Sunday, November 25, 2012

The night of my murder-a short story

This is the short story that came to me one night and fervently requested, or rather demanded, to be written. I will probably revisit and revise this post several times. Sorry it's not very good or even complete yet but I just wanted to get it out of my head so that the story will stop badgering me. I'm hoping that this being public will give me that push to revise and finish it. Any feedback is much appreciated. I especially need help with the name of my character. For some reason, I'm kind of tempted to call my antagonist Disarming because it makes me laugh but I think I'm going to call him the Wolf.
Anyway, I wanted to post it today because after all, it is the 26th of November.

The night of my murder

Remember, remember, the 26th of November. I don't know how many times I told this to myself since that night. Now this stolen line feels like some kind of a personal chant with its own rhythm and power, one my body involuntarily dances to. With this chant, I artfully and patiently tattooed a permanent reminder of a grim memory in my soul, even though I would give so much, even some of my most cherished memories, in order to burn and bury this dark one. In fact, it is such a traumatic memory for me that even after one year I still have difficulty speaking about what happened and there has not been a single day since that I have not thought about that incident. It is hard to believe that it has been a year. Even though the pain subsided long ago, the loss and grief remains. I changed as a result of this experience and to my dismay this horrible change seems irreversible. I sometimes wish I could forget. I think it is time for me to talk about the incident so that I can leave it behind. But do I really want to leave it behind? Should I forget? I wonder because strangely this memory has an indescribable beauty to it. I wonder if you could see that beauty, I wonder if anyone could understand why this was my most beautiful defeat. Because I was my best self, because I was the most innocent me I have ever been, because long last I was so unguarded, simply because I was totally and unreservedly myself that this betrayal is so very devastating and this whole story is so beautiful. Perhaps the immediate question is "Can I leave it all behind?" I guess I will at least try because despite its beauty, this memory is a poisonous fruit. Anyway, maybe because of the incredible beauty of my tragedy, at least to me, or maybe because I think it will be therapeutic for me, I will tell you this story that I could never tell before, not like this anyway, though I have a suspicion that even now I will only be able to dance around what happened. I hope you will excuse me if I resort to using stories of better story tellers than myself as I try to tell my little story.

November 26, 2011 was the day someone who meant a lot to me betrayed me, or rather, that is when I realized that the Wolf I had taken as my friend did not have my best interest at heart. 
I thought the Wolf was on my side.
No no I'm seriously downplaying what happened--I wonder if this is a defense mechanism, some form of denial still. It was much more violent than that. At the time I thought about the event as the Wolf cutting off my wings and crushing my dream in cold blood, so it carried some significance and severity. No wonder I died that night; all my narratives changed, so did I. Even writing down the betrayal is difficult. I wonder if it is because of disbelief or because I think the betrayal will become real if I say it out loud or write it down. But it is what it is and here I say it. The Wolf deliberately did something to hurt me and even that is an understatement. He planned it, he trapped me, he murdered me, he stole from me, he covered his tracks, he sent me his ravens to devour my remains, and pretended like nothing happened. To my mind, what happened involved senseless psychological violence, because I would have gladly given him what he wanted if only he asked. So I think he just wanted to kill me and what he took from me was just an excuse. It's strange that the incident have always reminded me of the scene below from the movie the Piano, though the scene depicts physical violence. Here. Please watch this scene and watch what happened that night through my eyes.

 

Unlike what happens in the movie, I was the one who was betrayed. I was the one saying "I trusted you" in silent screams again and again. I wonder if the Wolf would say "I clipped your wing, that's all" just like the character Stewart, if I asked the Wolf why. Why indeed? I still don't know the reason and it does not matter at all. No reason or explanation can possibly justify what the Wolf did to me. That's why I've never bothered to ask him. He can tell whatever he wants to himself in order to have a good night sleep or to be able to look at himself in the mirror, I'm not interested in his story anymore.
 

Just like in the movie, it was raining that night. I didn't make a sound when I was hit. I think I was silently broken and I could swear that I actually heard something break and I felt a sharp physical pain in my heart. I remember thinking I always thought I would die of a broken heart but I never thought it would be like this. I did not cry, merely went outside to smoke instead when I got the opportunity. I felt the calm windless rain on my face in the dark and it felt good. I thought the velvet night embraced me softly and the gentle rain offered me some comfort. I felt that they both tried to console me. I felt they cried for me so that I wouldn't. I knew that they shared my sorrow. I knew that they understood. But their display of kindness didn't make me cry as kindness after disaster usually does, but instead more like a weird lullaby their kindness made me feel numb. That numbness protected me from the pain, at least for a while until I was safe again from the Wolf. That time in the dark was the eye of the storm, a short soothing break between two episodes of torture I had to endure.

I was deprived of something precious that night. Was it my innocence I had cherished so much? Was it my childhood that ended there? Was it a dream I had? I do not know. The loss was so massively devastating and the destruction was so vast and overwhelming that what is gone cannot even be named. I truly died that night.

Much later I realized what a well calculated trap it was, which makes my murder a premeditated one I guess. I had trusted the Wolf so unconditionally that I did not suspect a thing, I did not ask questions about when and where we were going or what we were going to do as I was allured to my demise. I sheepishly followed with a childish joy and ignorance. Actually you should know how unconditionally I had loved and trusted the Wolf to appreciate the tragedy of it all and how off-guard I was caught. I had considered him a friend but a special kind of friend. I thought him as a person I was meant to meet, I was tied with the red thread of faith. I felt a bond with him as an animal about to go extinct would towards another of her kind. I guess it does not matter anymore. This is not a story intended to invoke pity. I refuse to see myself or be seen as a victim. This is a note to self more than anything else. It is a note so that I remember, not the event but the lesson. So, it does not really matter what happened or who he was. As I said before I still find it extremely difficult to speak of what happened on November 26.  Whenever I try to remember the details like who said what my mind goes completely blank and I switch to a different scene, the murder of Julius Caesar. (If you're thinking about 50 different ways in which I'm no Caesar, you're missing my point. Anyway, ) That is probably why in my mind I like to refer to that incident as the night of my murder ever since. 

Even though I cannot speak of my murder in detail, just for you to understand what I'm talking about I can say this much. It was a lovely evening and I was happy and excited because I was with the Wolf. But somehow I had the feeling that something was off, though everything looked normal. I had the feeling that I was getting dragged by a current I could not see, I could not resist. I guess a more appropriate metaphor would be a spider web but I did not know it then as I didn't know I was with a wolf. I remember talking to the Wolf about something I was excited about, a dream I had. Then just like that the Wolf said one single sentence I remember clearly but I'm unable to reiterate. That six word sentence was like a poisonous arrow intended for me. I was stupefied with astonishment. There was no question about it, the stench was there. Even a weird creature like me could recognize how the intent to kill reeks. That was the beginning of my realization. With one sentence all reality was shuttered. Just like that, all past memories, beliefs, attitudes, and emotions were distorted into gruesome monsters. History had to be rewritten and it was not going to be a pretty one. Like a curse that distorts everything it touches, this evil curse transformed me first into stone and then into a dark shadow of what I could have been, what I wanted to be. I still search for a way to break the curse to no avail. Forgiving him was not as difficult as breaking this curse on me.
 
But let me go back to that night. The Wolf continued and suggested I did something that I knew would cost me dearly. The Wolf said it as if it was the most natural thing in the world while doing something else avoiding my eyes but with that sentence he uttered I finally understood. It was such a distinct kind of understanding that I wish I knew a word for that realization of betrayal. This is all I can tell about that night. I can talk about what happened before and after and a little about the eye of the storm in between but that's pretty much it. The rest is blank. When I try to remember the rest, I see my reflection in the Wolf's glazed over eyes, as my laughter freezes and my eyes widen with a sudden pressure in my chest. When I try to remember what happened I can taste my own blood in my mouth and my hands instinctively go to the knife the Wolf is holding as the knife finds my heart. I remember wondering where the warm wetness comes from and then realizing it is my blood, lots of it. The sight and smell of my blood make me feel like I'm going to faint and my knees feel so weak. But the real pain came later, much later.


I sometimes wonder why I didn't leave there and then. I think the time and place of the meeting was so arranged that I could not possibly leave without making a scene. And I didn't want to make a scene. I wasn't angry at that moment. I was stupefied more than anything else and maybe a little too proud to admit that I was hurt and defeated so badly. I don't know maybe playing dumb was easier, maybe I hoped that he would come to his senses and we would just laugh about it and tell me that he was just joking if I just waited a little longer. And then either the moment was gone or maybe I was curious. Yes I definitely remember feeling curious after a while, curious about how far he would go. A bitter smile too close to madness deliciously sat on my lips and I made him talk. I was not as ignorant as the little red riding hood until the very end.
So he walked for a short time by the side of Little Red Riding Hood, and then he said: 'See, Little Red Riding Hood, how pretty the flowers are about here - why do you not look round? I believe, too, that you do not hear how sweetly the little birds are singing; you walk gravely along as if you were going to school, while everything else out here in the wood is merry.'   
By the time he was alluring me I was all too aware of what was going on. Yet being aware wouldn't make a difference at all at that point. Things would have been different if he was someone else. I know that I would not let this happen but I was just broken and determined not to show it. Obviously he had gone to so much trouble to torture and murder me, I was not going to give him the pleasure of seeing me in pain. First shock, then pride and finally curiosity took over. Picking flowers and curiosity work in rather similar ways. I wonder what he would say next, I wonder how he would respond to that, I wonder how far he would go, I thought, and I ended up trapped. It simply didn't matter anymore, I was already dead with the anticipation of it all. Being the good girl I was I played according to the rules of this game he was playing. I asked what big ears you have and then what big eyes you have and then what large hands you have. And no matter what I asked he told me it was for my own good. I had to suppress my nausea. How sweet, I thought. But I wasn't going to be sweet. I gave what he wanted like it was nothing to me and died without fear in my eyes or without begging for mercy. I wonder why betrayal stinks so bad. I never said what a terrible big mouth you have because I knew the answer very well. We both knew but he didn't know that I knew. Then the darkness swallowed me and there was no huntsman either. 

You might be wondering what happened then. I wish I could say that there was some kind of a cathartic moment to it all, a moment where I can leave it all behind but no. I'm sorry that this tale has no happy ending and it is rather grim I know. I forgave him if you are wondering. Not that he ever apologized. I just forgave, though it took me some time to do so. Not that he deserves forgiveness. It was more for my sake. I even forgave myself for letting this happen, for being such a fool. I forgave but I shall not forget because I cannot let this happen again. 
I want to forget but some instinct for survival makes me remember. Just like that you begin protecting yourself. That is the saddest of it all. That is the end of innocence. That is how your spirit becomes heavy and bitter. Because I am always on my guard ever since, and because I expect the worst from people ever since that I'm defeated, not because of what he stole from me. There are lessons in life that we better forget and unlearn in order to be happy. So I'm ambivalent about holding on to the moral of the story, that is, do not trust anyone. What would you do? Try to forget everything and reach to that state of blissful ignorance, childish innocence again or let this lesson haunt you forever in order to protect yourself from getting hurt again?

to be continued and revised. 

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