Since the day that I killed my Mother, I always wondered what had come into my mind to make me let go, I knew that if I waited, we could have saved Mother and maybe the terrible events in my life would never happen. That moment has shaped my entire career, the entirety of my life. It might have all been prevented if I'd kept my grip. Such a small feat, leading to something much bigger. The butterfly effect.
Dad never asked me what happened, he just assumed that it was an accident, that I was trying to save her, everyone did, though no one ever asked. They thought the topic was a soft spot for me, I was the one that saw her death. It may have been, but they never thought that something malicious could have occurred. I may even have even told them the truth if they did ask, I always felt so guilty. If they played the right strings, I definitely would have told them. Even the medics that came to retrieve my Mother's dismembered body didn't question whether it could have been murder. I remember them saying their condolences as they passed me on their way to the ambulance. Everyone just assumed, and, in a way, those assumptions lead to many more deaths. It makes you think about how many crimes could have come from much greater evil than what people assume. Assumptions are not always correct. No one would assume that I would try and murder. Why would you expect I? Why would I try anything like that? That is why I have gotten away with what I have, because of assumptions. Assumptions are the real killer.
Soon after my mom's death, I started to wonder if the malice in my heart was much bigger than I thought or if Mom's death was just a mistake like everyone said, whether I wanted to kill her rather than just accidentally killing her. With my insane childhood curiosity and confusion, I started to fabricate a plan, a plan to murder again. I wanted to see if I could get away with it again. And that was exactly what I did on a late summer night on the side of an empty road. There, innocent little Ruthie, dressed in a pink miniskirt and white tank-top, light pink side bag resting heavy on her hip, stepped out into the thick air of the summer night. There, a beat up puke green Hyundai sat, pulled over on the side of the dirt road in the dim moonlight. I walked swiftly over to the ugly car, my heart thumping out of my chest. Inside the car, I could make out a plump man sitting in the driver's seat, looking down at what must have been a map. I could just make out his dark, scraggly beard in the little light I had.
Coming up to the driver's side of the dirty car, I knocked on the man's window, plastering on one of my brightest, most innocent smile, despite the stirring in my stomach. The man folded up the paper in his hands before rolling down the window, his eyes narrowed to see me in the dim light of the night.
"Hi, uh," I said, leaning down into the window of his car. He probably thought I was a stripper, because did a complete scan of my body, lingering on my then undeveloped chest. I should have worn jeans, or any pants at the least. When he met my gaze again, I breathed in, immediately regretting it. His car reeked of cigarettes and hard liquor, no doubt a product of many nights spent alone in his car. I had to fight the urge to scrunch up my nose and pull away. My solution was to not breathe, because even if I did, it would feel like I was drowning in chemicals. "I think I'm lost, do you think you can help?"
He rolled the window all the way down to see me better, still doing quick scans over my body, probably thinking about what he could do to me. I had done my research. I knew this man was a registered offender. "I'm sorry, Hun, I ain't from here and I'm lost, too." His voice had a thick southern accent, he was from the south, of course.
"Oh, I see" I fiddled with my skirt, feeling self conscious of his gaze. "Well, um," I opened the bag at my side, holding it from his view. There was nothing in the bag other than a small handgun, latex rubber gloves, and three sticks of spearmint gum and there was no way to distract myself from what I planned to do. With my hand trembling, I wrapped my hand around the handle of the gun. Once I pulled it out, I would have to kill the man, because he would have seen my face. This was the last moment I had to change my mind. Do it. A devil in the back of my mind said. And I listened, like I was best at doing.
With little humanity I had left, I whispered, "I'm sorry." Before I pulled the gun from the bag, pointing the barrel at his head. And without looking, I pulled the trigger. Ringing filled my ears, ricocheting in my head. For a moment, I almost wish I had missed, though I knew I hadn't.
For the longest time, I just stood there, the exact same way I stood when I killed Mother, but this time, my eyes were closed tight and the handgun was still pointed at the man. I knew I had to finish up what I started, but I wanted to run away, leave what I'd done and never come back. I might get caught, but I couldn't look back at the mess I'd made. Then, taking a shaky breath, I pulled the handgun back into my bag, refusing to look at the man. I pulled on the latex gloves that were in my bag, walked to the other side of the car, and opened the passenger door. My whole body shook as I opened the glove compartment, in there was another handgun, identical to the one in my bag. I pulled it out, taking care not to touch anything in is car, as if it were made of poison. Knowing that this would be the worst part, I looked over the man, his blood spattering the inside of the car. I couldn't bare to look at him any longer, so I quickly leaned into the car, wrapped his limp, bloodied hand around the handgun from his glove compartment, and rolled up the window. I had to hold the puke that traveled up my throat down, as to not leave any evidence. After all of it was done, I shut the car door with great care, then I fled the scene, not running, but nonchalantly walking, though I felt absolutely sick with myself. I only got about a mile before I leaned over and puked into the tall grasses by the side of the road. It didn't make me feel much better. I don't think anything would. I still felt sick to my stomach. Dizzy and sick, I popped one of the sticks of gum from my bag in my mouth, as if it would clean what I had done.
I found out later that an old woman driving on her way to the grocery store had found him the next morning. They ruled it a suicide. It wasn't a surprise, but I almost wish they had found out that it was murder. I was so mad at myself for what I had done. I wasn't a killer, what had I thought this would prove? That I was bloodthirsty?
The man's family and friends weren't even surprised at the news, they had known that he was deeply depressed and had been planning suicide for a long time. He even posted about it on Facebook and Twitter multiple times, that's how I found out about him and his depression and his handgun identical to mine, which wasn't actually mine. It was the one I stole from our elderly neighbor's garage while I was helping him plant trees in his backyard.
That was the second person I murdered, with many others that followed, but this was the first that was completely intentional and made me feel more guilty. To that guilt and regret, I promised myself that I would never hurt anyone ever again, a promise I wouldn't be able to keep.