Final interlude: A man turns into a monster
As they grew up they grew apart. Ivan eventually told John that Amalia and himself are a couple and that made John angry. He stopped talking to both for a very long time. John kept his anger, jealousy and forbidden – or rather refused – love locked somewhere inside. Inevitably later on everything exploded.
Ivan and Amalia moved together in her house after her parents died in a train accident while coming back from a small vacation after the war had finished. Regardless of the grim and death surrounding them they were still very happy and in love, acting like they were the only ones who mattered for each other. They were building a new life, their life.
John, on the other side, subconsciously driven by jealousy, left town to work as a mechanic in an auto repair shop far away from his hometown. He didn’t knew much about it – only what his father showed him with the tractor along the years – but the owner of the shop was low on staff and offered him a room to stay until he would have enough money to rent a flat.
The economy was down and people were still rebuilding their lives but everything seemed to get back to normal. So that helped young John a lot, that and him being a fast learner. In a few years he was managing the auto shop. Amalia and his brother were always in the back of his mind but never bothered him.
He met along the way a nice young blonde who looked a bit too much like Amalia although that never occurred to John. They met at the bar he was usually at after work; he was drinking a few beers with two of his colleagues from work when they locked eyes. He was instantly mesmerized and she was – as she would later tell him – ‘attracted to the crazy in his eyes’. He gathered the courage – it was lying on the bottom of the third pint – and went to her.
“Hi! I’m John!” he said with his shy voice, the voice of an innocent young man – which he was not – and feeling the angry, protective looks of the girls she came with. “Can I get you a drink?” She analyzed him from head to toes and finally answered.
“Sure John, you want to go at the bar?” she grabbed him while giving her girlfriend the stinky wink. One of them mouthed: ‘You bitch!’ and smiled with a combination of kinkiness and jealousy.
They talked for hours and just before the last call she asked him if he would like to walk her to her apartment. He gleefully accepted, paid and they both started to walk slowly towards were she was living in the middle of the night. Not too far from where she lived rain started to pour down so both of them ran and he ended up in her flat, with her taking his clothes off ‘to dry them’ as she said. It was just like in the cheap, cheesy movies. It was a nice, welcoming apartment with floral designs on the walls and differently colored furniture. It looked like the inside of her mind. They talked some more, started a bottle of wine and had clumsy, drunken sex. Next day he woke up with the feeling that he was finally normal or at least on the right path.
Few weeks past, few good ones with Lola – that was the blonde’s name – and then he received something in the post that changed him forever – or just turned him on the path he started long time ago; I guess once you start on a path there’s no coming back. He received an invitation to a wedding and it read:
“Amalia and Ivan happily invite you and your plus one to this amazing, perfect day! Bring your smile with you!”
He tore it apart, feeling his blood boiling.
“What’s wrong?” Lola asked genuinely worried. “What was that?”
“Nothing! Mind you own fucking business!” she was shocked seeing him turning into a different person. Like a loving dog that turns into an animal when he’s hungry. That started their first – and last – fight. He started to blame her for everything telling her that she is ‘too fucking happy all the fucking time’ but actually knowing all this time that it was the anger towards his brother and that ‘traitor’ that was talking.
“You’re a fucking weird, psycho-asshole, you know that? All this time I thought you love me, I thought I love you… but now I see the real you, the one who’s in love with his childhood girlfriend. You’re nothing but a sad looser.” She finally said and the she slapped him. He immediately felt the rage waking him up and smacked her back. But he didn’t stop there, even after she was on the floor, begging him to stop he was still pounding at her with his fists and legs.
“Now you feel sorry? You fucking stupid bitch?” he said between breaths and it was like the monster that stayed quiet all these years has awakened stronger, angrier and more violent than ever. He took his belt, wrapping it around her neck and, pushing his knee into her chest, he began to strangle her. She was struggling, slapping and scratching at him but he wouldn’t give up. He felt like his knee is going through her chest before she would die of suffocation and that didn’t satisfy him. So he grabbed her head and started to hit it against the heater until blood started to trickle on the hardwood floor. Several seconds later she was dead. He kissed her, wrapped her in the bedroom rug, waited until after midnight and drove to the car crusher nearby. He put her in a trunk of a car and left without any care, like nothing happened, you could almost see a smile on his face. The next day that car would be chosen first to be crushed, and at some point blood would start to leak from between the metal lips of the car crusher, and later the remains of a body would be found but everything would be unrecognizable and untraceable because the teeth and finger tips of it were missing. And anyway everybody was less impressed or interested in crime those days.
John would be on a bridge the next morning counting thirty-three teeth and ten fingertips. Then he went to work like it was nothing and after bought a suit for the wedding which he attended with a – albeit creepy one – a smile nonetheless.
He talked to his brother and Amalia briefly and wished them good luck in an embarrassing, drunken speech. He left from there with a drunk girl that, in a week or so, would end up just like Lola: toothless and without fingertips, crushed in the back of a deserted car.
The next day when Amalia and John would open their presents they would find something that would make Amalia puke: a crude, childish drawing of a girl and a boy standing on clouds. Only the clouds were made out of something hard, not drawn. They were teeth.
For John, seeing Amalia turned out to be a good thing, he realized how beautiful she is and why he was so stupidly in love with her. Feeling a bit silly of the gift he sent them he promised to himself that from now on he would do anything to protect her. So without her or Ivan suspecting he began to follow her almost everywhere. He became her stalker in the shadows, her unknown hero as he liked to think about himself – especially later when he found out she was pregnant.
So he was there, in his own car, behind theirs when another truck hit them. He stopped few meters before the violent accident and quickly got out and went to check on his guarded angel. She was unconscious, in the back seat and he noticed that her water broke. He pulled her out gently as the ambulance sirens were wailing closer and closer. He laid her on the cement and went to check on his brother. He was dead; bloody head half through the smashed windshield, arms broken, mangled under the dashboard, not wearing the seatbelt. Fear started to build up; he didn’t want to lose her. So he waited there on the ground holding her until the ambulance came.
His world collapsed when he heard from the doctor at the hospital:
“We managed to save the baby, but… I’m sorry, she didn’t make it…”
The monster inside finally took over, taking advantage of his weakened mind and body and transforming him into a vengeful, angry psychopath.
“The child is he…?” he asked after this metamorphosis, after the monster took over.
“He’s a healthy boy… and without any other family you will have to take responsibility for him. I understand you are related to the parents?”
“The father is… was my brother.”
So John took the baby but not for long. He would cry all day and all night, and honestly, he didn’t need that. He had plans and he was always ruining them. So he decided to give the kid to an orphanage being careful to cover all his tracks, like he always did.