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I am the daughter to Antoinette Vero and Paul Vero. I have three younger sisters, Anna, Mary, and Felicity. My sons names are Michael and Gabriel. I am Sofia Johnson, and from here on in this letter I swear to tell nothing but the truth.
I want to start this story by telling you all how sorry I am for the crime I have committed. I want to apologize to my sons for taking away their father. It was never my intention to hurt them.
I was 17 when I first me Greg Johnson. His golden blond hair and bright blue eyes left me smitten and it wasn't long before we were married. I loved the things he would say to me, "Sophia, your hair is as dark as a moonless night," and, "My love, your eyes shine brighter than any star in the sky." My cheeks and neck burnt whenever he spoke to me. My parents weren't happy about my marriage to an American, they had high hopes of me marrying an Italian.
Greg's family had a small tomato farm and his father had passed three months before we had met and his mother had disappeared when Greg was eight. The farm was his and when we married it became ours. I couldn't have been happier.
It happened Tuesday, April 14 1942. It was 9:45 a.m. when Greg was coming home from visiting his sister in Clark County. I waited on the porch for him with a cold glass of lemonade and his old revolver.
I took a drink and watched him walk from the Chevy to the porch steps. He whistled a happy toon.
I do not know if he noticed me sitting in the rocking chair or not, if he did then he chose not to pay me any greeting.
I wish I could say I was numb the whole time, that I wasn't thinking about what I was about to do. But that would be a lie and I swore to tell the truth.
No, I felt every emotion under the Sun that morning. My heart raced, it thumped loudly in my ears. Sweat came about my brow and the back of my neck. Mosquitoes buzzed about, sucking my blood but I couldn't bring myself to swat them away. Both my hands were frozen to the revolver.
Greg pushed open the screen door. It squeaked the whole way. He stepped inside, his footsteps had never sounded so thunderous. My finger pulled back on the trigger and I waited to hear the deafening boom, waited to see Greg fall to the floor, blood flowing from his lifeless body.
I didn't hear the boom or see Greg fall. Instead all I heard was the tiny click telling both of us that I had forgotten to cock the gun.
We were frozen in time then. Both of us trying to assess the situation. Greg was trying to wrap his mind around the sight of his wife with the revolver in her hands pointed at his head. I had become a statue of a stupid woman holding a stupid weapon who had planned to kill her smart husband and had stupidly failed.
Greg thawed before I had and his hands wrapped around my neck only seconds before my clumsy finger had found the hammer and pulled down.
Greg spat profanities and racial slurs at me while I positioned my finger back on the trigger.
I found it harder to pull it back this time, staring into Greg's bottomless blue eyes. His lips, the same lips I had shared countless kisses with, framed harsh words I had heard from him many times before.
I was about to drop the gun and beg for forgiveness when I remembered the hands wrapped around my neck, squeezing the life out of me. These very hands had lashed out at my face multiple times. How many bruises had they given? How many bloody noises and black eyes?
It was not despair that released my bullet into the stomach of Gregory Benjamin Johnson, but pure rage.
Thinking back, I recall hearing the sobs and cries of a nine year old Michael and 7 year old Gabriel. It wasn't till after I had buried Greg in the rose garden that I found them trembling next to the front window. The window that overlooked the porch.
My sons flinch when I touch them now. They cry at night and have ran away several times, once they were gone for an entire month.
After the third time I woke to find their beds empty I stopped looking for them. I decided I don't deserve such sons. No murderer does. I would merely send them my prayers and hopes that they would find a suitable mother and father to raise them that wouldn't fight or kill one another. Each time they left they took all the money they could find in the house with them. After awhile I started leaving $200 on the kitchen table each morning for them. It was all I had on me usually.
With Greg dead and Michael still too young the farm business fell on my incapable shoulders. I was constantly asking my father for money and he always generously replied with, "It's okay little Sophia. Papa will make everything alright." A few days later I would wake to find an envelope on my porch steps containing large sums of money. Little did I know that my father was slowly sending me all of their money and would soon be left with nothing, all because of me.
I would like to apologize for this. He should have spent that money on my younger sisters education or his own retirement.
Also, I apologize to my mother, God rest her soul. She died two months after I had murdered my husband. She was terribly ill and father sent me the money he could have used to buy her medicine.
I apologize to my sisters now for killing our mother and my father again for making him grow old with no one to wake up to in the morning or cook him dinner.
I am 69 now, my black hair has turned gray and my bones brittle, and I've spent my life on this dying farm. How I've managed to keep it going is pure luck. Luck I don't deserve but luck nonetheless.
My son Michael killed himself on his 16th birthday. I buried him next to the rose garden, next to his father.
Gabriel moved to New York, married an Irish beauty and had a son named Michael Gregory Johnson. They own a small, quaint bakery. Despite not having any contact with Gabriel since his 18th birthday they always send me a cake for Christmas. I wait for this cake every year.
I'm writing this story so everyone will know the truth about my haunted family. I plan to leave this on the kitchen table for anyone to find. I have made arrangements for me to be leaving this farm for good once I'm done writing this.
The revolver whispers to me from the bedroom. It says, "come closer." In just a few seconds I will follow it's instructions and take my life. Perhaps I'll see Greg's shining blue eyes again. Maybe Michael's crooked grin will await me on the other side. I would be perfectly content with either.
When my body is found I would like to be cremated then scatter my ashes over the rose garden next to Michael and Greg's graves. I feel as though I've spent my whole life in a box, I do not want to spend the afterlife in one as well.
My name is Sophia Johnson. I killed the man I love. I killed my mother and son. I cursed my father to a long life alone.
I cannot describe the sorrow in my heart.
I feel as though the cremation has already started. I can feel the flames licking at my flesh. I'll soon turn to ash but first I think it's time I finally followed the revolvers instructions.
I wish you all a long and happy life.