distraction for the dull life I’ve been leading. She makes living more bearable. I was an odd one until she turned up, and now I can’t imagine what my life would be like without her. I was intrigued to know more about her, and a few glasses of wine helped her open up.
Ellen’s parents died in a car accident when she was only three years-old. She grew up in an orphanage in Cincinnati and somehow that didn’t seem to have a negative effect on her. At thirty-nine, she was independent and self-sustaining, even with her recent and unpleasant divorce from her unstable ex-husband. However, as I’ve gotten to know her more, I could tell there was a veiled, wounded side to her. I didn’t know how serious it was, though, until the conversation switched to the past decade where she talked about her previous marriage.
Ellen met her ex-husband, Kurt in high school. They were both elected prom king and queen. They were the couple everyone was either jealous of or thrived to resemble. Up until then, their relationship seemed like a fairytale, and they thought they’d get married and live happily ever after. However, that didn’t happen. After she got pregnant, she felt unwanted, like a nuisance. She thought he was just stressed out and usurped about the impeding arrival of their first baby, but it soon became evident that he was having an affair after she noticed unusual calls coming at random times during the day. Feeling betrayed, she finally took the initiative of questioning him about the situation and he denied her claims. After she gave birth to Trent, Kurt sent her to spend Mother’s Day weekend at a spa resort to recuperate; it was an excuse to get rid of her so he could freely mess around with his mistress. Ellen knew that, and so she made a sudden appearance back the same day and caught them in the act. Of course, Kurt begged her to forgive him but she didn’t. A few days later, she filed for divorce, and although he tried not giving her a nickel of his money, the judge ruled in her favor since she had left her job to care for their son.
I woke up early this morning, and tried to make both of us pancakes. I got one right which I let her have. We took our plates to the living room, and our appetite quickly diminished when she turned on the TV to photos of dismantled body parts spread all over my television screen; body parts I helped bury. As memories of that night started coming back to me, I felt a flicker of a panic attack coming. A brief interview with the person who discovered them followed, and the police were able to conclude that the crime happened somewhere else and that the bodies were transported to that area. No further information was disclosed, but it was mentioned that the medical examiner’s office is currently working on determining the victims’ identities. For a second, I felt like I was about to lose consciousness. But with Ellen around, I had to hide any kind of discomfort while she watched in great disgust. All I could think of was that it was only a matter of time before the truth came out, and that I’d probably end up in jail if the police somehow manages to get ahold of the surveillance footage at the gas station. For now, the whole area is canvassed and everyone living close by is urged to contact the homicide unit if they had seen anything suspicious. I hope for the life of me that no one did. This is the price I pay for associating myself with a serial killer.