I've been called many things; freak, loser, nerd being some of the meaner ones. I've also been called cute, smart, and sweet. However, never have I been called what I'm being called right now.
"You're a stalker!"
Victor Sanchez, a presumably perfect boy at my school. His outer appearance is tanned, strong, and utterly gorgeous. He's top boy at my school, and I've had a crush on him ever since I can remember. Every girl has. As I said before, he's perfect.
No he's not.
"No." I shake my head, "I'm a reporter." I lie, holding up my notebook. The one I'd been using to take notes with, the one that's now filled with the dirty secrets of my secret love. His eyes land on the spiral bound gold mine and fill with fury.
"You've been writing stuff about me!" He demands and I lovingly flip through the pages.
"Only the interesting things." I murmur, caressing the dented pages, feeling the words as if I were blind. And there were a lot. Victor was far from perfect beneath the surface.
"Interesting?" His eyes widen and I laugh, my gray skirt shifting slightly in the breeze coming off the lake. He lives by a lake, one of the reasons I like him. I've always wanted a house by the lake, with my husband.
"Tell me what you put in there!" He yells and my eyes flash to his face, desperate in the darkness, shadowed by the light from the house. I close the notebook, study its black cover, shrug.
"Where you go, what you do." I pause, my face splitting into a devilish grin, "Your size."
He lets out an almost animal sound, a sort of howl, and lunges for the book in my hand. I step quickly out of the way and shoot him a sneer. He freezes, panting, though not from exertion. There's fear in his eyes, and I feel a surge of power. I instilled this fear. It's mine. He's mine. As long as I have this book.
"You have where I go in there! You saw me naked!" It's clear he's not sure what he should feel worse about. I smile, flipping to a particularly juicy page in my little diary of sorts. There in my careful script is the event of the century.
"Yes, to both of those." I nod, eyes on the curly blue words, "You've done some very bad things." I scold, eyes running down the page.
"Like what?" He puts on bravado, an act. His eyes are still scared.
"Monday, 23rd, August." I read it crisply, the words swimming through my vision. The scene is playing in my head as I read it, "Subject, that's you, leaves school at precisely 3:30 pm. He joins the throng of students and walks to his car (details already taken) and drives out of the lot. He turns left, heading towards his house, but turns right before he reaches it. He goes down a street, takes a left, takes a right, and parks his car by a shabby house. It's a bad part of town, several gunshots go off down the street."
"You're a freak!" He yells and I throw him a disapproving look.
"Listen." I command and he falls silent, his face mutinous and disbelieving.
"He walks for a while, ducking down side streets whenever he sees a car. Finally, he reaches an alley. There appears to be someone waiting. Two voices, his and someone else's. They appear to be alone."
He sucks in a breath, he knows what's coming.
"I stay at the alley's entrance, and wait. The voices grow heated, a debate. They grow louder, turn to yelling. There are sounds of a scuffle, a yell, a gunshot, and silence. After a moment, the subject runs out. I just barely get out of his way in time. He runs past me, his eyes are shut. I follow, taking a quick glance down the alley. I see a body. The subject goes straight home." I close the book with a snap; toss it on the ground between us. Victor makes no move to grab it, his eyes are stony. He says nothing, the breeze tickles my cheek. I smile.
Several long seconds of silence. The book's pages flutter and my breath is hitched, excitement causing its irregularity. I want to hear his voice, want to hear him defend himself. Defend what he's done.
But, as we both know, you can't defend murder.
"How come I haven't caught you before now?" He whispers and I sigh, a small smile pulling at the corners of my mouth. I'm actually quite proud of myself; I managed to avoid detection for so long.
"I was careful," I respond, gazing at the book, "I didn't do anything too risky. I didn't go in the alley with you, because I would have been caught no doubt. I followed you on my bike, because it was easier to make it look like I was just exercising or something." I shrug, looking back up at him. His eyes are empty now, open but they might as well be closed. They tell me nothing.
"You've followed me for how long?" He asks quietly and I laugh, the sound bouncing across the emptiness, stamping on his misery. His eyes harden, but he says nothing.
"Since January." I answer, deciding on the truth, "You made it easy."
"But why?" His voice is expressionless and empty too. I think I've broken him, but I don't care. I've got my book, I've got my fantasies. Broken toys aren't useless, not if you're desperate to play.
"You were perfect." I look at the lake, gingerly pick up the book, leaf through the pages some more, "But, you weren't. You aren't. Are you?"
"I never claimed to be." His voice is weak, he's practically begging. I scowl at him, shut the book.
"You never claimed to be anything." I hiss, "You never claimed to be anything. But, you never corrected anyone either. When they said you were perfect, you didn't tell them your faults. You agreed, you laughed. No, you never claimed. You're right. But, you still were."
More silence and I twist my fingers in my skirt, rubbing the material between the tips of them. Without looking up from my careful analysis of my clothes, I speak.
"You still were. To me. And then, then, I learned who you really were. And, I didn't want to love you anymore. But, you fascinated me…and, I kept on learning your secrets. And, I kept writing them down. I wanted a documentation of how imperfect you were."
He says nothing, so I keep going.
"I have that now." I smile, shaking the black notebook clenched in my fist, "I have that now."
"You're crazy." He accuses and I nod, I have no qualms about this.
"Maybe, but at least I'm not a murderer."
And then I laugh louder, the sound bounces across the water and a pained look mars his perfect features. His eyes close again and he clenches his fists.
"I'm not." He begins, but I stop him.
"You can't deny what you truly are." I giggle, still a little giddy from my last jab. He shakes his head, grits his teeth.
"I'm not a murderer. You're lying!" It's a desperate attempt. I tsk at his pitiful attempts at denial. I step forward, pulling my special item from my pocket.
"There's nothing wrong with it." I reassure him, stepping even closer. A tear slips down his cheek and I gently brush it off, "I'm a murderer too."
He jerks from my touch then, eyes snapping open.
"You've killed someone!" He gasps and I run a finger over my special item, liking its smoothness.
"Not yet." I shake my head, "Not yet."
And then, his eyes catch sight of it, and he tries to scream, but I've already pulled the trigger. A loud bang, a puff of smoke, and like magic he's falling. I look at him, crumpled on the ground, and tap him with my foot. Blood seeps onto the grass, just a dark splotch in the faint moonlight. I dip my finger in, streak it across the notebook's cool surface.
"Nothing wrong with it." I repeat, stowing my special item back in my pocket, "You were never perfect anyway."
And then, as the house door opens and someone starts towards the scene, I melt into the shadows. The notebook is comforting, tucked beneath my arm. I run a finger down the dented pages and pick up my bike, turning it towards home.