The alarm clock was set. The clothes were packed. The note was written. Everything was ready as planned. I had managed to scrape together as much money as I could. It was only a matter of time before I put my plan to action. I decided to get a few hours of shut-eye before that.
A sharp sound pierced my ears with the intensity of a train whistle.
The alarm rang and I woke up with a start. “It’s time” I said to myself aloud. Saying it aloud made it seem real and the seriousness of it all hit me. No, I can’t hesitate now. It’s too late to change plans. With my mind set, I picked up my duffel bag and the letter.
I looked at the letter for a minute. It had been so hard to write. So painful. My eyes swelled with tears. No! Stop! Don’t open the dam again. Your feelings will flood your mind and it will drown you. I closed my eyes and shut the dam- although it was harder now that the time to leave was already here. I ran to my window- staying longer only made the pain worse. I jumped out of the window like I had done countless times before, but I knew this time I wasn’t coming back. Maybe I will someday, but that day was a long, long way off.
I plugged my ears with my earphones. The loud music pounding through them cut me off from the horrendous reality. I was in a different world – a better world- a world where things like money, debt and violence had no place. There was only bliss. Bliss and happiness. Bliss, happiness and best of all- freedom and no misery.
I arrived at the bus stop and sat on the empty bench. I glanced down at my watch. The bus would be here in about fifteen minutes. I waited, staring at nothing, when suddenly I heard footsteps. More accurately, feet dragged along the coarse ground. Who would be wandering about this late at night? I wondered. A huge muscle-bound man passed by me, drunk. Very, very drunk. Absolutely hammered. It was a miracle he was even standing on two feet. He was reeking of alcohol, a stench so raw and concentrated that I gagged despite the distance between us. But that was not all- I recognised the man. The man whose face I could never forget in a million years. The face of the man who harassed, beat up and finally murdered my father over a petty debt right before my eyes.
My body trembled with hate- so much hate. Hate so primitive and uncontrollable that even before I knew what I was doing, I had whipped out my pocketknife and I was running, running towards him, charging at him with ever ounce of hatred I could muster. He turned his head groggily but even before he could comprehend what was happening, I drove my knife into him. I pulled it out and stabbed him again and again and again . Blood gushed out from the multiple holes I had punctured. His chest had stopped moving a long time ago, his eyes stared blankly at nothing but I didn’t stop. I couldn’t stop. My face was smeared with blood mixing in with the salty tears, my hands dripped with the thick red liquid, trembling even as I held the knife and drove it into him one last time. I collapsed next to him on the ground in exhaustion- exhaustion from all the crying or from the stabbing I couldn’t tell. I closed my eyes and my father’s face appeared before me.
I heard the bus rolling to a halt in front of the bus stop. I stood up, as though in a trance. I looked down at my hands. They were still shivering and still red. A deep, dark red which almost looked black. I was still in shock as I walked out of town. I walked, and walked for how long I do not know. I found a stream where I managed to wash my face and hands. I sat back down.
The realisation hit me hard. I had murdered a human being. No, I had murdered a murderer. He was no human being. And now, I realised, I am not one either.