I like to think of myself as a true soldier of the world.
I first saw her in a small cafe, a little to the right of the center of town. She ordered in a small, polite voice, not making eye contact with the waitress.
It was then I knew she was the one.
I followed her discreetly when she left the cafe fifteen minutes later. Occasionally she stopped outside a retail store and gazed in at the vibrant outfits that were on show, the mannequins that were unreasonable thin and tall. I knew she longed to be able to go into those shops and try on those clothes, but she was too afraid. She was too scared.
She walked on to her apartment, which was one of eight in a building. It wasn't one of those ultra modern buildings with flashy new facilities, but it wasn't a crumbling derelict only-a-place-to-eat-and-sleep place either. It was average. Just like her.
Just like her.
She didn't own an answering machine, because as I watched her walk through her living room, she didn't take one, solitary glance down at her phone. She went to the kitchen and took out one glass, and poured some orange juice into it. She sat down at her table and stare at her glass. She took a sip and stared out the window. There was only one chair at the table.
I came back the next day in time to see her walk out of her building. She was carrying a different bag. As it was Monday, I assumed this was her work bag. I followed her till she entered a black, mirrored building. I found out she worked as a secretary for the vice-president of that company. On Wednesday, after work, she would go to the supermarket to buy her groceries. If she was feeling happier than usual, she would get herself an extra bar of chocolate, and if she was feeling lazy that night, she would get herself a pre-cooked lasagne, which she only had to pop into the oven for a few minutes, then it was ready to be eaten. On Tuesdays and Thursdays she would watch television as she ate, watching the same sitcoms and drama shows. Occasionally, she would flip to a current affairs show, and watch that for five minutes while there was an ad break on the other channel.
The phone rarely rang, in her apartment. She didn't have photos, She had a laptop, which was neatly tucked under her bed. She took it out a couple of times, to check her empty email account, sometimes she typed up documents and emailed them to her boss. She never uttered a word in her apartment, because there was no one else there to take them in.
One Friday night, when she walked out of her office building, I 'accidently'
bumped into her, and asked her if she'd like to come to dinner with me. With a
slightly bemused look on her face, she accepted. At the resturant I asked her
what her life was like.
"Well," she said as she fiddled with her pasta, "I guess it's alright, I mean, it could be very much, worse."
"There are starving children in Africa," she mumbled, weakly.
I walked her back to her apartment and as we approached the front door I took the knife out of my jacket and I stabbed her.
She didn't even have time to scream. Her face went pale, as she slumped down onto the floor, still bleeding heavily. I carefully placed the knife (making sure my prints were no where near it) in her palm facing downwards. I walked briskly away and got myself a coffee.
"This morning, a woman was found, stabbed three times in the stomach, outside what is believed to be her apartment. Medical officials have confirmed that the woman had been dead for at least eight hours. Her identity is yet to be known."
You see, I did her a favour. I saved her. Her life was hardly worth living. Alone, without love, without purpose. Without life. She probably feels exactly the way she did every day of her life. Nothingness consuming the largest portion of her being.
I like to think of myself as a soldier of the world.
I must save more.
I must save more lives.