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Fiction: And I Love You More Than All the Fishes in the Sea

Fiction: And I Love You More Than All the Fishes in the Sea
A tale of murder and intrigue. Addison and Delia grow up together as sister but only one will see old age. With twists, turns, and an amazing attention to detail, this story is sure to delight.

Chris’ Note: I really enjoyed this story. The use of timespans allows it to have a bigger scope than you would expect from a brief four pages. Lauren is interested in your feedback! Leave it in the comments section and I’ll make sure she gets it.

Author: Lauren DeJoy
Word Count: 2342
Advisories: Some drug references, violence

And I Love You More than all the Fishes in the Sea

She straightened her blonde wig and put in the green contacts. Addison still did not feel that her ensemble completely fit and began riffling through her purse. Pulling out some ruby red lipstick she felt sure her new face would be perfect. Soberly she stared into the mirror and was sure no one would recognize her. She turned and headed out of the cramped dressing room a new woman.

Leaving Macy’s on the Upper East Side, she put on her sunglasses, just to play it safe. She knew it would be best to walk at least ten blocks before hailing a cab so she headed in the direction of Hell’s Kitchen. Addison wanted to wait until she got outside of Benny’s Tavern before she had a cigarette but she knew she had better have one now. Nothing could be left behind, not even a cigarette butt.

The delicate fumes calmed her as she took her last drag, flicked the remains into the gutter, and stepped into the cab.

North end of Hell’s Kitchen and an extra twenty is you get there extra fast.” Addison purred at the sullen and swollen looking Hispanic male driver. He nodded and sped off.

Don’t touch anything, don’t touch anything.” Addison repeated to herself over and over as she walked the last block towards Benny’s Tavern. Trying to calm herself, she took a deep breath and pulled on the tan, business looking leather gloves. She knew Benny opened at 2:30 on Tuesdays because business was so slow but he unlocked the side door for deliveries around eleven a.m. He was always alone on Tuesdays because Gio headed into Jersey on Monday nights to pick up their weekly heroin supply and never came back before midnight the following day. Gio always told Addison on her pick up days that “Jersey girls do it all; and they do it better, and cheaper.”

Addison took off her sunglasses and put them into her purse as she turned down the alley. She casually flashed her long eye lashes and green eyes in the direction she knew the security cameras were aimed and pulled open the side door. Walking quickly she headed down the hallway towards Benny’s office Addison put her hand into her pocket and got a hold on the Colt 45. She turned left, Benny’s head was down; he was snorting a line. Addison was unimpressed. Benny looked up, surprised at first, but then seeing a stunning young woman in front of him, he figured he knew what business she was there for and he smiled. Benny only had a fraction of a second to realize the danger and in that moment his smile melted away into pure terror.

Addison raised the gun and fired three shots straight into Benny’s chest.

***

It was well past midnight when Addison dragged her duffle bag out to the lifeguard post on the Long Island Sound. The police patrolled this area only on the weekend. Addison knew these beaches like the back of her hand. It did not matter that it had been four long years since she and Delia, her twin, had spent their last night together there.

In the metal, state provided trashcan she dropped some drift wood and newspaper then added in the contents from her day’s job. The black pumps, tan stockings, mini skirt, green silk blouse, blonde wig, contacts, even the fake eye lashes, then she topped it all off with some gasoline. Immediately after leaving Benny’s she ditched the revolver off the Midtown East docks. Thankfully, that didn’t need to be considered anymore. Addison lit up a cigarette then dropped the match into the trashcan and climbed up into the lifeguard chair to wait until the contents were fully destroyed.

This was the last place Addison wanted to be but she felt closest to Delia here and Addison needed her right then.

***

“No. Fish poop in there, I do not care what you say, I will not go in that water with you!” Delia stubbornly yelled at Addison.

Every night Addison begged Delia to go swim out in the sound with her, every night Delia refused. Addison didn’t really mind but the July nights were so hot a swim seemed like a great cool down. They were 12 at the time and sneaking off had become a nightly summertime ritual. It was the calmest and most peaceful place they had ever experience. Their father was a meth user and more often than not beat their mother when high.

“When you look at the stars, what do you see?” Addison asked Delia as they huddled next to each other in the life guard chair.

“Well, I think that every time someone good dies, they turn into a star to shine for us, and grant us wishes. Like when Mrs. Rosalie died last spring she turned into that star,” Delia said squinting and pointing upwards. “I looked especially hard for a new one the night she died and I am positive that’s her up there. Didn’t you just see her wink at us?”

“I think the stars are God’s angels, sent to watch us at night and make sure we don’t get into any trouble.” Addison responded. “So if Mrs. Rosalie really did wink at us, we better get out of here fast, someone must be coming.”

Squealing, Addison and Delia sprinted up the sand and hid among the bushes as a lone cop car drove up and stopped. The cop got out, walked to the edge of the road and swept the area with his flashlight, got back into his car and drove off.

“Thanks Mrs. Rosalie!” Addison and Delia whispered to the nights as the snuggled down into the beds after their sprint home.

***

Last one there owes the other person a ten minute back massage!” Delia whispered as she carefully closed the screen door to their home and took off sprinting down the street.

Huffing and puffing Addison climbed up into the lifeguard chair with Delia. “No fair,” she gasped, “I did not know the plan!”

“Maybe if you stopped smoking those cigarettes you would be able to get here faster than grandma.” Delia laughed punching Addison in the arm.

“We are fifteen and practically adults. I can make whatever decisions about my life I want.” Addison wheezed back. All the same, her admission of defeat was visible as she wedged herself behind Delia for the allotted ten minute massage.

Addison was merely thankful for the time she got to spend with Delia. Now that they were in high school things had started to change. Addison ran with a tough crowd, Delia was more of a loner. All of the guys in Addison’s tough crowd were crazy about Delia and Addison hoped Delia might start to hang around with them more.

Delia had always been quieter, sweeter, and somehow less touched by the trauma of their home life. Addison, on the other hand had embraced the more self destructive methods of dealing with a meth addict for a father and a woman who according to Addison, didn’t know how to stand up for herself, or her children.

“Why does the tide change?” Delia asked as she stared peacefully out at the waves as they rolled in.

“Because if it didn’t the water would tip right out of the world into outer space, duh.” Addison replied with a smirk.

“I think God doesn’t want the fish’s lives to get boring so he likes to change things up every few hours.” Delia replied seriously.

Addison rolled her eyes, “You and your God. In my opinion he isn’t so great. Look at the shit we got for parents.”

“I love him. He gave me you and I love you more than all the fishes in the sea.” Delia replied.

***

Addison sat in the lifeguard chair shaking slightly as Delia climbed up. They sat silently for a long while. The past year had been a hard one. They were only nineteen and their father had died from an overdose and their mother up and moved to California, leaving the girls nothing but the empty house and rent to pay. Addison responded with drugs. Delia had tried to find love and ended up with a screaming bundle of it named Lily.

“Who’s with Lily?” Addison muttered trying to avert her bloodshot eyes.

“Mrs. Rosalie’s niece.” Delia replied as she slowly turned over Addison’s arms and traced the tracks up and down her arms.

Addison yanked her forearms back. She needed a fix, bad, and knew she couldn’t head to her normal dealer, Benny, because she owed him serious money. Silence reigned for what seemed like hours. Finally, Addison grabbed Delia’s arm and squeezed.

“Please, Delia, please go down into the city and get me what I need, I promise if you get me one more fix, I will go to rehab and I won’t come home until I am clean.” Addison was desperate and was willing to do or say anything that would convince Delia to do this favor for her.

“How dare you.” Delia muttered and started to climb down the lifeguard chair sniffing back tears.

“You always said you would do anything for me! You told me you loved me more…“ Addison began before Delia cut her off.

“More than all the fishes in the sea.” Delia looked into Addison’s desperate, frantic eyes, sighed shook her head and walked up the beach.

Addison headed home about an hour later with the hopes maybe she could sleep off some of her withdrawal but was shocked to find Mrs. Rosalie’s niece, Evelyn, still at the house. Apparently, Delia was not back. Addison felt a surge of joy; Delia went to Benny’s for her. Too afraid to be left with Lily, Addison got Evelyn to agree to stay.

Hour after hour passed and Delia never came home.

***

“I would have never believed that Delia did drugs! Addison, on the other hand…” Addison could hear the neighbors whisper at the wake.

When news had finally broken that a local young woman had been shot and killed during a drug deal gone bad in Hell’s Kitchen no one could believe it. Addison couldn’t even believe it. What had happened? Why had Delia even gone? What had she said? How did everything go so wrong? Everyone lamented about what a sweet natured child she had been, how loving, how caring, and such a new mother. Addison had been in a zombie like state since the city police arrived at her door a week or so earlier.

Addison hated herself but she hated Benny even more. She never even told anyone, let alone the police, why Delia had gone into Hell’s Kitchen that night, something completely out of character and unexplainable after the investigation of her lifestyle was completed. The minute after the wake was over Addison was heading upstate to a rehab clinic. Evelyn quietly and without question agreed to take Lily in for the next six months. Addison needed to get clean and decide what to do next.

***

These had been the memories Addison had been trying to avoid yet she had known all along that their beach would drag them to the surface. She let her tears run free as she watched the contents of her duffle bag burn. It had taken almost three years of planning after she finished rehab for her to decide Benny had to die for her to be at peace. Now that the deed was done Addison was sure she could move on.

After the contents were fully destroyed it was almost sunrise. Addison dumped the ashes into the sound and headed home, she knew she had to pick Lily up from her sleepover with her new kindergarten best friend, Chelsea, at eight because Lily had a swim lesson at nine.

During the 6 o’clock news Addison saw the blurb about Benny, of Benny’s Tavern, who was found murdered late the night before. The authorities were shocked to find a storehouse of heroin and hundreds of thousands of counterfeit dollars. All they knew was that a blonde haired, green eyed, well dressed woman had been caught on the security cameras arriving at Benny’s Tavern and leaving around the time of the death. Addison sighed, happy it was over, happy Delia could rest in peace. Then she pulled her chestnut hair back into a bun as she laid down to take a nap before picking up Lily.

***

That night Addison told Lily she was going to take her to an extra special place that was a secret, magical place where she and her mother had spent lots of time together. Lily was thrilled and completely excited, Addison was terrified and afraid she was going to throw up all the way to the sound.

Together, they climbed into the big lifeguard chair stared out at the sound.

“You told a fib Minnie,” Addison had never been able to figure out why Lily insisted on calling her Minnie but Lily refused to call her anything else. “There is no magic!”

“Ah, but you just aren’t looking hard enough. Look up, do you see those stars? Do you see that one winking at you? That’s your mommy smiling down on you and doing her best to grant the wishes that you might make when you wish on a star.” Lily gaped in amazement as she stared into the sky. After a while of stories Addison carried the exhausted four-year old down from the lifeguard chair.

“Wait! We can’t leave yet!” Lily yelled as she squirmed out of Addison’s arms. “I have to say goodnight to mommy.” With that Lily reached her arms into the sky, closed her eyes and yelled, “Good-night mommy! I love you more than all the fishes in the sea!”

The End


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