Content Warning: arson
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction, Dear Asian Youth does not condone
Bella left the gas station with two cans of gasoline and a box of matches. She sped through the backroads, blasting the anniversary playlist she made for him. He told her he loved it. He told her that he listened to it every night. He told her he loved her.
Bella should’ve seen this coming.
Him and the blonde girl always spent a little too much time together. Always looked at each other a little too long.
And the blonde girl was always so patronizing. She thought that she was so special for being the only one that knew him and Bella were dating. She’d wink at Bella during football games and lunch. She’d tell Bella that she was so cool, so exotic, so smart. That he and Bella were such an unexpected pairing – she was surprised Bella was even his type – but they were a match made in heaven.
Bella pressed on the accelerator. She honked at the cars taking too long to turn and scoffed at senile, old drivers. She only had an hour. He and his family would return from the local country club at eight thirty.
Was she there with him? At the place Bella was never allowed in? Was she being the good girlfriend– being what Bella was never allowed to be? Laughing at his father’s jokes and telling his mom that she had great hair? Maybe the blonde girl would come over later (not in secret), and they would eat a pint of ice cream and listen to the latest episode of whatever shitty podcast he was obsessed with this week.
She parked in the elementary school’s beat down parking lot. She slid on her long, crimson leather gloves and switched her white sneakers for black boots. She remained in her black cheer uniform– the outfit she wore when she met him, and when he ended everything.
Bella descended into the forest. Twigs and leaves crunched under her boots. She tore the overgrown branches and prickly leaves away from her face. Gray clouds crowded the sky, casting a shadow over the small town.
Bella lugged the gasoline cans through the hidden path. She used to take this trail to sneak into his house. He never wanted his parents to see her. He claimed that they were strict. They didn’t want him dating. He had to focus on sports and school. He didn’t have time for a girlfriend. They didn’t hold hands in the hallway.
He wouldn’t even look at Bella in the class.
That was just one of the many reasons why everything had to go.
What a shame.
Bella opened his window. His backyard-facing room made it easy to seamlessly sneak in and out. This window was like a badge of pride to her. He loved her so much that he wanted to protect her from his parents. He wanted to keep their relationship a secret.
Bella glanced around the room and sat on his bed. This was a nice bed. Bella liked the bed. She used to fold the plaid sheets and fluff the pillows.
What a shame it had to go.
Bella also liked the desk. She used to sit on the black leather chair and organize his textbooks alphabetically. She’d wipe away the dust.
The desk had to go too.
Bella did not want to part with the closet. She would hang up fallen clothes and wash forgotten shoes. She’d dig out childhood comic books and put them on the nightstand, or rearrange old family photo albums.
It’d suck to let that go.
But he had this coming.
First, she doused gasoline on the Polaroid photos of him and the blonde girl. On the love letters the blonde girl wrote him and their prom tickets.
Bella used to write him love letters. She’d sneak them into his locker. Every. Single. Morning. And he’d leave coffee inside her locker. Sometimes a pastry, too.
Before his adoration ran out, he was good to her.
But did he ever adore Bella?
Did he truly ‘protect her’?
Maybe he just didn’t want people to know he was dating the girl with the homework answers.
It was a good thing she wore the leather gloves. Gasoline was a messy, messy thing. She’d have to buy new boots after this, too. The liquid soaked and saturated her shoes.
“This will do,” Bella grinned. “Yes, this will do.”
She dropped the rose red tin and wiped her hands. She climbed out the window and into the backyard. Then she’d take that same trail back to her car. Drive back home and swim in her pool. Or bake chocolate chip cookies. Hot chocolate sounded great too.
Bella toyed with the match in her hands. In a quick movement, she slid the wooden material against the box. Heat from the blue-orange flame radiated onto her cheeks and she sucked in a breath.
What a shame.
Bella hurled the match through the window and jumped back. The initial shock swiftly transformed to joy. Everything burst into beautiful, raging flames. The fire engulfed the bedroom and spread across the first floor. Glass shattered and the structure collapsed.
Bella watched the blaze in awe.
She hadn’t smiled this wide in months.
She jumped, clapped, and skipped into the woods. She twirled through the dandelions and shrubs and sang nursery rhymes to the trees. She cackled at the chipmunks and befriended the birds.
She didn’t notice the sirens humming in the distance or the tears rolling down her cheeks.
Editors: Leandra S., Nadine R, Zoe L.
Image Credit: Link