A/N: First, the idea for this fic was stemmed from realynn8's story Sometimes Goodbye is a Second Chance. You do need to read that story before reading this. If not, then this story will sound really random and obscure to you. If you're fine with that, then by all means, go ahead. :) To Realynn: thank you for letting me continue on from that little part! Thank you for being patient, and for your constant encouragement! This was written during the summer but could not be posted after Realynn had finished her story first. So I just let it sit there and stew. xD
And therefore my disclaimer. The characters belong to Stephenie Meyer, and the original storyline to realynn8, although the ideas mentioned in this story is mine.
Finally, I have not put in who the narrator is, although you SGIASC readers will probably know right away. That is intended. She will reveal herself later on in the story.
Enjoy, everybody! I hope you like my twisted, psychopathic cruelty. xD
I had barely been eighteen when I was employed at the office. I was going to college next fall. I couldn't wait.
I met Maria on the first day. She my age, friendly, welcoming, and she trained me according to procedure.
She was also quick to offer her opinions on fellow workers. She would blather about each one, but she seemed to have a special dislike for one of them, a certain Alice Brandon. I never understood why.
However, as useful as Maria was, I never took to her. There was something at the same time that annoyed me. Yet I kept silent about it, and responded only if it meant she would be satisfied and shut up.
Ever since day one, I was supposedly there for her, every step of the way. As Maria told increasingly wanton stories about this new man named Jasper, I was there to encourage her and tell her that he was quite a catch. He must have been good to make her lust after him that badly…
But I was wrong. I had never been more wrong in my life. Good was almost an insult, the way he looked and behaved.
That first time…
Holy… he must have been a sun god. I had never seen hair as magnificent as his—honey, with streaks as golden as the fiery star.
I was afraid to describe his face, for fear I would accidentally degrade it with a term that couldn't compare. His body was pretty much the same way. I liked them lean, not too bulky, but not too lanky either.
Was there even a word to describe the way he looked? Handsome, ravishing, exotic… none of them seemed to make the cut.
Even after that first day, and even the first month, I still could not get used to him. I started having fantasies about him, fantasies so vivid they would make even Maria proud and her wild tales pale in comparison. And every day he would continue to tempt me as he picked up his girlfriend Alice. However, I could see the doubt clouding in her eyes.
Maria had obviously made her move. But she couldn't, wouldn't, get what she wanted.
I was there when she started putting the Alice girl down—not with words but with facial expressions.
Little did she know, my innocent, curious exterior was nothing more than a pretense. I had played my role as the gossiping, supportive coworker well. She knew nothing, nor did she suspect in the slightest the passion that had been evoked in me.
I was sure everything Maria had said about Jasper's feelings for her was complete poppycock. I could see the quick flicker of annoyance in his eyes every time she approached him, and his gentlemanly letdowns. Unfortunately, she noticed none of that, so hard was she trying to flirt with him.
I was there when the doctors took her away.
It wasn't until five years later did I decide to do anything about this lust. After much thought, the plan was formulated in my mind.
After a month of hard work, I had finally managed to track down the mental institution in Mexico that Maria belonged in. I made plans to "vacation" there. In a way, it was. Although nobody in his right mind would want to come here for pure enjoyment.
In this dreary, dreary town, this place that so resembled an asylum was obviously not very well maintained. I hadn't even needed to sneak in. I went incognito as another patient's visitor. After the pestering receptionist smiled and told me the room number, I took advantage of my freedom to lurk around. The workers here weren't even watchful. Therefore, it was exceptionally easy to find Maria's room. This place defied everything a hospital was—swiftness of workers, efficiency, and the like.
I observed my ex-coworker. For days and days and days. I found out that she went outside every day at nine, after she had woken up. She was always accompanied by the same nurse—Nurse Valencia Núñez, in fact. I also knew that six p.m. was when she had her shower. There was always an attendant outside—ready to aid Maria should she need the help, and also to interfere should the former endanger herself.
I had seen and heard everything. During her walks, she would always rant to the nurse about her beloved Jasper, saying how one day he would come visit her and take her home. I also understood from her other statements that she was implying she would escape and find Jasper, if he didn't come to her first. I could not let that happen.
Although there were visiting hours, just like every other hospital, they weren't very strict on enforcing those rules. All they did was to tell people to leave. For example, they didn't think to check the restrooms to make sure there weren't stowaways.
However, an astute planner must take all precautions to make sure her plan was foolproof. Therefore, I had a second solution: the locks were nothing a skeleton key couldn't take care of, and I had secretly tested that out for myself. None of the unobservant workers ever saw anything.
There were days I knew I was stalling. I had been visiting the hospital every day for a month now, and I still hadn't killed her. Was I more incapable of killing than I had thought? No. I couldn't be. I had wanted this, wanted him, hadn't I? Therefore, I could do it. She wouldn't be the only victim either. Oh no. She was just practice for the tougher, more precious target.
No matter. Enough waiting. I would kill her tomorrow. Satisfied, I went to bed that night and had a very graphic, intense dream in which he starred. He was as good as mine.
It was late afternoon when I left my motel. With a basket of food, I was the epitome of a kindhearted, caring visitor.
"Hello, Lacey," the simple-minded receptionist greeted me. "Visiting Katerina again? I see you have your own food there. She'll love that; that's so sweet of you." I smiled and nodded insincerely. I was on a mission. Little did the woman know I had only been with the invalid, Katerina, for a day. I had wasted that entire time assuring and trying to convince Katerina that I was a close cousin she had forgotten. When I left, the baffled woman had had a headache from trying so hard to dig through nonexistent memories of me. I was glad to know that I was still able to feel slight remorse for that.
Maria's room was located on the second floor, and far from sight from the receptionist there as well as the nurses' station. They were all too busy gossiping to notice as I slipped past them. I rounded the corner and traversed the hallway, all the way to the end. That was good. Privacy was good. Interruptions were not. This had to be done tonight.
Her door was partially ajar. I peeked into the rather large crack and saw Maria fingering her flowers she had picked earlier. I knocked and went in.
"Yes?" she asked, not looking up.
Physically, she looked well, but peering into her eyes, I saw her feverish fervor, so intense that it was bordering insanity.
"Oh, Jasper," she sighed in revelation. "It's really you. Have you finally come back to me? I'm afraid to look up. I'm afraid that if I do you'll dissolve and that it was all a dream. Look, I have flowers for you!" At that, she looked up and instantaneously scowled.
I rolled my eyes. Even though she was mentally ill, my pity was short-lived. I had never been a very patient person. And plus… anyone who made it so blatantly known that she wanted him could not live.
"Hello, Maria. I haven't seen you in a long, long time." My voice was laced with sinister promises.
"You're not Jasper. I don't want you here!" I chuckled at how much she sounded like a petulant five-year-old.
"No, I'm not," I agreed, "I am Nettie. Do you remember me? You used to talk to me about Jasper all the time, remember?"
She frowned a little. "That is true. I used to tell someone about Jasper. You are she?"
I nodded. "I am."
"Have you come to bring Jasper to me? Do you have news about him? Did he send you here?" Her hopes couldn't be killed, could they?
"I have a lot to tell you," I lied. "You've been telling me many things about him in the past; now it's my turn."
She smiled, and to me she looked more insane than ever. Even I was a little frightened during that moment.
"Good. I need to hear about him. He hasn't talked to me in so long. I know he didn't mean it when he told me to get out of his life."
"Here, I have food," I said smoothly. "We'll talk about him over a nice dinner. How does that sound? It'll be like a catching-up-over-the-years dinner."
She was impatient now. "I don't care what we do, I just want to hear about him!"
"Okay," I acquiesced. "Would you care for some wine? To set the mood, you know."
"Oh, go ahead, it's been so long since I last had any." She was amiable again.
I poured the golden liquid into two wineglasses and handed her one. She took a small sip and tried to hide how difficult it was for her to swallow. It probably stung and burned her throat, but I wouldn't know. I didn't plan on finding out either.
"What is this? It tastes quite… exquisite. Nowhere near anything I've tried before. Yet it smells so… familiar. Rather strong."
Of course you haven't tried it before, I thought to myself grimly. It's far from wine. This is Jasper's cologne. I dimpled and told her, "This is quite aged, you know. It's been in my family for almost two centuries." She took another sip.
"Oh, I'm getting quite used to it now. I can taste the essence of it underneath." I hoped she was lying, because there was no way cologne could taste anything like wine. Either that, or she was truly delirious. Maybe she did belong here for reasons more than just obsession.
I had made the simplest Italian dish I could: armoniche pasta with tomato cream sauce. In her dish, I had cleverly hidden a small barb—one so small she would not be able to feel it even if she bit on it.
The barb was coated with curare. After she swallowed, the barb would inevitably hook onto the walls of her esophagus, or wherever, and the poison would spread…
"That looks great," Maria commented, sounding like a normal, sane person for once. I handed her the plate, along with a fork. She took a tentative bite at first—this hesitation was offensive—but then shoved the whole forkful into her mouth with vigor. I wondered which bite would be the one with the barb.
"So, tell me about my love," she said after swallowing. Although she had lost her mind, I was glad she still retained her table manners.
"Well, last time I saw him, he was living all alone, close to a secluded forest." I held up Jasper's debut bestseller. "Did you ever read this?"
Her eyes widened as she saw the name of the author. "N-no," she gasped. "What is it about?"
"Oh, it's about your lives. He was very happy with you before you were taken away to the hospital. After you were gone, he became so depressed that he committed suicide." My twisted lies were approved by my sadistic side. It was worth it, seeing her face as she reacted to all this.
"I knew he loved me best!" she cried gaily. "But why, why hasn't he come for me yet?" It was alarming how quickly she was able to change her tone of voice, from childish happiness to the darkest gloom.
"He had matters to take care of." No need to tell her that the pestilential Alice had reentered his life.
"Oh. And he'll come back for me?"
"How do you know all this?"
"We are acquaintances." It was going to be a train of lies from now on.
Her eyes narrowed suspiciously. "Why are you keeping in touch with him?"
I was unfazed by her unspoken accusation. "Everybody in the world wouldn't mind making a new friend or two." She was wrong, though, and I was lying. I hadn't been keeping in touch with him—I was secretly spying on him.
I had never been afraid of Maria—or even seen her as capable competition. Although she was pretty, I was beautiful. There was no way Jasper would choose a brunette over me.
As for that other weak bitch… the one who stormed back into his life… she was going to get kicked out as soon as she had that baby. What man would accept a baby who wasn't his?
We lapsed into silence. Maria continued to consume her pasta. When she finished, she took another sip of what she believed was wine. The entire time, I was forcing myself to keep my face composed.
"Oh—oh—it's getting a little hard to breathe, and I'm getting a bit drowsy… it must be the food…"
I wondered when she had swallowed the barb, where exactly it had hooked onto, and where the poison had spread to right now.
"Yes, it must be," I said, smiling sincerely this time. Let her interpret that however she wanted to… it wouldn't matter anyway because in less than ten minutes she would unknowingly surrender her life. She simply believed she was falling into a comfortable slumber.
Oh, curare. Only a very minimal amount had been needed to do the task. It was a muscle relaxant that caused her respiratory muscles to stop working and would soon lead to asphyxiation.
I watched her slowly, agonizingly lose consciousness as air was increasingly unable to be drawn into her lungs.
Finally, I took out the elegantly shaped bottle of Jasper's cologne.
"And now, the finishing touch." I sprayed it on her wrists, her neck, and finally, on her eyelids. The last was a spontaneous decision. May her soul be forever haunted by this scent in her afterlife.
As I was leaving, I met Nurse Núñez on the way out.
I smiled at her. "Good afternoon, isn't it, Nurse?"
"Indeed," she responded in a homely tone. "Enjoy your visit here?"
"Oh yes. It was the best." I flashed my teeth at her.
As I left the grounds of the institution, I released the laughter I had been holding in for a long time. It was full of joy, but it was not beautiful. It sounded rough, heinous, and… marginally insane. I loved it.
It had been so long ago, those days when I had worked at the office. No one would remember me. Jasper had never seen me before. I was going to discard my old life and start anew with Jasper. A new identity. A new person.
It was my mission—had been for a long time now—to eliminate everybody who was staking a claim on Jasper. No one, not even the pretty girlfriend, would be able to stop me.
You made me like this. You were your own destruction. I am not sorry for killing you, Maria.
Because you see, Jasper will be mine.
A/N: I honestly did not think of this idea when I first got the inspiration to write this. Nowhere near this, in fact. I had been planning to exterminate Maria once and for all and end everybody's troubles, not start a chain. So by all means, feel free to kill Nettie however you choose… whether in a review or in your own creative fic. I'm sure you all have more creative ideas. ;)