“We’re live in three minutes. Places, people! Places!” the producer screamed, taking his place offset. The cameras moved into position as I skimmed over today’s top stories. Nothing new; terrorists, murders, fires, and rape seemed to plague the news on a daily basis. I glanced over at the other news anchor, Jaclyn, who was looking particularly beautiful today. Her blonde hair was tightly packed into a bun, her pale skin glowing underneath the studio lights. Jaclyn’s blue eyes always seemed to have a sparkle to them, but today in particular, they were like crystals. I tried to spark a small conversation, but it was quickly shut down, as we were live in two minutes. Jaclyn always put work first.
Glancing over towards the weatherman, Josh, he appeared rather anxious today. He usually had a calm, cool look on him, but today it appeared as though he was in a rush. He nervously tapped his shoes on the ground, eyes darting around the room. It was as if it was his first day on the job, despite him working at the station for over four years. One minute until showtime.
Clearing my throat and straightening my posture, I made eye contact with the camera positioned in front of me. On the table was a tablet positioned towards me which showed the show in real time. We were only supposed to watch this when we transitioned to another reporter away from the studio, but I would take a glance every now and then to see how I looked. We were also supposed to use it for research and stuff, but seldom was it used for that purpose. Thirty seconds until showtime.
I took a swig from the glass of water resting before me and cleared my throat once again. I rested my hands on the desk below me and crossed my hands together. Taking one last glance at the top stories, I heard the producer calling out,
“We’re live in four, three, two…” He pointed at us, and the typical introduction music began to play. I was to start the show today.
“Good evening, I’m Andrew Smalls. Thank you for joining us. We go straight into our top stories today, starting with yet another murder in Hawthorne. Joining us live down at Hawthorne for more on the story is Vincent Stockton. What do you have for us today, Vince?”
We transitioned to Vincent as I read ahead. After a few stories, we were to transfer over to the weather, and then would be a commercial break. So far, so good. I listened to his story through an earpiece, and after three minutes or so, he turned it back to me.
“Thanks, Vince. Now we’ll turn it over to the lovely Jaclyn for some more on the recent lottery scandal. Jaclyn?” I smirked at myself for such a stupid compliment, and quietly listened to Jaclyn’s beautiful voice reading off the latest stories. Afterward, she turned it over to Josh, who did a brief report on the weather, and then turned it to commercial break. Josh approached me and whispered in my ear,
“How many times do I have to tell you? Back away from my girl. We’re happily married as it is, and we don’t need you intervening,” he sneered and slowly backed away.
So yes, they were married. But so what? I don’t think Josh can say he has every interview Jaclyn has ever done recorded and saved, nor does he have hundreds of photos of her at work cut and pasted into a scrapbook. It really grinded my gears how Josh was so protective of his wife; I could tell that he didn’t love her as much as me. Nearly every night I would go home and cry myself to sleep with the scrapbook on my lap, sometimes kissing the pictures, other times doing things I rather not say to them. I knew she loved it when I caressed her cut outs. Thinking about the scrapbook only made me more enraged. We were to come back on air any minute now, so I couldn’t strike up another conversation. What was I to do?
If I didn’t speak to her soon, I would lose her. I couldn’t afford to lose her love for me. Quickly thinking, I turned towards her, and said,
“Good job on the stories today, I couldn’t have done them better myself.”
I couldn’t tell if the look in her eyes was of confusion or compassion, but I would prefer to go with the latter. She had a funny looking grin on her face, and muttered a quiet thanks, but quickly turned away avoiding eye contact with me. I loved when she did that.
We were finally back on air when I began to read off more stories. After two or three, I turned it over to Josh, who reported more on the weather and an upcoming storm. Everything was running smoothly until he turned towards us and said,
“Alright, sweetie, take it away,” he had a slick grin on his face. I turned towards Jaclyn, who giggled like a schoolgirl and responded,
“Thanks, honey. It is currently 5:32 PM and…”
At that point, I stopped listening. I felt sick to my stomach. How could Josh say something like that? And how could Jaclyn take such a stupid compliment? I turned deathly pale as I began to sweat profusely. My hatred for Josh and my love for Jaclyn rapidly grew as I reached into my pocket. I never thought I would find the need for this, but I knew the day would come where I would have to protect my woman from such a dirty beast. I couldn’t afford to lose her. In the middle of Jaclyn reporting a story, I abruptly blurted out,
“Jaclyn, I would just like to say something to you. You’re the most beautiful woman I have ever met, and I spend every waking moment of my life thinking about you. I don’t know why our love for each other is faltering, and you’re not staying true to yourself. I see it in your eyes. You think you love Josh, but in your heart, you know you love me. You know it damn well that you want to stay with me for the rest of your life. We can run away now, and start a new life. I could introduce you to my parents, and … and …” I looked down at myself, realizing the monster I had become. My mouth frothed, and my eyes were wide and bloodshot. My once tanned skin was now a ghostly white.
I glanced over to Jaclyn, who had a look of horror in her eyes. Without hesitation, I revealed the gun I had stored in my pocket every day, just in case something were to happen to my Jaclyn. The first three shots hit Josh straight in the chest, and he quickly hit the floor. Jaclyn screamed and ran over to him, sobbing. I shot a glare in the direction of the crewmen, who had either fled or were attempting to get the show off the air. I fired random shots at the crew, who quickly fled out of the studio. Security would be here any minute. I pointed the gun at Jaclyn, who was still focused on her dying husband.
“Jaclyn, why do you make me love you so much? The way you came to work every day. You teased me. You made me do this. You drove me to this! And if I can’t have you, then no one can!” In a blind fury, I shot at Jaclyn, blowing a hole in the back of her skull. She and Josh laid next to each other in a large pool of blood. Realizing what I did, I silently collapsed into a chair positioned in front of the camera. Talking straight to the camera, I uttered,
“Please excuse us. We’re having some minor technical difficulties.”
I brought the gun up to my head as I saw security storming into the building. At that, I pulled the trigger in front of the camera.
I would finally be with my Jaclyn.