CHANDRIKA AYYALASOMAYAJULA

It was a dark, rainy night as he pulled into the empty parking lot. He turned off the car, and plunged the lot into darkness. He sighed. His demeanor was collected. His thoughts were rampant. He felt like complete shit.

But he’d shown up here anyways.

He wasn’t quite sure why he was here, alone, in a parking lot, when he could be at home with his wife and kids. He knew he needed to do something. He just wasn’t sure what needed to be done.

He sighed again.

He reached into the glove box and pulled out a revolver. It was nothing fancy; it was about the size of his hand. The barrel could hold six bullets

Today, the barrel was full.

He looked at it. It felt foreign in his hands, yet somehow familiar.

He remembered the Sundays he spent at his grandmother’s. She’d fed him the same thing for dessert for as long as he could remember: peach cobbler with apple juice. He’d always told her he hated it. And she’d always told him he’d better eat or his grandfather would come after him, revolver in hand. He smiled. He’d always hated the old coot. She’d made sure he’d never be able to be truly happy.

Of course, when he turned 11, he decided he’d had enough of her tyranny. He marched up to her house on a fine Sunday with his grandfather’s revolver, and shot them both. Twice. In the head.

The police never suspected anything. After all, who’d suspect the gangly 11 year old—the one who’d lost his mother in a car crash—would kill his grandparents in cold blood?

Eventually, the police closed the case, and he moved on with his life. He sold the house when he turned 21. In fact, he sold everything his grandparents ever owned, save for the revolver.

That very revolver now rested in his hand, poised and ready to strike. He felt secure, as if nothing could get him now.

Nothing.

He looked at the darkness that cloaked him. He looked back at the revolver.

Suddenly, he knew what he needed to do.

He held it up to his temple, and fired.

His head fell on the steering wheel, and the horn blared into the darkness