She said, “I bought a gun today."
She took it out of her purse. “It’s loaded.”
There was a long pause. “Nina?” he said softly. He was scared. She shook as she held the revolver, a modified starter’s pistol.
“Aren’t you even going to ask me why I bought the gun?” she said.
“Why did you buy the gun?” He knew why she bought the gun.
“You’re going to laugh. I thought we could both kill ourselves.” She tried to laugh, but it came out awkward and scared them both. “It would be so romantic.”
“Here,” she said, “you go first.”
“You have to take it Richard. You have to. It’s for us.”
“Yes, you can! I know you can. Take it. Take it.” She passed the gun to him and he felt the weight of it in his hand.
“Nina? Please, why are you doing this?”
“Richard, do this for me. I promise to kill myself after you do, so we can be together. Forever.”
All the blood drained out of his face after she said this. He knew she wouldn't go through with it.
“What are you waiting for?” she said. “Do it. Do it, Richard, do it now!”
Richard started to tear up. He tried raising the gun.
“Put it to your temple. That’s right. Higher.”
"Why are you so angry?"
"I'm not angry, baby, I just want us to be happy."
He couldn’t raise his arms above his shoulders.
“Richard! You have to do this. Try again. Point it away from me.”
He tried again and held the gun up to his head.
“Just pull the trigger, baby. I love you so much. It’ll be over so quick. We’re going to be so happy,” she said. "So happy. Forever."
Tears ran down his face, and she was crying too, kind of.
“I can’t,” he cried.
“Yes, you can, you’re just not trying hard enough” she spoke soft and sweetly. “It’s so easy. You just pull the trigger. Pull the trigger!” She was yelling now.
"Hurry up and shoot yourself! You big baby!"
“Do you want me to do it for you?”
He shook his head.
"Give me the gun," she said.
“No!” He was breathing heavy, sweating and shaking and then he collapsed completely and put the gun down in the middle of the floor. She took the gun from him.
“Oh! You can’t do anything right! Can you?” She was furious. “You’re pathetic! You ruined everything. Everyone at my school knows what you did to me! How am I ever going to be a supermodel now?”
She raised the gun toward him.
She wanted to put all six bullets into him but couldn’t. She dropped the gun down on a side table and ran downstairs. She cried on the Barcelona chair. Chad, too, was downstairs. He held a jug filled with gasoline. He asked Nina if he should shoot Richard. She said, “Why bother now.”
Chad said he could do it, he was sure he could do it.
Richard composed himself as he sat in his favourite Charles and Ray Eames Executive Chair. He looked around the room at all his books on architecture. He read the spines. He could hear Nina talking to Chad downstairs. He heard her say, “It’d be the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. I love you Chad. I can’t wait till we can be together.”
Richard looked up at the gun. It was facing him. He could count the bullets in the chamber as it sat on its side on top of the table. He took a breath and then walked over to the gun to pick it up.
He did so in entirely the wrong way by putting his thumb on the trigger and clasping his fingers around the grip. The hammer cocked and fired a round into Richard’s stomach. He started to bleed profusely.
"I need a Band-Aid, Nina, I need a Band-Aid.” He ran to the hall washroom and quickly opened the medicine cabinet to find the biggest Band-Aid he could find. He still had the gun in his hand.
“I need a goddamn Band-Aid!!!”
Nina and Chad ran up the stairs and when Nina saw Richard, she screamed, and Chad stood mouth agape. Richard caught their expression of horror, and he closed the cabinet. In the mirror he saw a large pool of blood on his shirt with a dark red, almost black circle where he had shot himself in the stomach. All the blood had drained from his face.
When Richard saw himself in the mirror, he dropped the gun. It hit the sink and bounced. He tried to catch it before it hit the concrete floor. He didn’t, the gun fired, and sent a round through his jaw and through his brain.
He died instantly.
Nina screamed. She was covered in blood.
She ran down the stairs, and Chad watched on, mouth open, like a fool.
The house is in flames and firefighters battle the blaze.
Back to the beginning, if you wish