One-hundred and seven years ago, in the middle of the night, without warning, a man brutally murdered his wife in front of his child.
Six months ago, in a town in a different city, a university student set fire to her dorm building, killing seven people.
Four hours ago, in the early afternoon, I broke my girlfriends legs so that she couldn’t run away from me.
She screamed. She cried and swatted and writhed on the ground, staring at her shattered bones in utter disbelief as the man she thought loved her wielded a hammer, trying to kill her. I’d not thought twice before caving in her skull soon after.
I’m a killer, I thought. A harsh and striking statement that flared in my mind as I stared down at her corpse. Thick, crimson blood spread across the carpet, staining it beyond saving. What a shame. It was a nice carpet.
I sat down on the sofa, the fireplace staring back at me accusingly. Above it sat the oval obsidian mirror, a portal of lavish darkness that was filled with light.
I sat there, staring at the mirror, for four hours. Not moving. Not blinking. Breathing only because I had to, not because I wanted to. The phone rang three times in the hours that’d passed; I ignored each call. My mind wasn’t my own anymore. I knew that, I accepted that. I wasn’t Mark Shavonwell, who worked in advertisement and had a beautiful girlfriend with whom he lived with.
I was a man whose wife had been unfaithful to him. Whose wife deserved to feel the pain I’d had to feel when I discovered the dirty affair. I was a man who had been wronged, until that wrong had been righted and balance had been restored.
I was the girl who was battered by words. Teased and belittled and berated and bullied. I was the girl who’d seen the dark in the light, the girl who doused a hallway in alcohol and watched it burn in heavenly fire. I was the girl who the world had beaten, until I had beaten the world.
I was the man whose girlfriend had lied to him. Whose lover had been using him to slowly drain him of his money, until all that was left was a hollow mess. I was the man who was deceived by his love, and I was the man who diminished that deception.
I wasn’t Christopher Raddle, a loving husband and father who worked everyday to supply for his family. I wasn’t Emma Tonkin, a prosperous student with her dream occupation lined up for her. And I wasn’t Mark Shavonwell. I was what they wanted to be. In their heart or hearts, in their blackest souls, I was the temptation they so dearly craved. I was the trigger. The voice. They hadn’t seen themselves when they’d laid eyes on me.
They’d seen someone better.
I was done here now, leaving Mark to bare his blissful sins as I returned to the curved edges of my abode. His fate was now sealed by the starless stars. By the power that’d granted me the gift to help. I watched him stare down at his girlfriend, a lying, vitriolic specimen that would’ve ruined his life. He cried for her. Cried for himself. Cried at the sight of the blood on his hands that wasn’t his blood. At the impossible consideration that he could’ve done such a thing. They always thought they were innocent. But the truth was it was their deepest desires which had been their downfalls. It was their darkest wants, their unobtainable needs.
I was the man who murdered his wife. I was the girl who scorched the innocent. I was the lover who loved a liar.
I was the person they saw when they looked at me.
Each one of them had seen themselves staring back.