Gutshot

by Kylee Webb

            My bowstring has never been more taut as I wait outside your apartment. I’m executing the perfect form, just as my father taught me: watch your posture, keep both arms steady, make your eyes like the hawk, and all that. Normally, I wouldn’t bring her (my bow) out for just any occasion, but today, my dear, is a special one. Today is the day I rid you of her. You better believe that my eyes are especially hawkish right now.

            I remember you complimented my eyes the first day I met you in our bustling office. Your cubicle embraces mine. When you stood up to stretch, your pink shirt hugging your biceps, you finally noticed me—the new girl. You said and I quote, “I love your eyes! I think heterochromia is wicked cool!” And in that moment, I had never felt more “wicked cool” in my life. I had always felt that my one brown eye and one green eye were freakish or alien, but you helped me see the error of my ways and you helped me love me.

            You should be proud of your kindness. Men who look like you are not always so compassionate. I have sobbed on infinite bar tops because I don’t fit the fancies of most horrible men. But you’re far from horrible and you’re certainly not most men. You are the one who pulled me out of a pit of snares when I made a mistake and our shrewish boss gave me an earful of caustic hate. But seeing as you are full of love, you took the fall for me and then bought me lunch afterwards. I normally despise tuna, but I listened to you when you said that Joe’s tuna melts were “off the charts.” Now, I consume at least one can of tuna per week and I frequent Joe’s hoping to catch a glimpse of your teddy brown eyes.

            Then, I learned about her. I was polishing my archery trophy at my desk during a lull in my workday and your cell phone buzzed with a call. How incredibly rude that was! You whispered to her that you’ll have to call her back but that you love her and will see her after work. Your whisper was softer than a rabbit’s pelt and oh how it gutted me to not be on the receiving end of it. I was so gutted in fact that it caused me to do some light FaceBook stalking and lo and behold it said that you were in a relationship with her. That simply could not do.

            Over the course of the next few weeks, I figured out nearly everything about you, like what your schedule is, where you live, what your favorite bodega is, and even where your childhood home is. I knew I had to be the person that understands every fibre of your being. There’s no way Angela understands you. I overhear your conversations at work and I know that all she does is berate you. I would never berate you—unless you wanted me to of course. After it seemed like the millionth phone call from her that week, I knew she needed to go. She is clearly making you miserable and she stands between you and the most intense love you could ever receive.

            Wow, these bushes are quite itchy! And my camouflage paint is melting in the agonizing summer heat. The things I do for you are boundless! And your apartment looks quite stunning, except for the blemish that is Angela sitting on the couch. That isn’t to say she is ugly, I would never insult your taste. She is actually quite beautiful. Her hair is like a charcoal river, unlike my electrocuted blonde mess and her tawny skin looked radiant in the dim lighting. She will die just as beautiful as she looks. You will be pleased.

You will know it is me that did it, I want you to. I want you to know that I am the only person who would kill for you and it may take you a bit to get over the shock, but meanwhile, I will be getting off with insanity and you will eventually be visiting me in the mental hospital. It won’t be conventional, but it will be perfect.

            Anyway, you guys are clearly fighting and I can vaguely hear what is being said from fifteen feet outside the window. Then, I catch her careening towards the door in a fit of rage. I keep my bow steady and aim it so as to shoot a moving target. This gazelle won’t get far! She swings the door open, then slams it shut, and her face is….stained with hot tears. I lower my bow. She sobs all the way to her Volkswagen parked in the lots next to the bushes. I duck and shroud myself within them, still able to see her through the pores of the bush. She hops into her driver’s seat and then violently shuts the door beside her. I briefly lament losing my shot but find myself transfixed by her sadness. I have been in that same car sniffling the same snot time and time again.

            Then I look back into the apartment to see how you’re doing, seeing that you are the one that matters, right? You are expressionless, watching whatever is on tv, probably football or UFC. Angela is still crying so hard that she is probably making her windows quake. I choke out some silent cries as well, hoping she doesn’t notice the bushes shaking next to her car. I… don’t want to look at you anymore. Angela finally finishes off her tears then drives away, her tires skidding from the speed.

            Now, I continue to sit in these scratchy bushes and wait—wait for my new target.

Kylee Webb (she/her) is a writer and actress in association with State 48 and Desert Foothills theaters, and a graduate student in the English Literature program at Arizona State University. She’s a member of Phi Beta Kappa and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a major in literature and a double minor in Spanish and Political Science. She’s interested in absurdist, surrealist, and feminist works, and enjoys the films of David Lynch, Ari Aster, Luis Buñuel, and literally any feminist director. You can find her on Twitter @KyleeNikole13. Her work will be appearing in volume 3 of 𝘈𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘨𝘰𝘳𝘺 𝘙𝘪𝘥𝘨𝘦’𝘴 𝘈𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘱𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘨𝘰 fiction anthology.

Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash