When Johnny rammed the gun in my mouth, I felt cold steel and tasted death in the back of my throat. Blood trickled from my lip and dripped on my shirt. I was sure I had lost a couple of teeth, but right this second, it didn’t matter. All I could think about was how I was going to get out of this predicament.
Everything I said so far only made things worse for me. Since he didn’t believe anything that came out of my mouth, I was no longer interested in telling him the truth. I just wanted to say whatever would assuage his anger. I was willing to do anything to keep him from pulling the trigger.
When I tried to seduce him, it only enraged him more. The fire in his eyes scorched me and left me trembling. Pee streamed down my pant legs. I was vaguely aware of the shame. I’ve never peed my pants before and I’ve never been this scared.
Johnny shoved the gun further between my teeth and aimed at my tonsils; I couldn’t talk at all. Tears washed over the butt of the gun and his clenched fingers. Whimpering and trembling, I fought to be still, scared I would make the gun go off.
“Say it!” he shouted.
I was confused. I didn’t know what he wanted me to say. When he came home, he claimed he saw me in the car with another man. He said when I saw that he saw me, I ducked my head down. It was not true, of course. I was home all day.
I had tried to persuade him that he didn’t see what he thought he saw. I had tried to hug him and kiss him to let him know he was the only one for me. All to no avail. Everything I tried to do made him angrier, hence the gun in my throat.
I got a crazy idea. It took everything in me to pull it off. My trembling stilled as I drew from his rage. I glared into his dark, angry eyes and slapped him across his face so hard my hand flared and the gun jarred against my teeth. Heaving, my arms hung limp beside me and I waited.
His eyes swelled in shock and my whole life flashed before me. I watched as I kissed my mother goodbye and told her I loved her. I hugged my cat and waved goodbye to my friends. I even kissed Johnny one last time.
After a few moments, the gun slid from my mouth and drool streamed down my chin. Johnny smiled, the same smile that made my heart melt six months ago. The same one that made it melt now. It made me forget my soiled pants and swollen lip.
The taste of death lingered in the back of my throat, but I knew I wouldn’t see it today. I had made Johnny smile again. I stepped toward him and threw my arms around his neck and he swept me up in his embrace. The hardness of the gun pressed on my back as he held me, but the fear had passed.
All was right in Johnny’s world again, so it was right in mine.
© D.L. Lunsford