It was a crime of convenience. Actually, it wasn’t even a crime because I didn’t pull the trigger. Becca pulled the trigger on herself.
I just did the rest.
That isn’t to say I didn’t arrange the music and direct the orchestra as it all unfolded.
Becca was one of those girls who seemed to have it all on the surface. Seemed to be the opposite of me in just about every way. She scored straight A’s in college, while still seeming to have time for any social function, while I had to lock myself in my dorm room for week at a time to study just to make a 3.0. Her family paid for her schooling while I had to work nights and weekends at a tanning salon to pay for mine. Guys always seemed to just fall into her lap. As soon as she broke it off with one boyfriend, there seemed to be another one waiting. Good guys too, not the parade of toads that seemed to follow me around campus when I actually had time to hang out.
But it was all a front. I knew it. It only took a few drinks for Becca to start opening up about her lifelong depression and the issues with her parents and the unbearable pressure she always felt about having to be successful. She was truly a fragile flower just like me and I loved her for it.
I would eventually discover that sweet, troubled girl act was a facade as well. She was more calculated and conniving than she let on.
Daniel was my break. Becca didn’t need him. She already had three good boyfriends in college in the first three years and a high school sweetheart she was still good friends with and saw on breaks. She didn’t need Daniel. But that didn’t stop her from swooping in once Daniel and I started dating.
Daniel and I met when he started working at the mini-mart next to the tanning salon where I worked. He was a UMass college guy, but had just a little bit of that south Boston edge that you didn’t usually find in the student body. He was a business major, but a had a couple tattooes and wore a ripped Red Sox hat to class every day. He was just what I always wanted and it seemed like he felt the same way about me. Until Becca made her presence known.
Daniel and I had been dating casually for a few weeks the first time he met Becca. We weren’t yet officially boyfriend and girlfriend, but we had hung out every day for almost 20 days-straight, had hooked up a few times and had already talked about meeting up on break so we could introduce each other to other’s parents.
Becca invited us to her birthday party at her apartment. Just a little pre-game before everyone headed to the bars – shots, beer pong and loud music. Pretty predictable.
It took me a little while to notice Becca easing in on Daniel and by the time I did, it was too late. The diminutive beauty who people always described of having a gorgeous quality where she looked as if Belle from Beauty and the Beast was a real person, had taken Daniel away from my initial grasp. About an hour into the party, he would slink away from me as soon as I attached myself to him and say he had to go to the bathroom or something and then I would see him over across the room chatting up Becca and laughing.
I confronted Daniel at the bar that night, but he tried to act like the two of them weren’t flirting and inching next to each other all night. He exchanged texts and calls with me the next few days, but something was clearly off and, less than a week after Becca’s birthday party, he called me to be “upfront” and tell me that he and Becca were dating and he was “moving on” and he hoped that “I could respect that.”
I cut Becca out of my life for almost a year. Ignored the calls, texts and voicemails she sent me to apologize and say it was really all just a crazy thing that Daniel and her fell for each other so fast and it was nothing personal. She would understand if the situation was reversed. She quit trying after a couple of weeks.
I was genuinely shocked when Becca reached back out a year after the whole thing. I accepted her olive branch and we became friends again, though we became those awkward friends who you only invite to group outings and never really feel comfortable one-on-one with again. Our mended relationship was calculated on both ends. She got to feel better about herself, and I got to start spinning the silky patterns of the web I would eventually trap her in.
The pain got to be too much after Becca and Daniel got engaged and I stayed single in my shit ball hometown, barely-employed. I decided to do something about it. I knew Becca’s dad, Brian, was a slimey used car salesman down the highway in Pittsfield via Facebook and I knew she for some reason thought the world of him. Most of her interior struggles actually came from a fear of disappointing him. He was the perfect mark for every reason I could think of.
It was almost remarkable how easy it all was. I sucked Brian in easier than I thought was even possible and played the whole unstable young girl thing to make him feel guilty and to make him think that I was suicidal, when it was his own daughter he should have actually been worrying about. I am admittedly unstable, but not in that tragically lame and stereotypical drunk and lonely girl way.
What neither Brian or Becca knew was that I was running my game on both sides.
Daniel wasn’t the easy mark that Brian was, but he was a mark none-the-less. The guy wasn’t even halfway through his 20s and he was tying the knot with some girl he met in college? Deep down I think he knew it wouldn’t work and I struck.
I bumped into Daniel at the south side bar I knew Becca didn’t like him going to on a Patriots game night when he was out with his friends. I made up a lie about being there to meet friends who flaked at the last minute. We watched the game together over the course of seven beers and he re-gave me his number. As if I had ever deleted it in the first place.
Daniel was resistant at first, but I wore him down. I started crashing his weekly Patriots viewing parties until he got too drunk one night, slipped up, and we made out. I now had the upper hand. I could destroy his world at any moment.
I wielded that power like a madman. I showed up outside his apartment late on Tuesday nights, dropped by his office unannounced and called his phone only to hang up once he answered. He eventually decided to start meeting me regularly. We met up each week at the downtown Boston Applebees, a place so lame, he figured no one would ever see us there.
I worked Daniel until he would do anything I said right at the same time I was letting Brian think I was fizzling out and forgetting about him.
With Brian and Daniel safely cocooned in my web. It was time to sink my fangs into Becca.
Becca, Becca, Becca. The girl had no idea of the beast she had poked in me, but the good news for the both of us was it would be over very soon.
I may have been the only one who knew just how fragile Becca’s act of perfection was. The only one that knew that she was a lot more like one of those borderline homeless “artists” on the beach who stack rock towers up like games of JENGA while amazed tourists watch instead of the cool, calm and professional architect of a dream life she liked to pretend she was.
Becca was in the middle of LSATs or GREs or one of those grad school test things girls with rich parents take too seriously and I knew Daniel was down in New York for work for a few days. It was the perfect time for me to drop by just before midnight on a rainy night and spill my guts with my two-pronged attack of life-crushing information about Daniel and her dad.
The few sentences Becca told me a few years back, just before our friendship disintegrated, after a night of partying as the sun rose kept replaying over and over in my head like a song on a scratched CD as I drove up to her apartment near downtown Boston.
Years ago, Becca told me about how the pressure of maintaining her “on paper” perfect life made her feel like she was going to explode from the inside sometimes and how it made her think of the handgun her dad had bought and trained her to shoot with, resting in the back of her closet. How sometimes she thought about how if something really bad happened in the midst of her unbearable stress from school, she feared she might turn to that gun and end it all.
I caught Becca off guard with a text five minutes before I showed up in her parking lot needing to “talk.” She said come up to her apartment and I ran through the script of how I was going to tell her everything as I ascended the stairs to her front door.
I gave it to Becca plain and simple as soon as we sat down on her couch and were surrounding by endless paperwork for whatever test she was preparing for. I think it was the first time I had ever personally watched a human being break.
Becca’s face seemed to melt right before me. She didn’t even have answer to what I told her. She just sat across the couch from me looking horrified until I heard her mutter the sentence I had been waiting to hear.
“I have to go in my room for a minute.”
I sat there and waited for the ear-splitting bang I had heard before at the gun range. I held my breath for what had to be two minutes before it came.
It was damn near impossible to get Becca into my car even though she was barely over five feet tall and not much heavier than 100 pounds, but Daniel’s giant hockey bag and a dolly helped me get the job done. An arsenal of heavy duty cleaning supplies I stole from a housekeeping job a couple of years ago did the trick for the nasty clean up in Becca’s room. Lastly, the urban disconnect of apathy must have worked in my favor in that none of Becca’s neighbors called the police as far as I could tell.
You already know the next step of my plan. I drove Becca’s headless body to Brian’s car lot knowing the shock of the image, the fact that the body was in my car and Brian thought I was the suicidal one and the uncanny similarities between Becca and my bodies would send him into madness and off my trail for at least a day or two.
Being an unsuspicious young woman with a clean record, the rest was easy. I slipped off into the woods across the highway from Brian’s car dealership until I hit the town I knew was less than half a mile on the other side. From there, I took an Uber to the vacant lot in my hometown where I parked my old car which I drove before I bought the one off of Brian. It still ran. The whole “I needed a new car thing,” was pretty much a lie.
I took the car up through New England and across the border and have no plans to ever come back. I can’t tell you exactly where I am, but I can give you a little bit of a hint. I never would have thought four years of French class in high school and four years in college could have come in so handy.