Are You Listening?

May 27, 2017
By AshlynnH SILVER, Newmarket, New Hampshire
AshlynnH SILVER, Newmarket, New Hampshire
7 articles 1 photo 1 comment

Are you listening? Good. I will not repeat myself or answer any silly questions. Now, you may think that, since you are here, sitting in that chair, that means you are in charge. That is not how this is going to work. As long as I am in speaking, you will be considered the audience. I will not ask for audience participation. Now, are you ready to begin? Fantastic.
It all began with a smile. Yes, I know that is so cliche! But that is how it started. Now, the smile I am talking about wasn't friendly. No, that would be too... What's a good word for it... Innocent. And as you already know, this story is not like that at all. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
The smile was genuine, it was- in a way- nice. But, it was also very drunk. The name of the person who accompanied the smile? His name was Brandon Carter Cortez. Yes. I'm talking about the dead man. The man who I had killed with my own hands. That is what you needed isn't it? A confession? Well there you have it. I, Quinn Elizabeth Spier killed Brandon Cortez. But, don't stop the recorder just yet, you still don't know the whole story. Aren't you curious?
I thought so.
So, this drunk, smiling man stumbled over to me, pushing through the crowded bar. He acted like we have been friends for years, which, as far as I'm concerned, should not have happened. Because if that never happened, then none of the events that take place after would have occurred. Brandon would be alive, and I wouldn't be sitting here for a murder charge.
When Brendon sat down, I moved to give him space, since I didn't want to sit that close to a stranger. I could smell alcohol and vomit on him, which burned my lungs as I breathed, and I had to turn away. He leaned in to whisper in my ear, and in that moment I froze. This was a stranger who was invading my personal space. When he finally spoke, a wave of bitter breath washed over me.
“Don't be obvious, But there's a guy over there that has been watching you for the past ten minutes. I wouldn't suggest drinking any more of your soda. I think he spiked it.” His voice had been... different. It was the kind of voice you don’t forget. Even now, as I am telling you this I can hear his voice in my mind. That used to make me feel better, but after everything, after everything he did...There is no returning from that. His voice disgusts me.
After he told me this, I was obviously curious. I hate to admit it, but I was extremely thankful that he had come to save me in that moment. I have read about what could happen when your drink gets spiked, and I didn’t want to experience that. The man he was talking about was standing in the back left corner of the bar, which was the darkest place in the entire room. Typical, right? The perfect way to hide in plain sight.
I told him that I was thankful, and I expected for our conversation to end there. It didn’t. He continued to drunkenly tell me about all of his past girlfriends and how much he regrets the way he treated them. This sent alarm bells through my head, but honestly, he was an interesting person. So, sue me. I stayed and let him talk until he couldn’t anymore. By the end of the night, I was completely sober and he was a drunk mess that was not able to function. So, being the great person that I was, I texted a contact of his to ask his address, and then went on to drive him home. That was my first mistake. I should have called him an Uber and called it a day, but I didn’t. I just had to go and be Super Girl. I dropped him off, and that is when everything started.
I know, I told you it started with a smile. It did, technically, but the real drama started later that night, when he entered his house. I drove away, my civic duty was over, and I was exhausted. If I had known then that the havoc that would ensue after this encounter, I would have just told Brandon to screw off, and continue on with my night. Alone.
I can’t change the past, I can only learn from it. At least, that is what they all say, right? But you don’t want to know all of these seemingly random details, right? You just want to know why I did it? Well that’s cool, I guess. But you have to listen to the entire story. Start to finish. If I just told you why, then you would just call me guilty and move to the next sociopath. Don’t roll your eyes at me. You and I both know I am right. You don’t care for details, you only want a straightforward answer. That is not how I do things.
The next day, I get a text. From, can you guess? None other than Brandon Cortez. I know, I bet you are so shocked. I can see that you were barely able to stay seated. In case your head couldn’t process that, Officer, It was sarcasm. The message was simple enough, a quick Thank You. I told him it was nothing and deleted the messages. I guess it was stupid of me to assume that he would just leave me alone after that. In case you couldn’t tell, he didn’t.
He started to show up everywhere I went, no matter how far away I was. At first, I figured it was just a big coincidence. That was my second mistake. I put trust into someone I didn’t know, and that stupid decision is what is going to land me in jail. Great, right? I know.
As I was saying, he started to show up everywhere. When it was places in our town, I wasn’t very suspicious, but I should have been. I started to test him, just to see how far he was willing to take it, and I was surprised to find he would take it as far as he did. I started to get messages from an unknown number that would say things like I’m watching you, and Your hair looks different today, did you just wash it? Every time I asked who it was, the texts would stop. When that first happened, I let my guard down. Yet another STUPID mistake. When will I learn, right? Obviously not any time soon.
Now, he didn’t only send me messages and follow me around, he also left me little “gifts” on my bed every night. Now, keep in mind I am always making sure my windows and doors are shut and locked before I leave my house, so he had to be getting in somehow, right? It took me a few months to finally figure it out, but when i did...Let’s just say I was beyond furious. With myself for being so stupid, and with him for thinking that he was allowed to violate my privacy like that.
You’re a cop, right? Or at least, that is what you call yourself. So, tell me, what is the protocol for breaking and entering? No? Nothing? Okay, let me tell you, so maybe if something like this happens you will actually do something about it. If someone is caught breaking and entering, they are sent to jail, even if it is for less than a year. The person who owns the house gets a payment if there was any damaged property.
Now, I am not going to sit here and say that he damaged anything of mine. No, he was too smart for that. He never disturbed anything, he just got in through the basement and placed the next gift on my bed.
Do you want to know what the gifts were? No? Well I am going to tell you anyway just what this...human...did. He would get a small gift box, and inside he would put a child’s hand. It would just be sitting there. Sometimes, he would even put a bow around it. Disgusting, right? Now tell me, how many missing children have gone missing in the last year? Because if I did my research correctly, there about 66 children who were abducted from their homes. All of this was because this sick excuse for a person decided it would be a good idea to give me their small hands.
Do you know how terrible that is? Knowing that he was doing this for me? Well after a while, I figured enough was enough. I couldn’t stop thinking about all of the parents that were losing their children because of me. I decided the only way to save everyone else, was to get rid of the problem. That, officer was why I killed him. I killed him because of the terror that he was inflicting on so many others. If that makes me a bad person, then whatever. Maybe next time you can do your best to find the right culprit and end the suffering of countless parents.
Try to remember this, okay? Sometimes it is the people that no one thinks anything of that do the things that no one can imagine. Do you know who said that? His name was Alan Turing. He brought an early end to World War Two, and yet he was frowned upon for his sexuality. No one thought he could break Enigma, but he did. Well, along with the help of his team.
Next time, look at the people who seem harmless, because they can cause the most harm. Don’t make me do your job for you. I won’t be there to help you. I will be living the rest of my life in prison, most likely without parole. That’s the law, isn’t it?
Let me just say this, okay? I would do anything to go back to that night where I met Brandon, and I would tell him to screw off. Then, all of those lost lives would be back, and I wouldn’t be feeling as guilty as I do right now. I admit, I deserve my fate, and If you asked me if I would take back his murder, I would say no. He got what was coming to him. If it wasn’t me he was stalking, it could have been someone else. Someone who may have ended up six feet under instead of Brandon.
Now, if you don’t mind, I am pretty sure there is a nice jail cell calling my name. I am done here. I am not answering any questions, so don’t even try asking.

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