I’ve never liked crime fiction; I think it lowers the status of literature to mere sports, something we do to spend our free time and get a thrill when we’re bored. Mind you, I’ve read the whole Sherlock Holmes collection and I’ve really enjoyed it, but I think the novelty died with Conan Doyle and, to my view, whoever started plagiarizing this good writer and creating a whole genre from it should be deemed as one of the antichrists of literature.
Now that I’ve made clear my opinion about crime stories in general, I’ll tell you my own crime story. But in case that there may be among you someone used to the thrill of finding out who, why and how, I promise to spoil their fun by giving away all the mystery from the very beginning. Thus only those who enjoy real literature will remain and listen carefully to what I have to say. So, basically speaking, I’ll tell a crime story from tail to nose.
In a regular detective story you know the crime, but you don’t know the perpetrator, their motives or their means. Now, as I mentioned before, it’s my own crime story, so who better than I to be the criminal. My motives, jealousy, general despondency, disillusionment, bitterness, to sum up: a broken heart. The means, her blind trust in me, her carelessness bordering on stupidity, the fact that we’ve shared a bed for almost six years, the fact that she is soundly asleep and I’m not. I mean, what else do you need? A weapon? Wouldn’t two healthy hands suffice? And what about all the rage suppressed inside me? Isn’t that more lethal than a kitchen knife or a gun? But I haven’t lied when I told you I’d start from the very end of the crime. We all know that the climax of a detective story is the reconstruction of the events that make us revive the very moment in which the crime was committed. So that moment is now, on this bed in which I lie staring at the ceiling. Beside me, the warm body of my fiancee, whose placid sleep hasn’t been disturbed by the knowledge of the harm she’s done to me. But, many people have said it before: life is a chess game, and I’m a step forward than her because I know what she’s done, but she doesn‘t know that I know. The crime will be committed as soon as I finish my story, and there won’t be a way back.
Our first meeting was at a club and it was an explosion of emotions. It was one of her friends’ hen party and while we danced I asked her when she was planning hers and that’s when I saw for the first time her sweetly sardonic smile. We danced the whole night and I stole a rose from the fancy decoration of the bar, I hid it in my sleeve and presented it to her. I truly believe the first magic trick was born like that. We were so passionately in love with each other, then so tenderly and finally so steadfastly. Everything evolved as in a psychology manual; love went from blazing flame to smoldering firelight, but it seemed it would never be extinguished.
Up till last night, when she went back to her hometown for another friend’s hen party. It was a good occasion for her to visit her family too, and I was happy for her. But life seems to come in cycles which in her case were marked by friends’ weddings. She met me on the eve of the marriage of a friend of hers and now the cycle started all anew. I remember she was drunk when we met. She’d danced the whole night with me and we ended the night at my place. I still remember her startled face when she woke up. It was three seconds of total disorientation followed by a self-deprecating smile. She’d talked for an hour to her friend to convince her there was nothing to worry about and she was perfectly fine. Fortunately no one had called her mother.
She got drunk again at the party last night. She told me her innocuous version of the story, which ended up at her friend’s house, sleeping in the living room sofa. But this evening, when she was already taking a shower at home, I heard a message notification on her phone. I’d never read her messages before or even dared to fumble with her phone, but something told me there was no legitimate reason for her to receive a message on that day and hour. I lifted the phone to my eyes and I first looked at the sender’s name: not registered. My heart started beating violently and a feverish cold ran through my spine as I read the message: “I’m Christopher. I’m sorry, I took your phone number while you slept and forgot to tell you. I’d die to see you again. Are you still in town?”
Of course I didn’t react immediately. What could’ve done that wouldn’t be stupidly murderous? I mean, does she deserve that I go to prison for her? Hatred and revenge simmered in my heart for the last hours. Now that the other feelings have cleared away, I’m resolute at last. My heart is filled with a homogeneous feeling that I dare call justice. And justice will be done tonight, while she sleeps her carefree sleep. The story is finished so I don’t have any other reason to delay the crime. I enter into a trance, similar to that of ancient assassins before fulfilling their duties. I’m barehanded; I don’t need any weapon for the harm I’m going to inflict. I take a last look at her, as I imagined her before I learned who she really was. A single act will end it all; it will shatter my illusions and leave a void inside me forever. But there’s nothing else to do. Therefore I commit the perfect crime, bloodless, without any violence, but with coldblooded determination. I shut my eyes tight and force myself into sleep. I’ve already deleted the ignominious message and blocked the number on her phone. We’re planning to get married and we’ll do it. One day, when she’ll be too old to start her life anew without me, I’ll kindly let her know that I know what happened last night. I’m looking forward to seeing the look of utter despair followed by horror on her face.