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she looked like you, you know. she even had those same blue eyes, those beautiful blue eyes. her smile was sweet. that flicker of innocence still lingered in every feature.
her hair was longer than yours. and, she wasn't so self involved that she did it up all complicated like yours. long and straight. long and straight and beautiful. shiny like yours that time you held me in your arms and told me everything is alright, daddy's in heaven now. he's up there with god and jesus and all the saints, and grandma and grandpa and aunt eleanor, even jackie. i couldn't believe you mentioned jackie. i never thought you'd remember her. i never thought you were interested enough to care when my jackie died. oh, sweet sweet jackie. i loved her, you know. i really did. i know you thoguht that whole thing was a bad idea, that she was all wrong for me. you should know now that i trusted your opinion, even though i later learned that you were wrong.
she married someone else, jackie did. did you know that? some guy with a better family life (no offense) and a better future, better job, the whole bit. she did good for herself. last i heard, she had a few kids. i'm sure they're as beautiful as she was. if they're lucky, they're as beautiful as you were once upon a time. as beautiful as this girl they say i killed . . .
i guess it's time i start admitting to my sins. and, i don't mean stealing that pie from mrs baxter that time. you knew i did that one anyway, didn't you? and still, you never punished me for it. why was that? did you really love me that much? could you? i guess you could. i was your son after all, your only child. and, you couldn't see what i would become, could you? you never saw this monster.
that's what they call me, you know. a monster. the girl's mother--she tried to spit at me right after screaming quite loudly that i was inhuman, a monster, she hopes i burn in hell.
and, i will, i suppose. i'll burn for this sin if not all the others. i'll burn just like she did. only, i won't have me there to panic as the flames spread, to stab her that one final time so she died quickly. did you know i did that?
they tend to leave out that bit. the moment of mercy or compassion or whatever you want to call it--they don't want to believe it could come from the same monster that beat that girl, raped her, stabbed her . . . she didn't look you anymore by the time i doused her with that gasoline. that actually saddened me a little. you were always so beautiful. she deserved to be beautiful too, to be beautiful when she died, as beautiful as in that photo that made her mother cry that day in court. i'm sure she was popular with the boys her age, with the older ones and the younger ones too. i'm sure she'll be popular in heaven too. isn't that how it works? i burn in hell, she lives it up in heaven, up there with daddy . . . except he's not up there. i know that now. i remember the things he did to me, the things he did to you. i'm sure i'll see him where i'm going. wife beaters and child molesters--i'm sure they've got their room right next to us rapists and murderers. i'll make sure to send him your love. i'll remind him of those times he hit you, those times he took me into that shed out back, just in case he's forgotten after all these years why those flames burn him everyday.
. . .
they tell me it's time to get going. the needles await. i wonder if the girl's mother is going to watch them kill me. do you think she'll wish that it hurts me more? do you think she'll want someone to cut my throat open like i did her little girl's? do you think she'll cry again, or might she jump for joy, cheer, praise god and our legal system, and dance until she can dance on my grave? do you think she still hates me? so you think she can forgive me> do you still hate me? can you forgive me?
she did look a lot like you, you know, that little girl. and, i always thoguht you were so beautiful. i always loved you, too. even when i came in from the shed, and i knew you were only pretending that you didn't know what daddy took me out there to do. i loved you even when you lied and said he never touched you. i loved you even when you laughed at the idea that he was touching me like he was. i loved you even when you hit me yourself when i wouldn't keep quiet about the shed. i really never told what i told to make them come after him like that. i didn't want him to kill himself. i didn't want you to cry. i just didn't want to be taken out to that shed anymore. can you forgive me for that, at least? even if you can't forgive me for the little girl. i hope you can. i hope you still love me. even a monster needs love from time to time, i'm sure. even a monster needs love.
i hope the girl's mother doesn't cry anymore. i hope you don't either. it'll be over soon. i love you.
"a note to his mother before his execution"