Ten hours and thirty-seven minutes, that was the amount of time it took before I saw the mess I caused on the news. Those people, sitting behind their fancy little desks with a teleprompter telling them what to say and do, they said I was a hero for saving a poor defenseless girl from a sexual assault; damn puppets. I was portrayed as this hero, but I didn’t feel like a hero, at least not to Angela. If she had the strength to run away that night, she would have, but she didn’t. I saw the fear in her eyes that night, and all I wanted to do was apologize to her. But I knew it was more than just apologizing, I wanted to profess my love to her. The news said Angela was still in the hospital, so I knew where to find her. The time was 3:30pm as I arrived at the hospital, what a sight. There were sirens flashing everywhere, doctors and nurses scrambling, trying to move stretchers outside to get the sick people inside. I could smell fear, death, and tears as I walked into the hospital. I looked over at mothers and father crying to doctors, asking them to save their children. I saw children in a room saying their final goodbyes to their mother, crying, hoping that a miracle would happen. I looked ahead, not caring for these people; my life was now about me and only me. And there, in a wheelchair being pushed by a nurse dressed in blue was Angela. Her blue eyes were covered in bruises, her dimples were gone from the swelling of her lips, her hair was muddy and covered in dirt, and her skirt and shirt were torn from side to side, with holes in several places. I smiled and I ran to her as she looked up to see a familiar face running towards her, she placed her hands on the wheelchair and pushed herself up, and fell into my arms, tears strolling from her face, muttering the words of “thank you.” But only if that did happen; the perfect scene was spoiled by this dumb bimbo. I ran to her, smiling spreading my arms like a bird, hoping she would get up and embrace me. Instead she turned the other way, screaming at me to go away. I stopped in my tracks, my smile faded and my wings fell down, clipped to my side. The nurse pushed her outside into a yellow taxi, as I stood there. At that moment, I began to feel as if I was a puppet again. Killing that man didn’t do me any good. And even after several years of not seeing Angela, she was still my puppeteer. What did I have to do to get her to love me, to get her to understand that I was her hero?
I knew no matter what I did, no matter how many rapists or molesters I killed for her, she wouldn’t love me, she wouldn’t consider me her hero. And so I ran to my car, as I wiped the tears with the end of my shirt, I got into my car and began to follow the taxi. I followed the taxi closely, but not too closely to not raise suspicion. I drove behind different cars, but as long I could see the taxi I was fine. I wasn’t sure what I was doing or why I was following Angela back home. I didn’t know what I was going to do when I confronted her face-to-face, but I knew something was going to happen. I felt a knot in my stomach; my intestines were crawling to each other, tying each other up. The taxi took several lefts and rights and drove into an unfamiliar territory, a neighborhood I was unfamiliar with. The taxi finally stopped at a two-story house, with a beautiful freshly shaven lawn, a tall oak tree in the middle, and tall green bushes near the side of the house. I stopped my car two houses down from where the taxi stopped, but I could still see the taxi. The sun was still high and I saw Angela step out of the taxi, her beautiful long legs, gently stepping onto the pavement. She made her way out, limping up the driveway on one foot with the taxi driver assisting her. She handed the driver some cash and he left as she opened the door to go inside. I sat in my car, unsure on what I was doing or what I was going to do. Here I was, sitting in my car about to meet the girl of my dreams, even after she declined to speak to me several times. She must have thought I was a monster for killing that man, but he damn right deserved it. But I knew she wasn’t going to talk to me, I knew she would just slam the door shut wanting me to leave, but I couldn’t let her do that. I knew that if I wanted to be a man, I would need to finally stop the one person, the one puppeteer who caused my life to be like this, Angela.
I reached for my glove compartment and opened it. Inside was my gun, the same gun I was going to use to kill myself and end my miserable life. But now, I was going to use it to end the life of the one who caused my miserable life. I tucked it in between my pants, and I walked outside. I locked my car’s door and walked around it. I stopped at the passenger side to inspect my car’s tire and I thought to myself, damn a nail bit into it, I’d need to replace it soon. I walked around my car again to make sure the doors were locked and stepped onto the sidewalk. I began walking towards Angela’s house with my hands tucked into my pant pockets. I heard the bird’s chirping, the car’s roaring by the street, and the sound of little children crying, laughing, and screaming all around me. As I approached Angela’s house I stopped. Down the street I saw a bounce house and several cars lined up possibly for a birthday party. I could smell a barbeque, it was delicious. The smell of grilled chicken, hot dogs, and mouth-watering barbequed ribs, fireworks were going off in my mouth and my stomach began to grumble as I held it. I looked ahead and saw a figure approaching my direction; it was a man and his dog taking a walk. As they walked by me, I saw the man was on his phone, and he didn’t notice me, but the dog attempted to sniff me and jump on me before the owner tugged it back. I smirked as I walked up the driveway and to Angela’s door. I looked at the pots and plants nearby, trying to grow, but there was no sunlight coming into their direction since a wall blocked it. I looked down to see Angela’s mat with the words “Welcome” plastered across it. I looked up, imaging the voice of Angela’s angelic voice humming to a tune. I lift my hand up as it shook and pointed at the doorbell, pushing it as it sang the tunes of ding-dong. The humming stopped, and I placed my right hand over my gun. I closed my eyes as I could see my strings being undone, they were being cut, and I was finally going to be free. I heard the door open as my eyes opened to the sight of Angela answering her door, stepping back in shock, almost hiding behind her door. I brandished my gun, held it up, aiming it towards Angela’s angelic face, and before she could mutter any words … I pulled the trigger.
The sound of laughter stopped, the sound of music ceased to exist; dogs were barking, and I could hear women and children screaming, yelling. The smell, the smell of the delicious food was now gone. I dropped my gun to the ground as I fell to my knees. I crawled to Angela, and I could see the blood gushing out from her skull, the bullet went straight through. Her skin became pale, her eyes were flushed out like a desolated island; her body was there, but her life was no longer. I held her in my arms, as I wept, kissing her pale cheeks, hoping for her smiles to show me the dimples I’ve longed to see. I no longer felt like a puppet, the strings were no longer attached, but I began to fall with no end in sight.
“You wept… did you begin to feel remorse? Regrets?
“Of course … Scribus. I regret pulling that trigger on my angel, on my everything, she could have lived, but she was my damn puppeteer. How could I let someone who controlled my life live?”
“But Alex, you were at her doorstep. You had the chance to talk to her. Why didn’t you just talk to her?”
“Dominance… I thought I found my dominance by killing that man. I thought I would find that dominance by killing Angela. But in truth, Scribus, I was a coward… I was … so tired of being a puppet all my life, I forgot how to live. I forgot how to take control of my own life … dammit I was born into this world for a reason! I could have changed, but I didn’t let myself change. I kept my life the same, because maybe deep down inside I wanted to be a puppet. I wanted to be controlled by those around me… Maybe I still wanted those strings attached … I thought killing Angela would bring truth, justice, and create a better life for me. I thought if I killed her, I would finally get to see what it’s like to be a man, to be the king of the mountain, to be a puppeteer. But I was as worse as that scumbag trying to have it his way with Angela … But Scribus, I was damn wrong … I should have been the puppeteer of my own life, my own decisions, my own doing…”
And I saw Scribus flipping his pencil around, gently placing his eraser on the legal pad, and scratching the eraser up and down, erasing the mistake he made, and then he swept the eraser marks off of his legal pad and table. And for the first time, the eraser was no longer full of life, instead it was filled with scratches, black scars, and battle marks. That eraser … that eraser, we were one in the same, both void of life, both trying to fix mistakes but mine was permanent. And I thought talking to Scribus, telling him my damn story would allow me to see Angela in her angelic form, but I knew my mistakes led me to hell instead, where I truly belong, where I will spend the rest of my life being the one thing I’ve always been good at, a puppet, a dog, a servant to the devil.