Kelly was crazy. Maybe you all know somebody who is a little slow in the head, quick to jump to conclusions, struggles with trust issues, maybe would even risk their own life to prove a point. Hell, maybe you even know a Kelly who is or was a little crazy, too. But my story revolves around Kelly Morrison, the most unsettling person I ever had the misfortune of meeting, and how she changed my life.
Truthfully, my life needed changing. When I was seventeen years old, against my mother and father’s highly Christian judgment, I started staying out late nights drinking with friends — illegally, of course. Well…one crashed pick-up truck, lost friends, and one DUI later, I finally learned my lesson and settled down a bit. Upon settling down, I made my second biggest mistake besides drinking and met/fell in love with Kelly. Kelly lived down the road from my parent’s house and I had grown up knowing about her, but not knowing her personally. Everybody who talked about Kelly said that they liked Kelly. What wasn’t to like? She made the grades, she flashed everybody the sweetest smile, and she held a job as a cashier at the most family-friendly corner store in the whole town. Yeah, there wasn’t anything you couldn’t like about Kelly, except I found out real fast that this wasn’t the case.
Kelly and I were inseparable; so inseparable that, after two months of dating, we decided to move into our own house together in the middle of nowhere, far away from the life we so badly wanted to leave behind so we could start fresh together. Kelly was, of course, ecstatic about the entire venture. She had never been away from her parents and, at the sweet and early age of nineteen, she was ready to start this new life and spread her wings to fly away. My parents didn’t much care for the idea but I didn’t much care to listen to my parents, you know?
They said to me in different variations, “You’re 21, you’re young, you don’t have to be taking on responsibilities like this. Support yourself and get a nice little apartment somewhere, keep dating Kelly, but see where things lead.” Maybe they weren’t so stupid after all with their suggestions but a man has to learn for himself, and they should have understood that, seeing as they married at seventeen. And so I ended up buying our first little cottage home and lived the life of a man owning a good bit of land to have a good bit of fun.
All good things aren’t meant to last, is how the saying goes. I know this isn’t always true because I’m a good thing and I can last quite a while in bed, but that’s against the point. Quickly after purchasing the house and moving Kelly and her entirety right into it, I noticed things changing. At first I was shrugging my shoulders at the small things like Kelly’s adjustment issues and wanting to call her parents like, twice a day just to let them know that she was doing alright, like there was some convincing to be done or something. I would leave for my construction work during the day and come home nine hours later, and she would be sitting on the couch hollow-eyed like she just saw a ghost. Throw her arms around me and tell me that she missed me so much and hated when I had to be away. There were obvious adjustment issues, this much is true. I guess I was ignorant to them for too long…
A few weeks later, I overheard her whispering behind the bathroom door to her father. The only way that I knew this was (not only because I was snooping a little) but because I was about to walk into the bathroom and noticed the door was closed when I swore she had just been downstairs. I had paused at the door and heard mumbling, and then, “Daddy” to finish her sentence. I barged right on in anyway, as she hadn’t locked the door, and said, “Oh, I’m sorry, Babe!” in a shocked tone as she fumbled nervously with her phone and tried to push past me.
“Yeah, Daddy, I’ll have to call you back later. I just wanted to talk to you and let you know how I was doing. Bye.”
“Is everything okay?” I asked a bit nonchalantly as Kelly just stared at me from the hallway, like I had committed some terrible sin.
I raised an eyebrow. “Excuse me? I never said that.”
“Never said it, but you act like it,” she said a bit too ferociously, and her footsteps pounded away downstairs. The rest of that day was fine, but I secretly wondered what had gotten into her, and why what I said had set her off so much.
Time didn’t change much, I can tell you that. In fact, I continued to blame that on myself as the hours I was taking on at work was putting a bit of stress on both of us. Added hours, more time away from each other, more time for her to sit on her butt at home and say she needed to get out and my unhelpful words shooting back at her like fire, “I’ll do the work, Babe, you just relax like you’re supposed to.” I guess that’s why I should have expected all of these things, mixed with her obvious depression or start of the depression, was going to lead to a mental breakdown eventually.
The first time she cut herself was about two years into our relationship, and almost nearing the second anniversary of moving into our home together. I came home to blood everywhere, lining the kitchen sink, following a trail upstairs, all over her bed as she sat there sobbing. She was apologizing before I could even open my mouth to say anything, just staring at one another like we had some unspoken secret that should have been open for years. I held onto her and bandaged her after her refusal to go to the hospital in fears that they would ‘put her away’ and I understood her as best as I possibly could. She was my girl, my life – how could I not?
The second time she cut herself, she nearly killed herself. And, okay, I should have understood a little better then, too. Her father had just passed away and her mother wound up in a care home after obtaining a severe case of dementia. Her home life had disintegrated and she blamed herself because she “left and they had a case of sadness when I left them behind.” That’s how she put it, and put all the blame on herself that her family ended up the way it did only two years after she left. I told her those things happened. My parents had their health problems, I could essentially get the call any day myself that something happened back home. But nothing I said could have changed her mind.
The final straw occurred a few months after her second suicide attempt. I came home from work one night to all the lights off in the house, wondering if she had finally done it, finally gone through with the deed that horrified me so. I cracked open the door and called out to her, but received nothing in return. Followed my way into our pitch-black house and made my way to the kitchen, where I flicked on the lights – but not soon enough. Kelly had a frying pan in her hands and was swinging it vigorously in my direction.
As she continued to miss, she grabbed one of the kitchen knives available to her and began stabbing at the air as I veered out of her way, eyes widening at the scene in front of me. She was screaming the entire time and, though my focus was barely on that, I had time later to contemplate the nature of the screams. Things like, “You are the ugliest thing to ever come into my life!” “How dare you take my life away from me and make me stay here!” “My parents are dead because of you, and now it’s your turn!”
It all happened so fast – the wrestling the knife out of Kelly’s hands, the way she struggled so hard to get it back with that menacing look of a murderer in her eyes, and the way I finally stabbed her right in the chest. Right through the heart, where she had once loved me most with a power nobody else could. I sat sobbing over her body, and she went quickly. Never said a word, just focused in on me with those cold, dead eyes in a state of shock as the life left her. I instantly became aware of what was happening and wondered what I was going to do to make things right.
The first thought in my mind was solely irrational: I did this, and now how do I get her back? How do I make it right? But there was no time for these thoughts. Quickly, I went out back on our acres of land and I buried Kelly. I buried her in the center of our property behind some bushes and I went to sleep that night, somehow. And when people asked, which those ‘people’ consisted only of my parents, I told them that we finally had enough and she took off. Probably in another country by now. She was gone, in ways that people would have never imagined. But gone, nonetheless.
So, months flew by and the loneliness and impending bad thoughts followed me everywhere I went. Being at home was a bitch, as every time I stepped foot on that property, I felt like there was bad blood between me and that damned yard that held the body of the girl I once loved. If I was at work, my mind was a stressed-out mess and I wondered when I would get out of the terrorizing loop I was obviously stuck in. Furthermore, I missed Kelly despite her crazy actions, and I wondered if anything special would ever come into my life and show the love I was willing to give in return. Probably not.
It was a rash decision but one I made without thinking – I drove into the nearest town to a farm, and I bought a sheepdog puppy. I named her Hillary and I took her home as she shook bloody mercy in that cute little puppy way where they just don’t trust you yet. Hillary was the best damn dog I ever could have wished for. I had her for exactly two years and five days before she went missing.
I searched for three days before I followed the smell to the bushes where Kelly was buried, and found her dead body. Lying there, dead from a childbirth I never knew was happening in the first place. All of the puppies were dead as well, except for one. I picked it up in my hands, sobbing deeply with my face rest upon the dog I had raised and loved for two years straight, the one who had saved me from all the loneliness. The puppy was squirming and begging for love that it hadn’t received from anybody. I felt a chill as I realized where we were squatting in the backyard, and I headed into the house with the puppy, who I hadn’t even thought of a name for as I wasn’t sure if she would make it.
After a year, things were going well. My new puppy Shana and I were having better days. Things were looking up at work and I had gained several promotions as I proved my worth. I was visiting my parents more and getting more involved in their lives again; they had even visited my house a few times, though I was careful not to invite them into that backyard that bore such bad blood to me. The only real issue was a quite controllable one- Shana was having some desperate training issues that needed addressed if she wanted to stay in her happy home. They say it’s always that way with puppies; that they will do what they want to do, and either you have a good one or you have a bad one. But I was working relentlessly training that dog and seeing no results. She didn’t listen to a word I said. She would sit there panting at me like I was the dumbest piece of shit on God’s green earth, and maybe I was…
Regardless, one day I came home to find the most unacceptable: Shana had ripped apart my favorite sofa, two cushions that could not be replaced. After raising a hand to her and kicking her out into the cold for a few minutes to regain my thoughts, I realized I felt worse about being mean to her than I did about the cushions. I stood at the back door calling her name to receive no response, which was typical for her. Then, as an accident as my fury began to build, I called out, “God damnit, Kelly!” Shana appeared from around the corner of the house, barking and wagging her tail at me.
She had responded to her name without issue.
Things just got worse from there on out, to the point where I swore I was losing my mind. Shana, who now solely responded only to Kelly, had worse behavioral problems than ever before. She was having fits of chewing all of my possessions apart, I was coming home to a menace of a dog that barked at me and growled like she was going to kill me, and she absolutely hated my parents. Anything that had to do with me, it seemed like she had a general discontent with. And I didn’t really have time with it, but I also didn’t have time to do anything about it.
After months of never-ending torment, I knew it was either going to be me or the dog, and it wasn’t going to be me. I gave her the boot out the back door to gather some thoughts and, when I looked out the kitchen window to see what she was up to, I saw her digging. Mulch and mud was flying everywhere and I got my wits about me and stormed out the back door. “Shana, come on!” I called out, trying not to lose my mind but halfway there. “You know better than to…”
I trailed off just as Shana came into view. She had dug a hole deep enough to see through to the many bones behind the bushes. Kelly’s bones. She reared back, hackled her fur, and roared at me in a way I never imagined a dog to be able to do. When I backed up, she took one step at me, a bone in her mouth, foaming and furious.
“Shana, calm down,” I whispered, but she didn’t back off. “Kelly…calm down. Kelly, you know I wouldn’t have ever done anything to hurt you…you shouldn’t have done what you did, you know I always would have taken care of you.”
Shana dropped the bone and looked down at her paws, contemplating in some strange way, and then before I knew it, she took off down the road. I called after her running for some while, even got in my truck and tried to chase her down, but she was gone.
And I never saw Shana again.
Ever since I’ve lost my girlfriend and my dog, I guess I feel like I lost a little bit of myself as well. I couldn’t bear to sell the land that I lived on for years now, unsure of the secrets the ground now held. But something just doesn’t feel right about being here. There’s a strange aura given off by the animals in this area; they’re always sitting at that spot in the back yard, and they’re always watching me. Sometimes I feel like I’m the one losing my mind and it wasn’t just Kelly who hated the loneliness of this place. But then I think about it some more and I realize that some people just carry bad blood.
I don’t think I’m one of them.