“Come on honey, this will be fun.”
But it wasn’t fun. It hadn’t been fun since day one when Shana Livngston met her current boyfriend on a subway in New York. He seemed charming, suave and an all around great guy on that day three years ago. However, his real personality had began to seep out through the years. Every word that came out of his mouth was a lie, and Shana bought every word of it.
Things would soon change. Shana was sure of it. No more backing down to male supremacy. No more false promises. No more lies. No more Johnny. She would finally break up with him here and now, even if they were in California to take a relaxing vacation.
She looked up slowly from the ground toward her boyfriend’s face. She saw the sweet, sorrowful look in his eye, but remembered that the look wouldn’t last after this moment.
This is it, she thought. This is when I’m going to break up with him, here and now. I”m going to say, ‘It’s over Johnny!’ But what Shana wanted to say didn’t come out.
“OK, Johnny. I’ll do it.”
Damn it! she thought. Why couldn’t she say what she wanted to say? She looked down and looked back up at him, faked a smile and started to get up. Johnny waited for her with his smiling face and offered his hand out graciously. Shana almost laughed at the gesture, but decided against it. It would be a better day as long as she played along. Shana placed her hand into Johnny’s.
“Come on! We’re going to be late if we don’t hurry!” Johnny shouted. He gave Shana a huge pull. She couldn’t keep up; Shana let go.
Guess this day isn’t going to be as great as I thought it would be, Shana thought. She stared at her boyfriend running ahead of her toward the ticket counter. It almost seemed like he was running in a way that he didn’t want other people to know he was with her.
Johnny Molock approached the ticket counter and looked back at Shana. Dumb bitch. Why is she so slow? he thought. Johnny looked back at the ticket counter and saw a gorgeous young blonde playing with her hair. Johnny casually glanced at her, but eyed every portion of her body. She was perfect. Perfect tits, ass, smile … probably fucked good, too. She was the sexiest thing he had seen in a long time, ever since he dated Shana at least. She had captivated him with those brown eyes and short brunette hair. That got old quickly …
“Sweetie, um … aren’t you going to book us a trip to Catalina,” Shana asked from behind him. Johnny detected a hint of nervousness in her voice.
“Yeah, I’m getting to it. Just fumbling with my wallet. That’s all.”
“I was just wondering, Johnny. You looked kind of spaced out. Are you OK?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. Don’t worry about me,” he said out of habit. Johnny was actually thinking about how much he’d like to find the nearest hotel room and screw that blonde girl behind the ticket counter.
“Two tickets, please,” Johnny said.
The young blonde looked up. Jesus Christ! She was beautiful! Just got to stay cool, Johnny thought.
“OK. Two tickets,” she said. “Let me say, that’s just so sweet of you, taking your girlfriend out to Catalina. That is so romantic. You must be so lucky to have such a great boyfriend.”
Johnny looked at Shana through the corner of his eye. He could have sworn he saw a thought of despair behind those pretty brown eyes of hers, but he knew that was wrong. The stupid brawd loved his cheating ass.
Then again, maybe she did know something, finally found out about one of his nights out. Maybe she knew everything, and was only hiding it behind a masquerade of ignorance.
Just stay calm and say something, Johnny thought. “Yeah, she’s really lucky. Right, honey?” Johnny said to Shana.
Shana slowly raised her head and gazed into his eyes. “Yeah, I guess I am lucky,” she said.
“Well, isn’t that the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. I have to admit I envy couples like you. Why can’t I find the right guy?” the blonde said. “Oh! Your total! Two tickets comes out to $53.58.”
“Thank you so much. Have a pleasant day,” Johnny said using that charm that flocked so many women to him. He would come back and make his move soon. Oh yes, it would be soon.
“‘I just envy couples like you,’” the ticket clerk had said. The comment just stuck in Shana’s mind. How could that possibly be? We have a horrible relationship … Everything is just horrible! Why … How did things turn out so bad?
Shana tried to remember the times in her life when she was really happy. God, it has been so long, or maybe I never truly experienced happiness, she thought.
“Keep thinking. Remember something,” she said out loud without realizing it. “There has to be one moment, deep down, when I was truly happy.”
Years ago, she had taken a nice vacation to the mountains, but was that happiness or just a point in her life when she forgot the pain? All of her happy memories were like that. Why was it when she truly believed she was truly happy, it would always end badly? Was she cursed? Maybe she was destined to live unhappily for the rest of her life. Maybe …
“Come on, honey! We’ll be late!” Johnny shouted from down the hall. “You don’t want to miss the boat ride. The view will be the greatest thing you’ve ever seen. I promise.”
What was he saying? Why was she letting this man control her life? Shana summoned up the strength to glare at him. Johnny noticed and looked shocked, or maybe he was offended. He hurriedly ran back toward the docks. Maybe that glare worked after all, Shana thought.
Shana reached for her camera and felt joy. She enjoyed that little angry look she flashed at Johnny. Maybe a side of her was opening for this trip, and she could break up with Johnny if she tried hard enough. Shana didn’t know it at the time, but this was the beginning of a new life. She had left the old one behind to start anew.
Shana trudged out the doors and into the sunshine filled day. The sun was too bright at first, but her eyes adjusted to admire the beautiful surroundings. The Pacific emanated a dark, deep blue-green color that made Shana feel alive and inspired. It provided her so many things her relationship didn’t. Maybe the boat ride would be a good idea after all …
“Damn it!” Johnny said. Had Shana just caused them to miss the boat ride?
Johnny marched toward her and looked like he was ready to kill someone.
“Damn it Shana! This is all your fault!” he yelled. “Why the hell were you taking so long? Didn’t I tell you that we were going to miss the goddamn boat! Huh?! Did you ever think that maybe this trip was important to me in someway. Not to mention, that I just spent $53 on tickets that can’t be refunded. All because you had to take your sweet little time. Goddamn it Shana!”
Shana started crying. He had been mean to her before, but this was the first time she ever felt threatened that he might hurt her. She couldn’t bring herself to say it was his fault for making them late. He was the one who wanted to sleep in, then eat breakfast. Because of that, they got stuck in traffic, and he had been flirting with the woman at the ticket counter. How could he blame her? This was his fault. Shana gave up and fell to the floor.
Johnny shook his head back and forth in disgust. His “girlfriend” was sniveling on the floor, and their commotion had drawn a scene, a big one. All eyes were on the man in the red T-shirt demeaning a girl down on her knees.
I screwed this one up, Johnny thought. But he would never admit that to Shana. He would just find a way to get the money back for the tickets, or just catch the next ferry in a few hours.
Johnny could still hear Shana crying. She was so annoying with her 5-year-old whimper. It was plain sad. Johnny sighed. It was time to try and rectify this situation.
“Honey, it will be all right. I just got a little upset. I’ll get the money back for the tickets, or I’ll tell you what. Why don’t we just hop on the next boat ride to Catalina? Would you like that?”
Shana only stared at Johnny with tears in her eyes. “I just want to go home,” she said.
“All right, honey, if that’s what you want to do, we’ll go home.”
The drive to the hotel wasn’t as frantic as the drive to the docks in San Pedro. Neither Johnny or Shana said anything. It was a half-hour ride with near-silence. The only sounds were the motors of nearby cars and the commotion of pedestrians at stop lights.
During the drive, Johnny looked over to see if Shana had fallen asleep. He heard a soft, mellow breathing. I’m glad you finally shut up, Johnny thought. His compromise at the docks made him feel weak. Men like Johnny Molock do not apologize. He should have left her crying, but why had he taken her home? Was he going soft? Possibly, but Johnny wouldn’t let that happen again. It just wasn’t his style.
Johnny parked the rented Dodge Stratus in front of the hotel front door. A bell boy stood attentatively, waiting to park Johnny’s car. Shana felt Johnny gently nudge her shoulder. “Shana, we’re back at the hotel,” he said softly.
The car ride had been thinking time for Shana. All she could think about was how to break up with him. Shana wouldn’t be able to do it unless it was under the right circumstances, but when was that going to happen?
Shana was too deep in thought to realize that Johnny was getting out of the car and walking to the other side. The door swung open, and Johnny was standing like a gentleman holding the door open for her. So strange, she thought.
“Come on, Shana. I’ll help you to our room.”
Shana reluctantly got out of the car and walked with Johnny through the rotating doors into the hotel. She didn’t know what to expect next.
The awkward couple walked down the hall toward their room.
Johnny is acting funny, she thought. Why is he being so nice?
“Johnny, this may sound kind of funny, but are you OK?” she asked.
He turned around and looked at her like she had said something bad. Please don’t yell at me again, she thought. Then he smiled and said, “Honey, I’m great. I’m feeling the best I’ve ever felt in my life.”
Shana smiled nervously. What little scheme was Johnny planning and how much was he going to hurt her?
The couple walked down the hall. There room was near the end. Johnny opened the door and his mouth flew wide open. Shana didn’t know why, but knew that it couldn’t be good.
“You’re here early, Johnny-boy” said a female voice. “I couldn’t wait for tonight, so I just decided to hang out in your room. I hope you don’t mind. I know I’ve been a bad girl, and I need to be punished.”
“H-How did you get in here?” Johnny asked.
“Why, don’t you remember, Johnny? You gave me a copy of the key, last night at the bar.”
Shana couldn’t take it anymore; who was this girl? She pushed Johnny aside and peered through the doorway. She saw a red head with long, straight hair wearing only a white T-shirt and pink bikini cut panties. A suitcase that didn’t belong to either of them was nearby. Who knows what was inside?
Shana felt anger coursing through her veins. Johnny had been cheating on her. She always, suspected it, but didn’t have the proof until now.
“I want you out of my room, now you bimbo!”
“Oh, is this your girlfriend,” the redhead said. “She’s pretty. Sugar, the three of us could have a lot of fun together.”
“Don’t count on it,” Shana said, her voice mustering up as much conviction as she could. “I just want you out!”
The girl looked at Johnny, then back at Shana. She sighed, grabbed her suitcase and walked out the front door. “I’ll see you around, Johnny-boy,” she said.
Shana entered the room and tried slamming the door behind her. Apparently, Johnny caught it and came inside the room.
“Shana, listen to me. Let me talk to you for a minute,” he said.
She couldn’t look at him. How could he do this to her? The last bit of trust she had in him was gone.
“Shana, this trip has given me such an insight into our relationship,” Johnny continued. “I know that girl was in here. Yes, we had sex, but it didn’t mean anything. And I’m over here. From now on, it’s just you and me. Shana, what I’m trying to say is … I love you. I love you with all my heart.”
Shana couldn’t hold the tension in any longer. She turned around and slapped Johnny.
“Again with the lies! Why do you do this, Johnny?” she said. “Can’t you see that I was faithful to you? And here you are sleeping around with whores on our vacation. You know, Johnny, I’ve also been doing some thinking on this trip. You’re the worst thing that ever happened to me. I’m tired of your lies and your false promises. I’m going back to New York, alone. Don’t call me. It’s over!”
Shana grabbed her luggage and slammed the door behind her.
Ten minutes had gone by since Shana blew up. Johnny was still staring at the door in a daze, but finally sat down on the bed. Tears filled his eyes. For once in his life, he did love someone, and he screwed it up. Now, it was gone for good.
I’ve got to get her back, he thought.
Johnny rushed from the bed and to the door looking for someone who could help him. He glanced left, right and saw a maid down the hall.
“Excuse me!” Johnny said as he ran toward her. “Did you see a little brunette run by? She’s about 5’3” …”
“No, sir. I don’t see nobody,” the woman said with a thick accent. She must have been from Mexico.
“Please, m’am. You’ve had to seen someone pass by RECENTLY.”
“No, I don’t see nobody,” the maid said.
Stupid cunt! Johnny thought. So useless! Johnny ran down the hall away from the maid. He wanted to find Shana and tell her again how much he loved her.
Shana didn’t go far. She was on the first floor, getting drinks from the bar. She expected Johnny was upstairs using his cell phone to get that girl to come back so they could screw all night. Certainly, she wasn’t going to be a part of it.
Her men always ended up becoming assholes, particularly this one. But she still loved Johnny, even if he had been cheating on her.
“Sir, can I get another shot of Gray Goose please,” Shana asked. “On second thought, I want the whole bottle.”
“Rough night,” said a peculiar male voice beside her.
“Something like that,” she said looking over this strange man. His hair was longer, jet black, and he had a light beard growing on his tan face. His clothing matched. He was wearing a black suit jacket, black dress shirt and black slacks. The only color that differed was his eyes. A deep shade of blue that seemed to contrast everything about him.
“Well, you can’t tell me anything that I haven’t heard before,” the man said. “Maybe I can even help you out. Why don’t you tell me about your problem?”
Shana told this stranger everything: her past, Johnny’s behavior, the yelling at the docks and the woman in their room.
“Wow …” he said. “Now, that’s something you don’t expect on a trip. Listen, guys like that are trash. You did good breaking up with him. That was the best thing you could’ve done.” He smiled.
“There you are!” said a familiar voice. “I’ve been looking all over for you.”
Shana saw Johnny red faced, gasping for breath.
“Johnny, I told you it’s …”
The stranger got up from his seat and put his hand on Shana’s shoulder.
“M’am, I got this.” Shana couldn’t help but smile. She was happy that someone in her life was sticking up for her.
The man walked slowly to Johnny, before stopping right in front of them. Both men were nearly touching each other.
“Man, I don’t know who you are, but obviously you are causing some trouble in this lady’s life. I suggest you leave before someone gets hurt.”
Johnny’s eyes almost popped out of his head. “I don’t know who you think you are buddy, but that’s my girl. I love her. I suggest you get out of my way.”
The stranger didn’t budge; neither did Johnny.
“Break it up, you two,” the bartender said. “I don’t want to have to call the police to escort you out.” His hand was on a phone ready to dial for help if necessary.
Johnny stared at the bartender, then at the stranger, then at Shana.
“Fine. I’ll leave, but Shana remember that I’ll always love you.” Johnny walked out, and Shana knew that their two-year relationship was over.
The stranger looked at Shana. Many thoughts filled his mind, but one overpowered the rest. He had to make sure this was the man who had caused her so much grief.
“M’am, is that the fellow who’s caused you so much trouble?”
Shana nodded. “Yeah, I’m scared now. He’s been doing some weird things lately. At first, he yelled at me, then he was being nice … Now, he’s following me.”
The words startled the stranger. When he first saw Shana, he was enticed with her beauty, but he now realized that she was a woman who had a lot of problems.
“M’am, is there anything I can do for you?”
“Yes, I want you to stop him from following me. Make him leave me alone,” Shana said.
“What would you like me to do?”
“I want you to scare him,” she said with a stern face.
“Do you care how I do it?”
“As long as he’s out of my life forever, I don’t care,” Shana said with a smirk.
The stranger had trouble saying “no,” especially to such a captivating woman. He smiled and said, “I’ll help you out free of charge. Seeing joy on your lovely face is more than enough of a reward for me.”
“Thank you so much!” Shana said.
“Well, I’m off,” the stranger said. “But before I go, what’s this man’s name?”
“It’s Johnny Molock.”
“Thank you m’am. I will be back with good news,” the stranger said.
The stranger excited the bar and walked toward the front desk.
“Excuse me, did you see a red faced man who walked out of that bar a few minutes ago,” he asked the hotel clerk.
She had hesitation in her face …
“I’m his friend. I need to check on him. His name is Johnny Molock.”
“Sir, I don’t recognize you as a member of his party. It says on the guest log that he came with a woman. I can’t provide any information …”
“You have my permission to give him anything he wants!” shouted Shana. “I’m Shana Livingston. This is a friend of mine. I would like him to have an extra key to our room, No. 303.”
The clerk clearly had trouble believing Shana. The alcohol had started slurring her speech, but the computer confirmed everything Shana said was true.
“As you wish, m’am,” the clerk said. He gave a key to the stranger. “We’re sorry about the inconvenience, sir. But we have a policy in place to ensure that our guests are safe. Enjoy the rest of your night.”
Shana smiled at the stranger and leaned to his ear. “Come back with good news, please,” she whispered. She left the stranger and walked back to the bar. The stranger had a mission now, but he would need to pick up some supplies from his room in ordered to do the deed.
Johnny slammed the door behind him as he entered Room 303.
“Fucking asshole,” he said as he began pacing in the room. “Goddamn asshole. You know what … She wants to be alone, fine! She wants to go back to New York alone, fine! She needs me. After a few days, she’ll realize that, and then I’ll have her back.”
Johnny looked around the room and began to pack.
The stranger entered his room, No. 203. He smiled at the coincidence. His target was exactly one floor above him.
“Yeah, you’re not going to bother this girl any more, asshole. I’ll see to it that you don’t,” he said out loud.
The stranger grabbed a gun hidden underneath the clothes in his bag and equipped the silencer. He then walked out of his room and headed toward the elevator. He wasn’t sure of what to expect, but he knew someone would die. It wasn’t going to be him.
Johnny grabbed his suitcase, left the room and turned toward the elevator.
It’s too quiet, he thought. An eerie feeling creeped through Johnny’s body. Shake it off. It’s nothing.
As Johnny walked down the hall, peculiar thoughts ran through his head. He remembered all the women he had “dated” in his life. He had cheated and lied to all of them. Everyone had meant nothing to him, except for Shana. Johnny realized he was changing, and he had to get her back. But he would wait. Shana would come back to him in time.
Johnny touched the down arrow for the elevator. He was getting out of here and going home to New York.
The stranger felt tense during the elevator ride. His life fueled on it, but this was different. An ominous feeling of dread filled his body, like his plan was doomed to fail.
But you need to finish what you started, he thought.
“That’s right,” he said aloud. “I need to make sure this guy never hurts this girl or any other girl again. The justice system would never get him, but I sure will.”
The lights burned behind the number 3, and the doors opened. Well, wouldn’t you know it? His target was standing right in front of him. The bastard! The stranger swiftly reached for the pistol in his jacket and aimed at the man. He fired three shots. All hit his target, but one made it where it counted. It struck Johnny in the heart.
Johnny never had time to react when the doors opened. He fell to the floor and felt an intense burning in his chest. He slowly looked down at his chest and saw a bleeding hole in his shirt. He started to feel faint, but he mustered the strength to look up and see his attacker. It was the guy who blocked him from seeing Shana at the bar. That gun was now aimed at his head. He had a million things to say to this prick, but he could only croak out, “Fuck you.”
The man cocked the trigger into place. “No, fuck you.” Johnny saw a flash, felt a brief pain and then everything went black. Johnny was dead.
“Well, looks like we know who the winner is,” the stranger said. He stood over Johnny’s body. The stranger had always enjoyed killing, but this one felt better than the rest. It wasn’t as if he did something bad. He had rid the world of a man who brought misery into the lives of women. Now, this bastard would never hurt another soul. The stranger’s mission was finished. He would go downstairs and tell Shana about his good news.
Shana had been drinking casually from her bottle of Gray Goose awaiting the return of the stranger. Gosh, I don’t even know his name, she thought. I should ask when he comes back.
She wondered what he was going to do, but figured it would be for the best. Johnny would be out of her life forever. That was the way she wanted it. Shana was a new woman who wanted a life free of problems, especially ones caused by Johnny. Her submission to him was over.
Shana glanced over to the bar doorway. The stranger walked through closely, checking over his shoulders. He was nervous, but she sensed pride in him. I guess that means he succeeded, Shana thought. No more Johnny.
“M’am, I took care of the problem. Johnny will not bother you anymore.”
“Thank you so much. So, how did you do it? Did you scare him? Tell me about his face. I’ve never seen Johnny scared. He always acts tough around me.”
The stranger hesitated before he opened his suit jacket. “Well, if you must know …” He pulled the butt of his gun out. “This is how I got rid of him.”
Shana gulped. “That’s very intense, but I would think …”
“I don’t think you understand. Johnny will never bother you or anyone else ever again.”
“You … You killed Johnny. Why would you …”
“Shana, don’t worry now. None of this will be blamed on you, and I’m a lucky guy. I won’t get caught. I’m going to be on my way, now. I’m glad I could assist you. Be strong, now.”
The stranger walked away, and Shana couldn’t say anything. She wanted Johnny gone, not dead. It was her fault for letting this killing happen. She should had never trusted this strange man.
Oh my God, I’m going to get blamed for his murder, Shana thought. I need to get out of this hotel and back to New York … No, I need to get out of the country.
Shana swigged one more shot of Gray Goose and left the bar. She hoped no one had heard her conversation with the stranger.
Shana watched the elevator doors open on the third floor and saw Johnny dead on the floor. His eyes were half open, and blood was everywhere. Shana dropped to her knees and began crying. She never wanted this to happen. No matter how horrible Johnny had been, he didn’t deserve to die.
A nearby elevator opened. A man was exited the elevator with another woman and an 8-year-old boy. His turned white when he realized what was in front of him.
“Oh my God!” he shouted and rushed over to Johnny’s body. He examined the body, and then glanced at Shana. She hadn’t moved from the elevator. “Hey lady! Why are you sitting there! Call … You’re the killer, aren’t you? God!”
He pulled a cell phone from his pocket and rushed back to the elevator with his family.
Shana panicked. She didn’t know what to do. She couldn’t speak or move … Stop it! Get out of here! Escape! she thought. Shana hit the ground floor button.
The ride down was the longest Shana had ever experienced. It probably took about 30 seconds, but it felt like an hour to Shana. When the doors opened, she ran toward the rotating doors. She had to make it out of the hotel before police arrived. She would be the one that was framed for Johnny’s murder.
“Freeze!” a voice shouted behind her, but Shana couldn’t comprehend it. She was in a zone. She had to get out of the hotel, and she was almost there. She was a few feet from the rotating doors when she dropped to the ground.
A pain enveloped her thigh. That’s where she had been shot. She looked up and saw a police officer running toward her. Shana knew she would be framed for the murder. She couldn’t spend her life in prison. She rushed toward the officer praying he would kill her.
The officer had never seen anything so crazy in his life. Training had prepared him for this, but he had never seen the real thing. This mad woman was running toward him. She wouldn’t be strong enough to take him down, but he couldn’t take any chances. She could be armed.
He drew his gun and fired. The officer hit her in the head. She dropped to the ground and stopped moving.
“Crazy bitch,” he said to himself. A crowd was forming around the body. “All right everyone. Please step out of the building and let us do our jobs. We need to make sure the rest of the building is safe.”
Eventually, paramedics arrived to dispose of the body. A detective arrived at about the same time and walked over toward the officer. “Well, you must have had a rough night. Fist time having to draw a gun on someone?”
“Yeah, it was pretty scary. She killed a guy upstairs and tried to make a run for it. Can you believe it?”
“Nope, sure can’t. Women these days, you just can’t get them.”
“I sure as hell can’t get this. I want to know what happened.”
“We’ll find out in the investigation. More than likely, she just went off the edge after that guy did something. He was probably her husband or something. Man, I wish marriages didn’t have to end this way. It really isn’t a happy ending.”