It was the first time as an adult I’d ever really cried, broken down, no longer able to stand, or think, totally consumed by sorrow. Suddenly a world that had made sense mere moments before seemed totally alien. I had held it together in her dying moments while she lay in my arms and told me she loved me, but once her eyes closed and her light faded all sanity seemed to leave the world and I was left alone, holding onto the shell that resembles something I loved. That was the moment everything changed. That was the moment that I gave up on hope and righteousness. It was then that all nobility slipped away and was replaced by selfish entitled sadness. ‘Why should I?’ became an overwhelming feeling towards everyone else. It was my turn to hurt, my turn to be protected; I wasn’t going to look after everyone anymore. The only problem was the only person I would have let get close enough to help me was lying dead in my arms and the rest of the world kept on ticking over. Sure I pretended for a while, put on my costume and mask every day and walked around like everything was alright, but in my head, I was still sitting on that floor holding her against me. People would come up to me and tell me how they’d heard what happened and how sorry they were and all I could think was, ‘no you’re not,’ followed by a list of profanities. But on the outside, I’d dip my head, nod remorsefully and thank them. My sorrow so consumed me that after a while I wondered if people were just pretending not to see it or honestly didn’t care enough to notice, either way, I grew angrier by the day until the inevitable happened. I lost control. My name was Mike ‘Winter’ Wheeler; I was at the time working as private security for some billionaire as his daughter’s bodyguard. In reality, I was a glorified baby sitter. It had been two weeks since I came home to find my Beloved lying on the floor of our bathroom with a razor in one hand and a bottle of sleeping pills in the other. She always was thorough. I was standing outside some stupid fashion store while the Princess and her acolytes tried on ever dress in the place pretending that people cared what they did with their time, while paparazzi amassed on the street opposite hoping to snap a few pictures to sell to the highest bidder and continue the cycle of entitled stupidity in media. Princess wasn’t a bad person, she was just another brat. Part of my job was to make sure they didn’t get to close or ask rude questions or hurl abuse, which they always did. It was a hot sunny day which already had me slightly closer to the edge than usual. Then some fat slightly greasy would be reported with his zoom lenses and his entourage of arseholes walks over swore a few times and then he said it,
“Hey man, get out of the shot yeah some of us are trying to make an honest living here.”
Normally I could take a few jabs, but today I was already at my limit. I was still a professional, so I took a long controlled breath and simply replied,
“We both know there is nothing honest about the way you make your living. Now get your fat ass to the other side of the street.”
Then that fat miserable slob stepped up real close, put his hand on my face and said,
“You think you’re funny? Well I didn’t hear your wife complaining about my fat ass last night.”
I can remember seeing him turn to his friends and leering for forced laughter. Then it was as if I was being pulled forward by my chest, my actions seemed to happen while I was only vaguely aware of them. Within a moment I had grabbed his hand, twisted it until I heard his arm break and he dropped to his knees. Meanwhile, my other hand pulled out my gun and stuck it in his mouth. For a moment I regained sanity and honestly, the thought of pulling the trigger still didn’t seem like that bad of an idea. So I did it. From one moment to the next he went from being a fat useless tabloid hero to being a fat useless stain on the sidewalk, and ironically as a result featured for the first time in a real newspaper, under the headline. “Billionaires bodyguard goes ballistic.” My boss, Mr Keys, wasn’t actually that bad of a guy either. He worked hard his whole life and had achieved great success, it wasn’t really his fault his children were the way they were, and he’d hired the best and brightest to look after them. He fired me, but not before covering all my legal costs and giving me a very gracious golden handshake; my lawyer pleaded ‘temporary insanity as a result of a recent traumatic person event.’ And I got to go spend a few months in a hospital with people who wanted me to talk about my feelings while simultaneously force-feeding me drugs that suppressed all emotion, which made me understand why they were called insane asylums. Eventually, they let me out with a box full of drugs and the telephone number of a doctor I’d have to report too every two weeks. So I sat at home with a bottle of vodka, a box full of pills that made me numb to the world and I decided to look at it as an opportunity to go private. I didn’t really like my friends that much anyway and I still had the urge to kill a few more people. I got my new name from my first contractor who miss heard me say ‘Wheeler’ and after meeting me decided I was cold, scary and bitter like winter.