I know what kills me. 

Strange isn’t it.

Have you ever thought of how it is that deaths are considered natural.  I mean if anyone over the age of let’s say 75 is found to have expired in the night there are no sirens or even questions really.  They are dead and if its a surprise its not shocking, but natural. 

Well I am much younger than 75 and I can hear my sirens coming.  If only they could ask their questions to me.

As it stands they will not be able to, but you, you, can know the story of me.

Let me start with the basics I am 23, a college graduate with all the bright promise of a future extending before me in all directions, and I have always fancied myself as fearless.  Now I don’t mean that you couldn’t scare me, because I very easily startle, I mean that I go for things other girls I grew up with wouldn’t.  I left to go to school, out of state, I am not yet married with children, and I live alone.  Now I’m brave not stupid.  I lock my doors, use my security system, and sleep with Sweetums, my Irish Wolfhound.  So some of my fearlessness is born of others, but still for a 5’8″ transplant from the Midwest I think I’m doing pretty good here in Philly.

So in case you need a better visual reference I am one of those girls you would walk past.  Though I am tallish I consider myself rather plain.  As a matter of fact -ish might be the best description of me I could give.  For instance at 5’8″ I’m tallish, my shoulder length hair is brownish, meaning that I would never pass for a true blonde or brunette, and I have hazel eyes which tend toward being greenish.  I have a moderately athletic body type which I give credit to Sweetums for, as I must run to keep up with him and use my upper body strength to keep him from the food vendor’s wares.

Well there you have it nothing special about me so, why the death? Good question.

My fairly small group of friends consists of my two former college roommates, Ashley and Maria, the four other interns who I share the “bull pin” with, Greg, Tracy, Raj, and Lynn, their significant others, and finally Mark.  Mark is my version of an ideal boyfriend, he has classic good looks, dark blue eyes and sandy blond hair, he likes my friends, and takes me serious though he can be a complete goofball.  We met by chance on one of the SEPTA buses, I was on it to get to the airport and he was on it to get to work.  I was reading, one of my favorite past times, and crying as one of the main characters had just died.  He offered me a klenex and asked if I was okay.  When I explained the tears while suffering from both a drippy nose and an extreme blush he laughed, a lot and loudly.  By the time we reached his stop I had his number.

Over the next three months we talked and met up casually for drinks or coffee then Mark asked me on an actual date of dinner, a movie, and dessert.  That was all she wrote, from that point on I was hooked.

So you must be asking yourself, simple life, small group of friends, no red flags right other than living by myself in a city such as Philadelphia.  You’d be right too.

Everything had been going great I had a job, friends, and a guy in my life.  Only hiccup was that Mark was next in line for a promotion at work which would result in his relocation to Boston.  So I had become the sad depressing friend who brings everyone down; alternating between teary silences and angry outbursts.  Mark hated that I was so upset but with the upcoming move he had more on his plate than a sad girlfriend, so my friends picked up his slack.  I was invited to girls nights, movie marathons, and any other event they could scrounge up.  Surprisingly Greg and Laura were my biggest champions in any moment of emptiness I could call them up and never feel like a third wheel.

Mark left, I was proud and happy for him.  We had decided to stay together, he wold have to come back to Philly at least once a month and there was no time like the present to visit more of the Northeast, in my opinion, specifically Massachusetts.  It would be hard, but it would work.  So after a tearful goodbye I took the SEPTA back home.  Everyone had wanted to meet up for drinks, but I bowed out as gracefully as I could promising next weekend would be better.  Instead I opted for a long hot shower, where tears could fall freely without judgement or notice, and the unopened bottle of moscato wine.  I’m not proud of myself, drinking alone while watching t.v. in the dark was not a very mature way of dealing.

Sometime after I had finished the bottle and started watching bad reruns my doorbell rang.  It was Greg, a very upset Greg at that.  I opened the door immediately.  He told me about some trouble he and Laura were having and that she had given him his walking papers.  I told him there was no way this would hold up they were great together she would calm down just wait it out and see.  He shook his head so violently my head ached in sympathy.

“No we’re done.”

“How can you think that, Greg?  You love each other.”

“Not for a long time now.  I’ve just been waiting for the right moment to tell her.”  He looked right at me then my mouth hanging open in my haze of wine and surprise.  “I love someone else.”

“That’s some low shit Greg,” I said sitting next to him on my couch, “How could you do that to Laura?”

“But now I can be with the person I love, and you can be with me.”

The sentence didn’t even register until he had jumped on me pinning me against the couch, kissing me hard, hands everywhere.  I bit his lip and slapped his face.  “What the hell Greg?” I was now standing and backing away from the living room.

He stood and looked out the window as he gingerly touched his bleeding lip.  “I’ve waited for you, was always there for you…”

“As a friend,” I interrupted frantically.

“You are mine now, screw Mark and Laura they could never hold a candle to us.”

He jumped forward slamming my head back into the door frame, pulled me up the stairs to my bedroom, and threw me on the bed.  As he pushed Sweetums out the door I tried to make it to my window.  It over looked the street and a very large oak tree I was quasi sure I could shimmy down.  I never made it to the window though Greg was on me in an instant.  I fought with every ounce of strength I had cursing the wine and my need to lick my wounds alone, and praying that Sweetums could get past the locked door somehow.  He was still trying to make some kind of move on me because when I lashed out to hurt him he just tore at my pajamas or tried to force my mouth to his.  In our awkward battle we lost balance and he came crashing down on me, smashing the back of my head against the edge of my antique foot board.  I fell as if my strings had been cut. 

He was on me having his way never noticing the blood.

After, as my eyes were starting to go blank and my body continued to go numb all he said was “You should have loved me.”

He was gone, I heard the alarm tweet distress as he left, felt Sweetums lay beside me and worry my face with kisses, distantly I thought I heard sirens, then velvety darkness.

At 23 they would never call my death natural, my murder, but it was love that killed me and what could be more natural than love.