Behind the Blade

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

One of two sad stories about love lost.

Submitted: June 12, 2018

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Submitted: June 12, 2018



The first life I ever took was my own. My mother said I was just ‘misguided’, I said I was ‘independent’. The truth was, I was neither. I guided myself onto a path that bound and restrained me for the rest of my life. It started small, little petty crimes: shoplifting, vandalism; just your general teenage law-breaking habits. I never knew I would end up becoming what I am now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying shoplifting and vandalizing will cause the rest of your life to go into a downward spiral. Honestly, most get over these habits and grow up to become find, law-abiding citizens. Not me, however. I enjoyed the thrill, knowing I was risking safety and comfort just for a momentary thrill. It was what inevitably led me into my brief spat with drugs. I tried them all: cocaine, meth, acid; there wasn’t an illegal drug out there I hadn’t experimented with by the time I was 20. My life at that time was chaotic, to say the least. I will admit I thoroughly enjoyed my life. I didn’t get clean for myself, I didn’t stop because I was crashing or deteriorating. I quit for her. She was the first and only woman I’ve ever loved. Her name was Angela. 

Angela was my dealer’s cousin, and when he was shot during a police raid, she came to me for comfort. That night, we spent hours talking about everything and by dawn, we were in love. I swore at that moment never to touch another drug as long as I lived. To this day, I have never broken that promise. Angela and I were together for three years; we were engaged for the last year and a half. It was three-year anniversary that changed my life forever:

I had the entire evening planned out perfectly: a romantic walk by the moon-lit river, dinner at the most exclusive (and expensive) restaurant in town, and finally a carriage ride through the park.

We only made it to dinner.

Halfway down 39th Ave, at approximately 11pm, a dark shadow descended upon my life. One of my old ‘connections’ decided to look me up and make good on a debt I never owed him. He came out of the alleyway and stood in front of us. I knew immediately who he was; Angela’s hand shook in mine. He greeted us and smiled the most crooked and evil smile I had ever seen. He raised a gun from behind him and shot Angela cold.

She was dead before the ambulance arrived. The night she died was my last real night of freedom. I spent two weeks in the bottle, ignoring everyone that tried to comfort me. I told them they couldn’t understand, I wouldn’t let them understand. My Angela was gone. The light of my life had been taken from me. I had spoken with the police many times, told them his name repeatedly, detailed where his home and regular hangouts were. They located him a month and a half after the murder, but released him claiming there was ‘no irrefutable evidence, nor motive’. I found out later that his inner circle included many of the local and state police. 

After he was released, I moved into my parent’s basement, having quit my job after Angela’s death. In the two years I lived there, I developed a very loving relationship with the bottom of every Tequila bottle in Virginia. 

Now, some would wonder why my parents supported me, why they would let their 25-year-old alcoholic son live in their basement for free. Why they would continuously supply the liquor I demanded they got me. I want it understood that the entire time I lived there, my mother thought she was helping me, not supporting me. Many nights I heard her and my father shouting upstairs that he was fed up with ‘throwing his hard earned money down my throat’. My mother would always respond with the ‘he just need some time to gather himself’ argument. There really was no convincing her otherwise. 

So I lived this way, one bottle after another, constantly straining my parent’s marriage, for two years. One especially painful night, on year, two months and thirteen days after my Angela was murdered, I had an epiphany. I had just finished an argument with the basement wall when that little voice we all have decided to speak up. No, it wasn’t my conscious, it was different; a dark, haunting voice. After that first night, that voice became it’s own entity. Some would say I’m schizophrenic. There are times I would have to agree, but it felt more like a different person trapped inside my head. I named him David. 

That night, in my parents basement, my hand throbbing from my argument with the wall, David said one word that made more sense than any other word I had heard in my entire life: “Revenge”. I skipped my nightly two-hour nightcap and went right to bed, that single word echoing in my dreams. 

I spent the next month and a half building up my muscles and seeking out the perfect revenge-filling weapon. I had decided early on that a gun was too good for him; he deserved a slow, painful death. The weapon ended up being my final decision. After my two months of training and preparing, I was ready.

The date was August 7th, a Thursday; I left my parent’s home around 2 a.m., a dagger from the local flea market hidden in the sleeve of my jacket. It didn’t take me long to find him, and by dawn, I was washing his life off of my shoes back in my basement.

© Copyright 2018 Justin Daugherty. All rights reserved.

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