For the past two years, I’ve sat at this window, torturing myself. I watch every morning as joyful little children skip, run or simply walk on their way to school; firmly grasping the hand of their parent. I gaze out, examining each child; they’re all incredibly different of course. Not superficially, but I’ve always been good with children. I can tell each one’s personality, just by facial expressions, their laugh or maybe just the way they walk.
I watch as the parents gaze up at my house, every one of them. With a look of either anger, worry or sadness. They all know me of course, as I was like them once; a parent. His name was Danny and when he was born it was the happiest day of my life, my ex-wife’s too. I enjoyed every second of watching him, playing with him, feeding him or even something most would find a chore, such as changing his diapers.
As I reminisce I observe a young boy, maybe 5 or 6, jumping up and down on the lawn outside my house, before his mother quickly grasps his hand, pulling him off. She also gazes up at the house, although I couldn’t quite see her facial expression, I was too busy looking at her son. He looked like Danny, or at least what I assumed Danny would look like at that age.
It wasn’t my fault! I was bathing him one night while his mother was out with friends. He looked so happy sitting in the bath, splashing around playfully. He told me he wanted his toy dinosaur, well, babbled it, after all, he was only two years old. I went out to the bedroom to look for it, I searched high and low, but I couldn’t find it. The last thing I wanted was to go back and have to disappoint him. After about five minutes of looking, I finally found it lying under a pile of dirty clothes. I rushed back to the bathroom smiling… when I saw Danny, lying under the water. Motionless.
I tried everything: calling the ambulance, mouth to mouth, slapping his back; nothing worked!
I feel a tear roll down my cheek as I watch a girl cheerily tear up bits of grass from the lawn outside my house. Her mom rushes over and scolds her.
I couldn’t go to Danny’s funeral. I spent the day moving the belongings my wife had left behind into cardboard boxes to store away. I thought she would come back to collect them, but she hasn’t even been able to look at me since. News spread quickly of course. I was the bad guy, the "irresponsible parent"; it always boils my blood to hear the whispers as I walk around the town. The lies, the mutterings, the glaring looks, it all just angers me.
I don’t even know why I sit here at this window; my love of children has festered into hatred. I know, as they grow older, they will look at me the same way their parents do, with a snobby sense of superiority, the type that makes me clench my fists in rage. I see on the news all the time, parents who beat, abandon or even purposefully murder their children. The ones that don’t give a fuck about them, they are the ones who should feel the way I do!
The scars on my wrists are a testament to how much I miss Danny, how much I want our family to be back together. But I know, no matter how hard I rerun the memories over in my head, my life will never be the same. Why? Why must I torture myself so much?! Why do I choose to linger on these thoughts and to watch these bastards look down on me each morning and parade their child in front of my house, like some sort of "badge of honour".
I’ll show them, I’ll fucking show them all.
I gaze up at the clock to see the time as I grab my gun and load the bullets into my M9 pistol, shaking. Nine o’clock. Perfect. All the kids are in school and the parents are all mostly home or on their way to work.
I push the pistol and extra magazines under my shirt, before grabbing my coat and heading for the exit. I also grab the flick knife lying on the floor. It’s covered in my blood. I must have forgot to clean it last night. As I place my hand on the door handle, I smile. I think of the empty roads on a Monday morning. The laughs and playful screams of children, silenced. Music to my ears.
As I mentally run over the directions to the school in my head, I see a familiar looking man walking past, one of the parents from the school. He gazed at me through the glass window on the front door. He looked worried and so he should be. I’m going to give this whole town a day they’ll never forget.