Chapters 11 & 12

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Rookie Killer

Chapter 11

So, I had the best day off yesterday and today was even better from the start. When I
arrived at work in the morning, everyone who was anyone was talking about the
incident on the pier. I wanted to scream out, “That was me. What have you go to say
about that,” but of course I did not. I don’t need to publicly receive the credit for it, I
know in my heart it was me, just knowing I caused such a ruckus was fun enough to
make me happy. Knowing they can’t catch me is what drives me.

I went towards the crowd and blended into the conversation just as I did the last
time. They were all talking at the same time. How do they even hear each other?
“Oh my gosh!”
“No way!”
“I can’t believe it!”
“Crap man. I’m not going out until this maniac is caught.”
“Do you think it’s the same killer?”
“I am definitely going to be looking over my shoulder from now on.”
“I’m going to buy a gun!” “Yeah, me too.” They all shout.

Well, then, I guess you won’t be going out much anymore because I will not be
caught! This doesn’t end until I decide it does.

A gun? I’m not sure I was going to go in that direction because guns can be
traced and bullets can be matched to the guns and guns can be found. Let me think
about that idea. That is something that takes very careful planning. More details.

The more planning the more problems that may arise from using guns. I would have
to do extensive research and think if there is a way to use a gun and not be traceable.
Although, they do make 3D printers. That may be a fun project.

In the meantime, I just keep listening to everyone’s reaction to the 2nd incident
but I have to get to work and so I turn to leave and the crowd also begins to disperse
into smaller groups of 2’s and 3’s still whispering as they all scurry back to their own
desks before the boss comes around.

Back at my desk, I notice in the cube across from me that the computer is off and
the desk is empty. That’s Don Regal’s desk. At least it was. Did they fire him? There
have been rumors going around that he wasn’t pulling in as much money as he used
to 4 or 5 years ago when he first started working here. He was one of the top-notch
analysts at that time. All his clients loved him. Then something happened in his
home life that affected his job big time.

It started going downhill about a year and a half ago. None of us knows exactly
why, but his wife was cheating on him with another man and out of the blue, left
with the kids and wiped out their bank account…cleaned him out, home and all.
He came home one day and she, the kids, and their stuff were gone, and all she left
him was a note telling him she’s gone and left the divorce papers on the empty
countertop.

He had been devastated ever since. He had no idea his wife was even having an
affair much less why she was. He never completely got passed it and couldn’t do his
job as he used to. He didn’t have the focus or drive anymore. He missed his kids and
she gave him no contact with them. He was a nice guy. I felt bad for him when it
happened but now I feel worse. I wonder what he’s going to do for himself now.

Well, I just got that question answered. The boss just informed us that Don
Regal committed suicide last night. His neighbor is a friend of the boss and knew
that Don worked here. How sad is that? I guess losing his job was the final straw. I
wonder how his wife and kids are going to find out. We don’t know where they are so
I hope his relatives know.

I’ll never look at his desk in the same way again. No matter who sits there, going
forward, I will always think of Don Regal and his unfortunate ending.

Chapter 12

TGIF! Thank goodness it’s Friday. After I got home from work, I ordered a pizza and
planned to check out any movies on TV and just sit back, relax and wallow in my
own happiness. My emotions were a little mixed because I felt somber, although I was
happy with myself and my recent accomplishments.

It may be the end of the workweek but there’s nothing good about this weekend.
I keep thinking of my friend from work Don Regal and how he didn’t deserve what
happened to him. I keep imagining his lifeless body lying still, stiff, and sad inside a
cold coffin that’s going to be buried 6 feet underneath the ground.

Just before leaving work for the weekend, we received word that his brother and
sister are in town taking charge of the funeral arrangements. I’m so relieved he had
someone who didn’t leave him alone. The viewing is going to be Sunday evening
6:00 to 9:00 and his burial will be Monday morning at 9:30 A.M.

I’ll be going to both viewing and his burial. I cleared it with my boss for me to
be in late on Monday considering the circumstances. He may be an asshole but he’s
not a total shit stick. At least not in that regard.

So, I’ll just sit in this weekend, watch movies and think of my friend Don Regal
until it’s time to go to his viewing on Sunday evening.

That’s just what I did until I woke up around noon on Sunday, had some coffee
and a sandwich for lunch, took a shower, and did some cleaning around my
apartment until it was time to go to Don’s funeral viewing.

I’m not looking forward to it but I want to be there for Don and meet his
brother and sister. I want to let them know that their brother at one time was a
successful worker and was always a nice guy. I wanted them to know what was done
to him wasn’t his fault and he didn’t deserve it. He was a good husband and family
man from what I could see in him. I wish we had that for our family.

I am a pretty good judge of people’s character, and even though we didn’t hang
out outside of the work zone, we still talked up until his wife and kids left. After
that, he just wasn’t the same and became quiet and kept to himself and very sad all
the time. I knew what happened but he never wanted to talk about it and I never
pressed him.

I got dressed up and walked to the funeral home because it wasn’t far from my
apartment. When I got there about 6:30, I saw my boss’s car in the parking lot and a
few other workers from my company standing outside smoking a cigarette. I don’t
know why you come to a funeral viewing and feel the need to step outside and have
to smoke right in the middle of it. They are there to pay respects to a dear friend and
coworker and already they’re outside smoking that most important cigarette. I don’t
know where some people’s priorities lie.

I walked towards them, nodded as if to say “hi,” and continued on. I
approached the door to ‘The Eternal Rest Funeral Home’ and as I opened the door, I
got smacked in the face with the scent of funeral flowers. The lobby was small with
light brown and white marble tile rounding off the floor of the door itself. I hear
some muffled voices and I start up the stairs. When I reach the top, there was a
gentleman with a dark suit, greeting me and asked whom I was there to see. I told
him and he pointed me to the correct room. I glanced down the long hallway and
noticed the home had two more viewing rooms with signs in the hallway in front of
each room with the names of the deceased on it.

I turned my attention back to the room I was standing in front of and noticed a
sign with ‘Donald Scott Regal’ lettered on it, so I entered the room, took a few steps,
and stopped.

I saw my boss and his wife talking with some people I didn’t recognize and a few
feet away from them were some more co-workers. The boss did not mingle with the
employees. It looks as though he didn’t even know who they were. Pure strangers. My
co-workers nodded hi to me, (which is all they ever do anyway), I nodded back and
turned to look at the casket. I could only see the end of the casket and a few flowers
alongside it because there were people standing directly in front of it followed by a
line of people reaching to the back of the room. Lying in the casket, I assume to be the
body of one Donald Scott Regal.

Standing to the left of the casket were two couples being consoled and I assume
they are Don’s siblings and their spouses. I walked up to the back of the line and
waited for my turn.

As I was waiting in line, I was thinking that it wasn’t long ago that I was here
when Gloria died and before that was when we held a funeral for my mom and
Glenn when they were killed.

Just thinking about it made me start sweating.

I realized the only two funerals I went to was for tragic events, never just for the
natural death of some elderly person that has led a very long and full life. The people
that died had suffered. My knees started to weaken beneath me…I started feeling
hotter, and my throat was as dry as the Nevada desert. I turn and quickly walk out
of the room, ran down the stairs and out the front door.

As I exited the funeral home, there were still people smoking to my left and they
looked quickly in my direction as I whooshed by them. Hurriedly, I turned right, ran
alongside the building to the street side of the funeral home, and leaned against the
bricks trying to catch my breath. I didn’t think my being here would’ve made this
much of an effect on me but all the bad ugly feelings came flooding back into my
thoughts as if they just happened yesterday. Still envisioning dad holding that bloody
knife.

The breeze was slight but just enough to cool me down. I had to overcome my
anxiety…I had to be here for Don. I took a “chill pill” out of my pocket and
swallowed it without water. I stayed outside long enough until my breathing slowed
down enough for me to continue and I turned to enter the home again, through the
front door and made my way to the restroom. I went to the bathroom, rinsed my face
with cool water, and drank some to moisten and rinse away that dry sandy feeling in
my mouth.

I took a deep breath and was ready to go back to the room where Don’s body lay
because I am going to be strong and say goodbye to my coworker and my dear friend.
I get on the line again and I wait for my turn. Now is definitely not the best
time for those ugly thoughts to come out of memory so I try very hard to think of Don
and the conversations we had and the jokes we shared before his deep depression
started and it made me smile.

After a few minutes, I was next, so I step forward and look down on my friend
Don. I make the sign of the cross and say a prayer for his soul to be at peace and for
strength to his family during this difficult time. I told him that I was sorry this had
to happen to him, that he did not deserve to be treated the way his wife treated him
and I will always remember him how he was before this all happened. I will
remember his smile, our laughs, and a nice guy.

I formed a fist and softly tapped Don’s shoulder, my way of saying goodbye to my
friend and moved on to extend my condolences to Don’s brother and sister. I let them
know what he meant to me and what a success he was and they should always
remember him in that way.

I also let them know I will see them again in the morning for the service and
burial. They thanked me and I walked to the back of the room, sat down, and just
stared at Don’s lifeless body.

Your alive, you’re dead. It’s mind-boggling to me. Your body is alive, organs
function, blood flows, your brain thinks, you dream. Then, boom, your body is
dead…nothing. Everything stops. No organs work, your brain doesn’t think, you
have no thoughts or dreams or memories, no knowledge of any happenings around
you. The person you have been since you were born is just over, just like that.
Unbelievable and astonishing.

Here’s something else I don’t understand, where are Don’s ex-wife and his kids.
At least his kids should be here. I don’t believe they are here because I don’t see anyone
resembling his kids. I remember their picture that Don used to have on his desk.
Back when they were happy. That was a while ago, but I’m sure I’d be able to
recognize them now.

That’s awful. I can’t believe they didn’t leave word with anyone about where they
were going or a phone number to contact them. Don’t they care about him at all? I
can’t believe his ex-wife would keep his kids from him and now to not even have
them show up at his funeral. His kids are never going to forget that their mother kept
them from saying goodbye to their dad. How heartless.

Ding. Ding. Ding.

I heard a soft bell in my ears and realized that it was the funeral bell telling
people that it was 9:00 and the viewing was over. When I took a look around the
room, I noticed all of my co-workers, the boss, and most people were gone. There were
only three people left other than Don’s brother and sister. I quietly stood and headed
out the door and walked home.

When I got there, I turned on the living room light, threw myself onto the couch,
and just laid there staring at the ceiling.

FLASH!
Blood everywhere.
FLASH!
The walls and ceiling are splattered with blood.
FLASH! FLASH!
Large puddles surround them.
FLASH!
Faces hardened with fear and another hardened with anger.
FLASH! FLASH!
Blood!
FLASH!
Knife in hand!
FLASH! FLASH! FLASH!

Uh! Uh! I bolted up suddenly, feeling my heart palpitating and my breaths deep
and quick. Beads of sweat were dripping from my forehead, neck, and chest. I
glanced around, realized I was still on the couch, and was still dressed from Don’s
funeral. Checking the clock, it said 1:07 A.M.

I head to the bedroom and change out of my clothes and into my pajamas. Then
I go to the bathroom to splash water on my face, take a deep breath, and try to relax.
What’s come over me? These memories were buried. I can’t have them take control of
me again. I stare at my face in the mirror with great fear.