Into the arms of a killer

Prienderen Moodley By Prienderen Moodley, 11th Dec 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

This page explores the sometimes complex relationship between parents and their children. It takes a look at how a lack of communication or a break down of this vital link between a parent and child can sometimes to lead the child becoming vulnerable, heading down the wrong path and hence coming into physical, emotional and psychological dangers

Crying out for acceptance

I woke up to find a hovering, intimidating figure standing over me. Alas, it was my dad, whose moustache seemed a little sharper and more threatening than it usually was (and that is saying a lot). His eyes pierced my head and I felt the sensation all the way down into my heart and my belly. Dad just stood there shaking his head, while viciously grabbing hold of and stroking his moody mane. I took a moment to study his sarcastic smile even though I knew it would send toxic pulses racing through my vulnerable veins. Having been put through numerous lectures mixed with uninspiring speeches before prepared me for what was to become an uncomfortable few months.

Sure enough, the old man was less than impressed with what he regarded as blatant defiance and disrespect for seniority on my part.
"So son, have we decided if you're going to come work for me or not? You can learn so much if you are under my wing. We've talked about this before, I need someone to carry on my work and keep my legacy going."
"I'll think about it dad, I promise."
"No son, you've had five months to think about this. You keep applying for jobs but you lack the qualifications and experience so, as you have found out, nobody wants to employ you."
"Dad I can't do this anymore. You know how I feel about working for you just because I'm your son. I want to earn my job. I don't want to be favored because I'm related to you."
The words that were exchanged after that were x-rated so I will not repeat them here. Suffice to say that my dad tried to force me into his company but he was met with firm resistance from a son who was every bit as stubborn if not more stubborn than he was.
He then did what most parents normally do when they don't get their way - pull rank. Yes, he told me that I was living under his roof so I had to play by his rules.

It was not the best idea to go complaining to my mum because she always sided with him so I decided to take a few deep breaths and play it cool at least for the weekend. I only had to start work at his company the following Friday. This gave me plenty of time to try to figure out a way to find alternate accommodation. Even with my thoughts focused on escaping the lion's den I still felt my heart pounding harder than two metal objects that were knocking against each other. My entire body was quivering like the prey of a lioness. It was difficult but I managed to pull myself together.

The weekend just whizzed past me before I could even glance at the time. You what they say - time always flies when you're having fun. Anyway on that Monday I met up with my best friend from school. It had been months since we've seen each other as my parents would always watch over me like a hawk. They never allowed me any room to go wrong, and that meant no chance to hang out with friends and acquaintances. Now that my father had got it into his mind that I would be kneeling to his demands, he decided to loosen the noose around my neck just a little. Jake and I took some time to catch up with the goings-on of each other's lives and I have to say it was quite enjoyable.

The main reason for that was because he had a big surprise in store for me. He stayed in the same cluster of houses as my matric maths teacher. My eyes lit up and enlargened as soon as I heard that piece of news. Miss Hardin and I had always been close as she regarded me as bit of a nice guy, although I had no idea where she got that idea from. She was just seven years my senior, had pretty blonde hair and the most amazing blue eyes and smile. To be honest she was the only person that kept me going when I found things with my parents impossible to swallow. Miss Hardin was the only one who saw my unique talents and praised my every effort whether it yielded success or failure. I made up my mind to hook up with her on that Tuesday since it was getting and even though I was twenty I still was subjected to curfews. I hurried to get home just before my mother arrived with a volley of questions about my day and my ambitions in life among other things.

I somehow bit my teeth, swallowed hard and licked my wounds every time a sharp comment was thrown my way. To my utter relief the rest of the day went without incident. As a matter of fact something happened that totally took me by surprise. That night my mother came into my room and had a serious one on one with me. No, it wasn't the same painful chat that I had become used to. My mother usually talked at me instead of to me but that night there was something different about her attitude and approach towards me. She was soft spoken, very understanding and even wore a smile on her face.
"I know we can be a little hard on you at times Jack but it's only because we care. I was thinking and I realize that this is about you and not about us. This is your life so it should be about what you want and not about what your father and I think you should be doing. Don't worry about that job your father wants you to go for. I'll talk to him. You do whatever you're passionate about, son."

My heart was much lighter after that conversation so I slept like a baby. The next morning, however, I was to get another unwelcome surprise. My shower was disturbed by huge yells coming from the kitchen. They were arguing almost until their lungs came out. I had had quite enough of the adults making a mess of things. Against their appeals I decided to skip breakfast and head over to Jake's house for some better conversation. To my surprise I found the door locked and there was no reply to my calls out to him. Further attempts to reach him on his cell phone were also futile. Just then I heard a lovely voice coming out from the house next door. It was Miss Hardin. She had a lovely shade of lipstick on as well as an attractive scent.
"Oh hi Miss Hardin, I was just going to meet Jake for some play station games."
"Sorry jack, he's not here but he did ask me to keep you company. He's gone t the movies with his girlfriend so he's cell phone is probably turned off. Call me Mary."

I was a little disappointed that Jake wasn't around because it was ages since I tried unsuccessfully to beat him in our usual duals of tennis. Miss Hardin did soften the blow though. We caught up by chatting about the paths our lives were headed. She was still a maths teacher, but I was seemingly headed nowhere. The maths mistress was so used to my usual stories describing how my parents tried to rule my life that she let out a large sigh.
"Don't you think it's time you made a shift, Jake?"
"Make a shift?"
"Yes, make a shift. You know, as in move out of that environment of negativity. Either that or your mind is going to the dumps."
"I suppose you're right, Mary."
As soon as I uttered those words my mother's conversation with me the previous night echoed in my mind. I was so torn because I wanted to give it another chance with my parents but my head and heart weren't on the same page. My heart was telling me to try to reason with them but my head wasn't about to let me forget or forgive the pain that they had put me into.

"Come on Jake. Why the hesitation? Your parents don't believe in you or your talents. You know that in your heart, don't you? Who was the one who believed in you? Who was the one who stood by you when you felt like your world was about to crash?"
"You're right. They don't believe in me. All they care about is they. It was you who was there for me all those years, and I want to thank you for that. Is it too much to ask if I asked you if I could stay here for a while?"
"No need to thank me at all, Jake. It was a pleasure and yes you can stay here as long as your heart desires."
She reached over, held me and then kissed me on the lips. I felt a strange sensation in my heart - it was almost like chemistry between us that I never thought existed. I smiled shyly and she took that as an invitation to give me a proper, extended kiss.

The next day was filled with drama, but mostly in the morning. My parents weren't best pleased that I was being ripped away from them. In fact my mum cursed at Miss Hardin, shouting at her that she would pay for what she was about to do. I ignored their pleas as my heart had become hard with all the pain that it had been through. Fast forward to a few months later and I was a totally different person - free, confident, pleasant, light-hearted but at the same time high. Yes, the powerful world of sex, drugs and fast money. Ok, mostly drugs and fast money because the only person I was interested in was Miss Hardin. We had made plans to marry that December such was our love for each other.

"Jack are you sure about this relationship you have with Miss Hardin?" enquired Jake.
"Yes totally. She is so cool but hot at the same time man. She has my heart. I will do anything for her."
"That's what worries me man. Did you even notice that you more into drugs than she is? Isn't that a little strange to you?"
"Look man, I don't have time for riddles, so what exactly is your point here? Get to the point or this conversation is over."
"Sorry to say this man, but it looks like she's using the drugs to control you."
"You're crazy. She would never do that t me. You have no idea what you're talking about so leave this alone, okay?
"You don't believe me. Okay what would happen if you defy her and you need drugs? Why don't you find out for yourself?"
I did try to defy her but she wasn't harsh at all, she just convinced me to do as she wanted. She had me in a total spin - I could neither see nor think straight. It was as if all I could see was her. She was my entire world, my only friend, my soul mate or so I thought back then.

In the morning a strange, disgusting smell tortured my nose. It smelled like something was either rotten or something had died. To my horror I discovered that it was the latter. Shock reigned supreme in my heart when I discovered that my best friend was laid out on the floor with his tongue in a totally different location to his body. Who would do such a sick thing, not only was he stabbed uncountable times but he had other cuts and bruises thanks to what appeared to be an attack motivated by a sick passion. Miss Hardin was really consoling and kind when she realized the pain that Jake's murder had caused me. The police told me that it was someone he knew because according to them there was no sign of forced entry. Nothing was taken from his apartment either so it was obviously not a robbery.

Jake's last conversation with me troubled me to no end. That together with the information received from the police drove fear into my heart. I had to figure out who had murdered my best friend. I just had to. Strangely Mary became overly interested in my whereabouts every time I was out of her sight. On one of the school days I went over to Jake's apartment to search for clues that the police may have overlooked. I did find a small flat screwdriver hidden in a crawl space. It was wet and smelled of bleach. I knew Jake was not the type to be particular about the cleanliness of his tools so immediately I knew something was wrong. I also found an earring that I didn't recognize. When the police learned of the new finding they were both thrilled and upset. They didn't appreciate me fiddling with their crime scene but they were grateful that I found crucial evidence. However, even though they were able to lift skin cells and blood from the screwdriver they couldn't match it to anyone on file, and neither I nor Mary had any motive for killing Jake so we weren't considered suspects.

Some time later I had an interestingly revealing conversation with a jewelry store owner. I stopped by to buy Mary some earrings, but I noticed a pair of earrings that looked similar to the type I had found in Jake's apartment. The jewelry store owner had no reason to kill Jake so I thought nothing of it. The earrings were really pretty though so I decided to have a closer look at it. To my utter disgust I saw that one the earrings appeared to be a little older than the other. I confronted the owner and he admitted that he had found the earring while camping in the woods which was close to Jake's apartment. That really got me thinking - I had to buy them and conduct a little experiment of my own. When Mary got home from school she acted a little strange, something clearly had shaken her. As soon as I showed her the earrings to try to cheer her up, she totally freaked. Mary told me that she didn't want me buying her expensive stuff as I was just starting off in my job.

She offered to take it back to the jewelry store to return it but I was having none of it. I confronted her then and there, which was a really dumb thing to do. Mary admitted it - she was the one who killed Jake but she did it because Jake was trying to rip me away from her. I couldn't believe it - I had fallen in love with a psychotic killer! Things got heated when I threatened to kill me with a knife. I was just fortunate that the police turned up when they did because I wasn't trained to deal with a psychopath. According to the police they managed to match DNA found on a cup in Mary's trash to the DNA on Jake's screwdriver, and Mary's fingerprints were all over the earring found at the crime scene as well. Unfortunately it all ended in tragedy as Mary was determined that they would not be taking her alive, she tried to attack one of the police officers and was fatally shot in the head.

After that experience I told myself that I was going to get clean - no more drugs or shortcuts. I had to become a bigger person with a bigger character. More importantly I had to see to it that every thought and idea that I fed my mind was to get it in a better space and headed in a better direction. It wasn't going to be easy but I had to head towards the rehab centre and admit to myself and others that I had a problem and I had to commit to doing whatever was necessary to get better.

I keep replaying the events of that winter in my mind asking myself what I could have done differently to have avoided those disastrous incidents. Two people were dead because of me and my inability to connect and relate with my parents. I stay in my own apartment now that I have a better paying job. I had a choice to take over Jake's apartment but I chose not to as my heart just couldn't handle the painful memories that lingered in every corner of his place. My parents stop by on weekends just to see how I'm doing and to help out without of course trying to take over my life as they used to do. It still saddens me that it took such horrific experiences to relate to each other this way. Well I am just thankful to be alive and still have my parents to turn to for advice. Our relationship is still a work in progress but then again even the people with normal relationships learn each day how to relate to each other better. We all remain blessed.

Here are links to some of my other pages:

The outcast of love
Walking down the isle
Living in your heart
Wise sayings to challenge the intellectuals

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