By Jess Charle
To the one who finds me,
I pray you are not my beautiful Jen. I pray you are a stranger, so that I have the time to explain. If Jen finds me, I fear that she will not bother to read this note. And if she does read it, I fear she will not understand it, her emotions blinding her from the horrible truth of who I really am.
Firstly, I am so, so sorry.
I am sorry I wasn’t stronger. I know my friends and loved ones will probably never forgive me, and I don’t blame them, I know I would never forgive myself either. But this isn’t a choice for me anymore, it is a necessity.
I’ve been struggling with the beast inside me for years, the dark thoughts casting shadows over me. Sometimes I am able to will the beast away, sometimes I am able to quiet him with prescriptions, and sometimes we are able to coexist without causing too much harm.
But, I have grown old. I have grown weak, both in body and in mind. And I fear, if I do not take drastic actions now, the beast will take over. His evil thoughts fill every inch of my being. I know he is near the surface, boiling and growing beneath my skin. His visions of blood and carnage no longer disgust, but excite me.
I am now merely the beasts’ facade. When I was younger, when I was stronger, I was able to be normal, civil, peaceful. I was able to marry. I was able to have a child and raise her right.
I am so, so tired. Holding up the wall between beast and man is no longer an option. What started out as mindless control has grown into weakening force. I lift the wall with the hands of my mind, but they are the hands of an old man, spotted and wrinkled with age.
I do not want to leave, but I do not want the beast to stay.
I do not know his name. I do not know if it is even a he. But the beast is coming, and soon will sprout out of me, bursting forth like a current held tight for years behind a dam. He will flood out, not quietly, but with an explosion that will echo through time and space. An echo that, I fear, will change our world forever.
The beast is close now. So close, I can hear his voice. For the first time in my life, he has spoken to me. It was not a deep lurking desire, like when I was young. Nor was it a vision of pain, or torture, or murder that the beast has shared as I’ve grown. For the first time in my seventy-eight years, the beast spoke to me, clear as day. The beast wanted me to know the truth. The beast wanted to scare me, worse than he’s ever scared me before. He wanted my grasp on his cage to shake, to loosen, so he could be free.
I do not know why this beast choose me to live in. I am but a simple man, who loves his wife. Who loved his daughter.
My Lila. So sweet. Know that I truly loved her with all my heart and soul. Know that I did what I did because I had to.
The beast’s voice was cold and clear, and as I stared into her pleading eyes, I saw the darkness, and knew the beast to be telling the truth.
“She too, has a devil inside.”