She stood in the window, long wavy locks of auburn silk hanging loosely around her feminine shoulders. Water dripped from her elegant hands as she reached for another dirty plate, her meadow green eyes flicking up to watch a man park a rusty car in the driveway, only for him to slouch down the pathway to their home, carrying a bag of groceries.
The window was empty for some time and he felt ill at ease until she returned to her place behind the framework. She giggled and continued to do so when the man from the driveway walked up behind her, his bony fingers sliding around her thin waist before grabbing his own wrist to lock her inside his prisonlike embrace. Leathery lips touched the clean skin of a female cheek and she turned, exposing her neck to return the kiss.
All three of them knew where this was headed. She put her current activity on hold and let herself be guided to the next room by the grotty man with glasses. He was wearing that vulgar grin.
Christian put away the optical instrument, rose from his seat and pulled up his pants. It was about time he got around to making dinner, but before unpacking the thawed out meat, he went to take a shower, scrubbing his body thoroughly.
Gregorian chants played in the background as he ate his humble meal and as he read the technical literature on his night stand, the deep dragged out Latin words filling him with unfailing bliss.
He went to the bathroom to stare at the naked wall above the sink while brushing his teeth. A strong taste of mint lay thick on his tongue when he carefully pushed aside the curtain of his bedroom window. He spotted nothing but darkness across the street and so he decided it was time to go to sleep.
The single bed felt cold against his milky white skin so he chafed his legs while staring up at the ceiling, hands on top of the eiderdown.
His mind wandered and he recalled a night from not long ago. The man who besmirched the beauty on the other side of the street, he did not understand how endangered she was. He did not understand that things like her needed to be guarded. They required admiration and cherishing, but only by those whom deemed worthy of the beauty's beauty. And one could only obtain a privilege as holy as that by devoting oneself completely.
This man - this sinner - had made the mistake of letting her walk home by herself at night, over and over again. Taking no precautions whatsoever to protect her virtue. So Christian had taken matters into his own hands, following her, watching her closely. And he knew she appreciated his gesture. She had acknowledged his presence over her shoulder several times, his eyes never wavering, and then she hurried home, most likely not to encumber him longer than necessary. She had even checked behind herself before unlocking the door, but as much as he appreciated her gratitude, he did not merit her thanks. She was too good, even for him. The flagrant fire which her smoldering orbs started in him was a token of just that. He was sure he would not be able to control himself if he got near her, yet there was nothing he wanted more than to stand beside such a divine being. The thought alone stirred something inside of him. If only she was his.
His body shook with shame and he felt the need to fold his hands and whisper a few words before finally going to sleep.
The following day, he picked up his daily routine, watching her whenever she was present behind the window and reading his book whenever she was not. But in the afternoon, he went to present himself to his neighbors when the man across the street returned home. Christian found the man in their greenhouse and he was in middle of fondling the wide variety of flowers inside.
He looked up over the rim of his glasses, Christian greeting him with a smile.
She stood in the kitchen, the sun caught in her crowning glory. She was busy washing the dishes when the back door clicked into place and she shouted, “Hey, honey! How was your day?” She kept going at it even when his hands slid around her waist protectively. He pressed the side of his face against hers and she smiled, closing her eyes and leaning against him with a satisfied sigh escaping her pink lips. “I really missed you today,” she whispered, inhaling his aroma. Her eyebrows drew together and the smile grew strained as she opened her eyes to catch a glimpse of their reflection in the window. Eyes that appeared almost red stared back at her, ravenously, gulping down her soul from the sockets of her eyes.
With a yelp, she let go of the plate in her hand, water splashing everywhere as she jumped out of his arms, a terrified look on her face. “What are yo-... Adam!” she called.
A loving smile spread across his face and he reached out to grab her, but she was a spirited siren so she evaded his hand and danced around the round table as he played along, her pulling out chairs to add a little something to the game. She ran for the back door, but he was already one step ahead of her. Before she could unlock it, he came up behind her, enveloping her in his strong body, a cloth pressed against her air passages. She screamed and pulled at his arm, trying to look up at the softening face beside her. He had always looked forward to the day where he would be able to study her up close.
“Kýrie, eléison,” he breathed repeatedly against her cooling skin.
Her strength withered away little by little until finally her tears married his on the wet trail on her cheek.
He carried her to his home, slowly placing her on the dinner table. After opening his book and removing the ring from her finger, he began the preparations. As a final touch, he went back to the greenhouse, nearly tripping over the limp piece of meat that lay in a pool of crimson and broken glass. The pitiful man was still surrounded by absolute beauty, but he could never touch, never smell, never feel it again. Only look.
And that was justice.
There were many breathtaking flowers to choose from, but one stood out and so he trimmed it, careful not to ruin it, and brought it back to his home where a smell of preserving chemicals still dominated the rooms. He placed the dying marvel in her still lustrous hair and took a step back to admire God and his collaboration. She wore the apron with the embellished golden letters spelling, “Lily,” that was written across the front pocket. He had customized it by hand exclusively for her.
Now, she could stay with him forever. Watch over him from inside the house with her sparkling green clay eyes and fresh Easter lilies in her hair as he sat in the back garden with his morning coffee.
This was his greatest sin.
His beauty in the window.