Chapter 6 Him
No matter where you go, there you are.”
“No, no,no,no,NO!” He was holding his head, rocking back and forth as he sat in front of the television. He always left the television on, all day and all night. But today, he regretted that.
He couldn’t stop rocking, his heart was racing as the voice on the TV with breaking news echoed in his head, and with each word spoken, he rocked harder, hands clenching the sides of his head, as if by this gesture, he could erase the words and make them not be real.
His right leg started thumping as a reporter announced that another young lady had been found dead in the crevice of a small creek, just minutes from where he lived.
He lifted his head, and his hands gripped his knees as he forced himself to see the images on the television.
“Police are asking for any information about this young woman. They are trying to identify her by her fingerprints and forensic artists will be trying to recreate her facial features. But so far, all they have is her partially clothed body and, from what police have told us, which was carefully wrapped in a blanket and left here in broad daylight in this creek, just minutes off the I-95 corridor and only a few blocks from where the body of Marissa Taylor had been found just two weeks ago.”
He looked away from the images of the area where the body had been found. There was speculation that these two “random” homicides might not be so random after all. He continued to rock and stomp his foot, grasping his knees to block out the visions he saw, not from the television in front of him, but inside his own head. They would not go away.
He finally stopped long enough to wipe away the tears that were falling down his cheeks, and he stopped cold, looking at the blood on his hands that was smeared with his tears. His heart stopped. He couldn’t breathe.
“No, no no no no…oh God please, No!”
He stood and paced back and forth, his mind racing, his fingers tapping along his thighs and he headed into the bathroom to check the mirror. For a fleet second, he remembered that what he was thinking might not be real. Many times his thinking had mixed up truth with his reality.
He stood in the doorway of his bathroom, and forced himself to look in the mirror.
His face contorted into a look of pure horror at what he saw and how he felt inside. He looked down his arms and at his shirt and saw a mass of blood everywhere. He stood for a moment, until his shoulders dropped in defeat, and he knew that some things might never change. He looked at the mirror and what he saw frightened him beyond his senses. The horror filled his face, and what he might have done, what he probably did frightened him less than what he saw in that mirror.
With a feral cry that reached deep into his soul, he smashed the image he saw there, watching the glass shatter into hundreds of pieces falling all over the sink and the floor. Within that split second, he existed no more. He sat down with legs out in front of him, and leaned against the wall next to the door, exhausted and numb.
The reflection in the mirror, just before he smashed it, was his father, scolding him for being just a bad boy. Reminding him he was a useless scum. That he just killed his sister and she had never done anything to her in her life. He was nothing but the mess on the bottom of someone’s shoe.
“I am nobody. Who are you? Are you nobody too?”
That was the last cohesive moment he would have that evening. He leaned against the wall and felt absolutely nothing at all. He stayed that way until the morning, when he finally would open his eyes, realize he might be late for work and calmly take a shower. He tossed the bloody towel on the heap of his clothing on the floor, absolutely unaware everything around him. He stepped on glass, which cut his feet, but he continued into his room to get dressed. He wiped away the blood from his foot with a tissue, put on his socks and shoes, not feeling any pain or wondering about the blood.
He didn’t hear the television as he grabbed his uniform and his backpack and started for the door. For one moment, he stopped and noticed blood on the strap. He went to the kitchen sink, rubbed the blood from the strap with a wet towel and headed back to the door.
Nothing bothered him. It wasn’t because he didn’t care or not care. He simply didn’t register the blood, or the bloody towels, or the broken glass as being anything at all. It didn’t matter. Nothing was real.
He locked the door to his apartment, stood in front of the elevator until it came to his floor, and stepped inside. He rode down the elevator alone, even though it stopped and picked up a few residents along the way.
As he stepped out into the fresh autumn air, and walked with his own tempo towards the bus stop, he just went through the actions of being alive. He stepped on the bus, dropped his tokens in the slot, didn’t nod at the driver and took his usual seat right up front.
He gazed out the window, and looked at absolutely nothing at all.
“I am nobody. Who are you? Are you nobody too?”