By Chase Will
Angelica knew they were watching her—from the air vents in her bathroom, from behind the blinds of her bedroom window while she slept, from cameras hidden in the cracks of her walls—but superstardom was becoming monotonous. The cameras demanded she go through the same routine every day: wake up at 7am to go work at the call center, take a lunch break at 12:35pm sharp to walk toward the Dunkin’ Doughnuts, then leave work at 5pm to go home and stare at the television as it stared back at her in reflection of her life. What sort of niche audience was tuning in so faithfully? She’d never asked for this fame. She’d never asked for the bus driver to smile at her so knowingly every morning as if to say, “I watched the breakdown in front of the mirror last night and replayed it twenty times on YouTube,” or, “I caught the last ten minutes of the fight with your ex-husband and loved it! Good show!”
Day-in, day-out: they watched her.
But not after tonight. Not after she destroyed her inadvertently-created celebrity icon. They’d never be able to look at her the same way—all they’d have left to fawn over would be reruns of her last twenty-three years. She’d finally have peace and quiet.
The razor nicked the top of her head as she shaved away the last bit, but she didn’t flinch as the wound bled. Sheswore her audience would never see tears nor smiles from her ever again. Her chest heaved as she looked herself over in the bathroom mirror, pleased as she flaunted the new look for the hidden cameras. It was perfect.
The silence of her victory was broken as she noticed a pair of tiny, pajama-covered feet in the open doorway beside her, and she turned to see a look of absolute horror on her young son’s face.
“It’s okay, Stevie,” she tried to say, but without her lips or facial muscles the words were lost. She picked him up in her blood-soaked hands and held him close. He couldn’t even scream, petrified as she walked him toward the rocking chair and her unblinking eyeballs looked him over. “Give Mommy a kiss. We’re going to be alright.”