I have no idea what just happened. I think I’m still processing. I just…
At 6am this morning, I awoke to someone vigorously ringing my doorbell. Seriously; who rings the doorbell at 6am? People who wake me up when I don’t want to be up usually end up carrying their spleen in their hands but I stumbled to the front door, knife behind my back, ready to take on the world.
Charlotte was standing there but I almost didn’t recognize her. She’d gotten her hair cut and dyed. What used to be long, blonde, and ratty is now bobbed and fiery red. And she’d finally changed her outfit into a nice blue summer dress. Even though it was 6am on a morning in March. She looked good. She looked sane. And sober.
Like I said, I barely recognized her.
She seemed shy and nervous, playing with her fingernails and barely making eye contact. I’ve known Charlotte to be quiet and unsure but never shy. Rarely nervous – except around her late husband. So when she spoke in this anxious, apologetic tone, I was stunned.
She said she figured out what happened to her husband. She knows that I killed him. She doesn’t know how I did it and she doesn’t want details but she knows what I did. I was too shocked to say anything other than “uhhhhh…..” but she smiled and said I didn’t need to worry about anything. She had no interest in turning me in or stopping me. In fact she came to thank me.
That’s not usually the response I expect when wives lose their husband to me but that was…that was all she would say on the matter. She said she’s moving overseas – leaving this afternoon – so she can make a complete fresh start. She’s probably not coming back. I don’t blame her.
There’s a lot of history here and if I could, I’d run away, too. Instead I did something incredibly stupid. Reckless, and stupid, and I almost don’t regret it.
I confessed to Charlotte.
I told her that I’d killed other men, other women; some teenagers but never children. I kill because I need to, not because I’m protecting someone or because I think my victims deserve it. But Daniel was special. It was personal. He killed my daughter so I made him suffer. God, just reliving it now, I seem so desperate for her approval. I’m not, or I shouldn’t be. But that’s how I sounded. Like I was apologizing for killing Daniel. I’ll never get so low that I apologize for killing Daniel.
Charlotte smiled and said she would keep my secret and then she just walked away. And just like that, the Westburns were gone from my life (perhaps for good). It felt like the end of an era. Those two have haunted my life for the last year and a half. I don't know what I'll do without them causing chaos and mayhem in my life. Hence my shock. I haven’t told James yet – he just woke up. This happened an hour ago and I’m in shock.
Charlotte’s gone, she knows my secret. And I’m almost okay with it.
What the fuck?
Every plan I ever had to kill her is out the window. I should want her gone even more now but for some reason, this is the better option: letting her live with some peace of mind. That’s all I ever wanted for Charlotte. I should be happy or homicidal or some other “h” descriptive word but I’m honestly not sure how I feel about having her out in the world, knowing my secret. The only people who know my other life outside of my family are dead. No question about it. So having someone, even Charlotte, out there in the world is the most dangerous and reckless thing I’ve ever done. I’m sure James will agree but I’ll let you know next week.
Maybe I shouldn’t have let her walk away. Maybe I shouldn’t have told her the truth. I survive by being paranoid – but not too paranoid, I remember what happened two summers ago – and thinking the worst of people. For whatever reason, I could never do that with Charlotte. I always assumed that she would remain good and sweet and innocent despite what life threw at her. Now I’m not sure I can trust that.
What do you think?
I’ve still got some time before Charlotte leaves. Do you think I should let her? I’m not only letting my secret go with her but I’m also losing one of my closest, if not my best friend.
She seemed happy – at least at peace. That counts for something right?
I need to go back to bed. Things will look better after a morning nap.
As always, dear readers,