Will Be, Will Be
by Julia Neal
It’s too bad I didn’t stay in bed this morning. Really, what did I expect to happen? Did I really expect that things would come out as I hoped—that he’d stop? I’d have to be delusional to believe that. No, I just thought that if I hoped hard enough everything would be fine.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m going crazy.
My brother would tell me that I’ve lost it, thinking the world could be a great place. Well, I’m sure it seems awfully dismal in prison, Chuck. I’ll let you know when they let me go instead of keeping me here. These agents, I tell ya. When I think they’re done asking questions another one will come in and pick up where the other left off. I’m tired and hungry and isn’t there something in the law about decent treatment of prisoners? Or innocent until PROVEN guilty? Or the right to a lawyer? I asked for one, but have they called one in here while they ask me questions? No. That’s why I haven’t answered them. If they treated me with more respect they might find out what they want to know.
Someone should teach them something about my rights. They read ‘em to me, they did. But they’re not holding up their part of the bargain. What do they think I’m going to do? Confess to things Walter did?
I know he did them. I was there when it was all over, you know.
Oh, here *he* is again. It’s that blond one—I think he may be the leader or something. He scares me. He wouldn’t scare Walter, though—Walter’s not scared of anything. That’s why he stole the guns and shot the kid on the motorcycle the other day.
Blond man’s just staring at me, and he looks madder now than he did before. I wish he’d blink or something. That green-eyed glare is a little unnerving. Oh, looks like he’s gonna say something finally.
“Why did you shoot him? Of all the people on the road, why did you shoot him?!”
See, now there he goes again, trying to pin me for something Walter did. I can’t confess to something I didn’t do, can I? And they don’t accept that Walter did it. I’ve tried and tried to convince them…
“Hey!” I yelp. “You can’t do this to me!”
He lets go of my jacket and glares at me. The door opens again and the big man who talks like a preacher pulls him aside. I can’t hear what they’re saying, but it looks like they’re talking about me again. How do ya like that? I’m right here!
They’re leaving me alone again. Maybe I can take a little nap…
-- * -- * -- * --
He told you all about me, then? He feels like he must give everyone the wrong impression of me. I can do that quite well on my own, thank you very much.
He did not even tell you his name, did he? Hank, Hank, Hank. He’s a lazy, cowardly leech most of the time but he does occasionally come in handy. As he was today, when I shot that kid on the motorcycle—he’s getting the blame now. That will teach him to try to stop me when I’m set on something.
Oh, you do not think I should be proud of that? Neither do I. The kid did not die, did he? It is too bad, really. He should be dead, I shot him in the chest, but I did not know he was wearing a vest. How was I to know that he works for the FBI or the police department or something like that? I did not get my quota for the month. I only killed three kids.
That quiet man with the long hair is back again. I do not like the way he stares at me without saying a word. His manners are horrible, but some would say the same about me. I think I will stare at him and see how he likes it. Perhaps he will leave me alone and let me think.
-- * -- * -- * --
“I told ya before. Walter’s the one who did it. I wasn’t there until it was all over.”
“But witnesses say that you were there the whole time,” the long-haired man says.
I shake my head. “Ya don’t get it, do ya? I wasn’t there. Walter was.”
“Who the hell’s Walter?”
“You’ve met him, I’m sure. He probably spoke to you a little while ago, when I wasn’t here.”
He slams his hand on the table. “You’ve been here the whole time, dammit, you just got really quiet for a while!”
The door opens and the black man walks in. “Vin. I need to speak with you about him.”
“I hope you have something interesting to tell me. This fool makes no sense.”
Walter would know how to handle this. He’d probably be out of here in moments, except there’s nowhere to go. I wish I could get out of here, away from this place where I’m blamed for what he did. I’m always blamed for everything. Curse of the middle child.
-- * -- * -- * --
“Multiple personalities?” I hear one ask.
“That’s the only thing I can figure. He’s probably lying about it, though. It’s been tried before, to get out of the death sentence. But once in a while there’s probably a genuine case,” the oldest of them says.
I could have told them that there are two of us had they but asked. I have known about Hank for a long time, especially since he started leaving suicide notes around the house where I could find them. Fool. If he really wanted to kill himself he would have done it before I could get back in control to stop him.
I know that when we are in prison he will retreat and leave me to deal with things there. I do not think that I will have much of a problem. I dealt with school, did I not? Prison cannot be much worse than our junior high school was. Prison may be tough, but I am ready for anything.
Yes, I did my research before I decided killing was worth it. You see, I do not care about punishments. The process of the crime was enough justification for me. Have you ever tried killing something slowly and watching it bleed? My dad bled for a long time, you know. I killed my mother and sister quickly, but I allowed myself the pleasure of a long death for Dad. It felt very good letting him slip away from me.
Unfortunately, Hank did not perceive it that way. I am sure he cried and cried like a small child. I found tissues everywhere and had to clean up his messes when I could finally take over again. He is a pathetic creature, and a useless one, most of the time.
Speaking of time, I believe I have been in here too long. My stomach is empty.
“When are you going to give in to the ethics I am sure your mothers instilled in you and give me some food?” I call out.
No answer. Just five pairs of eyes glaring at me. “He sounds different,” one notes. “His voice was higher before.”
“His accent is different, too.”
“Hank is uncultured,” I answer them smoothly.
“I think we need a criminal psychologist in here,” the blond man says. The others nod in agreement.
“There is no need for that. You have met Hank, the coward. Now you have met me, Walter, the killer. Do you have a problem with this?”
From the shocked silence, I gather that they do. That really is their problem, not mine.
“Nothing’s gonna change my world… Nothing’s gonna change my world…” I sing out, quite at ease, as they drag me away. If they take me to a psychologist they will find that there are two of us, and that they cannot put me away forever.
Que será… será
What will be, will be.