After a while - quite a while - the screaming no longer got through to him.
He sat in the dark, illuminated only by the glow of his television.
He lived in what he considered to be abject poverty. Ragged clothes, always behind in the rent, subsisting on Dinty Moore and tuna fish. Ramen.
Fuck it. Who gives a shit. Nobody promised him a good life, no one ever told him life would be easy. Christ his parents were both drunks. When they weren't drunk they were fighting and spitting back at bill collectors. Puking on the floor and scraping up change for the next bottle.
Fucking assholes. They didn't give a shit about him; treated him like an ungrateful dog. When they died in a flaming drunken wreck, trapped inside to hideously burn to death - he went out and got himself a bottle of premium shit.
Had himself a private little party. And pissed on their graves the first chance he got.
That's why he was confused. She was his savior. She was different. A sensitive, loving person who truly seemed to care for and about him.
At first he was standoffish. The only relationships he understood were violent and loveless; keeping his distance from people was his own private sport.
But she broke through his defenses; wore him down. He opened his heart.
Turned out to be a fucking mistake. The biggest fucking mistake of his life.
She was no different than anybody else. Picking at him to get a better job or even a second fucking job. Are you kidding me? What flaming asshole works two jobs? Doubling up on humiliation and degradation?
We need this, we gotta do that. Jesus Christ, he learned a long time ago that life was nothing but a very dark joke. If you had enough whiskey and could avoid being evicted you had reached the pinnacle; you were in fucking heaven. Doesn't get any better than that.
So he coasted; he floated. That was it. That was all he wanted; life would offer no more than that.
But she wanted more. And she never fucking let up.
Out of nowhere there came another scream. Jesus, where the hell did she get the energy for that? She had been chained to the oil tank, naked and cold, in the cellar for five hours now as he decided how to eliminate her.
Shut the fuck up! He threw the baseball he was squeezing at the door with all his strength. Sounded like a goddamn bomb going off.
He heard her crying.
Good, let her fucking suffer.
On the floor in front of him was a baseball bat, a Glock 17, and a kitchen knife.
He wasn't sure if he wanted to beat and torture her, or just kill her quick and be done with it. It was a question of how much energy he wanted to expend.
He had time. He could think it over, plug into his emotions at the appropriate moment and give her what she deserved.
A final gift to his lovely lady.
In the meantime, he dialed up Requiem For A Dream. His favorite movie of all time.
Just to set the mood.