"I killed her."
"Yeah, I know. And you can't get over it."
"Well, would you?"
"Maybe I wouldn't talk about it so much."
He sighs and adopts the 'why-do-you-do-this-to-me' face that he's perfected in my honor. "You don't understand."
"No," I stand up and walk into the kitchen to poor myself a drink, "But I'm not going to go out and murder my girlfriend to find your deep inner pain."
"Ex-girlfriend," he reminds me with a serious nod, "And could you pour a drink for me, too?"
I should have figured. He only drinks Scotch. And bourbon. Although I think they're the same thing. He thinks it makes him look 'sophisticated'. Too bad for him, he drinks quickly, so it just makes him look like a wannabe drunk, which is sadder than a real drunk. Much, much sadder.
But I get it for him anyway, and pour myself a glass of wine. He thanks me as I hand him his drink and sit back down on the couch. It's silent for a long time before I ask, "So. Can you sleep at night?"
"I wouldn't think so."
He leaned against my shoulder. It was something he did when we were in high-school. I used to think it was cute, like a little puppy longing for attention. I knew now that he longed for attention that no one could really give him, and still does.
"Maggie. I miss Lindsay."
"Well then, you probably shouldn't have killed her."
Again, he sighs. He stands up and looks around my apartment. I notice that there's still blood under his fingernails. How long ago did he kill Lindsay? A week? That's a damn long time to keep someone's blood under your nails.
"Maybe not," he mutters. He doesn't seem at all bothered by the fact that there's blood on his hands.
"Are you going to finish your drink or just leave it on my nice leather couch where it could possibly spill over?"
"Maggie, knowing you, you probably have every piece of furniture in this house insured."
"Everything but my couch. And knowing you, Tristan, you're going to come right back over here and take your drink."
With a small laugh, he does. We can read each other like an old couple. It scares me sometimes.
"Tell me…" He sits down in front of my record collection and begins to flip though the Pop section. I label everything I can. Having my music divided into sections keeps me a little bit saner. "Why did I kill her?"
"What do you mean? You killed her because you have the impulse control of a five-year-old."
"No," he snapped, getting annoyed at me, "I mean, why did I kill her, and not Dawn?"
"Because you have the impulse control of a five-year-old."
"Shouldn't I have killed the woman that she left me for?"
"I don't know. I think that you're a little bit caught up on the fact that Lindsay dumped you for another woman, when you should be caught up on the fact that you killed her."
"Right. And I was so dumb about where I hid her body!" He sighs deeply and shakes his head morosely. "I really don't think things over."
I sit down next to him and put my arms around his shoulders. He's shaking, but what can I expect? "Relax. The junkies who find her will probably just search her pockets."
"Shit!" He jumps up and pushes me away, "They'll search her pockets!"
"Well, what can you do about it? It's not like you can go back there. I mean, the police will probably expecting you. And what's so special about her pockets anyway?"
"I didn't take her ID out. She's still got her driver's license and everything!"
"So what? Has she showed up on the news yet?"
"Then you have nothing to worry about."
I go into the bathroom and find the pills that the doctors gave me when I broke my ankle. I never took any, but I was told that they'd make me drowsy, so I kept them in case I ever really, really needed to get to sleep.
"Take this," I say when I go back into the living room. "But not with another Scotch."
"Right." So he goes into the kitchen and gets himself a small glass of milk, and takes the pill. The effects aren't immediate, but after fifteen minutes he sits down on the couch and begins to nod off. He looks a little bit like the heroin addict that hangs around my apartment.
I feel bad for Tristan. I always knew that there was something wrong with him. Back in school he didn't have many friends. It came as a shock to anyone who knew anything about him that he was, in fact, dating Lindsay Greenfield.
Lindsay was a cheerleader with some kind of future ahead of her, I guess. She wasn't bulimic. Or anorexic. Or anything that's usually associated with cheerleaders. She had long, pale blonde hair that always looked like it needed cutting, and a pretty face that was scarred along the jaw-line by acne.
But she was still in a high rank of social status. It was always like that. I guess she didn't think that she was ever going to get another boy. Tristan was never anyone's first pick.
Too bad for Lindsay, she didn't do background checks of the boys she dated. Poor trusting Lindsay forgot to see that Tristan was what is cheerfully known as 'obsessive'. And honestly known as 'a stalker'.
And too bad for suspicious Tristan, Lindsay didn't love him anyway. And she was a lesbian.
But the final 'tough cookies' was again on Lindsay. If she really had done a background check (which would have been offensive, but probably would have saved her a world of trouble and potentially her life), she could have found out how Tristan took rejection. Which is, in a word or two, like a psychopath.
And yet… Sleeping on the couch with a small smile, Tristan doesn't look so bad. If you don't focus on the blood under his abnormally long nails, or the frown lines on his brow, he was just your average early thirties low white-collar worker.
Of course, every great murderer looks like that. And so does every rapist. So who can you trust?
Who the hell knows?