Written by Nandini Sethi
I think I just murdered someone.
But I can’t be sure. I’m standing there, on the gravel by the road, gun in my hands as they tremble. Oddly enough everything just fits into place. The night is pitched in darkness and the street lights casts a glow of a halo above the dead body’s head.
Apparently I dropped the gun and screamed. I ran to you and pounced into your arms; burying my face into your chest as if that would shield my eyes from the haunting scene. I wailed and blabbered utter nonsense.
I screamed into your shirt, crying and pleading to you, to the dead, to God, to anyone. The reverberant boom filled the site and the nauseating sight of blood made me gag.
I think I felt you shake my shoulders and try to get my attention. Snap out of it, snap out of it, snap out of it! It’s hard for me to remember, the overwhelming reality of the situation was dizzying.
Maybe after a minute or two, I composed myself and looked to you for answers. Without sparing me another glance, you plucked the shovel out the limp man’s hand and started digging.
I could almost laugh- the situation was so random. How did a shovel get into his hand in the first place? Why did he even carry a shovel?
Furiously you dug the ground, splashing rubble and dust into the air. “What shall I do with the gun?” I spoke, piercing into the hollow silence of the night. Receiving no answer, I took hold of the rifle and felt a shiver run down my spine. Mimicking the memory, I grumbled out a boom sound and laughed. Everything was moving too fast, nothing felt real anymore.
You snatched the gun from my hands, and slapped me across the face. Did you really think that would bring me to my senses? But I shut my lips because in that moment I was scared. I was scared of you, and I was afraid of myself. I didn’t want to kill someone, and I didn’t want to die. I want to be able to talk without crying, to think something without pulling triggers.
Together we dragged the body and dumped it into the hole in the ground. I threw the gun in there and laughed again.
For a moment everything felt serene. So calm and normal. The heaviness in my limbs bore me down, and the pounding in my head brought tears to my eyes. I could sleep for a million years, I just needed to lay down.
Lowering myself to the ground, I was surprised you didn’t stop me. I thought I heard you cry, but I couldn’t really be bothered anymore. There were a hundred unanswered questions, but the sticky blood made my skin crawl and my mind numb. I closed my eyes for a second.
When I opened them, it was to a horrible blaring sound. Was it the police? Most definitely, the brawny men in uniforms wearing a blank face couldn’t be mistaken for anyone but cops.
I started laughing again, but when I touched my cheeks they were wet with tears. I got to my feet in a haste and ran to get help.
“Officer! Please save me, this man is trying to kill me, and and-”, but I couldn’t complete my sentence. I was unable to move, to react at the picture before me. Like a painting. Of a man lying lifeless on the hard road, bleeding out of his head, hand still holding onto a shovel. The serenity had remained unchanged, and the ground still hadn’t been dug up. The halo of light still stuck to the man’s head, and you were lying next to the man. Pale and unmoving. And with the same bullet wound on your head.
I turned to the officer, eyes wide, my body unresponsive, uncooperative.
The serenity was all an illusion and the sound of horns and metal filled the air. The sound of the distant voices, unclear and woolly-
“you are under arrest for the murder of two males, 22 and 24”.