Of course, she didn’t do it. She knew she didn’t do anything illegal. The point was convincing them she didn’t do it. How was that possible? They wrongly assumed her guilt, and now their assumption had her behind bars. She was guilty until proven innocent. It was unjust. How were they so convinced of things they knew nothing about?
She felt no regret, but there was nothing to lament. She had committed no crime, enacted no brutality against anyone. Violence just wasn’t in her. Surely, she could feel it if she had the capacity to be what they claimed. She could feel that cold venom flowing through her veins, if it were true. But, it wasn’t.
They repeatedly peered through that damned window on the door. It was infuriating. What did they expect to see? There was no way out of the room except for that door, no other window aside from that microscopic opening on the entrance. She wasn’t going anywhere. She had no intention of fleeing. Then she would just be labeled a “fugitive of justice,” as if she were a criminal.
The disgusting holding cell was utterly disgusting. No doubt, hundreds, or even thousands, of the lowliest human beings alive had sat in the same spot as she. Individuals with countless diseases, their revolting flesh touching what she had to. The chair appeared equally as battered and filthy as the bed. At least the sheets on the cot were white and clean. She stripped the thin, dingy blanket from the bed and sat on the sheet.
In life, she had never felt guilt. She never had a reason to. She wasn’t guilty of anything. She had never regretted her decisions. Everything was decided with calculation and deliberation. She didn’t have an ounce of spontaneity in her entire person. It wasn’t practical or reasonable to make harsh decisions or take immediate and unplanned action. Everything had to be planned.
It was nonsense, utter nonsense. Nothing gave them the right to hold her for such an extended length of time. What proof did they have? Fingerprints? It was purely circumstantial evidence. They didn’t have a shred of concrete proof that she was at any scene at that time.
She gave the nosy guard an indifferent look. She was a master of cold looks, after all, she always felt cold. There wasn’t a single day in her life where she felt warm and bright. Internally, she was cold, black, darkness.
She shivered and crossed her arms across her chest. Shivering was a way of life. She always shivered, but never out of fear. Fear was not a familiar emotion. She had never experienced that high, “the anticipation of getting caught,” as therapists labeled it.
Sometimes she wished she could fear. That she could tremble in the wake of something that frightened her so much she collapsed. That would certainly be something.
Anything would be better than the nothing she experienced. Everyday was the same, no fear, no love, no hope, and no emotion. She didn’t cry at sad movies, although sometimes she almost felt sad. She couldn’t recall a day in her life where she cried. Somehow, nothing ever came out of her. It was all bleak, dull, and boring. She was a barren desert, incapable of producing tears.
She had tried to tempt emotion, bungee jumping, skydiving, scaling cliffs, but nothing worked. Nothing provoked fear or excitement. She couldn’t be breathless with anticipation because she couldn’t be breathless at all. Her body wouldn’t respond in the manner needed to invoke such a reaction. Adrenaline was a foreign substance that everyone discussed, but she never felt.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to just cry, for once, to sit and bawl your eyes out? She mused at the high ceilings. She was so bored and restless. She felt boredom and restlessness; they were her companion emotions, the only things she knew.
She had done terrible things in the past. She wouldn’t pretend she was an angel. Being the responsible person she was, she corrected them all in the end. Other people got emotional and they felt. She hated them for their abilities and their response, but how else could she know if she could feel? She had to commit those desperate acts. There was no way around it.
She’d dodged those impulses and urges for two decades before finally submitting to their lure; however, in utmost disappointment, they provided nothing. No high, no low, merely the same bland continuum as every other day.
She hated that she had to do so much, but she couldn’t be held accountable for that. It had been a few years since, and back then, she was young and eager to feel. She had accepted her life and her lack of emotional capacity.
Her mind returned to the present. There was something buried deep within her mind. Something was so annoyingly implanted into her brain that she couldn’t pull it out. She forced herself into deep reflection and saw a spark of the unknown.
Was there more to life?
More to her?
She couldn’t recall the night before. That was unusual. Why was it so hard to remember? It’s not as if she was afraid to remember. Why on Earth would her mind hide it? There was nothing to fear. The current situation was just a mix-up, nothing serious, just a slight inconvenience that she would emerge from and move on.
The sliver of recognition arose only long enough to provoke her interest, and then retreated into the vast recesses of black memory. She pushed deeper. It had to be there. What had happened the night before? She sat up, enthralled by the possibility.
A new emotion?
She could lie with no difficulty, could get out of any situation imaginable. She could control her reactions because she felt nothing. Now she felt curiosity. That was something special, something aside from boredom and restlessness. She smiled. It was wonderful. She felt young again when there was so much to learn and explore.
She went deeper, what really had happened? What was that damned spark of knowledge keeping from her? She reclined on the thin mattress, determined to remember. She just had to. She had no desire to know anything aside from what it was trying to tell her.
Her eyes widened as she remembered coming home from work. That was something. She left the retirement home as usual and went home. She didn’t have blackouts. It wasn’t like her to lose track of a day. She went home in the same manner, but a man stood by the road. He stood there with his thumb in the air, waiting for a ride. She picked him up, against her practical side’s protest. She picked him up and what happened?
She couldn’t remember.
Her mind rolled through swirls of shadows and mist, it was there. The full recognition was there. He started saying how she shouldn’t be picking hitchhikers up without a weapon. She shouldn’t….
She had grabbed the stun gun beneath the console and jolted him. Only before it touched him, she switched it to the highest level and stunned him. That happened just before she pushed him out of the car, off a bridge, and into the flooded river below.
But, there had been much more. The drifter shook and jerked from the electricity until he hit the water. She didn’t know what happened to him after she dumped him. She didn’t remain to watch.
She had then hit a deer with her car. That was how her car’s window fractured. She floored it, on purpose, and struck the animal. She couldn’t even remember why she did it. She pushed her mind further. She had wanted to feel. She recalled. She just wanted to see if anything at all might provoke her heart. Did she even have a heart? She had hit the deer to see if she could feel pity or remorse, regret or anything. There was still nothing.
Was that all?
No, it had been far from over. The evening was young and she took advantage of it. She was determined she would feel something. Enraged at her lack of ability, she killed. She remembered it, four men and two women in one evening. She tried to remember more about it. It was so difficult.
That was why she was in the room, why they kept talking about her future. They hadn’t merely caught her fingerprints. They found blood from where the persistent woman had clawed her. She looked down at her arm, those scratches. That dead woman made those scratches.
Her eye itched. It felt moist and strange. She reached a hand to wipe her eye and looked at her fingers. She had no allergies, her eyes never watered. Yet, here was her tear.
The first tear she’d cried in her life.
Why was she crying? The tiny drop moved over her skin. It was astounding. It looked like a liquid prism and didn’t turn to ice as she suspected it would. She was so cold.