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My Entry in the Second Short Fiction Writing Exercise

Posted Nov 20 2011 6:34pm

You can read my entry for last year’s exercise here , and click here to enter this year’s contest by December 1, 2011.

I’m pretty much incapable of writing something positive, but at least this time I reached a bit and wrote in the voice of a woman. I’m not giving this one a title, which simply adds to the pretension. Enjoy…

When I think about it now, it wasn’t really a Crime of Passion. He was just…bad. Some people are like that. Maybe they’re born that way, or maybe their moms don’t treat them right and it destroys them somehow. I’d never do that to my baby. It’s funny, though, how I can say that I’d never mess up my kid, yet I’d kill another person. Crime of Passion seemed like the right thing to say at the time, or at least that’s what my lawyer said, but it wasn’t that. I didn’t care that he screwed around on me, drank too much, smoked too much, ate too much or even hit me too much. None of that mattered all that much. It was that he didn’t even care enough to look me in the eye, whether that was when he was fucking me, er, I mean making love to me. Or beating me. Those are like, two extremes on the same concept, right? Love and hate? I took an IQ test once and they asked about something like that. I didn’t do that good, but I know I got that one right. I know love and I sure as heck know hate.

Anyway, I know now that’s why I killed him. It’s simple. Too simple maybe, but respect is an important thing. He could have despised me, thought I was pure evil, the Devil here on Earth, but if he could at least look at me, stare me down and tell me what the heck was wrong with my face or brain or body, that would have been enough. But he didn’t. And it’s that lack of caring, caring in any direction…what’s the term? Apathy? It’s apathy that I cannot tolerate. If you’re going to be in my home, in my bed, in my face and near my son, you better not have apathy.

That doesn’t make it okay, what I did. It really doesn’t. I was weak then, but it’s not like that anymore. If you have apathy, if you just don’t give a hoot, then I’ll just not care one bit right back at you. I know how to do that now. 11 years and 500 counseling sessions later, and I know that. You just walk away. 12 years prior, I’d have gotten mad and in your grill and made your life hell if you treated me like that. But I learned. “I can’t control what you do, I can only control what I do.” The doctor taught me that. Boy, I must be a stubborn one, or maybe just thick, because it took 11 years to learn it. But like the doctor said, it doesn’t matter when, just if.

Anyone can walk into a room, see her man inside another woman, and just lose it. But, again, it was how he looked at me when I walked in. You could see it in his eyes, the apathy. And then he kind of, like, let out this laugh that was almost like he was amused and angry at the same time. He was actually annoyed that I was there, but also…he showed me, not with his di…his penis, but with his eyes, that he respected her. I don’t know why he’d respect a woman who’d lie in another woman’s bed, but he did. That’s what did me in, that’s what brought me to the edge, and that’s how I ended up here.

I don’t want another man. Ever. I’m done with all that. Nothing but trouble. I just want to live in peace and be with my son. It wasn’t all I’ve ever wanted, but it is now.

I guess I could just say I’m sorry again, but that doesn’t work. People don’t want to hear that after you’ve killed. They want you to admit that you’re a horrible person, that you have no rights, that you deserve to die. Well none of that is true for me. I made mistakes, sure, we all do. Some of mine were worse, though, and I’ve done time for it. All we can do, though, is not make the same mistakes again. The doctor told me, she said, “if we can’t do better, than we’re just animals.” And there’s no way I’m being an animal. I’m better than that. When I’m done, I got a job lined up and I’m getting my boy back. That’s all there is to it. We’ll live at my mom’s for a while, but then I’ll get a place for us, no men allowed, and it will be fine.

I’d like to be able to sit here and tell you that all people have good and bad qualities and that his bad and my bad came together in the worst way imaginable, but that wouldn’t be entirely the truth. I think most people have good in them, and I’m one of them. But not him, no matter what the doctor says. He was all, all bad, and when that bad came in contact with the stuff in me that is bad, well…you know what happened. But the parts of me that aren’t great? They are in control, I can promise you that. I will be in control, at least the good in me will, and my baby will grow up to be nothing like the old me. Or even the man I killed. He’ll be all good, pure and respectful. No apathy in that boy, no sir. None. I just need that chance to be with him, to show him the right way, to make sure he doesn’t become what he’s seen. Please give that to me. That’s all I ask of you here today.

Thank you for your time, and I hope the Parole Board will honor my request.

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