Standing Room Only

A World of Short Stories


“That’s the problem.  He was already dead,” I said out loud.  “That’s the problem.  He was already dead.” 

I stared at the cell phone in my hand as I repeated what I was going to say when I finally got the courage to call 911.  My ex-boyfriend was lying on my kitchen floor with a knife in his chest.  My roommate was still standing over him with her mouth hanging open.  It was the scene I came home to, but no one needed to know.  No one needed to know that she did not kill him in self-defense.  She killed him because she had the same feelings about him that I did.  Only our police chief and I knew she had a juvenile record for killing animals.  We weren’t too confident in the ability of Chief Jones to keep up with his word about not leaking the information.  Or that he knew anything about follow through. 

“Hey.  Shut it.” She said firmly, finally turning my way. 

I hadn’t realized I was repeating my new mantra out loud.  I snapped my mouth shut and held up my phone showing her I had not yet called the police. 

“Leave.  Now.  Don’t come back until tomorrow,” she said through clenched teeth. 

“No.  Leave,” she repeated as I opened my mouth to argue.  I backed out the kitchen as I heard her repeat our address to the 911 operator. 

I stopped when I heard her say, “My roommate, she killed him.  I saw it.” 

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