Character Exercize

I had killed him.

All the proof, all the evidence, was right in front of me. There was no denying it. The blood was splattered on the floor, shooting out from the crimson center: a pool of blood beneath the man’s head.

My heart raced, and within seconds my breathing was out of control. I had just killed him. A human, living person . . . was now dead at my hands. My shaking hands.

I quickly took my finger off the trigger and onto the barrel of the gun so I wouldn’t fire again. My whole body followed suit of my hands, and I fell back against the wall, unable to control the trembling.

What have I done.

It was self-defense. He . . . would’ve killed me. I wasn’t guilty. I just saved myself. The police had to understand that, didn’t they? I’m not guilty.

I stumbled over to a table and gripped a telephone tightly in my hands. My unsteady fingers finally managed to complete the three numbers: 9-1-1. My voice was barely audible between the sobs. They told me someone would come soon and that I can’t leave.

I didn’t. Instead, I fell to the floor in tears. The gun still rested in my hand, and more tears fell as the self-hate began creeping into my mind. I had killed someone. Ultimately it didn’t matter if it was in self-defense. I had killed someone.

I tried convincing myself that I wasn’t guilty of anything. I had to—I desperately needed to be convinced that I was in the right. That I wasn’t guilty.

Someone knocked on the door and announced that they are the police. I didn’t answer. I couldn’t. My body still quivered. My throat was still choked up. My sweat still poured down my face. So I just sat there, allowing the sweat to slowly mix with the blood on the floor.

The police entered, guns out and pointed forward. They told me to put the gun down. I looked down at my hand and saw the gun still there. I felt the cool metal against my burning skin. It was comforting.

They tell me to put the gun down again.

My voice falters as I try to explain my innocence.

I felt the cooling metal of the gun again. I heard their yells to put the gun down.

I didn’t.

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