Chapter Two- Cookie Cutter
This man murdered for a reason, but I did not dare say why. Wherever I looked I met the eyes of another and I flinched even with the lack of accusation. I saw non existent indictment. When I close my eyes I still see. It was so straightforward, but it disturbed me.
His name is Carlos Monroe. He is thirty-nine years old and lived on his own in a flat for a while after his wife’s death. He lived in a different accommodation before that, he lived on my street. He and his wife bought it together. She died of cancer on the sixteenth of April 2009. Her name was Sylvia Monroe. Her surname was Monroe even before they married. See, Mr Monroe said when it was brought up; she was mine even before we met. He is psychologically unbalanced and is being treated at St Claire’s. He murdered a young woman.
How simple is it to give a short summary of a man. You state each fact in a straightforward way, no problem. It’s when you know that person the situation is uncomfortable. There was so much more to this person than a few blunt sentences. Mr Monroe was not in his right mind, everyone knew that. His wife Sylvia knew that even before they married. She was lovely, a beautiful young woman with a voice like a child’s and a habit of knocking round the neighbourhood with always welcomed jam tarts. She got cancer. We all saw the signs but never brought it up. Her blonde hair thinned and she made no effort to hide it. Eventually we all asked, concerned about this poor woman we all got along with. Mr Monroe answered, its cancer isn’t it Sylvia? Everyone called him Mr Monroe but she was never Mrs, she was Sylvia, Mr Monroe and Sylvia. We all asked her, Sylvia, how are you feeling? Every morning, every time she was asked she’d always say, I feel same as always. I’m baking jam tarts today I’ll pop round. I think she went a bit mad before she died. She was always making tarts, in an almost obsessive way. Lemon jam she used in them, on the day of her death. I remember her borrowing my sugar.
Mr Monroe was visited and we all pitied him for his loss. He was a good looking man with easy charm and I got on with him effortlessly but at times he was a little strange. I remember him saying, she’s been taken and that is how things are. When something happens you’re not supposed to change it are you? You get on. I thought at the time that maybe the man thought he could do something about her death if he wished. But he didn’t bring Sylvia back to life. He ended the life of a woman who looked like her.
She had blonde hair and a youthful glow, glittering eyes. She was pretty like Sylvia but even younger. Sylvia was twenty-nine; this woman was about four years younger. She was healthy, she was a gym instructress. There was a definite similarity between his wife and the woman he murdered. The police must see this but I know their thoughts. So she looks like his wife- why would he want to kill his wife? It was simply coincidence or he fell into the never ending line of murderers who kill pretty women. Play that on a loop why don’t you? They were so blind.
He started calling me from the psych ward but they found his mobile, wherever he’d hidden it. Those calls were discomfited. I didn’t feel at ease listening to what he was saying. I saw her he told me, and I thought to myself you’re dead. You can’t live again. You come then you go and move on to it again don’t you? The next comes then. It goes on over and over. We’re now aren’t we? Yes.
I looked in the mirror and applied my lipstick. It slipped through my fingers and I retrieved it from the floor sighing. I rose and then turned back to the mirror. The lipstick broke off in my hand as I clenched my fists at the sight of myself. I swept back my long hair from my face. I stared at my reflection, the pretty woman with sparkly eyes and brown blonde layers. His pattern was a different pattern. It was not one of a murderer. He chose a woman and she died. Then he’d move on to the next. He chose women with illnesses they’d die of eventually. All of them pretty blonde and young.
I had leukaemia.
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