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WHY DID HE DO IT?

Essay By: nahla
True confessions


A story about questions. Questions about actions. Actions that have caused pain. Pain that never stops.


Submitted:Dec 22, 2012    Reads: 27    Comments: 2    Likes: 1   


Sometimes I lock myself in his room. I lie on his bed and stare at the ceiling remembering him.

I remember him as a happy child, playing with the wooden toy train set that my husband, David, had made him for Christmas. I can just see his gap toothed grin and the glint in his dark eyes that Christmas morning. He was six years old. He was happy.

I remember running around on the beach with him and his sister Daniela. They splashed water all over themselves while laughing. His laughter was loud and guttural; it never seemed to belong to him. The first time David and I heard him laugh we were elated. He laughed all the time and at anything: a ripped paper, a book falling and David burping.

Remembering him brings me reassurance. It can't have been me. I gave him a good childhood. When did my beautiful happy child become a murderer?

The last time I visited him he spat in my face. For close to an hour we sat in silence. He looked everywhere but at me. The tension between us was almost palpable. For a long time he stared at his hands and I could almost see him mentally going into his room and locking the door. Leaving me outside.

I stared at him, marvelling at how similar he was to David. At seventeen Kyle already had his father's muscular build and height. They had the same dark penetrative eyes and expressive mouth, the same violent disposition.

They both hated me.

I must have been lying there for hours. My muscles were feeling sore and my back was aching. The tears that were on my cheeks had dried up and my head was throbbing. I hadn't eaten in days and my stomach was rumbling.

I tried to reposition myself so that I could relieve my neck and my back of pain but quickly lost the will to. The pain didn't matter. Nothing hurt more than my heart. Fresh tears started rolling down my cheeks and I wondered if I would ever run out of tears.

I felt tired. The pain was becoming familiar but my heart felt overwhelmed. I shut my eyes and willed myself to remember Kyle when he was happy.

*********************************************************************************

By the time I got up, it was dark outside. I hugged his blanket tighter and smelled his now faint smell. Then the phone rang. It was Michael.

"Kerrie, hi ... How are you?" He asked, worried. I said nothing.

"I am coming over."He said. Then he hung up the phone.

I stared at the posters on the walls, of bands that he was crazy about and cars he liked. My eyes focused on the photo he had taken with Danni, outside an ice cream stall in France, six months before he shot her.

'How do you feel about that?' I remember Carol, my therapist, ask. We were in her brightly coloured office which had black and white portraits of laughing people on each wall; the portraits seemed to be mocking me.

I didn't know how I felt; everything was happening all at once: Danni's funeral, Kyle's trial, my mother moving in, all the media attention, my mother moving out. . .I hadn't stopped to ask myself how I felt.

'What are you going to do?' Jade, my friend asked. We were in a cosy cafe in a secluded corner and she was holding my hands in hers, our coffees now cold. That day we stayed in the cafe until it closed. I had no answer for her then and one year later, I still don't.

*********************************************************************************

I heard the front door open then Michael's voice calling my name. I didn't have the strength to respond. He came straight to Kyle's room and knocked the door. It took me a while to get to get up and open the door. Once I opened it, he hugged me tight and smiled. He felt warm despite the cold weather outside. He smelled nice, I detected undertones of sandalwood. In a short time, he had dragged me out of Kyle's room and we were in the living (which I think would be more appropriately called 'dead') room.

Mike had brought some tomato soup which we were having as he told me about his students, despite knowing that I wasn't paying attention. He preferred talking to himself instead of sitting in silence.

'When do you think you can get back to work?' He asked. 'I mean, I don't want to push you or anything Kerrie but it has been over a year. . .' He said cautiously. All of a sudden I felt angry.

'I'm sorry, is there a time limit to mourning the death of one child and the imprisonment of another?' My voice was faltering and I could feel my temperature rise. 'Did Dad put you up to this?' I enquired, 'Get out of my house!' I yelled. 'GET OUT!' I said standing up as I shouted but I did it so fast that my legs gave way and I fell.

Michael moved towards me and helped prop me up. 'I am not going anywhere Kerrie. Dad didn't put me up to anything I just feel that you need to do something. It will take your mind off things for a little while. You need a distraction.' He said calmly.

This time I let him have it: "A distraction? Really? Would you want one if Tony killed Kim? You do NOT know what I need."

Looking directly at me he added "It was an accident. You can't stay stuck in that time. Life goes on Sis. . ."

It makes me so angry listening to people's opinions on how I should be feeling and what I should be doing. My mother and I fought about Kyle. She said he was disturbed and I should have spotted this and dealt with it. One year after the day Kyle killed her, my father said that I needed to stop using Danni's death, the failure of my marriage and Kyle's incarceration as an excuse to stop living my life. It mattered not how I felt but what I did. What a load of bull.

My brother left at midnight to be with his wife, Kim and Tony.

**********************************************************************************

"Have you heard about Danni?" I asked David, the night of the murder. I was sure he must have heard something despite being inside. He said nothing.

"David. . ." I began to say. There is so much that I had wanted to tell him but I stopped myself.

"Don't call me again Kerrie. " He declared his voice firm and his tone final. He hung up the phone.

****************************************************************************

"Do you blame yourself for what happened to your family?" Carol asked. The Daily Tribune had postulated the same theory. According to the reporter, my affair, which single-handedly led to the breakup of my marriage, drastically affected Kyle and turned him into an angry child .This as well as his father's imprisonment had severely affected him and so I was to blame for his actions.

"I swear the writer of this rubbish is the reincarnation of Sigmund Freud! Totally Unbelievable! I mean, if you were the problem then why would Kyle shoot Danni and not you?" Jade wondered. She had come to check up on me and bring me food but ended up washing me, cooking and combing my hair as well. I no longer had time to take care of myself.

"I promise I will call Mike in case of an emergency, ok? Bye," These were Danni's last words to me. Michael had taken David's role as protector and I was anxious about her going for a party in Lisa's house {her friend apparently}. Before she left, she got into a heated argument with Kyle.

"I wish you were never born, you bastard. . . I hate you!" She said.

I headed to Kyle's room to figure out what was going on but by the time I got there, he had locked his door and she was rolling her eyes out of fury and exasperation.

At four the following morning, my doorbell rang. I angrily got up from bed assuming that Danni had left her keys or something, only to find a burly police officer who told me that they had received a phone call from my son who admitted to shooting his sister. I told him that Kyle was in his room the whole time. Then he came downstairs shivering and covered in blood as I stood transfixed. When I regained composure, I slapped him.

*********************************************************************************

"When I grow up, I am going to be a lion!" Kyle said smiling. I was watching a home video of him on his eighth birthday; he had chocolate cake smeared on his face. "You can't be a lion, stupid!" Danni said laughing. David turned the camera to me. I almost didn't recognise myself. I was wearing a beautiful white dress, my eyes were neither puffy nor red. I was happy. I was smiling. We started singing him a birthday song. Then Danni approached him.

"Happy birthday Kyle! I love you" she said. She kissed him as Kyle recoiled.

Right then I found myself asking myself a question that everyone expected that I knew the answer to, the one i posed to Kyle right before he spat in my face: Why did he do it?





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