"Do you know what it's like to kill someone?"
It was a strange yet innocent question, like asking someone what they thought would happen when they died. It was a decent conversation starter, especially if you liked the kind of answers that made you rethink life. These kinds of questions were an easy way of spicing up a conversation.
Will people answer them? Yes. And most will do it truthfully.
Maybe even too truthfully.
Mia Evers was born into a rich and well known family. She lived in the finest house in the county, and had servants that worked inside of the Evers manor. She got everything she asked for, and went on exotic vacations all over the world during school breaks.
She attended public school, though her parents didn't particularly think it was a wise decision. She had top grades, was great in everything she tried, and even skipped a grade. Though she was spoiled often by her parents and could easily brag about her life, she never did. She was gentle, compassionate, and was respected by everyone in school. The boys wanted to date her, the girls longed to be like her, and the teachers often praised her for outstanding leadership.
No one could understand why she chose me to be her best friend.
I was Aster Green, bookworm, total nerd, and the lowest rank on the popularity (and respect) pyramids here at Goldstein Middle School. I had straight inky black hair that fell to about the middle of my back. My eyes were a pale blue, and hidden behind a pair of rectangular glasses. My normal looking teeth were trapped in a full set of braces, and I usually wore plain clothing. I didn't worry about fashion or anything else everyone supposedly cared about; no, I kept myself in my own little bubble filled to the brim with metal music, schoolwork, and reading books no one even cared to read.
I guess my plainness was what caused Mia to like me.
She always told me how jealous she was of me. I never understood this, because I lived with 9 other siblings in a small house. I had no friends, and my parents were always watching over me, swooping in to help at the slightest drop in my GPA. She had no reason to be envious of me.
Mia was known to throw lavish parties at her huge house. They were always festive, and some girls even stayed behind to have a planned sleepover.
I was always invited to both.
Mia would pick me up personally an hour ahead and take me up to her room. There, she would pretend to be a stylist (she wanted to be one when she grew up) and fuss over my slightly acne-ridden face and boring hair. By the start of the party, she had always managed to make me look unrecognizable. My hair was always pinned up cutely, and my face was covered in so much delicately applied makeup that I would look similar to the porcelain dolls sitting on Mia's shelf. I would change into my dress, a light blue dress I bought myself at Wal-Mart three years ago, and head down to the festivities with her.
I have to admit, the parties usually had Mia's other rich and popular friends in them. A great number of them were rather boring people, not like the characters in the books I read all the time. I usually grew bored during said events, but I kept a smile on my face during the whole thing to make her happy.
At one of the parties, I finally decided to liven it up a bit by asking my question.
"Do you know what it's like to kill someone?"
It was quite simple to plant this seed. All I had to do was slip into a group of girl, listen to the conversation for a while, and then just drop the question. There was normally a pause before someone would say, "No, but I bet…." And they would fill the blank with their opinion. Some told what kind of thoughts would go through your head, others would actually describe what they thought would happen.
"I bet you feel this empty feeling when it's over."
"If you stab someone, I think you would hear their last gulp of air before they die."
"The dying person sees an angel. I'm sure of it."
"I don't know really, but I bet…."
"That makes sense, but what if…."
Sometimes I would listen, other times I would slip away.
As more and more people began to talk about it amongst themselves, I would hear bits and pieces of opinions and stories relating to the topic.
Who would have thought a bunch of boring, rich people could have such thought provoking responses?
I created buzz for about an hour before I saw Mia. She was getting a drink from the punch bowl. It suddenly hit me I hadn't seen her talking with the other girls. I began to wonder if she had done this accidentally or purposely.
"You have created quite a buzz out there," Mia said with a chuckle when I reached her.
I shrugged. "I thought we needed a fresh topic instead of just fashion and beauty stuff."
"Only you." Mia took a sip from her cup.
I poured myself a cup. "I haven't heard from you yet, Mia," I said with a smirk.
She gave me a sideways glance. "About?"
"Do you know what it's like to kill someone?"
Mia broke her gaze and looked to the ground. Her finger traced the rim of her cup. She gave her lips a nervous lick. She stayed in this position for a long time before finally, in a barely audible whisper she answered.
I couldn't help but laugh. She was kidding with me. I just knew it. Mia was a respected individual, a gentle girl, and most importantly, my best friend. A person like her would never murder someone.
It was one o'clock in the morning. Mia's party had ended exactly three hours ago. Now, we were in the sleepover portion of it. The 6 other girls Mia had chosen to stay had fallen asleep already. Mia and I were the last two awake.
"Funny joke, by the way," I said casually.
Mia gave me a strange look. "What joke?" she asked.
"You know. The one at the party when you said you knew what it was like to kill someone."
Mia looked up from whatever she was doing and gave me a look that gave me shivers.
"I wasn't kidding," she said coldly.
I gave a nervous laugh. "Sure you were. Killers are ruthless individuals who go out with a set goal to-"
Suddenly, Mia crawled over to my sleeping bag. Her face was so close to mine I could feel her warm breath on my cheeks.
"I have killed someone, Aster. It's unlike anything you've ever done before," she whispered. "It's a wonderful feeling."
I couldn't speak. She wasn't kidding.
"He was just walking down the street one day. He was a little younger than me, but twice as strong. I decided, for no apparent reason, mind you, that I was going to kill him. So I did."
She leaned back, still whispering. "I got him into the alley with only seduction as my aid," she continued. She closed her eyes, as if recalling a pleasant memory. "He used seduction to help him as well, and with both of us being so flirtatious, the moment became very intimate. It turns out he was older than me, but had lost virginity in the same way as I that day."
I couldn't believe the words coming out of her mouth. How could you just randomly decide to kill someone? It sounded so strange, yet I could feel the truth in her words.
She opened her eyes. "He didn't know what was happening even after I shoved the knife into his chest. He let out a gasp, and I pulled the knife from him and brought it down again. I stabbed him exactly 55 times, but I'm sure he died by the 10th."
"Why do you say "exactly" 55 times?" I asked. My voice was no louder than hers, both purposely and out of fear.
Mia gave a soft chuckle. "Because, you idiot. I didn't stab him 54 times. I didn't stab him 56 times. I stabbed that son of a bitch exactly 55 times."
I hoped she couldn't see my fear in the dimly lit bedroom.
Mia smiled, and then continued. "At first, I felt like my senses were on overdrive. Then, I began to float. I floated, Aster, and I felt like I went up and away from my body. I could feel my soul robbing his life, and my brain sent pointless thoughts throughout this giant heist. Oh, Aster, it was such a wonderful feeling. Floating higher, and higher, and higher…." She stopped speaking for a minute.
"Then what?" I probed.
"He died. Nothing else."
My head was filled with thousands of questions. How did she get away with it? Did the boy even let out a noise, or was it a quiet ordeal? Did anyone hear them? How did….
"After it was over, I stole a kiss to really see if it was over. He had a look of nothing in his eyes, a look as cold as ice. But I didn't believe he was gone. In fact, I didn't actually believe it until they buried him up. His parents, they had his skin all painted up and picked him out a pretty little case. They even took the time to pick out some crap to scribble onto the polished headstone. Nobody knows or suspects me to be the killer."
We were silent for a really long time, Mia's words covering us in a suffocating heavy blanket. Suddenly, she gave a small laugh.
"No one can live forever," she whispered. "I don't pretend I can live forever. But it will be all right now. I can make it all better."
I saw her pull something out from underneath her pillow. Moonlight bounced off of it, and just looking at the weapon made me gasp.
"Mia?" I whispered as I began to inch away from her.
"Nobody knows or suspects me to be the killer," Mia repeated. "No one, but you."
I had stood up by that point, my back against her door. She stood, a smile on her face, as she slowly made her way towards me.
I was both terrified and captivated. The way she walked towards me with that cold look on her face made her look so powerful. She looked like she had done this so many times before, and I guess that's what scared the hell out of me about this.
Here she was; the powerfully cold blooded killer whom I befriended.
And there was me, the friend.
I felt a gasp of air escape my lips when she stabbed me.