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Life Ending Lesson

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Garda Morgan sat, silently sipping his ice cold mug of coffee. The bitter taste was blocked completely by the burning flavour that lingered on his tongue. He had only been on the scene for possibly 4 minutes before he heaved up that morning’s breakfast. The bustling station around made no intrusion on his roundabout train of thought. Why do it? Or even did he do it? These questions would remain unanswered unless he was willing to talk about what he had discovered after simply going for a late night walk along the soft sands of Dollymount beach. He remembered the cool breeze blowing gently on his cheek. Then the noise, the roaring sound of death. It knocked twice. Shadowed by an eerie quiet.

Garda Morgan left for the interview and began walking briskly towards the large heavy door. Sean Keogh was friends with both the victim and the killer. The killer claims that it wasn’t him, that it was an accident. Some girlfriend of his had disappeared when needed for questioning. So Sean was needed to provide a background and get a motive for the killer. Sean was a small lad who was slightly plump. A sad tear hung in the corner of both of his pale blue eyes; he clung bravely to them trying to hide his despair. Garda Morgan began the interview very abruptly with ‘Tell me everything you know! And do it fast’. No sympathy was shown to this poor boy of 16. Sean spoke of nothing important. He knew no scandals that could have provoked such a crime.

‘I am not a mind reader’, he said shaking his head in slow motion. ‘If you want to know what they thought, we all kept diaries. Read them and see what you can find’. Garda Morgan left swiftly heading to room 4, where the parents sat. Not even the appearance of god could lighten this mood or even raise the temperature of the room slightly. The freezing cold in the room caused by the height of tension between each couple as they now had their own time to sit silently, just like Garda Morgan. Permission for the inspector to read the diaries was given from each parent and all that was left for Garda Morgan to do was his paperwork and then to wash his hands of this messy affair. Or so he thought. He was put in charge of the whole ordeal. Then he had to read something he might never forget.

Diary Entry: Matthew 10/06/09

They are very simple. Rachel can hold her story together but John is hopeless. He rambles aimlessly until he makes some sense. She is a fool for believing he could pull it off. I know that the two of them are seeing each other. It makes sense anyway. Rachel couldn’t love me. Nobody could. Even my own mother can’t look me in the eye. If she so much as glances at my face she winces with pain. It’s not that I’m horribly hideous; it’s simply a reminder that she once had a good son who could be kind and thoughtful. Now all she had was me an emotionally crippled cynic. All too similar to her late husband.

Diary Entry: Rachel 12/06/09

He has no idea. I feel so sorry for that poor boy. I did care for him before but he is just so simple and serious all the time. John is so much more. He makes me laugh and can keep me listening until the sky turns red from the dawning of the orange sun. John is so caring as well. He even worries about Matthew. He feels it would be wrong to hurt him. That is why we keep it secret. I broke up with Matthew a few weeks ago and have been seeing John ever since. I can’t wait until we can go public and tell everyone. Yet I do ask myself should I feel bad for Matthew? After all he might only have Sean left. His friends have dropped like flies over the years. Sean always stayed. I wonder why?

Diary entry: John 12/06/09

He doesn’t have a clue! I never believed I’d go a whole month without him finding out! Maybe Matthew isn’t quite as intelligent as the teachers credit him to be. Still Matthew does scare me. I wouldn’t want him coming down after me some day. He knows so many people. I think I’d rather be in prison than have to tell him the truth. Still with Rachel at stake I think I’d be able to take care of Matthew.

GARDA MORGAN: So is he guilty? His style suits that of a killer. He’s nervous. That’s not enough for a conviction but it does show some sort of intent. Doesn’t it? What about the girl, she could have been involved perhaps? Gut instinct tells me I’m right in saying murder. Yet is there a little more than that?

Diary entry: Matthew 13/06/09

I don’t feel all that well. It keeps coming back to me at night time. Dad always said life was hard. He told me that those who keep going go far. He soon after revealed that I was like him and that I wasn’t going far. Dad used to drink an awful lot, even at work, he was a teacher. Some lives end with a scream. Others go out with a bang. Some go while saying their goodbyes. My life ended with the creak of a rope. The limp shape drifted in and out of the doorframe. The dog didn’t even whimper as I stared into those burning lifeless eyes. His pale face taught me more than any lecture ever could. Dad said life was hard; does that make death any easier? If only I had the courage to test that. His last lesson was harsh but would never be forgotten.

Diary entry: Matthew 14/06/09

They still don’t think I know. I knew right from the start. If dad were here he’d scream ‘kill him’. He was my friend, how could he. I believed in my dad and always will. If he were here then each word would be followed exactly to instruction. Each sentence treated as a life lesson. I can’t blame Rachel. She didn’t love me and I never loved her. She will still gain from this, yet John is the one who must really learn. Dad would be proud to see me now. After all I’m simply doing what he did. Teaching those who need to learn.

Diary Entry: John 15/06/09

Why am I doing this? I’m such an idiot. He obviously knows. The look he gave me when I sat next to her today. He stared deep in to my mind and burned my very soul with one brief gaze from those dark penetrating eyes. I have to confront him! I’ll arrange a meeting for tomorrow. Somewhere out of the way. Somewhere we can finish this ludicrous ordeal once and for all.

GARDA MORGAN: Both had some deep problems yet why was murder the only answer? Why not just rip each other to shreds and leave it be? Kids are getting worse with time. The girl is definitely the cause. She must be involved. After all guilty people do often make the first move.

Diary Entry: Rachel 15/06/09

He can’t know. There’s just no way he could. Is there? Oh God! He’s going to kill him. I must see him before he does something stupid. I’m such an idiot. Why didn’t I just tell him and be up front. I’ll confess and tell him that I really only want him. I’ll apologize as if I had started every war to ever plague the earth. That will save him. That will save us all. The sun set will reveal our truth.

Diary Entry: Matthew 15/06/09

It’s all ready now. All that’s left is to go for it and see what happens. I feel sorry for John, at the same I time I wonder whether I’ll go to heaven or hell? As long as I see dad again I’ll be happy. So I must show him what I learnt at ten in the worst way possible. He must learn that death comes to everyone and is their own making.

Diary Entry: John 16/06/09

I’m meeting him at ten tonight down at the spot on the beach. He’s going to absolutely destroy me. I can feel it. My spine shivers every so often to tell me don’t go. I have to go. There's no other way. I know my life will be over after tonight. I know there’ll be no going back. I’ve got to shoot blindly in the dark and hope to God I come out alright.

GARDA MORGAN: There it is. Proof finally. It was not self defence and not manslaughter. It was planned and carried out. He put on a genuine act in the cell though. Unfortunately the only Oscar he’ll see is my old friend in Mountjoy. I’m sure he’ll put him straight.

Garda Morgan first produced the evidence to his superiors and got the order to charge him. He stopped off first to return Rachel’s parents her journals and wished them all the best. The Murderer wailed like a dog as he was dragged to a cell. He had obviously killed him. Garda Morgan stated that his last words before returning to his cell were ‘He did it himself. He was master of both his life and mine’. Garda Morgan now poured himself a hot new cup of coffee. He had done extremely well. It took him merely an hour to get evidence worth conviction. He sipped from his cup. The refreshing taste was blocked by a bitter one that still lingered. One he believed would never pass.

Rachel was found a few hours later in the city centre. She’d been drinking and got into a fight with a bouncer at a club. When she was brought home she took out her journal and wrote her last entry. The one that would save his life.

Diary Entry: Rachel 17/06/09

I got a text from Matthew saying where to meet him. The spot at ten. Down on the beach. I was scared but I had to go. I hid in a tree nearby and watched like a hawk as I saw him bent double on the wet sands.

Matthew stood strong and tall with a firm grip on his weapon. His index finger was tensed slightly on the trigger with his left hand used for supporting the magazine. John was huddled on the ground, quivering with the fear of death baring its fangs to him. Matthew took one more look around. It was pitch black. Even if anyone was nearby, they would barely see what was happening. I could see everything clear though as the light from cars passed over the hill nearby.

Matthew licked his lips and opened his mouth with caution. He spoke in a slow, hushed tone: “I have no wish to kill you. You were my greatest companion in this life”. He paused. “Although I’m afraid you must learn your lesson. Both of you have done wrong and will now suffer as I have suffered”, his voice was now loud and filled with confidence

Matthew tightened his grip. John quivered yet I remained silent, holding my gaze firmly as I watched Matthew shoot the ground before him and laugh maniacally. My throat was blocked completely by sheer terror. ‘Why kill you, when I can save your life John?’ Matthew stated. His voice did not shake or crack once. He looked to the sky closed his eyes, reopened them and pulled the trigger. His expression appears every time I blink.

John will be released from jail when this is read, I hope. I learnt my lesson. Life is too hard. Still, I can’t help but wonder does that make death any easier?



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