I know a woman with a special piece of jewelry. Why is it unique? She adds a charm to the bracelet for every life she takes. Which concerns me, because one of them I don’t know.
A four-leaf clover for her father and a high heel for her mother. A hand for the man in the taxicab who didn’t know when to stop and a pair of lips for the lover who beat her half to death. A tiny dancer for the singer who neglected her children and a bird for the young boy who didn’t deserve what he got but had to get it anyway. A flower for the teen found with a needle in her neck after two months away from home and a violin for the boyfriend who she lost her temper with. A simple hoop for her best friend; the first kill. And one more charm: an E locked in a heart. The lone letter dangling from her sterling silver scares me because I have no idea who it’s for or how it got there. What could’ve happened? Anything, knowing Valerie.
If I wanted, I could destroy everything. But I’m a good girl. Valerie is a bad girl. And she, my other half, is a more aggressive vigilante than I. Once upon a time, humans rolled the dice; they got odd when they needed even. So Valerie is in charge of justice, of vengeance, and of judgement- meaning crime and punishment. She tends to the kid with the rocks. Meanwhile, I tend to the wounded bird. Valerie is a very good person, though; eons on the job and only two handfuls of kills she did herself.
The only issue is that one is unexplained, even to me. Which is never acceptable.
“Valerie. I need to know about the E.”
“If you needed to know that story, you would know.”
“Valerie. You have to tell me sooner or later.”
“I don’t suppose you’re wrong, so… here it is.”
“It was September 6th. A boy named Francis and a girl named Eleanor. He was hit by a car and she was his soulmate. Do you remember who I’m talking about?”
“I couldn’t tend to her. Her heart was simply not mendable.”
“I had to tend to her. She attempted suicide numerous times… I had to intervene. It was saving her.”
“Val, what did you do?”
“I stopped her heart.”
“You almost stopped mine over that story? I was so afraid of what happened and it’s not even bad… it was a mercy.”
“I know it was.”