“Enjoy your time together… it won’t last long” Vernon mused to himself. He had plans – big plans. He almost lost out on his plans due to that stupid bloody cop, but he sorted that out. “Vernon… VERNON!!! Get your ass here boy!!!!” he shut the voices out – consuming it with thoughts of what he was going to do with Jeanette. The scars of his memories always made him weak – a time of his life when he had no control. With his plan almost complete, Vernon was ready.
Three months painfully passed for Jeanette, the scars still visible across her body. Through it all, Julian was there – quietly and gently supporting her, guiding her, being there for her. She honestly didn’t know how she would have managed without him. As he guided her slowly in the wheelchair out of the hospital, she could not help but heave a sigh of relief that she was finally out of there. He ushered her through the door of his apartment, and she headed straight for his bed. “I’ll be back for you…”, Jeanette awoke from her nightmare, beads of sweat bursting through her skin, waking Julian with her loud whimpering. But she’d almost seen his face this time.
Inspector Tracy Cameldo raised her tired eyes from the case file in front of her. “The Judge”, she thought bitterly, “They’ve given him a bloody name now”. The papers were making him out to be some kind of hero – all the victims were abusive, all with prior cases of domestic violence. With the psychotic actions and subsequent death of Reading, Tracy was now in charge of the case. Nothing, absolutely nothing to go on – except Julian Grawling, but which piece of this puzzle was he? He was squeaky clean, adopted at the age of 3, was never in any trouble with the law – nothing. She perused over the victim’s mangled bodies deep in thought.
Melanie meekly ate her Greek salad, while Barry munched noisily on his double steak. She did her best not to make him angry, but over the last 5 months it was becoming more and more difficult. Vernon watched from outside the restaurant, he knew what he had to do. He followed them at a safe distance as they went home and waited patiently for the lights in their large house to go out. Quietly he entered the house, moving quietly towards the kitchen where he knew Barry would be getting yet another late night snack. Vernon slunk behind him and deftly slid the razor sharp blade effortlessly through Barry’s throat. A soft shuffle of moving feet stopped Vernon mid-slice. A kid stood in shock at the sight of his nearly dead father lying in a spreading pool of blood in front of him, followed almost immediately by a piercing scream of terror. Vernon fled.
A witness!!!! Cameldo’s mind was reeling! Unfortunately, the poor kid was so traumatized that he would not talk, still a lead nonetheless. The station was abuzz with activity, pictures strewn across the walls and tables – geographical plottings of victims’ houses, scribbled note, everything in some chaotic semblance of order. The now deceased Barry’s son, Reynold, sat quietly in the Special Care Unit room, a few toys lying around him. His blank eyes staring out into nothingness as he rocked back and forth mindlessly humming “hush little baby” continuously. The inspector watched him with a heavy heart – what that poor child had to endure and what was going through his mind she could only imagine.
How could he have been so careless? Everything was worked out – meticulous! ALWAYS be prepared! But he wasn’t prepared for this. A kid saw him… a goddamn kid. Vernon knew what he had to do, but could he? Too many times in his life he had to face the brunt of beatings as a kid. No – getting rid of the kid was the only option he had. He stared at the full moon, shining back at him in gleeful mockery. He had become what his father always said he would amount to be – a failure. “I gotta do what I gotta do,” more to justify the choice to himself and his heart than anything else.
He’s talking!!!!! Cameldo raced through to the two-way mirror as Reynold spoke softly to the sketch artist. The dainty artist asked short, concise questions yet knowingly kept away from those which would clam the already traumatized child up, as she would stop to make a few strokes of her pencil – a face slowly coming to life on the page. Julian awoke to Jeanette’s barely audible whimpers as she tossed and turned in her sleep. God alone knew what she was dreaming, and to be honest, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to know. He’d lived his guarded life on his own, building himself up, making himself more than he ever wanted or could have been – and yet he wanted to give himself, his all, to her.
“Jesus H Christ!” Cameldo gasped as she looked at the final sketch, “Get the squad out there!!! NOW!!!!!” she screamed. At the same time, Jeanette awoke from her nightmare – everything that happened that night filled her mind. She saw his face!!!! She looked around to Julian – her eyes landing on him. “It was you!!! YOU were the one!!!” she shrieked, “OH MY GOD!!!! IT WAS YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!”, she tumbled off the bed, scrambling backwards on her haunches as an astonished Julian looked at her with a bewildered look on his face.
We live in a world of uncertainty. The only thing that is certain is who we believe ourselves, and others, to be. We live our lives showing one side of ourselves to everyone else, while we know there is another. We make sure that side of our lives stay hidden, closely guarding that which we believe is precious to us. Those parts of our lives which will make others perceive us as different if they knew. We never truly know someone else, but we accept it, because we believe we know better. As much as we believe that we know as much about ourselves we do our best to keep ourselves to ourselves, selfishly guarding our deepest and darkest secrets, whether consciously or subconsciously, keeping ourselves invisibly visible.