Thursday, 27 August 2015

Guilty as (un)charged

She killed him.

She had every right to kill him. 

Nobody blames her. They understand that she did what she did in order to survive.

She stands vindicated before the law; her innocence proven in the eyes of the public. 

Yet, she hasn't had a peaceful night since it happened. She stays wide-awake at night, the scenes replaying in her mind. It isn't the trauma of his violence that incites the perpetual fear in her, but the monster that she knows is living in her; the monster that stole that life away. No matter how accursed he was, how damnable, how heartless - it was still a life, a God-breathed life. 

"Thou shall not murder. Thou shall not murder. Thou shall not murder." The 6th commandment of the Mosaic Law is engraved in her mind, eating her soul away, eating, eating, and eating.

When she awakes, for the 365th time, everything (finally) (seems to) resume its normal momentum. Life goes on; the days go on. Healing - she thinks she might recover, after all. People stop talking about the incident, stop asking if she's okay, stop shooting her with curious questions. "I might survive." She psyches herself.

Genuine laughter, peaceful nights, infrequent breakdowns...  "It might really be happening." Hope bubbles within her.

Hope that she never should have harboured. 

"Sweetie, did you watch the news last night? Someone got murdered around the neighbourhood. Be careful when you're out at night. People these days are really scary..." Her mother cautions her. She is caught off-guard. Beyond her foreknowledge, beyond her comprehension, beyond her control, she feels as though she's being thrown right back into the pit - the dark, lonely, wearisome pit of guilt, shame and condemnation.

She buries her head in her hands, in a feeble attempt to mask her inaudible groans; to collect the fountain of tears that are uncontrollably, against every grain of willpower, spilling out of those bloodshot eyes. Her mother, with anxiety written all over her face, gently places her arm around her shoulder; asks her if she's okay. "No, no, no. Don't ask me if I'm okay. I AM OKAY. Can't you tell? Can't anyone tell? I'm already okay..." She pleads, in her mind.

"I'm okay," is all she replies. 

She's not okay, and she (now) knows it full well. She had mistaken radio silence for peace. 

Every verdict of a murderer, guilty as charged, is a death sentence on her. Every caution of a suspected killer lurking around the neighbourhood is a warning of the monster that breeds in her. Every recollection of a vicious genocide reminds her of her blood-guiltiness. 

She puts on a façade in the day but in the night - every night, once again - her walls tumble down like the walls of Jericho. She cannot understand why she deserves this (mental) torture. She knows in her mind that she is guilt-free; but no matter how hard she tries, her heart tells her that she is guilty. 

She is guilty. She is guilty. I am guilty. 

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