As I stood over the beautiful, empty body that had once been filled with innocent life, I nearly wept. Was it possible that I had become the monster that I had only before read about in the newspapers? It couldn't be. I was a good man. Not quite forty. A man of my word. A highly respected Professor at the University of Texas. I had received numerous awards for outstanding achievements in teaching. I was extremely well read and I donated to the Red Cross Foundation once a month. I was a member of my church's choir for Christ's sake! These kinds of things don't happen to men like me. But a man like me has his share of skeletons.
I had not been with a woman for many years. I had seen cities around the world, done things that most people can't even imagine doing, but a woman had not warmed my bed for quite some time. I now realized what little will power I truly possessed. I'm not using that as an excuse mind you, not even a reason. I am stating a fact.
It all happened so fast that calling it a blur would be an understatement. It was like a collection of events tied so loosely together I sometimes thought it to be a dream. The memories surged my head as if they were a movie preview. A long dark alleyway. A silver BMW pulls into the alley and shuts off its lights (my car.) A man exits and circles the car. Pulls a girl from the passenger side. Screams, clothes ripping, hate, aggression, anger, a killer's strong grip tightening on a victim's weak neck. No turning back.
That is as far back as I can remember. So here I stand, over my bloody, battered victim; still praying that this is only a dream. Praying that this is merely my imagination and I have fallen asleep in my studio apartment watching "I dream of Jeanie" reruns.
But I was far from the comfort of my large, orange armchair. I was far from having the comfort of knowing that I would never turn into one of these terrible rapists I read so much about. The sick b*****d I would say to myself watching the news. How can people do this? I wondered. My stomach turned.
I was slowly remembering more. The car ride to the alleyway came to my memory as if completely new. The song on the radio...yes. It was "California Girls" by The Beach Boys. I remember the girl asking me who it was and me just laughing saying something stupid like "This is from a time when music was music." or something along those lines. The song was in the last chorus when I turned onto the street where the alley was. 4th street! That's where I had been all along. Not but a block from my house. Not but three streets from the University.
And as we turned I remember looking at her as she asked where I was going. "My dorm is still a little further down." She had said. "Where are you taking me?" She said louder. I laughed and took a sip of my whiskey. Whiskey? Had I been drinking? I don't remember drinking, at least not until now. No, I wasn't a drinker. My father was an alcoholic; I had never touched the stuff. Louder still she asked, "Where are we going?" I turned to her and looked her straight in the eyes. And still I said nothing. As we turned down the alleyway I said nothing. As I pulled her from the car and raped and murdered her I had let nothing but grunts of struggle escape my lips. And the poor girl could do nothing but scream.
Evaline! Evaline was her name. She was one of my students in my "Introduction to Calculus class." But what would she be doing with me at this time of...what time was it? I stopped thinking and looked at my watch. 4:11 A.M. What had she been doing out at this hour? What had I been doing out at that hour? And before I could ask any other questions. I remembered more.
She had the number to my apartment. We had spoken several times about her grades and I gave her the number with the permission to call anytime for a problem about Calculus, or otherwise. She had called me that night. I had been drinking. I had just returned from the store with two more bottles of whiskey when the phone was ringing. I had already consumed one. I was drowning my sorrows about one thing or another when she called from a party a few streets away. She was upset and said she wanted to go home but her friends had left her. I told her I would be right there.
I picked her up and she told me about everything that had happened. Guys were trying to take advantage of her because she was drunk and I remember gurgling something about that being very wrong. She soon calmed down and about the time she looked better, the song started. I was turning on to 4th street.
And now I was standing over her lifeless body. There is nothing for me to say in my defense. Although I will tell you this: I feel sorrow for what has happened. I'm sure you are thinking Yes, they always feel sorry afterwards. I really don't know what to say in response to that. I may be a rapist, and a murderer, but I am not a liar.
I looked down at my casualty again. Clothes tattered, make-up smeared from crying and screaming, blue eyes glazed over. What had I done? I realized that there would never be any escape from what had happened. There would never be a trial. There would never be a plea. A forty-year-old professor rapes and murders a nineteen-year-old female student in Texas. I would barely get a chance to be handcuffed before being executed.
The bible says that a sin is a sin, and that all sins are forgiven. But I am sure there is a special place in Hell reserved for men like me. The sirens soon came and a police officer exited his vehicle, weapon held high. He was screaming things about stepping away from the body and laying face down on the ground. Much to my surprise, I too had pulled a firearm from my coat pocket. There was no punishment on earth that would ever fit the crime I had committed. I raised my weapon. Gunshot.
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