The sun bangs through. Man in picture.

I wake and I’m blank. I’m alone. I understand that’s wrong, but it’s all I know.

I’m hanging over the opposite side of the bed I sleep on. There’s a tiny smear of blood on the bed skirt. I dab at it. It’s dry. Not sure what I expected.

Have I seen the last of Shirley?

Nope. The bathroom door clicks and she’s in front of me in my robe. Beaming with self satisfaction, she holds aloft a platter of steaming pastries. There is fruit and juice. Her cleavage strains against the robe. Sun bangs through the window and it’s warm. She feeds me pastries from the platter but I can’t taste them and I’m thirsty. I grab for the fruit but it’s dry on my tongue. I gulp juice but it’s air.

Blood begins to leak from her eyes. She screams.

I’m awake, still wearing this beautiful watch.

Here it comes. All of it. She’s gone.

I gotta piss like a racehorse and I’m shaking as it sinks in.

The mirror above the sink confuses me because I mistake it for blood. It’s lipstick and the message is incomplete. My name and a declaration that Shirley had a lovely time, then a smear that trails to the bottom of the mirror and her lipstick is in the sink along with the clear plastic cap.

I must have gone down after the blowjob. There’s no condoms, my junk isn’t sticky and there’s orange lipstick on it.

He killed her right there and then.

Right after a righteous hoovering. She went to freshen up and maybe spit?

There’s blood, viscera and hair in the shower. Blond hair. His knife is there too. Batteries not in the wastebin.

Let housekeeping wash the sheets, I won’t ditch the bed skirt. Absence being more conspicuous than a smear of blood I figure. We’ll see.

Carlo hammers at my door, calling my name.

Man I’m in trouble.

“How bad is it?”, he says when I open the door. He looks like he hasn’t slept, pale.

I wonder how he got on the boat.

Mr. Tarcisi probably boards airplanes at will.

I wonder how he knows.

I tell him what I know, and what I think I know.

He folds his hands and rests his forearms on his knees, looks up at me from the corner of the bed. The watch he wears is identical to the one he gave me.

He bows his head, then comes up with a grimace. He goes to the closet and pulls out a plastic bag for shoes to be shined. He doesn’t look at me as he collects the evidence, the bloody viscera, lipstick, knife and hair into the bag. He hands it to me and tells me to lose it while indicating the balcony with a nod of his head.

I’m outside and it’s chilly, I look both ways before letting it drop. I wait for it to hit the water, it seems too loud.

I slide the door shut behind me and he’s back in the bathroom methodically cleaning the mirror with toilet paper wrapped around his open hand. His hat is off, he sweats.

Holdiing up a finger he disappears out the door. Just as quickly he’s back with paper towels and a spray bottle of blue liquid he’s lifted from a cleaning cart. I soon understand that lipstick is very greasy. The blue liquid is a minor miracle. I’m able to make short work of everything.

I can’t help it. I sob. I choke. It’s overwhelming. I dry heave into the tiny sink. I’m a mess.

When I’m finished he’s behind me in the mirror with a sympathetic chagrin. “Shower, but be quick. We need to get you out of here.”

I’ve no idea where to go from here. This is all way too much. A woman has been murdered. An innocent woman. She was nice and she smelled good.

She suffered a violent dissection with a a dual D-cell powered, serrated knife. Not fair. It’s not fair and I’m in the middle of it. It’s entirely my fault.

I knew what would happen. I knew it absolutely. I fucking saw it.

I’ve just dropped evidence into the ocean.

Mr. Tarcisi hands me a towel. He is anxious for us to leave.

Before we leave the boat, we stop for eggs, coffee and a muffin with butter and jam, I insist.

By the time we’re in his car his impatience is obvious. Fuck me. Fuck him.

“I need to take you to my home for a bit”, says Carlo through a smile and a brown cigarette.

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