We spent a lot of time talking to each other about what the weather would be like outside the next morning. She was my everything and I was hers. As we sat at the table and ate breakfast together, usually toast and cereal, we would look out the window and fantasize about what life would be like if we made it to the other side.
“You ever wonder how it would feel to die?” It was a thought that came across our minds often, but not too often because we didn’t want to think about it aloud all the time. But, we knew that it was something that we were both invested in. We were invested in trying to live a life in order to not mess up the other life that we could potentially have if given a different opportunity, such as immortality. But, she didn’t answer me, she never does. She just shook her head and closed her eyes, as if I had asked her something she didn’t want to face.
If I tell you the truth about who we are and how we came to be it would be important to note that we are just like each other, we are mirrors to our realities. When I look into her eyes I see myself just as she does when she looks into mine. We have so many similarities that the differences happen due to our synonymous nature. There is this way that we can smile and charm people without opening our mouths, not necessarily needing to talk is something we’re both good at, we’re great at sitting in a room filled with silence.
In fact, we were so great at it that our emotional intelligence could process the other’s thought, sometimes have entire conversations, without the need to justify the silence that captured us in the moment.
You know how they talk about soulmates? We were that, only we didn’t really know it until it was too late. We had this telepathy, I see you, and I see you too, kind of thing going on. When we looked eye in eye at each other we just laughed extremely hard without feeling a justification for our feelings or needing to explain what we found funny.
It was these kind of mornings that made us even more intertwined because we understood just why we didn’t want to talk. We understand that sometimes, talking can be such a waste of energy and creating words can take too long. It was not as if we were looking out at a window where the sun beamed down brightly on our front yard, it was actually a solemnly tired picture in front of us.
Where there should have been a garden there is only a gate to separate our property from the sidewalk adjacent to the mailbox. Homeless people, boarded houses, and stray dogs roamed our neighborhood. The weeds overgrew the path that led up to our front door and the window was being held by aching slates. Beside the weeds was jet grey dust with sediment and trash as the others used it as a waste can.
As you can imagine, all we ever thought about was death. We weren’t good at trying to make some sense with the world around us, we could only think about how we just existed in it, not giving anything back to it. We ached and longed for the escape into something new and restored, but with limited finances there was nowhere to go.
We just sat there slurping our cereal and thinking about death, it seemed like the only plausible thing that would allow us to escape. Some would say that death is not a bad thing, at all, it is the entrance to eternal peace, but will we die and this feeling of rash betrayal resonate with us for eternity?
While thinking about what the day would bring we both found it best to grab our things and head over to the park where we can watch people; we can live vicariously through them. We just wanted to see a mother with a baby or a father with a dog laughing at life’s simplest pleasures. We just wanted to see what they would be up to these days, ya know the ordinary stuff that doesn’t involve heroine to remain sane.
When we arrived there was a father with a dog. This man wore a black Calvin Klein trench coat while walking his German Sheperd next to his baby who was in a stroller. From what I could tell, the baby was dressed in black and white so I wasn’t quite sure of the gender, but it was obvious that this man wanted to enjoy his child on this dreary day.
While we were walking, hand in hand, we thought about what it would be like to have a child and be able to feed them everyday. We thought about ways to experience life in the simplest ways while feeling compelled to continue on our pursuit of happiness.
We were just watching the father from a distance. He played frisbee with the dog while sitting on a bench while we just sat there thinking about all of the things that he was not saying to us. We wondered about where he worked, what he did in his free time, if he had a hobby that would pay him, or was he married. We wondered whether or not he existed in this world with meaning aside from the child’s life. We knew it was his child by the way he held it, kissed it, and gave it some love. This love could not have been more pure, that baby could not have been adopted. We watched him gently toss the baby upwards and then place it on his lap once the dog brought back the neon green frisbee, we watched him play and tussle the dog’s hair. We watched him be happy, innocently.
Watching him for that long made us anxious, it made us reflect on we didn’t have and what we won’t do in order to have it. It made us think about where we went wrong in life and how far away from being better we are. It made us reflect on how much of failures we are. It was a lot to take in so we stood up together and decided to walk, she always understands me.
As we made our way towards the bridge which ran underneath a highway and a little after the bench the father sat on I began to tear up a little, thinking that maybe this life was wrong afterall, but I had no clue about how to change it or what to do to make it better. For as long as I can remember, this is the life that I was ordained to live. I wasn’t given a decent childhood and the traumas of yesterday still haunts me today. Who was I kidding? I was never bound to become a father.
We walked with our thoughts. We walked past him with the heaviness of our hearts and words that we could not say to anybody else. When we were pacing just past the bench the dog smelt the drugs in our pockets and began to bark at us. We did not know that the dog was a K-9, trained to find junkies like ourselves. We ignored him, if we acted guilty then maybe the man would be onto us as well, we did not want to be distracted by the thoughts of what prison would feel like. However, we were distracted by the thoughts of what prison would feel like when the man arose from the bench and began to follow us.
Our hearts raced as we felt the problems begin to surround us, it was surmise in the air as he began to pace faster and faster behind us, he was trying to catch us. But, we didn’t run, we just kept wakling. In the back of our heads, we decided that he wasn’t that much of a threat, just a man, a man like I am.
His footsteps got faster. He was persistent in catching us. He wanted to handcuff us, throw us into the back of a van, and page for backup. We knew the routine with these guys, it wouldn’t be the first or last time that they would try such a thing. We looked at each other and began to think, what should we do? We knew where a lot of junkies went wrong, they would always run which proved their guilt, we were trying our hardest to hide in plain sight. By now, we were making our way towards the bridge and inside of the tunnel, just a few steps away. We were leading him right inside. We knew that it was secluded enough to get the job done. And, once the job was done him and his dog were murdered, the baby’s stroller was with us as it screamed. Yes, we murdered the stranger, or shall we say the undercover cop.
If I tell you the truth, it wasn’t the first time we murdered a stranger or under cover cop, we were good at it. We were amazing at luring them underneath that same bridge and killing them in that tunnel, then dragging their bodies to various locations, lead detectives, lieutenants, deputies, sheriffs; you name it, we have taken their lives. We did it more than once and never got away with it, but this one was the beginning of a bad ending.
We were caught and when placed on trial the judge said, “Tom Whitfield, you do realize what you have done?”
“Yes, we knew what we did and why we did it.”
“Who is we?”
And from then on, the press published us as They.