I was found on the streets of Monroeville at the age of twenty, by someone that I never knew I would be able to love. He brought me off of the streets and into his home, the saint that he was. I thought that he would use me, but he never did.

Even to this day, that confuses me. I expected him to beat me, or rape me, or anything besides what he did. He cared for me. He cleaned me up. He took me in at what I had thought was my lowest point, but had turned out to be at the peak of my life.

After a while, we both found out how truly broken I was. I couldn't face new people without either having a panic attack, or getting violent. I was constantly worried about what would happen to me, even though he always reassured me that he would always be there for me.

I wished that I could have done the same for him, but I couldn't. All I could do is tell him that I loved him, and that I would try and be there for him. I hated lying to him, but I was.

No I wasn't. I did love him, possibly even more then he loves me. I still doubt that he could love me. He had a life before me, and I thought that he would have a life after me. All I was is an unusable piece of time that could have be thrown away in an instant. I had hoped that I could have thrown myself away before he did, but apparently, I would never get the chance to, because even now, he still loves me too much. He still loves me so much that he's never going to let me go.

Today is it.

I'm going to end everything.

I return from work in the snow, the early sunsets dancing around the apartment building. I have a pistol in my brief case. I enter my apartment building and go up the four flights of stairs that lead to the apartment I share with her. The girl that I saved from the streets exactly two years ago. The apartment smells of incense, and scented candles, and of everything that is masking the stench that never goes away.

I had been laying on the floor of the bedroom we shared for a week before he had picked me up and gently placed me on the bed. "It's alright," he had told me. "I'll clean you up and everything will go back to normal. I promise."

That was the first lie I had ever heard him say, even though I could no longer hear his loving words.

I place my brief case on the countertops and remove the pistol. I check to make sure that the three bullets are still there. They are. For the first time in a month, I enter my bedroom and see her laying there on the bed. She is still cleaned up, but no one would ever be able to tell. She is in the same position that I left her in all those months ago. She's still the same, except for one thing.

He had been trying to clean me up in the bathroom when I finally came to terms with what he had done to me. For some odd reason, I was fine with what he did. If he was still willing to care for my body, I would be fine with it. He couldn't care for my mind and heart anymore. It was far too late for that.

Decay. That's the stench that I have been trying to mask for exactly one year. I have been trying to forget that she is still changing, decomposing, after what I had done to her.

The night that he did it will forever be impossible to forget. He had come home in a rage, and had yelled at me for being such a burden on his life. Although I had agreed with him, I shouted back at him. I had told him that I was wrong.

That was when he had shoved me, causing me to fall and hit my head on the countertops. He had went off to the bedroom while I bled on the floor. In my state of desperate longing and confusion, I had pulled myself into the bedroom. I bled out on the floor, whispering loud enough to him that he could hear, "Thank you for doing what I couldn't do myself. I love you."

"This room has been hell for me," I tell her. She doesn't respond, for reasons that suddenly become horrifyingly obvious. "So has this whole damn house, honestly."

I walk over to the bed and sit down on her right, still facing her smiling face.

For God knows what reason, she had managed to die with a smile.

"I'm done pretending that I can't see you here. I'm done pretending that I can't smell you from every room in this hell. I'm done pretending that I don't notice. I'm done pretending that I don't care.

"I've always noticed. You were dead from the moment I picked you up off of the streets. I've always cared. You were dying all along. You practically told me this in your last words.

"The last thing you said…" I take a gasping breath, her decay filling my lungs. "It has haunted me all along. I killed you, but you still told me that you loved me. What the hell was wrong with me for not going to you? I should have gone to you. I should have died along with you."

Now is your chance.

She whispers into my mind to kill us both, once and for all.

Shoot me.

You know you want to.

I hold up my gun with a shaking hand. I can't believe I'm doing this.

He pulls the trigger.

Now I can be at peace.

I thought that her blood would splatter, but it doesn't; she can't bleed anymore.

Now it's my turn.

Before I put the gun in my mouth, I whisper, "I wish I had noticed… You were a corpse in my bed." I place the gun in my mouth and pull the trigger.

I collapse onto my bed, my head falling over her once beating heart.

Two weeks pass before anyone finds our bodies. When they do, the first thing that hits in the stench. Then the sight.

The next day, the head-line of every newspaper reads: One Year Separates the Murder and Suicide of Young Couple. Continue reading on page six.