There were others before Johnny: Steven and Carl and Ray and Elliot and Matt and Liam and Sam. At the time I thought I had loved them, too. But looking back now, I realize that they were just typical guys, selfish and unappreciative. They just wanted to use me and then forget about me. But I wasn’t about to let them mistreat me like that. That’s why they put out restraining orders on me. They weren’t used to dealing with women with a sense of self-respect. That’s why they told their lies about me: unstable, psychotic, manipulative.
That’s part of why I moved out. Not just to get away from all those terrible lies people were whispering about me, but to clear my head and to get a change of pace. Of course, it was only after I was on the first bus out of town that I realized I had nowhere to go. I eventually settled on a Super 8 in the smallest, most out of the way town I could find.
I was buying groceries to stock the mini-fridge in my motel room when I met Johnny. He was packing milk into flimsy plastic bags. He was tanned and well-muscled and he looked sexy with a nametag and collared shirt. He offered to buy me a drink. It was the first time someone who wasn’t related to me had offered to do so.
The bar was small and cramped and smelled like vinegar. He had a beer and I had a rum and coke. We talked about each other. Was I new in town? Where was I staying? He had just come out of a relationship. I said I was sorry, but I really wasn’t. I knew already that we would spend the rest of our lives together. His ex-girlfriend was named Teresa. I didn’t tell him about any of my ex’s. Doctor said that moving on was part of the “healing process”. He gave me these pills. Said they would make me better. I don’t need to be made better. All I need is my Johnny.
Doctor was always full of shit like that.
I drank until I blacked out. When I woke up, I was at his place. I lay in bed and listened to him shower. He seemed to be taking forever, so I decided to look around my future husband’s apartment. It was small, cramped, and cluttered. There was a T.V. in the corner, and piles of books and clothes everywhere. The whole place smelled like him.
There was a laptop computer sitting on top of a coffee table. It was turned on, so I browsed through his social-networking profile. So many pictures of exciting things! I’ve never done anything exciting. Unless you count burning down a middle school and animal torture and intensive psychiatric care exciting. But Johnny, he’d been skydiving and surfing and skiing. I have to admit, for a moment I was jealous. How dare he do things without me when he knew we were meant to do everything together? The more I thought about it, the more I got angry. Then I took one of my pills, and I just felt happy. I went through his friend list and blocked all his female contacts. He planned on doing it anyway. Now that he has me, he doesn’t need them. I was just doing it for him. He’s so lucky he has me looking out for him. I don’t know what he would do without me.
It was three days later, after I had moved out of the motel and into his apartment, when his cat got sick. I always hated that cat. Staring at me with its greasy yellow eyes, whispering bad things about me when I tried to sleep. When the cat got sick, Johnny spent all of his time ferrying the cat back and forth from the vet clinic and warming saucers of milk to feed to his precious. I thought I was the love of his life, not some dirty animal. The way I see it, the only pussy in his life should be mine.
Johnny’s boss phoned him: they needed someone to come in right away. I told him I’d look after the cat while he was gone. I took the last of my pills and dissolved them in milk. Foam poured from its mouth, its body flailing in wild spasms. Every time its head thudded into the floor, my heart thudded a little louder. It had been a while since I’d watched something die. Johnny was heartbroken. But we always have to suffer for something we love. Right?
The other night I saw Mr. Bunny. It’s always nice to see an old friend. Doctor tried to tell me that Mr. Bunny was bad, that he made me do bad things. But Mr. Bunny is my good bunny. He looks after me. He told me that killing John’s cat was bad. He told me I had to be punished. I tried to hide the cuts from Johnny, but he found out anyways and got scared. He wanted to know why such a sweet, innocent girl would want to hurt herself.
I’m in grade seven, and blood is trickling down my wrist and onto my desk.
“Ms. Jones,” says the teacher in a shocked voice. “You’re bleeding.” Ten months later, I would be back in the same classroom, only this time I would be coating the floor in gasoline.
I confessed to Johnny that I’d killed his cat, that I’d deleted his friends on Facebook. That I’d told his Momma he didn’t want to see her anymore. That I’d slashed his tires so he couldn’t go to work and had to stay home and love me. I told him I did everything for him. I asked him to marry me. He said bad things about me and yelled at me with mean words. He threatened to kill call the police.
I’m in grade twelve. It’s prom night. I’m late and Elliot is waiting for me at the dance. A cop pulls me over for speeding. I show the police officer my breasts and tell him that we can work it out right here and now. He follows me into a dark alleyway where Mr. Bunny bludgeons him to death with a tire-iron. Mr. Bunny looks after me. He’s a good bunny.
I started to cry. Johnny started to dial 9-11. It’s not fair for me to have to go back to the hospital. There’s nothing wrong with me; all I ever did was give him all my love. Why should I be punished for that? If Johnny had cared about me, he wouldn’t have been so mean. Instead, he was just like the others. He wanted to abuse my love for his own perverted selfishness. If I let him get away with that, I’d be almost as bad as he was.
The police showed up, and I told them that Johnny started hitting me and that I acted in self-defense. My story checks out. The neighbors heard him yelling and me crying, and Mr. Bunny had even made sure that I looked beat up, after he was done taking care of Johnny. Even if they had suspected me, I would have gotten away with it. I’m a very good liar. Doctor called it a symptom. I call it a talent.
Doctor was always full of shit like that.