It was 11:54pm when the automatic doors from the store slid open onto the outside world.
In the cocoon of fluorescent lights and lighthearted music i'd almost forgotten the storm raging outside. I pulled my coat up over my head to shelter from the noise and the rain and jogged back to my cab. The door shut behind me and muffled the downpour. What a night.
I tore open the packet of m&ms i'd just bought and tipped half the pack into my mouth. That's about all the time I'd have for food, it was a Friday night, everyone wants a taxi on a Friday night. I set off down Weybridge Ave, my wipers working at full speed.
That was when i saw her.
Standing alone at the bus stop in the dark. One of the streetlights was failing and flickering directly above her, I could see her looking at it, nervous. She was scared. I couldn't blame her, you get some weirdos in these parts, she shouldn't be out alone. She had long, dark brown hair, it was plastered to her face and neck from the rain but she still looked beautiful. Her arms were crossed in front of her chest in a feeble attempt to keep warm.
I pulled up my cab against the sidewalk and wound down my window.
"Hey you know the buses don't run this late?" I warned her.
"You're shitting me" she said.
I laughed, "No ma'am! Where you headin'? I can take you"
She told me she didn't have enough money for a cab, she'd got separated from her friends at a bar and had to scrape together change for the bus. I couldn't in good conscience let this woman stand in the dark alone at this time of night, so I offered her the ride for no charge.
She climbed into the back, soaking wet. I heard her clothes squeak against the leather interior as she shifted along the seat. She thanked me again.
"It's no trouble, I wouldn't want my daughter standing out in this" I said.
We got talking on the ride, told me she's a nursing student, lives alone after her boyfriend broke up with her. She was new to the city, hadn't made many friends yet. I told her about my failed marriage and divorce, figured she wouldn't feel so bad if shes not the only loner in the car. After a while the conversation fell short, as it does. I looked at her in my rear view mirror. God she was beautiful. Dark brown eyes to match her hair, and perfect skin. She looked up and caught me looking, I cleared my throat and looked back out the window but i saw her smile.
We got to her apartment complex and she got out the cab, she came to the passenger side and climbed in, pulling out a pen and taking my hand. "I can't believe I'm about to do this but, what you did tonight was really nice" She started to write her number across the back of my hand. "Give me a call sometime?" she grinned.
Works every time. Tell em about your daughter and your pathetic little divorce using your big sad eyes the whole time.
I don't have a daughter. I've never been married.
I took the pen from her hand and smiled.
Then I drove it into her neck.
They always look so surprised. That kinda "why?" face. Blood spewed from the hole I'd made. It came in regular gushes. I've always thought it looked kinda cool, pumping out like that. Her eyes rolled back in her head and she passed out, it doesn't usually take long. She'd be dead in minutes.
I reached under her seat to collapse her chair back, didn't need anyone seeing her now. I wiped the blood off her side of the window and started the car again.
She started making those gasping sounds they always make.
It was 12:16 when they stopped.