by Regina Evans
Introspective short story.
|I am a murderer. The thought rang true through my mind and the tears I’d carefully hidden were beginning to show. I tried to tell myself it wasn’t true, but the idea was out and it wouldn’t be contained again. A young girl, only 14, was dead and it was entirely my fault. Not only did I maim her beyond recognition, but I was around her family and friends constantly. They didn’t know. How could they? But I did. Every time I looked in their eyes, I knew.
I hadn’t given my actions recognition until this day. So I should start to call it what it is: murder. The worst kind of murder. The words kept echoing in my head and I struggled as it threatened to ruin my façade. They couldn’t know. No one could know.
The disappointment in their eyes could have been a fair punishment, but I didn’t feel it was an equal trade. At times I would feel the eyes weigh me down unbearably. At other times the guilt took over my entire being and I prayed for more punishment. Still, no one knew.
I’d become a different person. The innocence I was ever so fond and protective of was gone forever. Pain, lust and blood lust became the things that drove me. They replaced the goals of determination and joy and the fires of my heart began to give off an acrid smell. It was a fire I often tried to put out, but never managed to quench the last few sparks. Something kept me fighting and maybe the fire was kept burning low for stealth, but it was enough to go on with.
More showers. Perfumes. Anything to hide the smell. From them and from myself. I couldn’t bear it. The knowledge of what I’d done. I became numb to it. Forgot it. And then the thought:
A child was gone because of me. She smiled more than me. She worked harder. She was close to God. She loved her friends. She loved her family. She had a bright and shining future. A light I extinguished. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d felt that kind of pure happiness I’d seen written across her face.
A child was dead.
A child whose family didn’t know she was missing.
A family that was in mourning and didn’t even know it.
A child was dead with no body to account for it.
I’d killed her. Maimed her beyond recognition. And sometimes, when I look in the mirror, I still see her scream.