I found the most isolated seat in the zoology lab; he still took the one beside mine. I fiddled with the buttons on my lab coat and coaxed it’s collar and hid my tingling fingers in it’s pockets. He still didn’t move. When asked to form pairs, he looked up at me expectantly with such bright eyes- they’d compensate for the dull ones that were mine.

Two weeks into this same schedule, I had my skin crawl and shudders run down my spine everytime he pulled his chair beside mine. And, he had a triumphant smile as if he couldn’t see me vex and writhe. So friday, I asked him to stay after. While he waited in the store room, I walked in with a formalin specimen jar and big forceps.

I leisurely removed the python and lay him in the tray. All this while he watched me. Then, in one go, I smashed the glass jar on the top of his head. I felt my lips tug up as he clutched his head and his face mimicked my everyday’s distraught one. I pocked the forcep in his eyes and left him reeling in pain. I fetched the blade; dragged it down his neck and dipped it in the curve of his clavicle. I slit his throat. Once, twice, three times. I laid him on the ice cold floor and straddled him; then pressed my fist onto his chest and smirked as blood oozed out of his wounds. With each of his spasms, I tilted my head back and sighed in contentment.

I watched him grasp for air and flap his hands which I pinned above his head. His breath got ragged and eyes got droopy and he hiccuped his way to oblivion. With a firm hand I drew a little heart on his forehead using the scalpel from his very own disection kit. A chaste kiss on his cheek and I got off of him.

Tomorrow, I’d get to sit alone.

~Nida Khan