Lucy was covered in tears and her heart was racing. The moonlight lit up her face as she struggled to stand up. The monster standing in front of her, was Kenny. Kenny was Omisha…she couldn’t face the music. Memories flashed in front of her pained eyes; she could still feel Kenny’s body on hers and the coziness of being wrapped up in his sheets. She thought about all of the late night talks and early morning adventures. They loved each other in a complicated way, but timing was never on their side. Kenny was the man who saved her from the heartache caused by Liam. He was the guy she ran to for affection and friendship whenever her heart began to throb. She realized now, that the acquainted smell of Omisha was the cologne Kenny wore when they were intimate. Lucy used to love laying in Kenny’s bed and smelling that clean, fresh scent. She’d tuck her nose into his pillow and breathe in. Another troubling memory flooded her mind and she blacked out for a long moment, taking herself back in time. A younger, wild Lucy sat on Kenny’s bed eating pizza and drinking beer. Her hair was a beautiful mess of loose curls (sex hair) and she had very little makeup on. She wore nothing but a loose t-shirt and a thong. Kenny kissed her cheek and looked into her reckless eyes, wondering what was next. She had just split up with Liam and she was in the mood for a late night with no sleep. No sleep always meant alcohol and sex for Lucy.
“Lucy, what’re you thinking?” Kenny asked as she laid her head on his chest.
“You smell amazing tonight. What cologne are you wearing?” Lucy asked, tracing his chest with her long nails.
“It’s called Afternoon Rain,” Kenny answered.
“Do me a favor?” She asked with innocent eyes.
“What is it?” He questioned.
“Only wear that cologne for me,” Lucy said.
“Anything for you, but do you know what I want you to always wear for me?” Kenny whispered in her ear.
She cocked her head and looked at him.
“I want you to wear…nothing,” Kenny laughed as he tickled her and kissed her neck. She giggled and smiled at him.
Lucy left the bittersweet memory and returned to the present. Kenny stood beside her and she couldn’t move. Her phone lit up with Luke’s number, but she didn’t answer. She didn’t know what to do next. If she called the police Kenny would be locked up forever, but that was what had to happen. He was dangerous. He was no longer a lover or a friend.
“Lucy, I still love you with every bit of my heart and soul. You’re my beautiful girl. I know we’d never be together and that was reality for me. I wasn’t enough and never could be…you’re like a wild horse, always wanting to bolt. I knew that you’d need more than me and I’m happy you found that with Luke. He’s the one you’re meant to be with,” Kenny explained. She looked at him with confusion and anger.
“Why? Why’d you do all of this?” Lucy asked.
“There was something satisfying and thrilling about being in control of something as wild and beautiful as you. You drove me mad, Lucy. You’re so deep in the darkness of my mind; you burrowed inside of me, like a drug. I may be crazy, but I’m crazier because you entered into my life,” Kenny responded.
“There’s no logic behind what you’ve done to me. You hospitalized yourself and put yourself behind bars to draw attention away from you,” Lucy whined.
“Logic doesn’t exist in my world, Lucy. You should thank me, though,” Kenny stated.
“Why the hell would I thank you?” She screeched.
“I’ve made you so strong. You are the fiercest woman I’ve ever known. You came here tonight to meet your enemy, with no fear. You’re amazing,” Kenny exclaimed.
“I will never thank you. You betrayed me and who we were to each other. I don’t even know you,” Lucy cried.
“Why did you kill Liam?”
“He hurt you. No one hurts you, unless it’s me.” Kenny replied.
“Do you want me to turn myself in, or do you want to call Detective Jones? I promised you I would end this and you know that I keep my word,” Kenny remarked.
“You do it. Take responsibility for the pain and harm you’ve caused,” Lucy said.
Kenny called Detective Jones and confessed. He told him he was with Lucy and sent the location via text. An army of policemen and Detective Jones arrived at the abandoned liquor store and Kenny walked outside, hands in the air. Detective Jones hated himself for never suspecting Kenny. He wanted to spit on him, but his main concern was making sure Lucy was safe. She still sat inside, feeling broken and lost. Detective Jones brought her outside and Luke met them there. He held his wife tightly and stroked her hair. She cried on his shoulder and wrapped her arms around him. They followed Detective Jones to the police station and sat in a room, waiting for something. Lucy didn’t even know what she was waiting for, but she wanted to wake up from the nightmare she found herself in, once again. Kenny was arrested for the murder of Liam and all of the stalking and damage brought upon Lucy. He would await trial and Detective Jones wasn’t going to make his wait comfortable or easy.
“Lucy, I know this is painful and confusing, but it’s over. Kenny will never hurt you again. I talked to Kenny and I thought you might want to listen to his recording,” Detective Jones said.
Luke held her hand and she stared at the ground as Kenny’s voice played softly in the background.
“I know you’re all wondering why I did what I did, but you don’t know what it’s like to be close enough to touch Lucy, but at the same time knowing you’ll never have her…not the way Luke does, or the way Liam did at a time. I was never enough for her and I never will be. She’s unlike any other woman in this world. I wake up seeing her face and I fall asleep smelling her sweet perfume, which lingers all night long. It physically hurts me. Everyone has their obsessions and weaknesses…she’s mine. I’m a mad man, Detective Jones. There’s no reason I could give you that is black and white, or that would satisfy Lucy’s troubled mind. She just needs to know that I love her and I always will. I’ve always been crazy, but I was a different person when I was with her. She was my addiction and I’ll never recover. Lucy, if you hear this…I don’t need you to forgive me and I am okay with you hating me. I’m sorry, but I don’t want you to forget our memories and who we were. I was never faking it or pretending with you. It was real. I always cared about you, I always had your back, and I was always your friend.” Kenny’s recording ended and Luke was speechless, as was Lucy.
“Kenny is right, Lucy. He’s mad. He’s mentally unstable and there will never be a response that satisfies you and your tangled mind, but you have to be able to move forward,” Detective Jones told her. She nodded but her eyes were distant.
Luke took his love home and she went into the nursery to hold her son. Her mom didn’t know what to say, but she knew her daughter was in immense pain. Lucy sat up all night thinking and crying. She looked out the window at the night sky, while Kenny sat in a cell, staring at concrete. It was all over and yet, it felt as though it was just the beginning. She wanted to call Kenny and tell him she needed him, but then she remembered he was Omisha. He was the reason for her pain. Kenny was dead. Omisha was the only one who existed from that moment on. She looked over at Luke who was fast asleep and she thought about her beautiful, baby boy who was sleeping in the room next to her. She was happy and her life was more than she could’ve ever asked or wished for, but she had no idea when she would feel okay again. Luke woke up and pulled her back into the bed. He kissed her entire body and held her closely, whispering in her ear how much he loved her. She held his face in her soft hands and kissed him, seductively. He was her entire world.
A blinding sun slipped through the curtains and warmed Lucy’s bare skin. She was tangled up in a sheet next to Luke. She kissed his cheek and slipped out of bed, wrapped in just a sheet. She sat in the nursery holding her son closely to her heart. He looked into her eyes and she smiled at him. Luke wandered into the room and sat down next to his family. In that room everything was perfect and simple. Luke surprised Lucy with a trip to the mountains and they were leaving that night.
Lucy packed a suitcase and a bag of essentials for Caleb, while listening to country music. She sang along to a love ballot and danced around her bedroom, feeling her feet touch the cold hardwood floor. As she was pulling pajamas out of a drawer she found a note. She swallowed hard. She knew that perfect handwriting anywhere. She had no idea how Kenny managed to get a letter to her, because he was seconds away from trial, but she wasn’t questioning it. Luke called up to his wife; it was time to leave for their vacation. She sat down on the bed and yelled down, “One minute baby”. She opened the letter and took a deep breath. She smelled Afternoon Rain and wanted to cry, but she held back the tears. She bit down on her ruby red lips and read.
I needed to write to you one last time, because I’ll never see you again. I’m looking at a dark and lonely road ahead of me, but I’m not worried about myself. The game is over, but it was fun while it lasted. I know I broke your heart, but you’re going to be okay. Remember, you’re the strongest woman I’ve ever known and no one will ever take that away from you. Omisha couldn’t even take away your bravery and strength. I did some sick, messed up bullshit to you and all of it was wrong. I’m mentally ill, Lucy. I always was, but with you I was able to experience love, passion, and happiness, although it meant something different to me than it did to you. I deserve where I’ve ended up, but as long as you’re safe and happy that’s all that matters. I hope you have the most beautiful life with Luke and Caleb, and don’t worry, I’ll never wear Afternoon Rain for anyone else. I love you, pretty girl. I’m your shadow and I’ll never leave you.”
Lucy wiped a tear away and stood up, letting her baby blue maxi dress collect on the floor. She draped her wavy hair behind her shoulders and tucked the letter away. She left with her family and tried to distract her mind. Meanwhile, Kenny was sent far away, to a facility for the criminally insane. He looked out the window of a dank and depressing holding area and smiled, thinking about Lucy. He heard her laugh and tasted her lips, but then he realized he’d never hear, feel, or see her again. She was gone. He lost her. He screamed and bashed his head into the cement wall; security guards ran in and sedated him.
Five years had passed since Kenny’s confession, and Lucy was still happily married to Luke, Caleb was five and his mother was his whole planet, and she was pregnant with a baby girl. She stood in the same kitchen, looking just as good as she did five years earlier, cooking a delicious breakfast for her family; Luke leaned her up against the refrigerator and kissed her. She walked out onto the back porch to let their new puppy outside, but something stopped her dead in her tracks. She made a face and her eyes widened. She smelled Afternoon Rain…