I was watching TV when it happened, when I killed someone for the first time. I didn’t mean to that time. I didn’t kill just any ol’ person either, I killed the President of the United States. I was watching the presidential debate with my mom and my best friend forever, Alicia, at our house. “Becky, grab me some popcorn while you’re in there!” “Ok mom, anyone else want a soda?” I replied. The current president was up for re-election and, honestly, I am glad I killed him. He was the worst kind of man if you could call him a man at all. He was denying climate change when I handed the soda and popcorn to my mom and sat back down. “Ma will you switch me sides, I sat on the hard side last time.” Mom groaned annoyingly. Alicia, or Lee Lee as we call her, got up and switched seats. “It’s cool, I know you’re ancient, I got you,” Lee Lee remarked sarcastically. Mom reached to the side of her for a pillow, which she used to smacked Lee Lee, “how’s that for old you little turd,” Mom said. They smirked at each other knowingly. The current president was now talking about immigration. I thought about my dear friend Abraham at school, he was brought here by his parents when he was only 2 years old and was undocumented. He currently had no way to become a citizen because of changes this president had made to immigration and citizenship laws. I couldn’t understand how he was ever elected president. He was nasty, vile, inappropriate, and heartless. He didn’t deserve a cardboard box to live in as far as I was concerned. I wish I could make him go away, give him what he deserved, shut him up…. Suddenly, the president dropped to the floor on the television. It was quiet for a moment and then there were gasps and then thundering footsteps as people ran to check on the president. “Woah, did he just pass out or what?” Lee Lee asked. “I don’t know, I hope he is okay,” mom replied. I was silent, eyes wide.
Later that night while scrolling through Instagram, I found out the president was dead, and the cause was unknown until they did an autopsy. The thought of an autopsy creeps me out, lying there so exposed, unaware of anything because you’re dead. I hope I don’t ever need one. I plugged my phone in and laid in bed, but I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t shake this weird feeling. I was thinking that I wanted the president to shut up and now he had, forever. I knew I was crazy to believe that my thoughts and the president’s death were related, but the idea festered inside of my brain all night.
By the next morning, the idea that my thoughts caused the president’s death had grown so loud it was all that I could hear. I decided that I had to test it out. It was the only way I could stop the nagging and besides, I had a short list of people I would kill if I had the chance. I skipped school and took the bus to downtown 4th St. I arrived at the house at 8:32 AM. It looked the same as the last time I had seen it almost a year ago, except maybe an extra trash pile in the yard. The kitchen window hadn’t even been fixed from when his drunkenly aimed punch missed my mom and went through the glass. There was a piece of plywood where the glass used to be. I pulled my hood further down around my face and walked to the front door. The handle turned with an annoying squeal as I slowly pushed the door open and peered in. It reeked of decay and booze, as usual. I spotted his figure passed out on his ragged couch. There was no movement. I walked around to make sure he was alone in the house and then walked up to his body. “Hey dad” I said maliciously as I prodded him out of his drunken stupor. He slowly came to, and recognition registered on his face. “Becky Bear? What are you doing here?” he said sleepily. I fucking hated when he called me that. I wasn’t quite sure how it would work, killing him with my thoughts, so I simply stared at him and made myself think of every bad thing he had done to me and my mom since I could remember. I thought of when I was 5 years old and he broke my arm throwing me into the wall, and then turned around and blamed mom for his anger and beat her until she bled. When he left us on the side of the road with nothing in the snow. When he would stumble into my room late at night. “Becky what the hell are you doing?” Shut up, I thought. You’re a monster. You don’t deserve to live. Just like that, he slumped down onto the couch. It was actually really easy to kill him, and a bit disappointing. I was glad to see him dead, I felt relief, but it wasn’t the rush I had imagined it would be all these years. I left the house and decided to walk the 6 miles instead of taking the bus. I could see my breath as I hiked towards my school, but I didn’t feel cold. I felt nothing.
Lee Lee knew where to find me at our spot in the park after school. I could tell she was about to burst with questions for me as she walked up, but I must have looked some type of way because her face changed and all she asked was “what happened?” Everything that had happened spilled out of me. “But you cannot tell anyone, especially not my mom, okay?” I finished. She sat and thought for a minute. I laid back on the prickly brown grass and let her process. After a few minutes she laid next to me and put her head against mine. We just lay there looking at the sky for a while until my cell phone started ringing. “I gotta run by the store and head home, call me later,” I told her after I hung up the phone. We hugged and I started walking. I knew she would believe me. She was always on my side.
The next day at school all I could think about was who else I could kill with my powers. I wonder if I have to be looking at the person live like on the TV or if I could kill terrorists by seeing a picture and thinking about them. That would be pretty awesome. Me, Becky, the American hero. In gym class Heather was at it again, terrorizing our classmates with her superior attitude and cruel jokes. She’s such a bitch. I decided she deserved to die; I could teach bullies everywhere a lesson. It couldn’t be done out here though, I needed to keep my head clear until we got back into the locker room. When we got to the locker room, I picked a shower stall in a spot where I could see her without looking suspicious, and I let myself think about how evil she is. I thought about how she made people’s lives a living hell, people who were just trying to get through the day, through high school, in one piece. Nobody needed her shit. She was a waste of space. And boom. Suddenly, Heather hit the tile. There were shrill screams. “Get Miss P, I don’t think she’s breathing!” I heard one of the girls scream at the others in the room. I turned around in the shower so that no one could see my smile.
After school Lee Lee and I met up and walked to the park. She didn’t say anything for a while, just stood there with her hands in her jacket pockets and kicking tufts of grass around with her foot. Finally, she told me what was on her mind. “Did you have anything to do with Heather today, Becks? I mean, I heard she is dead.” Whatever she was feeling about it wasn’t written on her face, but I decided to go with the truth anyways. “Yeah, she was awful to people. I thought she deserved it.” Lee Lee nodded thoughtfully, “You’re right, but that kind of power is hella scary. What if you kill someone you don’t want to? Maybe we should get help.” I understand now; she is afraid of me, afraid of what I could do. I tried to reassure her. “We all have the power to kill people if we wanted to, people do it all the time. They think of doing it and then they just do it.” I don’t know if it made her feel less scared, but she seemed less tense and did hug me goodbye before she left.
My mom was already home when I walked in, which was unusual. She was sitting at the table with her head in her hands and I could hear her sniffling softly. I quickly went to her. “Mom what’s the matter, why are you crying?” She looked at me with bloodshot eyes that continued to spill large rolling tears. “Your dad, he’s dead. They found him this morning. They think it was his drinking, I don’t know honey, but he’s gone.” Her cries became more violent as she clung to me. I was so confused. She was sad for my dad’s death, a man who had almost taken her life countless times. A man that put us through hell over and over again. The man who took my childhood from me. He was a problem, a problem that I took care of for us. My breathing became heavy, and my eyes began watering. I was angry. “He was a monster, mom, I don’t care that he’s dead and I don’t get why you do,” I said in a low, sharp voice. She stood up then and tried to put her arms around me, but I shoved them away. She took a step back from me and looked at me pleadingly. “It’s ok to be hurt, sweetheart,” my mom said through more tears, “I understand that he was not the best man, but he was still your father.” The air heaved from my nose like a dragon spitting fire. “Fuck you! How could you mourn him after all he has done to us?” I screamed at her. She’s so stupid, so weak, that’s how she got me into this mess in the first place. She chose him, she kept running back to him. It was just as much her fault as it was his.
Suddenly, my mom started falling towards me. I tried to hold her up, but her weight became too much. Pain shot from my lower back down through my legs as I landed on the kitchen floor with a thud, my mom’s body landing on top of mine. I hurriedly rolled her off me and kneeled over her. Her eyes were open and empty, like they were made of glass. I put my hand on her abdomen waiting for the rise and fall. Frantically, I moved my fingers under her nose, waiting for her breath to warm them. I counted 1-1000, 2-1000, 3-1000, 4-100, my lips trembled, 5-1000, 6-1000, 7-1000, my tears splashed onto her face, 8-1000, 9-1000, there was nothing. She wasn’t breathing. Oh shit. Shit! What did I do? No, no, no. I bawled into her chest for what seemed like hours. This couldn’t have happened. Lee Lee warned me. She was right to be afraid of me. I should have gotten help. I am a danger. My mom. My beautiful mom. She didn’t deserve this. I’m the monster. I should be the one to die. I deserve it. Suddenly, I felt myself falling forward, and everything went black.