Monday, 6 January 2014

3--The Creeping Realisation--January 1, 2013

The Creeping Realisation--January 1, 2013

So I made my way quickly to my flat a short distance from Karen's. As I walked, a slow realisation began to unfold in my mind. Slowly it crept into my consciousness and with it came the first time in my life I'd felt The Dread. The enormity of what just happened began to sink in and a weight came upon my demeanor that has still not lifted. It probably never will. On my way through the streets I met several groups of people still celebrating the New Year. A few stopped to shake my hand, the same bloodied hand that had risen out of nowhere, seemingly of its own accord, to strike mayhem and horror into the New Year and change, forever, the lives of at least 3 people in that room.

Back at my flat I triple-locked the door and removed all the keys from the mortice locks, I threw off and roughly discarded my suit like an oily rag, knowing it was ruined and I'd never wear it again. Although my mind was racing and I knew sleep impossible I climbed into bed and pulled the covers up tight. I tried to piece together the events and wondered how badly Myra was hurt. I knew my knuckles did. This gave me some indication that Myra would be going to hospital. I phoned a couple of friends but it was no surprise, given the time of day and time of year there was no answer. With some prescience I switched my phone to silent. Then I cried. No, I wept. I sobbed.

Now I want to explain that I have, and always will have, shame, contrition, remorse, penitence and regret for my actions that night. There is no doubt about that. If anyone thinks I'm feeling sorry for myself think again. However, this is my story. Not Myra's. Let her tell her own.

I thought not only of Myra, but of Karen and the atrocity she had witnessed. I would never be the same man again in her eyes.

I lay in bed with a sickness in my stomach I'd never known. I guess I've been lucky in my life, I've had no real dramas, no deaths in my family. I can only now begin to imagine how that must feel. The rising panic seemed to strangle every breath. The dread made my eyes bulge. My expression frozen and my mouth hanging open like I'd seen a ghost. Then, above the sound of my laboured breathing came heavy footsteps in the close. I knew what this was. With every step they grew louder, closer to me, every footfall like the second hand of a grandfather-clock ticking its way to midnight and the resultant, exultant chimes. I held my breath and lay rigid in my bed, my senses focussed on this and nothing more. I know how many steps there are in each section of the stairway as I often have to navigate them in complete darkness, 12, 6, 10, 7. I could now count down the last seven stairs to my door. Clump, clump, clump, and he was there. Standing within 6 feet of me. I daren't breathe. I daren't move a muscle for fear he heard me. Oh the panic in me. The utter terror. Although the second hand had reached midnight there were as yet no chimes. I waited for my doorbell to ring. Still holding my breath. Nothing. Then I heard my letterbox slowly and gently creak like a scene from a scary movie. My mind racing I quickly knew the answer. He was listening for signs of life. I listened back with all my being.

I needed to breathe so much but I knew it would be an audible gasp. I tried to let out my breath slowly and silently. Suddenly, my silenced phone began to flash. It was him outside, sneaky. If Mission Impossible had fan-fared he would have known I was inside. Hearing nothing he banged on the door loudly. Even now if someone knocks on my door I go rigid with fear. He turned and rattled the handle and slapped the door as hard as he could. I lay motionless while he implored the opening of the door and issued threats of breaking it down. After 15 minutes of heart-thumping banging, and with no signs of life inside, he retreated.

I think it was at least 30 minutes before I drew another breath and let the rigor-mortis grip of my duvet relax.

As I blinked furiously in the darkness I suddenly realised I had become a fugitive. Now a wanted man and on the run from the Police . . . 

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