Terry Hayes once said, “Nobody’s ever been arrested for a murder; they have only ever been arrested for not planning it properly”.
In Ian’s case he was not arrested for any of the murderers he had committed. He was arrested for a murder he did not commit, mine. It was not luck nor incompetence of my murderer that saved me. It was me. Just me.
“My name is Ian Hurts, and this is how Lavinia Kull killed herself”.
“Excuse me, Ian… killed herself? Did I hear correctly?” asked attorney Tyler Holland.
“So, you’re implying that you didn’t kill Lavinia. It was a suicide!”
Ian nodded again.
Tyler shook his head and pressed a button on the remote control of the projector they had installed that particular day. The crowd, including myself, was about to be shocked by the slide show Tyler had prepared for us. Some turned their head the other way, some covered their mouth in disgust, some left a discreet noise, unable to control their voice, and I, as always, turned my head and looked at Ian. Heartless, indifferent Ian. I remembered that night he was telling me how he did it. How he killed her.
“People shouldn’t be ungrateful Helen. She was. I gave her not one, but two chances and she wasted them all. In the end, since one must choose the side that is victorious, the side which devastates… considering the alternative, it is better to eat than to be eaten.”
Was he right? I wondered…
“… And you did the same. You were chasing me all these years. I accept my defeat, I respect your persistence. But I’m not sorry for what I’ve done. So, if you’re looking for an apology, this is not the right place.”
“Tell me about her.” I said without responding to his last comment.
“She loved me. That I know. For how long, that I do not know. I think it was before she left, before she became Head of Faber Clinic. It was then that she really loved me. After she had returned, she was this cruel, different person. I could see it, but I didn’t want to believe it. I made my mistakes and she made hers and all led to that night that I will never forget. It was…”
“Before you continue… Do you regret it?”
“Do you miss her?”
Silence… We looked at each other and it was as if we connected in a strange level. Like we both shared the same feeling. We had both lost someone because of him. He was two different people at the same time, killer and victim. He continued:
“It was a few hours after her ridiculous attempt to kill me. She didn’t even have the guts to do it herself. You either have it in you or you don’t. By paying someone to do your job is just weakness. And I do not appreciate weakness. You didn’t pay anyone. I didn’t pay anyone.”
I felt a sense of confidence. Was Ian giving me a compliment? Was he considering me as an equal? I admit now that it was more than once that I fell for his charm. The way he looked, the way he talked, his mind, everything.
“We were in a motel. A place that I used to go and spend some time to think or plan. She was a mess, totally unattractive to me. I remember her begging for her life at some point. What a pity.”
“How did you do it?”
“Well, first we had this conversation which I must admit got into my bones, and then without second thought I did it.”
“I know that you are going to kill me now,” said Lavinia tied up on the bed. She was lying naked with hands and legs tied up with a rope on each corner of the bed. A mixed combination of cold, fear, stress and shock made her tremble. She couldn’t even talk straight.
Ian did not answer. He was in the bathroom, preparing himself for the murder.
“Why do you kill people, Ian? Why? Isn’t it justice for me to kill you?”
Ian got out of the bathroom and looked at her. He was holding a big axe in his hand.
“Yes. But you couldn’t. So now it’s my turn.”
She screamed with all her strength, but no one could hear her.
He walked next to her holding the axe with both hands. The room was dark, only the streetlights were enough to give him the visibility he needed to carry out his ritual.
“I loved you.” Lavinia said using past tense. Ian stopped.
“I really did. And I hated myself for that. I literary tried to get over you. I left as far as I could. It was so painful.”
“Why did you come back?”
“Because I couldn’t live without you. But then I couldn’t live with myself. So, I decided to kill you.”
“You planned everything so perfectly. You tricked your own family, you tricked me, for what? Do you remember how strong you were? Remember what happened to you? The man who raped you?” Ian let the axe down on the floor and sat next to her. She didn’t move.
“Do you remember that night before you left? The first time I kissed you?”
“I do. I will never forget.”
“It was only for a moment. 30 seconds, and it was the best 30 seconds of my life.”
Ian’s eyes teared up. He kissed her forehead and touched her hand.
“Please, Ian. I’m begging you, please.”
Ian’s sweet face, now turned into a repulsive one. This last sentence was the wake-up call he needed. With a quick move he turned and grabbed the axe from the floor. He raised it and said:
“It’s time for a little trivia my sweet Lavinia. You are smart, you must know that. Do you know how many seconds it takes for a person to die after decapitation?”
Lavinia was screaming and crying unable to turn her head away from his face.
“30 seconds, my sweet girl. 30 fucking seconds which you will be able to see your fucking head separated from your body, if you can stay conscious that is. But at least even for a few seconds you will feel the exact amount of pain as I did.”
Ian struck down his axe directly onto her beautiful neck. The first time Lavinia’s eyes, still open, were looking directly into his eyes letting the last tears run down her face. She let a horrible groan of pain and her voice was lost forever. The second time a massive amount of blood blew on Ian’s face making him scream from indignation. He repeated three times, with the head only becoming unresponsive on the third attempt. His heart was pounding really hard. He felt like vomiting, but he didn’t. It was the first and probably the last time that he performed the act of murder without really wanted to. It felt like labor to him. He remained for more than five minutes with the axe on his hand, breathing with difficulty, staring at the woman’s dead body.
It took him 3 days to clean up the mess and feel ready to go back into the real world. The world that was waiting for him… I was waiting for him…