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  • Kyle Tabone Betts

Jaundiced Love

hand print on wet glass

Living in a penthouse, specifically my penthouse, comes with one major perk: a terrace of the same length as my bachelor’s pad and a breadth that is its inferior by a couple of unfortunate feet, the latter having found themselves on the mundane inside rather than the thrilling outside. And it is on this terrace that every night I sit with my one and only companion, the one who would never, ever disappoint me.

The one who never argues. The one who never judges. The one who understands. The one with whom I can be myself.

My Johnnie.

For two whole hours, from nine to eleven of the night, I sit in the terrace with beloved Johnnie. And for two whole hours I converse with him, two hours during which I espy the beau across the street, the hunk whose custom it is to shower in exhibitionist fashion after a long session at the gym. He is the embodiment of perfection, a chiseled work of art only a master like Michelangelo could have sculpted. I look as he lathers and rinses, as his fingers glide smoothly over carved muscle and through chestnut hair, his hazel eyes closed while his upturned face rejoices in the rainfall shower I helped him install, the succulent plant on his windowsill strategically placed so as to make it impossible to catch even a glimpse of his perfectly groomed mons pubis and what lay below.

But tonight … tonight Johnnie had all the makings of a jealous lover. Tonight, he came on to me stronger than ever. Tonight, he did not control his frolicking, and it took less than five minutes for the tingling sensation my body had by now become accustomed to to spill into arousal and from arousal into delirium. With a pounding heart and a blinded mind, I walked out of my door without as much as a farewell to dear Johnnie. I left him in the terrace, speechless and motionless, a shocked voyeur of what was yet to come.

Less than three minutes later, I was in front of David’s apartment. I let myself in, using the very same key he had given me after moving in, and made my way to the bathroom, where his eyes were still closed in a head still tilted upwards as he rinsed his all-in-one shower gel off his sculpted body.

My furtive canter to the shower came at an end the exact same time David turned towards the bathroom door with his eyes still closed. Slowly, carefully, I raised my hand until it was level with his beautiful, rugged face and brought it down in one, swift motion, the expensive knife I had stopped to get from his cheap kitchen plunging all the way to the hilt in his neck, severing his aorta on its way to his esophagus. Surprised beyond any reasonable doubt, David opened his eyes, his pupils wide in their silent, single-worded question: why?

He was dead before his body crumbled to the tiles of his curbless walk-in shower.

Leaving the knife plunged in his body, I wiped my fingerprints off and walked back out of the apartment, locking it behind me and breaking the lock from the outside with the hammer I retrieved from his toolbox in the small alcove next to the kitchen, the one I had implored him to turn into a small library rather than the disorganized and chaotic space for junk he would never use that it was today. Then again, books weren’t something he would have used anyway.

I walked back to my penthouse, my murderous arousal having finally abated, and sat myself back in my wicker armchair in the terrace, where I poured another generous measure of Johnnie’s finest blue and awaited Katherine’s arrival at the murder scene, the hot brunette David used to fuck right in front of my eyes in his bedroom, an almost nightly performance given through an uncurtained, clear-glass balcony door as my brother passed the final hours of the day with my childhood crush on the same bed he had bought with money I lent him and he never returned, the closed glass door silencing her screams while failing to cover her quivering body.

But tonight … tonight Katherine would experience a different kind of emotion. She would still scream. Her body would still quiver. But it would be for a different reason. And tomorrow I would console her, after which I would finally be free to have her to myself, my one and only competitor having finally been defeated, my jaundiced love having finally been righted.


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