I am, by mysterious virtue of nature, someone who makes the same mistakes over and over despite taking the necessary actions I thought would change the outcome. I entertain the thoughts of fate, destiny, and determinism countless times more. Has anything I have ever done changed how my story was written to end? Has my author, if we were to assume he did hold the pen once, ever pitied me, and done so enough to even consider showing me sympathy or mercy? I am undeserving, true, but I must wonder. That’s all I do.
But when all my disconnected curiosity is said and done, I recognize that it is not I who stands at the center of my own accidental crosshairs; it is trio of folk I hold dear, in perfect alignment with the chamber that is at the mercy of my trembling trigger finger. One false move and they all drop dead, in the same way my last victim did, silent and sudden. Just like him, they could evaporate without hearing my sorry or goodbye, without seeing the tears fall from my eyes, and without feeling the glee that could have been had I been more careful.
Let’s roll the series of events: I hypothetically, make the wrong choice. Bang. The results are immediate. It would not be murder, no. The bullet would not travel through the air with a killing intent, but their hearts—one, two, three—cease beating once the jacketed lead of my word choice passes through their chests. Had I not been clothed in such cowardice, they would fall onto padded ground instead of a sharp forest of stones. Love on the rocks is normal, they say, but in no way does the routine alleviate the pain.
I see him, the previous unintentional casualty, in all of them: the incomparable compassion, the candied speech, and the heartstring-pulling smile. I fear for their lives. It is their kind that I have broken once before, and I have yet to forgive myself for the crime. There is no way I can. I stumble across the crime scene now and then, and although it has been cleaned since, I blink once and see the blood stains on the wall and the fearsome flickering lights again.
In all that I do, I plead that history will not repeat itself.