It was the first time she’d
had doubts about the plan. Since the day Eve and her met,
Charlotte had decided to trust her, and just like she always
did she’d followed her almost blindly into the mess
they had put themselves in. Still, she had to admit it didn’t
seem such a bad idea at first; it was an escapade, an adventure,
a master plan to change their lives. And to be honest, at
least to that purpose, it had worked.
She could hardly remember living with her mother three months
before. Her mother’s life consisted in a chain of
relationships with abusive men, drinking and the challenge
to hold a job longer than a week. All that required a lot
of time, so Charlotte was left to take care of herself,
and she had easily learnt how to. She would wake up late
in the afternoon, walk around the city aimlessly until dark
and then meet her friends at The Hole. The Hole was a club
were rock bands played almost every day and her so-called
friends were those who like her, spent night after night
there. Trite conversations, struggling to talk over the
deafening sound of the loudspeakers, lustful glances through
the smoke that filled the place, ending in alcohol-fuelled
declarations of never-ending friendship and love.
She had met Eve there. She remembered the exact date because
she had been waiting for that night to come for so long.
The 10th of May her favourite band, Dementia, was playing
at The Hole. She had been a fan since she was 13, when they’d
first started playing four years ago and that would be the
seventh time she’d seen them live. She was there early
to be right in front, were she could get a good view of
Rick, the lead singer. If Charlotte admitted there was such
thing as the man of her dreams, it would definitely be him.
Rick filled her thoughts, her dreams and her fantasies just
like his pictures filled every space on her bedroom walls.
He was tall, dark and very thin. A lifestyle of touring
and taking every drug available was the explanation for
his thinness and the shine in his eyes. It was also the
reason why, after a hit single and a published album, the
band was playing in such a small venue as The Hole. After
continuous scandals on the tabloids, fights between band
members and three years without any new material, everyone
seemed to think they had lost it. Except Charlotte, of course.
Eve turned out to be as obsessed as her. They had met in
the front row of the audience and spent the rest of the
night commenting on just how great Dementia was, the best
band ever, talking about how much every song meant, longing
for Rick to look at them, to just notice them for a second.
And that was how it all began.
They had started hanging out together after that night and
one rainy afternoon as they walked around a supermarket
to kill time Eve had told her about the plan. She had come
up with an idea to kidnap Rick. It sounded crazy but she
was convinced no one would take care of him like they would.
It wasn’t your typical kidnapping and asking for a
ransom, they would only hold him back until he was better,
off drugs and writing new songs again. They would be helping
him, there was nothing wrong about it and he would most
surely thank them for it in the end. The more they talked
about it, the more it seemed the best idea ever, and the
girls hugged, happy to share such a great purpose. Shoppers
walking by looked at them, intrigued by the two weird teenagers
who were hugging each other so excitedly next to the milk
It was clear that weren’t going to do it by force.
Both of them were small and thin and looked much younger
than their age. Charlotte always wore a torn ballerina skirt
and military boots which made her seem innocent yet mildly
threatening and although Eve was much more womanly, she
disguised her curves under layers of strictly black clothing.
They would have to use their minds, and in the end, it turned
out to be much easier than it seemed.
They pretended to be preparing an article about the band
and contacted him for an interview. They asked him over
to Eve’s apartment, which they had properly disguised
as some sort of magazine headquarters, and after asking
him about the long-awaited new album, Charlotte pointed
a gun at him. It was a heavy old-fashioned gun her mother
kept in the top drawer of her dresser. She never noticed
Charlotte had taken it, nor could she imagine how natural
it had felt for her daughter to point a gun at someone.
It had really been as simple as that.
The first few days had been the hardest, getting used to
Eve’s apartment, the room they had prepared to keep
him in, taking turns to keep an eye on Rick. He was too
resigned or too doped out to fight back at all, and they
almost forgot he was meant to be their prisoner. He was
probably glad to have an excuse to get away from all the
troubles he was going through with the band. No one found
him missing either, they were all used to him disappearing
and leaving them stranded mid-tour.
After a few weeks he started to open up to them. He would
tell them anything that went through his mind, and the girls
would listen with their eyes wide open, like little children
listen to storytellers. He had definitely lacked someone
to talk to, and to be honest, these girls had paid more
attention and cared more about him than anyone had in those
last few years. Fame, although if it was only temporary
and brief, had left him with a bittersweet feeling of loneliness
and isolation under the spotlight, even while he was being
surrounded by crowds.
Charlotte and Eve soon forgot that the plan had to end somehow
and started spiralling down into an emotional well, trying
to capture his attention with every word and every gesture.
To please him, to feel approved by the person they had idolised
and who in their eyes had turned out to be even more perfect
that they could have imagined. It started turning into a
permanent competition for his affection, to be the one who
cared most, his favourite captor. Love or obsession is something
hard to measure, but only one of them could win at that
And it turned out to be Eve. Charlotte would wake up after
it was her turn to rest and find Rick in the other’s
arms. Laughing, at their own jokes, in their own universe
into which she was never invited. Once more, Charlotte was
the one left out. But this time it hurt more than it had
ever hurt before. She had believed he was the only one who
could ever understand her. Every interview she’d read
or heard, every newspaper clipping about him she had cut
out and kept sacredly, had made her sure he had to be her
soul mate. And those days with him, all those hours watching
him, feeding him, feeling him so close, had only convinced
her that she had always been right. Seeing him being taken
by someone else in front of her eyes felt like a sharp pain
in her chest, which travelled all through her body leaving
her helpless and numb.
The situation got worse with time. Eve and Rick would act
as if she wasn’t there at all. They would even sleep
together while Charlotte, when it was time for her watch,
had to sit awake looking at them. Their heads so close together,
dreaming of worlds she wasn’t a part of, their deep
rhythmic breathing drilling into her brain. Only then had
Charlotte started to have doubts about the plan. She had
been too naive not to realise before. Eve had used her and
betrayed her in the worst way possible. And he had lost
Charlotte considered leaving, going back to her mother’s,
to feeling miserable and forgotten, but it would be different.
Until then, she had always had the comfort that he could
be hers one day, that he would finally know they were meant
for each other. There was no hope for her now and deep inside
her, despair had started to take over. Jealousy is a blinding
emotion; it leads us to things we would have never admitted
to be capable of.
The gun felt cold and much heavier than the first time.
A small ray of moonlight came in through a window and made
the barrel glitter as she crossed the corridor into the
room where they slept soundly holding each other. If she
couldn’t have him, if they weren’t meant to
be together, no one else should. Charlotte fired the gun
twice and didn’t miss once. As blood trickled to the
floor, still warm and bright red, she looked at the smile
still on his face. The same smile he had on all the pictures
in the posters she had daydreamed about. Thinking about
it, she rested the gun on her temple and fired the last
shot. She knew that she would never be alone anymore, that
now he would never leave her.
By Anna Codina