Photo by Mat Reding on Unsplash

The balcony doors were open and the drapes danced slowly on the soft breeze as it entered the apartment. Although it was only early May, the temperature was comfortable and already hinting at a warm summer. Specks of dust drifted aimlessly through the living area.

Situated at the far end of the room was the open kitchen which housed the silent witnesses of yesterday’s dinner. Various pots and pans stood scattered on the countertop and the stove still contained the remains of what might have been an exquisite meal. A sharp knife stood upright in the cutting board. The blade‚Äôs tip buried deep in the wooden surface. Something only brute force would have been able to achieve. In the sink lay two shattered plates. The porcelain shards mixed with the leftover food, as if entangled in a bizarre ritual.

In front of the kitchen stood the dining table, the heavy wooden structure could easily seat eight guests. But it was only set for two. Two earth-toned placemats placed on the near end of the table. Across from each other. A half filled glass of wine stood guard on the corner of one of them. Another glass on its side in the middle of the table, a small crack running from the base up to the edge. The dark red stain surrounding it.

Past the fallen chair, on the ground towards the couch, a torn photograph lay lonely on the dark wooden floor. Only a few feet away, on the persian carpet there was another picture. Also torn. And another one. And another one. And another one.

Amidst a sea of ripped up photos sat the young woman. Her head tilted backwards on the backrest of the sofa. Her hands placed besides her on the seating, palms facing up. She wore a simple, yet graceful black dress that closely fitted her small frame. Her feet were bare, her pumps close by on the floor. Dark areas started to show on the soft skin at the sides and front of her elegant neck. A small trace of blood ran from her left temple down to the back of her head. Into her perfectly styled dark blond hair. Her eyes were open, but the light in them was gone. Faded.

Specks of dust drifted aimlessly through the living area.