My name is Xeno Hemlock and I have a confession to make. I killed Gina Watson, twice, and I loved her. But who the hell is Gina Watson?
Well, she was just the most important woman in my life for the past three years.
WARNING: Skinny Love and the Bagel and I Killed My Friends and It Thrilled Me spoilers ahead.
Gina Watson is the biggest link between my recently released novel I Killed My Friends and It Thrilled Me and its spinoff book Walden and Hyde (and Other Short Stories) released a year ago. In I Killed My Friends, Gina's arrival at main character Herbert Novelli's apartment set the story of the novel in motion. Accompanied by their friend Sarah and an invitation for her upcoming wedding, Gina inviting her former high school sweetheart Herbert to her wedding appeared to be her weird way of reconnecting with an old lover. Former lovers can become friends, right? At least that's what seemed to be going through Gina's mind.
Herbert accepted the invitation with a secret plan of his own. Gina then came to him to help her lose weight for the wedding, an opportunity in line with Herbert's yearning for revenge. He accepted and in the process fell in love with her again. In a desire to understand the random complications of love, Herbert interpreted Gina's return to his life as her subtle way of her asking to be saved from her upcoming wedding to another man. Confident he made the right assumption, Herbert decided to surprise Gina one morning to declare his rekindled love for her and tell her not to go through the wedding. Little did he know, the surprise was on him.
With his own eyes, Herbert saw the fiancé, a muscular Danny Fackelmeyer, kiss Gina on the lips. With his own ears, he heard her confirm that his assumption was wrong. She really asked for Herbert's help to lose weight for her wedding and there was nothing more to that.
Breaking someone's else heart can have grave consequences. In Gina's case, she paid for it with her life. Herbert killed her. Well, I killed her. In fact, I got to kill her another time, off the pages of I Killed My Friends, in Gina's own story Skinny Love and the Bagel.
I loved Gina because she wasn't just a random secondary character. She played a crucial role in I Killed My Friends and she was the one who inspired the spinoff book in the first place. Not satisfied with killing her offscreen, I decided she deserved her own story showing the last moments of her life. Thus, Skinny Love and the Bagel happened. Originally titled "Gluttony Gina and Her Death by a Bagel", it was initially planned to be the title story for the collection before switching to Walden and Hyde in the last few weeks. It pained to kill her twice knowing she didn't follow her heart leading to her demise.
Who really is Gina Watson?
She's an epitome that love can go beyond the surface. After all, ripped Danny Fackelmeyer fell in love with her when she was already a balloon and no longer the skinny teenager that she was.
She's also the epitome of life regrets: walking away from things and people that we love, attempting to hurt the people who love us to move to a greener pasture, and wasting opportunities to correct the course of our lives.
If only Gina admitted to Herbert she really wanted him to save her from her wedding...
Who really is Gina Watson? She could be you, me, or anybody.
I Killed My Friends and It Thrilled Me
Herbert Novelli lives an ordinary life. Breakfast. Work. Lunch. Work. Gym. Dinner. Sleep. Plus the occasional get together with his long-time friends who entered adulthood together with him in Cinnabar City.
An unannounced visit to his apartment one ordinary night brings his ex-girlfriend Gina Watson. After leaving him with a vague letter and a broken heart in their old home town Verona, Gina’s unexpected appearance is the last thing Herbert expects to happen.
Gina hands Herbert an invitation to her wedding with another man as a strange peace offering. Herbert accepts it, a show of his willingness to bury the hatchet.
But Death has a funny way of doing his job in the city. Sometimes he makes a grand fanfare of his arrival. Other times, he comes unannounced with a wedding invitation on hand.