Kristina Brightharp is an alumni of Full Sail University, where she received a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing for Entertainment and was granted the honor of Valedictorian. She's currently making strides to break into the medical field, but she'll forever be a writer at heart. In her free time, she's an avid reader and artist, living in Queens, New York with her parents and two cats, Chloe and Blue. You can find Kristina on DeviantArt and Wattpad.
The motion sense lights lit to a dull hue when they opened the door, illuminating the modest motel room. Jackie turned to the dimmer switch, forcing the wall sconces to their brightest wattage, permitting better scrutiny. The beige carpet sunk beneath their feet as they shuffled inside, the tracks where the staff vacuumed in scented cleaner still visible. The walls were lined with green wallpaper, fake bedpost decals framing the twin beds to their left. The comforters were striped with bright red, green, black and crème, the rest of the bed dressings an oddly stark white. Very easy to stain. While Donna quietly settled on the bed closest to the door, Jackie bounced on the edge of hers, lugging her backpack onto the mattress behind her. “This is it!” she said, her smile bright as the sun as she looked about the space. A 40’’ television sat atop a dresser across from them. Beside that was a desk and chair. On either side were the doors to a bathroom and a closet. She jumped up to throw open the ceiling-to-floor black curtains, exposing an enclosed balcony, complete with a table, two benches and a fake, potted plant. “Fancy,” she said over her shoulder, her expression completely smug. “Shall we get started?” Donna asked, peeling her jacket off. “Right down to business, hmm?” Jackie said, dragging her bag towards her and unzipping it. She pulled out a bottle of champagne, biting her lip in anticipation. “Man, I really wish we would have gone for the hotel room.” “What’s the point?” She went to the desk and opened its sole cabinet, pulling out a plastic bag of paper cups. “This serves our purpose just fine.” “You’re just as boring as I’ve always known,” Jackie said, rolling her eyes as she snatched a proffered cup from Donna’s fingers. “I honestly thought it would be nice to do this with a bang. Act bougie for a night. We could have ordered room service, taken a luxurious shower together, dance and drink in our towels – out of real champagne flutes?” “Are you delusional?” Donna asked, watching Jackie wring the cork out of the bottle with an aggressive twist. “Did you really think I’d do all that nonsense with you?” “Oh, come on!” Jackie said, pouring herself a cup before passing the bottle. “There wasn’t anything special you wanted to do when you got here?” “That’s what the cigarettes are for,” she said, pouring her troubles and placing the half-emptied bottle on the nightstand. She looked to Jackie, who was frowning at her, eyes narrowed. “I thought we weren’t bringing the past with us,” she replied, her cup suspended at her side. “Not our nasty habits, or how much we loathe each other.” “Well, I’m sorry,” Donna said with a shrug. “I can’t fake it until I’m drunk.” A sardonic smile curved her lips as she held her cup toward the other. “That’s what the champagne is for.” Jackie stared at her, her brow twitching with barely repressed hatred. Then, with a smirk that mirrored Donna’s, she raised her cup and toasted her, both women knocking it straight back. Each cup found their bodies looser and their demeanors more open. Soon enough, they were laughing like two timeless friends, embracing and clambering drunkenly against each other. “The alcohol is gone,” Jackie said, her voice full of remorse as she upturned the third bottle, her tongue extended to catch whatever residue may fall. Donna seemed to sober considerably as she sat up on her bed. “It’s time,” she said, and Jackie turned her head, leering toward her. “I’m not ready,” she replied. “Well, I am,” Donna said, standing and snatching the bottle from her. She smashed it against the nightstand, the sound jarring their ears. Carefully, she extracted the two biggest shards, handing one to Jackie, before going into her backpack and removing the two envelopes that contained their wills. “I can’t believe we’re doing this,” Jackie said, her face beginning to contort. “Don’t you dare cry,” Donna said, her voice a hiss. Jackie’s face snapped back like a rubber band, her eyes wide, red and water logged. “We agreed we wanted to do this. We agreed it should be right here, together, because no one hates us more than we hate each other.” “I really do hate you,” Jackie replied, the laugh that followed sounding more like a sob as a tear rushed down her cheek. “I hate you more,” Donna said with a small, sad smile, bringing the shard to her throat. “Are you ready?” Jackie mirrored her motion, staring her right in the eyes before she gasped. “What about your cigarettes?” “Forget them. This was perfect,” she replied, taking a deep breath. “On three, okay?” Jackie nodded, more tears marring her cheeks. “One . . .” Donna said. “Two . . .” Jackie replied. “Three,” they both said. Donna’s eyes widened as she watched Jackie drag the blade across her flesh, her warm blood shooting across onto her face. Jackie watched Donna with the same expression as she choked on her own blood, realizing her betrayal as she finished the deed, the jagged glass falling from her hand. “See you in Hell, Jackie,” Donna said, still in shock as she dropped her shard and leaned toward her, reaching into the backpack to retrieve her cigarettes. Jackie gaped at her, her gurgling filling the room. As Donna pulled away, she fell over to bleed out on the lavender scented floor. Donna stepped squarely into the blood soak, trailing it across the room as she opened the patio door and stepped outside. It was chilly when she sat on the padded bench. Her eyes were full of tears as she brought a cigarette to her lips, lit it, and took a pull. Her hands shook uncontrollably as she stared at the walls that enclosed her, the smoke she exhaled drifting away on the breeze.