Blackout

They kicked the front door in, screaming for me to get down.

Only when one of the officers turned me over and pulled my arms behind my back, only then, with my face shoved into the pillow, did I feel the massive headache.

They were pulling me out of our studio and when we were on the stairs I finally woke up enough to turn and shout for Reana to wait, that I would come back, that it must all be some mistake. In about the same moment an officer said that it was no mistake while I realized that Reana wasn’t in the room.

I’m trying to reconstruct it all, I tried in those four hours of questioning, and I’m still trying. But there’s nothing to reconstruct. But there’s nothing in my mind to reconstruct. We were on the couch, watching TV and waiting for the fireworks shows. She was cuddled up against my chest and had a blanket wrapped over her feet. We were speaking the countdown together with the announcer on TV. There were the first fireworks. We raised our champagne glasses – and then all is just blank. Or maybe rather black. It’s a black curtain that’s blocking me from my own memories.

I didn’t drink any alcohol before midnight. I don’t even remember drinking the champagne, but they still found a blood alcohol level of 0.2 % – in my body, not in hers.

Someone found her in the small alley to the right of our building, behind the bins.

They didn’t allow me to see her. To at least say goodbye. The shopkeeper from downstairs identified her. One of the officers said it’s probably for the best that I don’t “have” to see her.

At least they believe me that I don’t remember. I guess that’s why they allowed me to go to my sister’s place, but if I leave the city I will be arrested.

I just want to write it all down before more of my memory disappears. The last time I blacked out from alcohol was at least five or ten years ago. This memory loss isn’t normal.

But none of this makes sense. It was such a great evening. I can still feel her shoulder against my chest and I can see her laugh and the excitement in her eyes. We raised the glasses and we shouted “Happy New Year” and then I set the glass to my lips and for a moment my eyes flicker upwards while I’m drinking. Maybe I’m just going insane and telling myself things, but this image of her, with the glass, cheering, and she too sets it on her lips – but then, right before my eyes flicker upwards there is something in her eyes – something like surprise or shock.

This headache just won’t go away. They are going to screen my blood for drugs, but their doctor said it seems just like dehydration – a hangover. As if I was insanely drunk last night, but Reana wasn’t.

To make matters worse my sister’s family seems to be walking in and out of the bathroom every few minutes. It drives me mad, the endlessly repeated squeaking of the bathroom door that’s been squeaking for years. And this laptop is incredibly loud too.

It wasn’t me. I would never have hurt her. Even if I had drank enough to pass out – and I didn’t – then I would never have hurt her. We had fights, sure, and I told the police that. That Reana wanted to move because the noise from the constant renovations next door were driving her insane and that I thought a move was too expensive and that the renovations would stop at some point.

Maybe I was unfair. I mean, she had to hear that all day and I’m sure it was hard for her to study while this was going on.

I can’t believe she’s dead. I can’t believe it. That she’s gone from this world, from one moment to the next.

This was supposed to be our year.

I was going to propose in February.

I can never propose to her.

My god, she just can’t be gone. She just can’t.

And not like this. Who does such a thing?

They didn’t want to tell me details, but from what they said she was hacked to pieces. Hacked.

The officer had one of our kitchen knives in a plastic bag and he asked me whether that was ours. I said Yes. He asked whether I remembered using it and I said that I used it many times. And he asked whether I used it last night and I said I didn’t remember. I cut onions for the spaghetti sauce while Reana was chopping the mushrooms, but I don’t remember which knife I used for that.

And he asked whether I remembered using it, the knife, against Reana. To hurt her, or whether I ever threatened her with it. But I didn’t. I have never threatened her and I would never have hurt her.

My sister and my brother in law have locked themselves in their bedroom with my niece and nephew. They are scared of me. They let me sleep here because I’m family, but they too believe that I must be lying or crazy or a drunk. My sister always said that I drink too often, but I didn’t even drink last night – except for that champagne, maybe. But they know I’m not violent and that I loved her. I love her. Love, not loved.

I only saw our studio for a moment – consciously, I mean. They kicked the door in and I looked at them and then they shoved me into the pillow. And on the way out, when I looked back, I didn’t see the whole apartment and I didn’t look for long – but there was no blood and nothing chaotic except for the bed. Everything was tidy, as always when Reana is home.

I feel watched. Right now, I feel as if the whole world is staring at me. There are two walls inbetween us, but I can feel my sister’s family staring through the wall and the keyhole. Some moments I even think I hear them on the corridor, right outside my door, and every few seconds I turn around because I feel as if I’m being watched through the windows.

They said even her face was smashed and cut. Her arms and legs only a mess of bones, ripped skin and half-cut pieces of muscles hanging out. Her torso stabbed and sliced open. Some animals got to her during the night, probably rats and cats and maybe Leon, the stray that lives in our street.

In my head I can’t imagine her like that. In my head she is smiling and laughing and looking at me with those beautiful eyes. Maybe the officer was right, that it is better for me not to see her. Not to destroy the image I have of her.

Why won’t this headache go away? I took two paracetamol and two aspirin and I drank liters of water and tea, but it’s still there.

I tried to take a nap when I got here. I could only toss and turn and in my head I saw Leon rip a chunk out of her stomach and then I threw up.

They asked me whether I cleaned the apartment in the morning. There wasn’t enough blood in the alley, around her body, so she was killed somewhere else. They found her behind the bins. The bins are usually right below our balcony. They probably think I killed her in our apartment and then threw her down there and they don’t allow me back inside because I could try to hide things or clean up or something.

At least they said she couldn’t have suffered for long. That she died from the stabs and that those must have been swift and done in a very short time.

The balcony door must have been open. I’m pretty sure it was open; Reana opened it to get the popcorn smell out. That’s why we heard the fireworks outside. That’s why it was so cold. That’s why she wrapped herself in a blanket.

She was sitting to my right. The balcony was to my left. When we cheered she must have had her eyes towards the balcony.

Somebody or something came inside. And that shock in her eyes, she saw it.

I will call the police now. But first I will check whether the bathroom window is still open.

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