The Mind's Eye

a serial killer is staking out his victims, moving into the neighborhood where they live, befriending them, and then making the ultimate betrayal. Meanwhile, Katie Crawford is trying to get her life back on track after an attempted abduction 14 years earlier left her scarred, both physically and emotionally. But circumstances propel her not only into the murder investigations, but also the possibility that her stalker from years ago has resurfaced and has set his compass on her yet again.


4. Fall 2002 Him

Fall   2010    Him

“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.”

                                      Mother Teresa

Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.

Mother Teresa


Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.

Mother Teresa


  He had been standing outside, leaning against the streetlamp, waiting for the last person to enter the meeting. His head was bent and smoke was rising from the cigarette he was smoking. He always smoked, right up to the filter. He didn’t know why. Maybe it was because he didn’t like to go into the store to buy things. He didn’t like to be noticed. He flicked the stub into the bushes, flapped his arms to air the smell of smoke on his clothes, and started down the sidewalk towards the basement stairwell.

     He paused and turned away, as another person ran past him, heading down the staircase. He followed her quickly and caught the door, slipping into the room right behind her and taking the chair in the last row on the left hand side. It was closest to the door. Just in case.

     The meeting was beginning, and it felt nice that the room was crowded. He inhaled deeply, taking in the stench of the room. All these people, even in their finest work clothes, or casual sweatpants, smelled like filth to him. Then again, almost everything smelled like dirty laundry anymore. He started to rock forward in his chair, then caught his actions, letting his fingers show his anxiousness instead. He knew the room was mostly filled with people who would understand if they saw him restless. He assumed most of them were restless as well, either outside or inside their bodies.

     He didn’t know why he came to this meeting. Part of him told him it was too risky to be seen or recognized. But there was a small part of him that was telling him this was where he wanted to be. He didn’t need to be here. No, no. That would be way too complicated and he wanted none of that hypocrisy. But hat part of him that could still like something, who found some things nice, always brought him here. When he sat in this chair, every week since the seminar began, he felt some form of comfort. He didn’t know why. Hearing their stories brought no empathy whatsoever. Didn’t disturb him at all, nor did it bring those feelings he had started to feel after his dad passed away.

     In this room, he didn’t feel the compulsion to hate, regret, understand or punish. He just wanted to BE. This meeting made him feel right again. Reminded him of a feeling of normal he hadn’t felt since he was a little boy.

     Even when his father passed away, he had no feelings whatsoever. Not relief or empathy; neither  pain, nor happiness. He felt nothing at all.

     He just let his sisters do what they do, and they arranged everything without consulting him. He hadn’t minded that either. They had never given much mind to him, even when he was little. To them, he was a nobody. His mother had died right after he had been born and they were both old enough to decide they didn’t want to carry the burden of a little fellow who cried for his mother all the time and wet the bed at night. After a while, he stopped getting up, just laid in bed with his wet pants on.  After a while he stopped crying all together.

     He glanced around the room and realized they were taking a break. As usual, his mind wandered while he was here, and he never knew what was said or what the topic was. He quickly stood and went outside and up the stairs. He  walked down the street and casually lit another cigarette, biding his time until the ten minute break was over. No one came to talk. He heard them nearby , each in their own small groups. They were speaking in whispers and he knew they weren’t talking about him. He heard the soft ring of the bell that signaled the meeting was continuing and followed the sidewalk, down the stairs, to his chair, and sighed. As usual, no one noticed him at all.

     At the end of the meeting, when everyone bowed their head and said  small prayers, he was the first one out the door, never lifting his head and only slightly holding the door opened behind him. Up the stairs, down the sidewalk, to the left towards the town that had glowing street lights, and bright head lights and the continuous noise of a small city and he felt hidden. He turned right at the corner and walked a little further.

    He stood under the glass shelter and waited for the bus that would take him back home. He was safe once more.  Safe from prying eyes, safe from people who would pretend they wanted to be his friend, but then as soon as they would begin talking, they would back away and  avoid him, as if he was someone to be wary. He didn’t know how they knew. But this had happened most of his life.

     He allowed only one tear to fall, and he wiped it away quickly. This was who he was, this was who he became. No tears would ever bring back who he used to be. No counseling would make him feel better about himself. No one else had ever cared, so why should he? He knew that to allow himself to feel sorry for himself would make him uneasy. He came to these meetings to feel calm. He knew when he became uneasy, there were parts of him that wanted it all to go away…everything and everyone.

     He squeezed his eyes tightly as he turned and watched out the window, sitting tightly in the corner of his seat. He let his mind wander to embrace the symphony of lights outside, that danced on the glass and made a laser show against the window. His heart calmed a bit. He tried to relax.

     He would  home soon. He would watch all the tv shows that he had set on his DVR and then go to bed. This was his routine every time he returned after this meeting. When he slept, he knew there would be no dreams or nightmares about anything at all. He would sleep a deep comforting sleep and wake up refreshed. Each night before he closed his eyes, he hoped he would wake up and everything would be as he wanted them to be. Not as they were.

     So tonight, he would sleep. He would sleep the sleep that peaceful people had. At last, he would finally sleep.

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