Alfred opened the front door and walked into his apartment. Sliding the chain on the door and putting his keys on the hook by the door, he took off his coat and hung it up. Next, he took off his shoes and places them beside the door. Alfred stood in the foyer and took a deep breath. Glancing at his watch, it was still early. Walking wearily to the bathroom, he begins taking off his shirt. He closes the door and takes the rest of his clothes off. After turning on the shower, he steps in. He closes his eyes and lets the warm water run over his body. Taking a deep breath he lets it out slowly. Running his fingers through his hair, before letting his arms fall to his side. The water feels good. It makes him feel relaxed and clean.
Coming from the door, “How did your date go? Did you have fun?”
Al kept silent, he just stood there letting the water wash over him. He was not in the mood to talk now. The day had been stressful and answering a bunch of endless questions about his date would only make him feel worse. Feeling the water run down his back, he let out a huge sigh. The tension in his muscles started to ease.
”I’ll be waiting in the living room buddy.”
Al did not want to talk about anything, and he knew his roommate Wilford would respect his space. He stepped out of the shower and began drying off. All he wanted to do was go watch some TV and go to bed. He pulled on a pair of pajama pants and a t-shirt and went to the living room. Wilford was taking a nap in the recliner. Al sat down on the couch. Grabbing the remote, he turned on the TV. He flipped through the channels until he found the news. He sat there waiting for the weather when the reporter said something that caught his attention.
“It happened again, didn’t it? How many does this make Alfred?” The reporter was looking straight into the camera. “Seven? Well really eight, but who’s counting? Tell us, Alfred, what are you going to do now? I thought you were going to stop. Let me guess, this one was not your fault?”
Alfred threw the remote against the wall, turning the TV off. He sat there with his head in his hands. He could not think, his thoughts were muddy. And his head began to hurt. He felt like he was going to pass out. The stress of the day was building again. Wishing he could find a deep hole to crawl into to escape from the anxiety and stress. Alfred began the breathing exercises that his therapist had recommended.
”Is there something you would like to talk about?” asked Wilfred from the recliner.
Alfred sat quietly staring at the TV. He did not want to talk to anyone. It was like he was stuck in a dream world. All he wanted was to go back to the way things were before. But that was not going to happen. He did not know how to extricate himself from the predicament he found himself in. He felt like he was drowning. Like a nightmare, he wanted to wake up. It felt like he was being suffocated. Standing up, his hands began to shake.
”It might make you feel better if you talk about it,” said Wilfred.
”I don’t want to talk about it,” He looked at Wilford. His face was pale, and his eyes were bloodshot from tears.
“Remember what your therapist said,” replied Wilfred.
“I know, it makes it easier to process my emotions, anxiety, and depression.” making air quotes as he walked around the room. “I know all the exercises and techniques.”
“So, what do you say, Al? I’m here for you to talk to if you want. We can work through it however you like.”
Al walked back to the couch and sat down. “It happened again.”
He stared out the window and watched the rain fall. From the look on his face, his mind was deep in thought. His memories were still fresh, and he was still processing them.
“Oh no. Are you ok?”
“Yea,” replied Al. “I’m fine.”
“What happened?” Questioned Wilfred.
”You know I had a date today,” he paused. “It was nice, but it didn’t go well. It was the same girl; I had been talking to. We went to lunch and decided to go for a hike. She said she had never seen the waterfalls. Since it was so nice outside, we went for a walk on the trails. Everything was great. We walked through the forest and saw the falls. She said she wanted to look at it from the top. There was a path that went up to the edge of the falls. It wasn’t that bad of a climb. Once at the top, the view was great. She seemed to enjoy herself.”
“Sounds great. So what’s the problem?”
“I decided to take a picture of her with the lip of the waterfall in the background. As I moved along the rocks, the surface was extremely slick. I slipped. She tried to catch me, and she also slipped on the flat rock. She tripped and fell off the top of the waterfall. Her body landed on the rocks below. When I got to her, she was already gone.”
“How dreadful,” replied Wilfred. “I am so sorry. Did you call the police?”
“No. You know I don’t trust them. Regardless of what you did, they will find you guilty. They never care about the circumstances as long as they can get a conviction. I’m not going to let them do that.”
“Yea, your right. So what did you do with the body?”
“I was shocked when I found her. She was broken and bloody. A bone was sticking out the back of her neck. I panicked when I realized what happened. Since the water was high from all the rain, I pushed her shattered body into the water. The current instantly took it downstream. How strong the water flowed; I doubt if anyone will ever find her.”
“It’s ok. It was an accident, none of it was your fault. It was a random freak occurrence. You didn’t cause her death. Neither did you hurt her or even intended to. It was an accident, and accidents happen.”
“I don’t know, “Al replied. “It doesn’t seem fair.”
“The world isn’t always fair.” Wilford adjusted himself in the recliner. “You didn’t mean for this to happen; you were just trying to help. It’s over. We have to move on. You can’t blame yourself. It was an accident; it was nothing you did. This is a learning experience you will remember for the future.”
Al looked at Wilford. He was so concerned for him, but he did not realize how upset he was. The emotional part felt like he was losing a part of himself. Everything was so confusing. Are the fabric of reality and the world tearing apart? Or was this all just a figment of his imagination? What is real and what was not?
“It’s ok, Al. I’m here for you. You’re not alone.”
“I know Wilfred, I’m ok.” Al wiped the tears from his eyes.
Al turned back to the window watching the rain fall. His reflection in the glass looked back. Unable to focus on anything except the tears in his eyes and the slight throbbing of his own heart which was breaking. He felt like no one in the world cared about him.
“I don’t know, Alfred. Are you sure you’re ok?” Wilfred was hesitant. “This does make the eighth time.”
“Third.” corrected Alfred angrily. “My sister doesn’t count. As for the other four, I was in a dark place. I did not have full control over myself. But I truly didn’t mean to this time.”
“You are a wonderful man, Alfred. I just want you to know that. You are my best friend, and I would do anything for you. I wish there were more men like you. It is exceedingly rare to find a man who is a kind and caring individual. You are one of a kind.”
“I’m so sorry, Wilfred. I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.”
“It’s ok Al. You didn’t do anything wrong. You just made a mistake. It’s ok. We’ll get through it like before.”
Al looked at Wilfred and smiled. “I appreciate that. But she is still dead. Nothing we do will change that.”
“You can’t blame yourself; Al. You didn’t hurt her. It was an accident.”
“Was it?” Challenged Al. “When she died, I felt that rush again. The exhilaration. I felt so alive. It was like having the power of life and death. The thrill spread all over my body. Maybe I subconsciously made her slide.”
No, Al. You didn’t make her fall. It was an accident; you didn’t do anything wrong.” Wilford walked over and sat down beside Alfred.
But you don’t know that.” Al got up and walked to the window. “I have been thinking about the other two that died. Maybe Dee didn’t trip on the stairs. Have you ever thought of that? What if Rain didn’t get tangled in that seaweed? Maybe I had something to do with their deaths.”
“Listen, Al, this is a dark path you are taking. Nothing good will come of it. You didn’t kill those girls.”
“I knew something was wrong with me when my sister asked me to help her commit suicide. I did not hesitate when she asked me to cut her wrists. A normal person would have gone for help. Instead, I slit her wrists, and then sat against the bathroom door and watched her die. I felt pleased when I helped to release her from the hurt of being raped.”
“Your therapist said what happened was not your fault. You were young and impressionable. You were manipulated by your traumatized sister.”
“I know what she said. But the other four weren’t,” replied Al.
”You only do that when the voices and hallucinations became too powerful for you. We learned that if we kept the heads preserved in jars, then the need stays away. Life had been stressful lately. You need to take care of yourself. Besides, you only go after prostitutes. You don’t kill innocent people.”
“I have to stop this. It is not the right way to live. My therapist doesn’t know what is going on. I cannot go back there because I cannot trust her anymore. She is just like the rest of them. I don’t want to talk to her or to any of them. I want to be left alone.”
“Al, you are getting into the dark place again. We have been through this before. I know what you are feeling. I understand. We need to get you back into the right mindset.”
Al sat back down. He was agitated because he could not organize his thoughts. His head was a little too cloudy for him to concentrate, but he tried his best to focus. With emotions running high, he wanted to cry. He did not want to deal with this. His depression was severe. He was mad at himself, the world, and about everything. The anxiety was so overwhelming that he thought it would take over.
“It’s frustrating. I’m really sick of people thinking they can tell me what to do all the time. All the people judging me, I am tired of being labeled. I feel like everyone is watching me, waiting for me to make a mistake. I feel like I have a huge target on my back.”
“Al, it’s over. We have to move on.”
“I’m tired of moving on too. Life is one long series of hurdles that are designed to keep me down. Feeling like this, I am tired of living. I feel exhausted from feeling anything. I wish I could just go dig a hole and crawl into it. Leave all the troubles of the world behind.”
“You need to get out of this place if just for a little while. Spending too much time cooped up at home is not good for you,” replied Wilfred.
“I don’t know maybe your right. I have felt so stressed lately.”
“How about this? The rain has stopped, let’s go for a walk.” Wilfred suggested excitedly. “A walk and fresh air always clear the cobwebs away. Plus it gets you out of here for a while.”
“Yea, that actually sounds good.” Al got up and walked toward the front door. “Come on Wilfred, let’s go for a walk.”
Wilfred grabbed the leash at the end of the couch. He came prancing toward the front door with his leash in his mouth. His tail wagged happily as Alfred attacked the leash to his collar and opened the door. Al followed Wilfred out the door.
1 Like | 0 comment