Night

Pier shifted uneasily attempting to fix his gaze on the fading wall. Once in a while when his eyes settled, he would sigh then tap his cigarette ash on his lap.
I had greeted him 10 minutes ago when he walked in and took a seat, he didn’t reply, instead he settled down and lit a cigarette. I tried again
“I know this cant be easy for you, but you have to…”
“You know nothing” he spat then tapped his cigarette again. In the poorly lit room his eyes glittered and for a second, I probably imagined the tears gathering at his eyelids.
“Can’t be easy” he scoffed “we’re not discussing weeks without food and shelter or ill health. This is realizing hell is a happier place, to wake up and realize you carry a darkness the devil envies.”
Tears had rolled down Pier’s cheeks, I searched for the right words, for anything at all to say. All the resentment and judgement I clutched while heading for the interview disappeared, it was hard not to pity the mess of a man called monster.
Pier had attempted suicide several times in his prison cell and just had recently been placed in solitary confinement. A man who had been active in the genocide, killed hundreds of men, a rapist, a killer and thief, all before turning 18.
Fifteen years after the genocide and they were yet to be tried for their crimes. He would die in prison eventually, wrists slashed with a razor blade, soon, on a rainy day this month but for now there were thousands of prisoners to be judged first.
Between sobs Pier let out a loud groan and muttered something indiscernible

“the vilest deeds do not seem absurd in an endless midnight. I was a boy, I did what I was taught, what was done, kill, rape, steal”.
“When the night is over you wake up and look at all the darkness, all the ugliness in your own reflection. It exposes so much, so much pain, so much guilt, so…
He trailed off then moved his gaze from the wall staring at me like I had just materialized out of thin air.
“You come to hear my story ehh” he shouted
“if you are a truly a good man you would let me kill one more time, would let justice prevail, for hundreds of men and screaming women trapped in my nightmares. We all need a release”
Pier was smiling mechanically when we ended the interview.

I knew why.

I did not look back for my fallen razor blade.

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