2. MATTHEW

“My name is Ian Hurts and this is how I killed Matthew Brown.”

It was the third night in a row that Mia was visiting Ian’s dorm room shaking and crying.

            “You need to stop, Mia. Do you understand me? Look at me.”

Ian’s loud and scary voice shook Mia to her own core. She sat on his bed crying, while blook was coming out of her nose. Against her pale skin, the fade, red lipstick, and the ruined, black mascara created an unattractive image to look at. Ian helped her take her clothes off and led her in the shower. While bathing her, Mia was standing still, trying to keep her senses. She felt cold and weak. The endless nights with cocaine overdose were a reality she wanted to escape from – a bad memory that would eventually fade away – a crossroad, hoping she would choose the right path.

She met Ian in ‘Introductions to Developmental Psychology’ class on their first semester in college and they had been inseparable ever since.

            “Just friends, Ian. Let’s not ruin the perfect friendship we’ve got. Okay?”

Ian was attracted to her from the very first day, but he respected her wish to stay just friends with him. Although inseparable, Mia found another kind of interest in their third year in college. She always felt confident about her beauty and for a good reason. She was considered the most beautiful girl in the entire campus. Beauty attracts everyone, but not always the right one. “There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.” Egdar Allan Poe once wrote. Mia met Matthew Brown on his graduation party in the campus and that day was meant to be the beginning of her end.

Matthew Brown, a self-disciplined, diligent straight-A student, with a remarkable personality and the life of every party as told by many. He was selected social chair all four years he was studying Psychology and planned the greatest parties and extracurricular activities of all time, without a doubt. At least that was the CV – cover he tried to promote. That was the real monstrous nature of that creature,

Matthew Brown, a sadistic, loathsome drug dealer with a rotten personality, taking the life from every weak, young kid. He was the perfect choice for a moment of fun and experimentation led to a lifetime of annihilation. Every boy wanted to be like him, and every girl wanted to be with him. Mia was no exception to that rule. He was an egoistic monster who had no respect of other people’s life, but his own.

Ian noticed the bruises on Mia’s skinny body. It wasn’t the first time, but he knew it was going to be the last one. He dried and combed her long, brown hair. He was patient and calm, without any trace of anger or temper. He watched Mia falling asleep the minute she lied down, and just for a second he dreamt of how life would be if she had actually wanted to be with him.

            “Let’s not ruin what we’ve got.”

Isn’t it already ruined? He thought to himself. Ian was sitting on a wooden chair, watching Mia snoring. Behind the pale face, he could no longer see the beauty and innocence that once adored. He got up and put his black jacket on. His mind was blurred, but he had made his decision. After locking the door in his room, he headed to the parking lot. He hesitated for a few seconds thinking of a phrase he once read,

“Before you embark on a journey of revenge dig two graves…”

and after two minutes, he started the car.

On the second day of Ian’s trial, all they asked him was how he managed to kill the victim. Without fear or hesitation this time, he replied:

            “It was Monday midnight. I drove all the way from college to his house. I found the backdoor in the garden open, and I entered. There was complete darkness, so I figured he was either out or sleeping. Lucky for me…”

Yes, that was the expression he used while testifying…

“… I remember walking in the living room and seeing the TV on but muted. I stood in front of the couch, where Matthew was sleeping. I looked at his ugly face and… At that point, I would like to clarify that there was no hesitation at the moment. I had no self-doubt or second thoughts. I wanted to kill him. But I also wanted to look at his ugly face one last time. The face that made Mia, my dear Mia, lose her life to drugs. The face that made her suffer physical assaults and sexual abuse – her and so many other girls…”

            “Objection, your Honor. The offender was asked how he killed the victim. The part about what he thinks or feels about the victim is irrelevant.”

            “Sustained. Mr. Hurts, please, proceed with the description of your act.”

Ian smiled and stared intensely at the lawyer who objected. After almost one minute – a minute that made that particular lawyer’s heart beat faster than it would beat if he had just run a marathon – he continued:

            “I grabbed the pillow from the armchair next to me and covered his face. There was no resistance from his part. It took exactly four minutes, until I uncover his face. I checked his pulse and then his heartbeat. I got my ear near his mouth, so I could see if he was breathing or not. I waited for almost an hour and then I checked again. I wasn’t completely certain until I heard it on the news the next day.”

On the second day of Ian’s trial, all they asked him, was how he killed the innocent victim. I wanted to stand up and ask only one question:

            “What were you thinking during those four minutes?”

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