Blogging My Murder; chapter six, part three

Chapter Six; Part Three

“Hey, Megan. How’re you doing?”

“fine. well, no, not really. i left work early today because i couldn’t stand being there.” I fill him in on my day, and he’s properly sympathetic to my woes. He tells me about the house shoot he did today and how his client was a pain in the ass. Mrs. Decker made him move a lamp five times before ordering him to put it back where it first was. Then, she was unhappy with his prices, even though she had agreed to them before he’d even started. Then, she tried to seduce him in lieu of payment, and he had a difficult time getting her to take no for an answer. As she’s in her sixties, gaunt, and wouldn’t know a smile if it hit her in the face, he wanted nothing to do with her.

“have you ever slept with a client?” I ask curiously. “no judgement—just wondering.”

“I did. Once. It did not end well.” With that, Rembrandt tells me the story.

 

“So, you’re a photographer.” The curvy brunette placed a red-tipped talon on Rembrandt’s arm and trails it down to his hand. She pressed her boobs against his arm while snaking her arm around his waist. Rembrandt was glad he worked from home because he wouldn’t want to have to deal with this in an office full of people. “I’m getting married in two months, and I’m interviewing photographers.”

“Is this part of the interview process?” Rembrandt asked, arching his eyebrow at her.

“For you, yes it is.” The brunette planted a kiss on Rembrandt’s lips, slipping her tongue into his mouth.

 

“Wait a minute. She hit on you while asking you to be her wedding photographer?” We’ve switched to phone, which makes talking about the story much easier.

“Yup.”

 

“What are you doing?” Rembrandt’s voice was ragged, and his cock was rock hard.

“I’m trying to get in your pants. Is it working?” Kimberly—by now he knew her name—asked, her voice husky. “You’re going to be my last fling before my wedding. I think I’ve earned it.”

“Kimberly, I don’t think this is a good idea.” Rembrandt pulled back, but not completely. He had recently broken up with his girlfriend, and he hadn’t felt a tit in two months.

“I know it’s not, but I don’t care,” Kimberly said bluntly. She grabbed Rembrandt’s hand and placed it on her tit under her tank top. Rembrandt swallowed hard at the warm flesh under his fingers. It was not augmented, which was just how he liked it. He instinctively squeezed, and he shivered when her nipple tightened under his touch.

“Fuck it.” Rembrandt grabbed her face in both his hands and kissed her hard.

“Meow?” Ginger rubbed against Rembrandt’s legs while simultaneously glaring at Kimberly.

“Not now, Ginger.” Rembrandt brushed Ginger aside and returned to kissing Kimberly. He guided her towards his bedroom, closing the door on Ginger’s face. “Come here.” Rembrandt gently pushed Kimberly on the bed and climbed on top of her.

“Fuck me,” Kimberly gasped, pulling Rembrandt down hard. After they kissed for several minutes, Rembrandt rolled off Kimberly so she could sit up and pull off her top. Her tits bounced out, and Rembrandt was all over them in a hot second. He sucked one into his mouth and was gratified to hear Kimberly’s moans. “Oh, god. I need this so bad.” They both quickly disrobed before continuing to make out. Rembrandt went down on Kimberly, eating her out until she came. She returned the favor, but he stopped her before he came because he knew he would be one and done. “Do you have any condoms?”

“Yes.” Rembrandt opened the drawer in his nightstand and pulled out a condom. He rolled it on his cock, which was harder than it had been in quite some time. Kimberly lay back on the bed and spread her legs. Rembrandt was between them and in her in a flash.

 

“So this was less than a year ago?” I ask, cutting into his recitation. I’m having a hard time keeping the timeline straight, so I need to clarify the details.

“Yeah. It was about six months ago.” Rembrandt’s voice is filled with guilt, and he continues his story.

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Blogging My Murder; chapter six, part two

“I’m going out for a while, but I should be home before too late.” I kiss Onyx and Jet on their heads before leaving, ignoring their cries as I do. I drive to South Minneapolis where my sister lives and sit in the car after parking. I steel myself for the encounter, taking several smooth, slow breaths. I always have trouble interacting with normies, and my brother-in-law is definitely a normie. He does something in marketing, and he’ll drone on and on about it for hours if you let him. Coral is a pleasant woman who greatly resembles her mother, and she has the strong will as well. She has marched in Black Lives Matter protests for the past year and a half, much to her father’s dismay. She and her husband, Jamal Harrington, are prominent figures in the local chapter. Jamal is a teacher in an alternative high school, and despite being built like a linebacker, he never played sports as a kid. He’s a crack hand at chess, though. We’ve played it a few times, and he’s whupped my ass every time.

“I can do this.” I turn off the car, lock the door, and knock on the door to Jasmine’s house.

“Megan, come on in.” Jasmine grabs me in a hug, nearly taking my breath away.

“Auntie Meg! Come play.” Michelle and Ing-wen fly at me, nearly knocking me over in their enthusiasm to hug me. They’re wearing matching dresses, red for Michelle and orange for Ing-wen. They both have matching bows in their curls, and they look too cute for words.

“Hi, girls. How’re my babies doing?” I hug them with difficulty as they squirm in my embrace.

“Come play with us! We brought our Legos!” They pull at my hand, but Jasmine shoos them away.

“Girls, let her say hi to everyone else.” Jasmine leads me into the living room where her husband, Bob, is sitting on the recliner, and Coral and Jamal are on the couch. Bob’s black hair is slicked back, and he has a grimace on his face as Jamal and Coral chat with each other.

“Aunt Meg!” Coral springs up and hugs me. “It’s been too long!” She squeeze my hand. “I haven’t seen you in ages.”

“Coral. You’re looking great!” I look her up and down with a critical eye. She’s lost some weight while still retaining her voluptuous figure. Her curly hair is pinned up in a sloppy bun which suits her Madonna figure, and she’s wearing a brilliant red pantsuit which guarantees she’ll draw every eye in the room. “Your girls are lovely, too.” I look around for Smoochie, Jasmine’s calico cat, but she’s nowhere to be seen. She’s thirteen, has a touch of arthritis, and the only people she like are her immediate family, so I rarely see her.

“They are the best of me and Jamal, that’s for sure!” Coral leads me to the couch, and Jamal rises to greet me.

“Ms. Liang. It’s a pleasure to see you again.” Jamal extends his hand and engulfs mine in his.

“Megan. Please. It’s good to see you, too.” I eye Jamal covertly, not letting on how attractive I find him. He’s six-feet four inches of solid muscle, his dark brown skin looking deliciously edible. His dreads fall halfway down his back, and his tailored suit is just itching to be ripped off. “How’re you doing, Jamal?”

“Just fine, Megan.” Jamal says with an easy smile. “My kids this year are riled up about Phil Castilo’s shooting, so I’ve had my hands full with them.”

“That was such bull—crap,” I say, changing the word at the last moment. I’m keenly aware of my two grandnieces hanging on our every word, and I don’t want to be the one to corrupt them. Granted, they are playing with their ‘Legos’ (Duplos) on the floor and don’t appear to be paying attention, but I know better. The last time I saw them, I said something was shit, and the girls suddenly looked up from their plushies and said shit loudly and in unison.

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Blogging My Murder; chapter six, part one

Chapter Six; Part One

“Megan! How are you? I heard about your friend, and I’m so sorry.” Sara pulls me into a hug, catching me unaware.

“I’m fine,” I say sharply, placing my hands on her shoulders and pushing her away. I do not like being touched without my permission, especially by someone I don’t like.

“It must be so awful! Her being murdered like that!” Sara’s eyes are fastened on mine, and I get the uncomfortable feeling that she’s getting a kick out of this. There are people who thrive on misery, and she might be one of them.

“Yes. It’s not great.” I sit at my desk and turn on my computer. I pointedly keep my back to Sara so she might take the hint. Alas, she does not.

“I know you’re grieving right now. If there’s anything you need, I would be more than happy to help you. Anything at all!” Sara materializes in front of me, her hands clasped in front of her breasts. I can’t help but notice she’s wearing a black dress that is very out of character with her love for pastels. Her eyes are moist, and I look askance at her. I hate people who absorb the misery of others, ,and she would appear to be one of those people.

“I’ll keep that in mind.” I drop my eyes as my computer starts chugging. I just want her to go away, but she stubbornly refuses to take the hint.

“Would you like to have dinner tonight?” Sara clasps my arm, and I glare at the offending appendage. I know it’s time to put my foot down, hard. I glance into Sara’s hopeful eyes, and I steel myself for the unpleasant task at hand.

“No, Sara, I do not want to have dinner tonight. I do not want to have dinner with you any night. We are colleagues. Nothing more. I want to keep it at that.” I remove her hand from my arm and let it drop to her side. She immediately bursts into tears.

“Why do you have to be so mean to me? I like you so much, and you hate me!” Sara runs from the room, loudly sobbing. I get the feeling I’m supposed to chase after her, but I don’t move. I’m unhappy that her little scenes are getting more and more frequent, but I don’t know what to do about it. I don’t want to go to my supervisor because Sara hasn’t done anything egregiously wrong. I don’t want her to be fired; I just want her to leave me alone.

“She’s a soul-sucker, isn’t she?” Lynnette whispers as she passes my desk. She’s a comely redhead in her thirties, and I like the way she livens up the place. “She tried to do the same thing to me a month ago, but I shut her down right fast.”

“I went to lunch with her once,” I say, keeping my voice low as well. “I think that was probably a big mistake.”

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Blogging My Murder; chapter five, part two

Chapter Five; Part Two

Speaking of Tessa, my phone rings her ring. I glance at my phone and remind myself that I need to block her number. I didn’t after I first caught her because I was in shock, and then inertia took its course. Her calls came less and less, and I hadn’t heard from her in the past four days—a record. I wait for her text to come through. It says, “Megan! I heard about Julianna! You poor, poor baby. You must be hurting so much. Call me!” I erase it, then another comes through. “Patricia is gone for the week. Call me.” I snort and erase that one as well. If she thought she could seduce me into a tryst after what she did to me, she didn’t know me at all. I toy with the idea of pretending to go along with her and then rejecting her just as we’re about to fuck, but I decide I’m going to be better than that. A third text, “I am so, so, so sorry I cheated on you, Megs. I miss you.” The use of her pet name for me brings tears to my eyes. I can’t help but remember the times we walked on Stone Arch Bridge, late at night, holding hands and laughing unrestrainedly. Teddy Bear, her black chow, trotted between us, his blue tongue lolling out of his mouth. He adored Tessa, liked me well enough, and tolerated Patricia. It makes me meanly glad that Teddy never truly warmed up to Patricia, despite her being his walker. “Megan, you need someone in your time of need.” I block Tessa’s number, suddenly tired of her pestering. Almost immediately, I get an email from her, so I block her there as well. Next, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Blocked, blocked, blocked. I want her out of my life, and I never want to think about her again.

“Fuck that.” I turn over on the couch, thumping the cushions in anger. I hate thinking about Tessa because it messes up my brain. Any time I resolve to calm down, I get riled up again. I’ve tried slow, smooth breathing; I’ve tried meditation; I’ve tried imagining that I’m stabbing her with a sword. None of it makes me feel better, so I hope that the proverbial time will heal this particular wound. I pull a pillow over my head, and then I feel a cat ass sitting on it. A small one, so it’s Onyx. I reach up and remove her, setting her to the side of the pillow. Two minutes later, I feel the thump again. This time, she burrows her ass down firmly, as if that’ll stop me from removing her. I don’t mind her being so clingy, but not if it means a cat ass on my face. Even if my face is covered with a pillow. “Quit it, Onyx!” I say crossly, my voice muffled by pillow and ass. I move her again, this time turning on my side so she can’t repeat her trick again. She mews crossly at me before hopping up on the side of my ribs. She stiff-legs her way down my hip and settles on the side of my knee. That’s tolerable, so I allow it. Two minutes later, I feel a heavier body bumping against the small of my back. Jet in his usual spot, I presume. His warm, comforting bulk soothes some of my agitation, and I drift off to sleep.

Julianna’s mutilated body weaves in and out of my dream, showing gaps in her skin. A blood-drenched ribbon passes through the gaps, making a grotesque tapestry out of my friend’s body. There is some classical music playing in the background. Bach, Beethoven, Brahms. One of the Bs, though I’m not sure which one. It’s as soft and seductive as a siren’s song. Little bits of flesh crumble off her body as she floats, and there’s a rictus smile on her face. I’m in the dream as well, trying in vain to capture her with a large butterfly net. She keeps slipping through it, and I’m crying as I run.

“Goddamn it!” I sit straight up, clutching the pillow to my heart. I have shifted sometime in my sleep, and Onyx and Jet are snuggled in a ball at my feet. I race to the bathroom, dry-heaving into the toilet. I keep gagging, even though nothing comes up. Onyx and Jet join me, meowing anxiously at my feet. Once I’m done, I crawl over to the counter and pull myself up with difficulty. I fill a glass with water and gulp down several mouthfuls of water. It starts roiling in my stomach, and I lean over the toilet again. The water comes back up, and my stomach hurts from all the retching. I flop down on the floor, not wanting to move. I close my eyes, thinking how easy it would be just to go to sleep and never wake up. I don’t want to live in a world without my Julianna, anyway, so why not just let it all go?

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Blogging My Murder; chapter five, part one

Chapter Five; Part One

“Mrreow!” I bolt awake to the sight of Onyx’s face inches from mine. Her eyes are small slits, and her fangs are showing.

“Do not do that!” I push Onyx’s face away from mine, wincing as her breath hits my face. It stinks of salmon and kibbles, and I push it further to the side. She eludes my hand and bonks her head against my face. Jet is standing to the side of me, watching his sister with something akin to amusement on his face. I glance at the clock and note that it’s four-fifteen in the morning. I sigh and snuggle down into my pillow, but I’m wide awake. I check the comments on my latest post, and I’m warmed by how enthusiastic people are in response to the post. Several say that they’d love to meet my best friend, with one or two saying more cheekily that they’d like to date her. It’s funny as I don’t mention describe what she looks like or post her picture, but her personality shines through, even on paper. I frown at QueenBee’s comment as she acerbically writes, “All bark and no bite. You can tell she’s got no substance, and her voice is ugly, too. I don’t know what you see in her. She was a waste of space.” I frown as this is the second time she’s said something negative about Julianna. I dismiss it from my mind, then promptly fall back asleep for another hour. I’m not feeling refreshed when I wake up, but it’ll have to do.

“How are my little boops?” I ask, rubbing first Onyx’s nose and then Jet’s. They both nuzzle against me before nudging at my shoulders. It’s clear that they want me to get up and feed them, so I begrudgingly comply. Getting out of bed is my least-favorite activity, and it happens with depressing frequency. I drag myself over to my closet and quickly pick out an outfit. After I feed the cats and eat a bagel with peanut butter, I’m out the door. I arrive early to work, so I allow myself a minute to hop online (on my phone) and check the news. When I open the Strib website, I get the shock of my life. There’s Julianna’s face staring back at mine, on her bed, with her throat slashed. I gag and cry out, quickly stifling it. The next thing I see is that her tongue is cut out, and there’s copious amounts of blood surrounding her. That’s when I lose it—stumbling away from my desk. I make it to the bathroom just in time to puke out the contents of my stomach into the toilet. I keep gagging long after I’ve thrown everything up. I sag onto the floor and begin weeping uncontrollably. How could this be happening to me? How could Julianna be dead? Also, who could have done that to her tongue? Who hated her that much?

I fumble with my purse, pulling out my phone. There’s the Star Tribune website and Julianna’s destroyed face is looking back at me. I quickly close out the tab before plugging Julianna Araki into Google. The first five hits are about the murder, and I cautiously open them in new windows. None of them have pictures, for which I’m grateful. I learn that Julianna was killed at about four in the morning, the same time Onyx had awoken me from my sleep. Remorse overcomes me. If only I had called her, texted her, or something. Maybe I could have saved her. I check my phone to see if I have any messages. I do—a text from her at around 3:45 a.m. I stare at the phone, not believing my eyes. This is a text from Julianna, and it might be the last thing she said before she was—I finally check the text, my heart in my mouth. I don’t want to read it, but I know I must.

“Hey, Liang. I just got the fucking of a lifetime. You should try it! It’s good for what ails you. I’m ready for another round, but Ramona had to go home, damn it. Wanna come over and lend me a hand? Just kidding. Love you, girl. Thank you for the Dong Yuan. Talk to you soon.”

“Oh, Araki. How could you do this to me?” I cradle my phone to my chest, rocking back and forth as I weep. What am I going to do without my best friend, and who could have done this to her? Ramona? Simon? A disgruntled ex? I don’t know, and all I can do is weep.

“Megan? Are you OK?” Tania Smith, one of my coworkers, stares at me, her mouth agape and her hazel eyes wide. She pushes a hank of greasy brown hair from her brow, but it falls back in place.

“I’m fine.” I choke back my sobs and gather my things. I pull myself up off the floor and brush by her to wash my face. I rinse my mouth before turning off the faucet. “I think I might have a stomach bug. I’m going home. Tell Cara I’m taking the rest of the day off.” I sweep out of the bathroom, keeping my head held high. I don’t crumble until I reach my car, and then I burst into sobs again. Somehow, I manage to make it home in one piece before collapsing on the couch. I start weeping as if I’ll never stop. Onyx and Jet hop onto the couch, Onyx on my stomach and Jet on the cushion squished next to my thigh, and they’re both staring at me in consternation. I try to placate them with a smile, but all I can do is howl. I can’t live without my Julianna; I just can’t bear it.

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Blogging My Murder; chapter four

Chapter Four

I wake up five minutes before my alarm rings, which pisses me off. I’d rather be awakened an hour before it’s time to get up than five minutes. That’s not enough time to go back to sleep, but it’s enough time to make me not want to get up, either. I sigh and roll over, careful not to squish the cats who are spooned in a circle on the bed beside me. I give them a quick pet before sliding out of bed. They’re both out like a light and don’t move a muscle. I hop into the shower after winding my hair on the top of my head. I stay in for an extra five minutes because my body is sore. I don’t know why, except perhaps I slept wrong. The hot water feels great on my body, and I reluctantly turn off the tap. I towel off before dressing. Afterwards, I wander down to the kitchen to toast a bagel. Smearing it with cream cheese, I pop a Lactaid before gobbling down the bagel halves. I wash it down with a glass of orange juice. When I turn around, there are two fuzzy black faces staring at me. I start because I hadn’t heard them come in.

“Don’t do that!” I scold them, though my heart isn’t in it. I open a can of Solid Gold wet food and scoop half onto Onyx’s plate and half onto Jet’s. Onyx wolfs hers down, then eyes her brother’s plate. I pick her up despite her protests and cradle her to my chest so Jet can eat in peace. Once he’s finished, I allow her to squirm out of my arms and race over to her brother. She whaps him on the face, taking her frustrations out on him. He doesn’t even flinch, but when she draws her paw back for another smack, his tail shoots straight up in the air and puffs out. He hisses once, and Onyx retracts her paw. She runs roughshod over him, but she knows when he’s reached his limit. She butts her head against her brother’s instead, and he relaxes his stance. The two of them are sniffing each other’s butts as I tiptoe away. I find it’s better to leave when they’re engaged with each other because there’s less yowling that way.

I arrive at work five minutes early, so I pull out my phone and check the comments on my latest post. There are several complimentary ones, wishing Julianna a happy birthday. There’s a comment from YokoOno thanking me for the post and saying we’ll be besties forever. It’s Julianna, and I write a brief response to her before reading the rest of the comments. QueenBee comments, “Sounds like she’s more trouble than she’s worth. You can do better.” I frown because it’s the first time QueenBee has said something negative on a post. I respond by telling her that Julianna is the best, then I close out my phone. I go into the office, my feet dragging. I’m tired of hawking Groupon coupons and other online shit deals. I’m also tired of Sara’s advances, and I want her to just leave me alone. I slide into my seat and power up my computer. Sara is next to me, but she doesn’t say anything. I’m grateful, and I quickly finish some leftover paperwork before reaching for my phone. As I’m talking, I become aware that Sara is glaring daggers at me. Any time I glance over at her, she doesn’t bother hiding her anger. I blink. What the hell is her problem? I decide I don’t give a fuck and turn slightly so my back is towards her. It’s a busy morning, so I soon forget she’s even there. Before I know it, it’s one in the afternoon. I decide to take my lunch break and go to the break room so I can eat my sandwich.

“Well, fancy seeing you here.” An arch tone reaches my ear, and I look up into Sara’s stormy eyes. She’s wearing a pale yellow sweater that isn’t very complimentary to her skin tone.

“What’s your problem, Sara? You’ve been pissed at me all morning.” I stare hard at Sara, taking satisfaction in making her flinch.

“No reason.” Sara smiles, her voice tight. She clasps her hands in front of her while resting them on the table. “It’s just that time of the month. You know how it is.” I refrain from sighing at her archaic language. I also don’t like using my period as an excuse for moods, but I don’t mention that either.

“Right.” I stand up and throw away the detritus in the trash before returning to the office. I get a text from Julianna saying she’s going to be late for dinner by an hour. She doesn’t say why, but I’m used to that. The day Julianna is on time is the day I renounce sex.

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Blogging My Murder; chapter three

Chapter Three

“Hey, Megan. Wanna grab a coffee on break?” Sara Paulson asks, her bright pink lips curving into wide smile. She pats her fluffy blond curls and bats her eyelashes at me.

“No, thanks, Sara. I’m not going for a while.” I nod at her, but I don’t take my eyes off the computer. It’s been a busy morning trying to sell Groupon coupons, and I’m behind on my paperwork.

“I can push it back a bit if you want.” Sara’s light blue eyes are trained on mine, and she’s starting to make me feel uncomfortable. She has on a snug dusty rose sweater than accentuates her generous curves. She’s only been working with us for three months, and she’s been trying to get me to go to coffee several times a week in the past month. I went once, but she spent the whole time talking about being on the homecoming court or whatever as a princess when she was in high school, which had to have been at least ten years ago, if not fifteen. I find it pathetic when grown adults dwell on the glory days of their high school years. The only other thing she seemed to  care about was horseback riding, which I knew nothing about. She didn’t ask me one question about myself, and I vowed never to do anything with her again.

“No. I’m fine.” I pick up my phone and start dialing, not missing the crestfallen look on Sara’s face. I feel like a shitheel, but I have no desire to get to know her better. None. Even though I haven’t had sex for nearly a month, and she looks like she’s willing to play. I mentally shake myself out of that line of speculation because one, I don’t like to fuck coworkers, the last time I did with the hot Chris Pratt lookalike (now in middle management) notwithstanding. Two, she’s probably fifteen years my junior, which is lower than I like to go. Three, she’s boring as hell, and that’s definitely a boner killer for me.

“Oh, OK. Maybe another time?” Sara’s still looking at me; I can tell, but I don’t bother answering. I don’t want to lead her on, and I don’t want to continue the conversation. I shrug and let it go at that. Suddenly, I have to pee, and I race to the bathroom. When I’m done, I see my coworker, Fawn Lovett, peering into the mirror.

“God, I am so sick of this job,” Fawn grumbles, leaning towards the mirror to reapply her chewed off lipstick. It’s a crimson red that doesn’t fit her pale skin, but who am I to tell her that? She looks both ways before whispering, “Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve applied to work as a manager at Burger King. I have an interview in two days.”

“Good luck,” I say automatically. I wash my hands, then dry them off with a rough paper towel. Our company’s too cheap to install an automatic dryer, god forbid. “See you back in the pit.” I walk back to my desk, lost in thought. I’ve been on the job for a three years, and I’ve been getting tired of it myself. It’s mindless, and I don’t have to take it home, but it’s also stultifying my brain. I used to be able to compose blog posts as I made my calls, but now, I just shut off all thoughts as I work. Speaking of blog posts, I check out my latest on self-care. MNborn writes, “I like to cuddle with my two pugs to destress. They are the best therapy I’ve ever had.” ScrewYou adds, “I veg out by going down the Netflix hole. I binge-watched Season Three of BoJack in two days.” There are several other comments like that, and I close my phone as I return to my desk. The rest of the day whizzes by, and I’m ready to leave by the time five o’clock rolls by.

“Hey, Megan, hold up!” I restrain a sigh as I hear Sara’s breathy voice behind me in the parking lot as I walk to my car. My impulse is to keep walking, but I slow down and wait for her to catch up in her five-inch heels. This is her first year in Minnesota, and we haven’t had snow yet, but she won’t be able to wear those shoes for much longer. I bet she’s one of those women who wears boots with stiletto heels, then complain about twisting their ankles on the ice.

“What do you want, Sara? I’m tired and cranky, and I would like to get home as soon as possible.” I keep my tone civil, but just barely. The second I’m off the clock, my time belongs to me.

“I just wanted to thank you for mentoring me when I first got here. It was really nice of you.” Sara clutches my arm, and I automatically stiffen. I don’t like being touched without my permission, and I disengage my arm as discreetly as possible.

“No problem. I was just doing my job.” I nod at her, and I’m telling the truth. My supervisor asked me to train Sara because I’m the best at my job of all my colleagues. I’m not bragging, and it’s a very low bar to clear.

“Anyway, I’d like to repay you by making you dinner one night this week. Wednesday, maybe?” Sara clasps her hands in front of her chest as I restrain an impatient sigh. I am definitely getting a ‘she’s hitting on me vibe’, which I need to nip in the bud.

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Blogging My Murder; chapter two, part two

Chapter Two; Part Two

“Mrrrrrreow!” Onyx weaves her way through my legs as I stand up, almost tripping me in the process.

“Onyx!” I scold her, but my heart isn’t in it. How can I be mad at her when all she wants to do is love me? She butts her head against my shin several times before I scoop her up in my arm. I grab the mug and the bowl with my other hand as best possible to take them into the kitchen. I set Onyx on the counter before washing the dishes. I go to the living room and flop on the couch. I should write my post on NE Minneapolis eateries, but I’m suddenly tired. Sleep is spotty for me. Sometimes, I get seven solid hours a night, and other times, I wake up every other hour and give up after four. Last night was one of the latter, in part because I was waiting for Julianna to text me—which she finally did at five in the morning. She didn’t give me many details because she’s not the type to kiss and tell, but she did let slip that she had a date with Ramona tomorrow, now today. Julianna is a slam poet with plenty of family money to back her up, so she doesn’t have to work a nine-to-five like us plebes. To be totally fair, I don’t really have to work, either, but I like having a schedule that gets me out of the house five days a week.

I drift off on the couch, my dreams filled with malevolent fairies. For some reason, they want to bite all my flesh off, which is agonizingly painful, believe you me. I wake up in a cold sweat, my heart racing. Jet growls in protest from his seat on my lap as I jostle him out of his nap. Onyx doesn’t move from her spot mashed into my right thigh, so I poke her to make sure she’s breathing. She remains inert, so I poke her again. This time, she hisses sleepily before coiling tightly into a ball. I lift Jet from my lap and set him next to Onyx. He wraps himself around her and falls asleep again. I ease myself away from her and tiptoe into the bathroom. I feel grimy, so I take a shower, leaving the bathroom door open. By the time I’m done, both cats are sitting on the counter, staring at me in concern. It cracks me up that this is their reaction to me taking a shower. I can only imagine that they’re thinking, “Why does she take off her fur and allow water to splash all over her?” I could swear they’re shaking their heads minutely as I towel off, which cracks me up. I stick my tongue out at them before pulling on a fresh pair of gray sweats and a red Obama t-shirt. I turn the faucet on a crack so Onyx can lap at the water. Jet turns his attention to her and is now looking at her as if she’s crazy. He cannot stand water touching his fur at all, so it fascinates him that Onyx will stick her  paw in the stream and lick the drops off it.

“Treats?” I quirk my eyebrows at my cats, and they hop off the counter with alacrity. It’s one of the words that they know, and it’s guaranteed to spur them into action. They race towards the kitchen, and I follow at a more sedate pace, wrapping a scrunchie around my hair. I open the fridge and pull out some salmon. I give them each a healthy chunk, and they gobble them down. I toast a bagel, smear some cream cheese on it, then add some salmon on top of it. It’s a decadent treat that I don’t eat very often, but I enjoy every bite when I do.

I hear a ping on my Nexus 5X, and it’s an email from Rembrandt. He says he’s thinking of me and hoping I’m doing OK. I reply that I am and ask how he’s doing. I enable my chat on Google so we can message, and I spend the next hour finding out more information about him. He’s the oldest of three boys, whereas I am the middle sister, also of three. My older sister, Jasmine, lives in Minnesota as well, whereas my younger sister, Vivian, fled the state the minute she turned eighteen to attend art school in Boston and never came back. Rembrandt’s thirty-two, which is thirteen years my junior. That makes me a little uneasy, but the fact that he knows his Toni Morrison from his Maxine Hong Kingston assuages my doubts a little. He’s a huge Vikings fan, which is fine with me. I can watch a ball game and comment on it knowledgably, even if it’s not something I’d choose to watch myself. I’m always happy for Minnesotan fans when the home teams do well, but I’m not devastated when they lose. I remember the season in which the Vikes went 15-1. They made it the NFC championship against Atlanta and was widely expected to take it easily. They lost in the last seconds, which was especially heartbreaking for local fans. At the beginning of the next season, the news interviewed a guy dressed in Vikings gear, who talked about how crushed he still felt about the loss. I wanted to shout at him to get a life, but who am I to judge someone else’s emotions? I’m still mourning the death of Alan Rickman, and I never even knew him in real life. I’m sure there are plenty of people who would scorn my grief and say it isn’t real. I don’t pretend to think what I feel for the loss of Alan is anything close to how his loved ones must feel, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt.

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Blogging My Murder; chapter two, part one

Chapter Two; Part One

“Hey, Megan. How’re you doing?” Lydia’s rather saturnine features light up as I walk into the studio. She’s five years older than I am, and yet, she looks twenty years younger. She claims that it’s all thanks to taiji—she’s been studying for twenty-two years—and I can only hope it has the same effect on me. I’ve only been practicing for seven years, so I still have a ways to go. Her sandy blond hair is pulled back in a topknot, and her horn-rimmed glasses frame her green eyes perfectly. I’m the only one at the studio except for her so far because I can’t help but be fifteen minutes early to any appointment. It’s a result of being Taiwanese and perpetually arriving at events a half hour late, only to find said event hadn’t started yet.

“I’m OK. I met someone last night.” I smile at Lydia as I set down my weapons bag on the floor.

“That’s great! Did you get a piece?” Lydia smirks, her thin lips curving into a smile. She’s rather reserved with strangers, and her countenance is placid, but she has a raunchy streak that can rival my own which she only displays when she feels comfortable.

“Nah. I decided to wait. Delayed gratification and all.” What I don’t tell her is that I’m a bit gun-shy about being with a guy again. It’s been nearly ten years, and it’s very different than sexing with a woman. In my past, guys have been more critical of my body with an extra thirty pounds than have women. I find sex with women to be more collaborative, whereas guys either want to dominate or be dominated. I’m fine with some roleplaying, and I’m a switch when it comes to top/bottom (much like being bi), but it’s not something I need to do in order to be aroused. Tessa wasn’t into BDSM at all, and I didn’t miss it while I was with her. I have to admit, however, that the idea of having sex with someone new makes my pulse quicken. There is something almost reverent about approaching a new body and figuring out its likes and dislikes. And, I have to admit that Rembrandt’s ass looked perfect for squeezing. “What’s new with you?”

“I have a new private student,” Lydia says, her voice alive with excitement. She’s always looking to add to her income, so it’s no wonder she’s happy about having a new student. “He’s a coworker of Roger’s who’s going through a messy divorce.” Roger is Lydia’s husband, and he’s a construction worker with a great body. Hey, I’m a woman with healthy sexual appetites, and there’s nothing wrong with looking at the candy in the window, even if I’m on a diet. Which I am in this case because I most emphatically do not fuck around with my friends’ partners. “His name is Liam, and, man. The stories I could tell you about his ex would curl your hair.”

“No, they wouldn’t,” I retort. “I’m Asian.” After Lydia’s laughter subsides, she opens her mouth, but then shuts it again. She’s not given to gossiping about her students because she takes her position as teacher very seriously.

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Blogging My Murder; chapter one, part two

Chapter One; Part Two

When I open the door to my house, I hear a steady, high-pitch meowing, intermittently punctuated with lower growls. I slip off my three-inch, ruby-red heels and wince in relief once they’re off. I have wide-ass feet, and even the most generous shoes feel better off than on. I follow the sounds up the stairs until I reach my bedroom. Both my cats are staring fixedly out the window. Onyx, a tiny five-pound fluff-ball is the one doing the high-pitch mews. Jet, her twenty-pound litter brother who is all muscle and her protector, is standing behind her (his normal position), emitting the low growls. I flip on the lights, and they don’t even blink. I stare out the window, seeing a small white bunny rabbit twitching its nose at my cats. Onyx reaches a paw towards the bunny, claws out, but I don’t reprimand her because there’s no chance she can harm the bunny through the window.

“Hey, kids! I’m home.” I ruffle the fur on Jet’s neck, and he slowly turns his face towards me, his eyes slit into a predatory stare. They dilate normally as he tucks his head into my palm. It barely fits, and I marvel as always at how panther-like he is. “How’s my big boy doing?” Jet purrs in response before I turn my attention to Onyx. “How’s my baby girl tonight?” She abandons her prey and scurries over to me, leaping into my waiting arms. I know by now to have my arms outstretched when she comes my way because she launches herself at me whenever the mood hits her. I adopted my cats eight years ago, when they were six months old. For the first day, Jet sulked in a box I had placed in the closed off dining room, only venturing out to use the litter box. He refused to come out to eat, so I eventually placed a food bowl and a water bowl in his box. He was content to stay in that box, his enormous gold eyes shining in the dark. Onyx, on the other hand, wandered around the dining room, sniffing everything she could reach. After a half hour, she was sitting at the door, meowing to be let out. I had read that they should be kept in a closed area for twenty-four hours, but Onyx never got that memo. I spent about an hour with them before going to do other things. When I returned and opened the dining room sliding doors, I was greeted by a tiny ball of black fur hurtling through the air. I immediately reacted and caught her, thankfully, but that was the beginning of a lifelong pattern that continues to this day.

“Mrrrrreow!” Onyx trills as she turns her heart-shaped face up towards mine, her emerald green eyes full of sleep. I call her my princess, and she does everything she can to live up to that name. I drop a kiss on her satiny nose, and she closes her eyes before promptly falling asleep. I set her on the bed without waking her, and she curls up in a tight ball. Jet hops up on the bed next to her, wraps his body around her, then falls asleep as well. I watch them for several seconds because they are the true loves of my life, and it warms my heart that they are so devoted to each other. They were actually part of the friction between Tessa and me. She was solidly a dog person and didn’t care for cats at all. I like dogs, but I know myself well enough to realize that I would be shitty for any dog living with me. I work eight hours a day, and by the time I get home, all I want to do is curl up on the couch, blog or read, and then drift off to sleep with my two cats. It wouldn’t be fair to a dog to be forced to live that kind of life, and I would resent a dog if I had to walk him or her every day. Tessa used to complain that my cats didn’t like her, which was actually true. The first time she met them, Onyx hissed at her and wouldn’t let Tessa pet her. Jet muscled up behind Onyx and simply glowered at Tessa. He allowed Tessa to pet him, but he didn’t lean into it as he normally would. To be fair to them, it was clear that she was uncomfortable with them. Plus, she patted Jet instead of petting him, which most cats don’t enjoy.

I tiptoe out of the bedroom and make my way back downstairs. I’m hungry, so I open the fridge to see what I can find. I tend to forget to go grocery shopping until all I have in the fridge is a rotten onion and a container of spoiled milk. However, I had replenished my stock a day or two ago, so I have plenty of choices. I take a minute and ask myself what I want. I have a history of eating disorders, so I try to ask my body what it needs before eating. Unfortunately, my body is a three-year-old child, and it usually tells me what it wants, not what it needs. What it wants is tons of chocolate. What it needs is fruits and vegetables. I make myself a ham sandwich on whole wheat bread with spinach, mustard, and sliced tomatoes. I pour myself a glass of Diet Coke before taking my snack into the living room. I settle down on the couch, pulling my laptop onto my lap.

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