I did a terrible, unforgettable thing. A thing you could never imagine someone like me would be capable of.
I was a senior student of a prestigious technology university. All my life I’d been my parents’ good boy, my teachers’ favorite, and my friends’ hero, the last one mostly during examinations. The point is they loved me and they expected things from me, tons of things I might add; fortunately I had managed to not disappoint them so far, which is why the crime I am about to confess can be rather shocking.
I led an easy life, one might say, and I will not deny it. I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, cuddled by affluent, loving parents, who gave me the best of both their love and their money. They always did. I wore the best clothes money could buy, played the most expensive toys, went to the most prestigious schools. Sometimes I couldn’t help wondering if they had spoiled me with their sweet, teeth-rotten love; other times I simply enjoyed their smothering affection, taking what they offered me for granted. Life was all but roses and wine for me. Yet I always felt lacking. A tiny, insignificant puzzle piece missing from the big, bright picture of my life. It’d been urging me since I noticed its existence that I had to do something, yet I had no idea what it was. Unknown to my parents and my friends I had been hanging out with people from shady backgrounds. With them I had tried drugs, I had gambled, I had whored. I had whiled the hours tangling in sleek, naked limbs, passionately worshipping the Devil in the only way we knew how, and did best. The thrill they gave me was ephemeral at best, lasting for a heartbeat and then quickly dissolving into the vast, grim landscape of my ennui. The missing piece remained missing and at the end of the night, I laid naked on the bed, reeked of alcohol, sweats, tobacco and perfumes, watching the creeping dawn while feeling the tiny hollowness grow humongous until it devoured me whole.
You must understand that I, though had done many a questionable thing, had never wished to commit such an act. Never thought it! Even in my darkest hours I could never imagine that one day I would do the exact same thing that I often felt disgusted every time reading about it on the newspaper. It came to me entirely by surprise, an impulse that was too strong to resist. I wagered it was due to this impulse that the good, gentle husband plunged the knife into his wife’s chest, that the young, loving mother drowned her newborn baby and the benevolent child strangled his own mother. Before I had the chance to reason it, I had already acted on it. I grabbed that girl by her arm – a frail, delicate creature made to suffer as the poets so love to write – and down the street I dragged her while she struggled with all the feeble strength her petit body could muster. It was dark and deserted, a ghostly path that led to a ghostly house at the end of the street. I knew that house well – abandoned, uninhabited for years and years, a true haunted thing that it was. And even better did I know what I would do to her, the missing puzzle piece of my life in the form of a thin girl, lost, dirty and vulnerable to all sorts of violation.
I crammed myself into her tightness the moment I pushed her down the dusty floor. She squirmed beneath my weight and incoherent noises came from her throat. She was not screaming, could not to, and I learned that trivia once my tongue ravaged her mouth, finding not its counterpart. I couldn’t fathom why, but at the moment I came to the knowledge, I felt a bestial rage gnawing the inside of my stomach. So strong was the bite of the monster in me that my lust became impotent, instantly withered in her wet cavern, replaced by another desire. My hands clammed around her throat and I lifted her head, only to bang it against the cold, hard floor. “Scream! Scream for me!” I repeated my demand as my hands repeated the motion. Again and again. Stronger and stronger. Scream she did not; however, her large, sunken eyes were wide open as they stared not at my face, but something behind my head. But I didn’t notice her eyes back then, blinded as I was by my insane need, and I only recalled it later. Her noises grew weaker by second, until they all but died inside her throat.
I came in her deceased womb like I had never came before. My life was complete now that I had found my missing piece.
I went on being the ‘good boy’ of my parents and my friends. I looked brighter, full of life, one of my friends remarked and I could not help a beam. Could he say that if he knew what I had committed? But I didn’t smile as to mock his ignorance; I smiled because I was happy. I was living. I was enjoying my life as I had never been able to before the poor girl. At her I found a kind of elation that could keep me a good man for the rest of my life. I would be a gentle lover. I would be a faithful husband, a gentle father for my future family. I would be the man everyone around me expected me to be. I felt grateful for her life that was burnt for my own. Once the hellish fire had extinguished, I left her at the abandoned house – the madness occurred there would never depart it. No-one would discover her at least in a month or two. Maybe even more. I paid extra attention to the news, and my heart jolted every time they broadcast something about a murder. I kept waiting a day her death would appear on the TV screen, and they would have all sorts of speculations about her murderer. They would call him ‘a beast’, ‘a demon’. They would question the beggars, rogues and vagabonds nearby. They would never suspect a future engineer in designer clothes. No-one would never know. No-one.
Now you should understand that my telling you my ugliest secret is not because I was tormented by it, nor did I feel the slightest sliver of regret for what I had done. As I said, this act gave me the joy and a feeling of complete I’d never experienced before in my life. Given a chance to turn back time, I would still do it again. Don’t tell me you’ve never had that kind of impulse once or twice in a life time, I don’t buy bullshit. You haven’t committed it simply because you haven’t found your piece, or your chance, whatever the case.
So I’m telling you this not out of remorse but out of kindness, my friends, whether you believe me or not. What I said above is only half the tale, and the other half is what you should really pay attention to.
It happened just as quick and sudden as the moment I saw the girl. I was in my car, driving home after a hardworking day on campus. It had been a lucky day and I was in a ebullient mood; I turned on the stereo and jovially singing along some trashy music with my hands on the wheel. Then I shuddered with a chill, the light of the world went out and when it was on again, I was nowhere but inside my car. I was convinced that I had had a concussion, a notion I quickly shook off after a few seconds, for my vision was clear and my head painless. Confused, the first thing I did was look at my hands, finding them scratched and unclean, the fingers spidery and the nails ragged, caked with dirt. The asphalt of the pavement hurt my feet – they too were bare and filthy. More importantly, they weren’t my feet, nor were these hands mine, nor this stained dress, this entire body! This was a girl’s body, malnourished, neglected and probably abused, if the yellowish bruises on my arms were any proof. There was a small puddle on the street and with the light from the street lamp, I was able to get a look at my face. Not my face, to my un-surprise and utmost horror. You couldn’t imagine it if you have never looked into the mirror and found another face looking back at you. Words are never enough to describe it. Moreover, what had happened to my body, sitting in a car driving at top speed on highway? Had I already died?
A strong hand grabbed my arm and pulled me to my feet. A man in a neat suit, with gold-rimmed glasses and a Patek Philippe watch around his wrist. I knew it immediately since I possessed the same one – a birthday gift from my parents on my 18th birthday. Even the strap was very similar. Provided he had another face, I would be convinced that he had somehow snatched my own body. But he looked too different from me to be me, the only similarity being the look in his almond-shaped eyes – someone had discovered the missing piece of his life puzzle and was determined to reclaim it!
No! No! No! I tried to scream but no word would come out of this mouth, only noises that the stranger paid no mind to as he dragged me to the shadows at the end of the street. I knew what awaited there. I had been there, only not as the captive. I wanted to fight back, to escape this predetermined fate yet this frail body just wouldn’t allow me. It was weak, famished and sick and the man subdued me with hardly any effort. Twice I tripped and my captor yanked me back up. My arm where he grabbed felt numb, my shoulder dislocated in my failed attempt to wrestle free of his grip and my bare feet scraped against the street, bleeding profusely. Tears streamed down my dirtied face. Then through a teary veil I saw her: under the streetlamp stood a girl in a stained white dress, her long dark hair disheveled and her feet bare. She looked exactly the same ragdoll as the night I had broken her, the same as I was now. The only nuance was that she was grinning at me from ear to ear.
Moss and dust and years of negligence created a peculiar stench that was unique to this abandoned house. It was familiar and terrifying at the same time. The man threw me on the floor, his foot stepping on my thigh to keep me in place while he undid his belt. No! No! I fought him but it seemed this body was designed for surrendering and my struggle only fueled his lust. He cleaved my thighs apart and thrust into me in one swift, precise motion. My muscles clenched around his scalding heat and I felt with clarity each and every of his virile pulse. It was a most excruciating agony, doubled with the irony that it was I who had done the same to the girl weeks before. The memory was still fresh, and for that my horror increased tenfold.
It was as though watching a horror movie and coming to a realization mid way that you had been literally sucked into the story and now your life was counted by the remaining screentime. He penetrated me down and up, and was disappointed by my inability to scream. “Scream! Scream for me!” he yelled, his hands on my throat and he lifted my head. In that fleeting moment before my head hit the cold, hard floor, I saw the girl again. Grinning widely, she stood right behind his back. But this time she wasn’t alone. In her hand was a chain that linked together a line of men behind her. All men, all naked and wounded, with their eyes crudely sewn shut, their mouths gagged and only incoherent noises rose from their throats. Each was crouching on the floor and bound by the chain, his wrists being tied to the man before him while his ankle hooked to the one behind. I squinted my eyes, trying to see beyond them. The line seemed without end, a true human centipede. Blood from their myriad wounds drew a tortuous trail that barely touched her feet as their groans barely reached her ears. She looked into my eyes and rested her free hand on my rapist’s shoulder.
That was my last image.
That’s how my story ends. My friends, I know you all have a missing puzzle piece waiting to be filled. It’s a nagging burden that won’t just go away. Beware of her, of our ruthless mistress, for she always knows of it, however deep a corner you have it concealed. She will tempt you, provoke you so that you will let it surface. Don’t give in. Otherwise there’s always a space for another man.