How can someone be born with an urge to kill? I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately. Some believe there is a biological predisposition or faulty brain wiring while others suggest that serial killers fail to bond during early childhood. If something happened to Matt when he was a child, I’ve yet to find that out. We’ve been together for months now, and I still know nothing about his background, family, or the town he grew up in. I was so infatuated with him when we first met and got together that I just wanted to live in the moment, but now that things are becoming serious, I need answers. Realizing Christmas wouldn’t be the appropriate time to interrogate him, I decided to keep my questions for another, more convenient time.
Matt surprised me and his son Ethan yesterday when he showed up unannounced. It took me a lot of self-control not to run to him and kiss him, but somehow I managed to restrain myself. After the terrible family gathering of last year, I was hoping for a romantic week with my man, but for the most part reality sucks so bad that all you can do is deal and get through it. The last time we were around each other wasn’t exactly the most pleasant one. Actually, I wish I could erase the past few weeks; the murders, the secrets, the lies. I’m fine with Matt’s twisted state of mind, but I’m not sure I can handle the killings. I’m sure he’s killed before, I just hope there’s a reason behind them, even if it’s one I can’t make sense of right now. I just want to believe that behind this beautiful man a heart is buried inside his chest somewhere. He can’t be all bad. No one really is. What if he was physically or verbally abused when he was a child? What if he was abandoned and developed profound feelings of powerlessness? What if his parents were psychos themselves? There’s got to be something wrong with his past for him to turn out this way. The enormous amount of attraction I felt towards him before somehow still exists and I can’t understand how. They call it the “Dark Triad.” Narcissism, machiavellinism, psychopathy. In easier terms, it’s when someone is attracted to what people call a “Bad Boy.” Maybe that’s the kind of men I’m attracted to. The fucked-up ones.
We drove to town and got Ethan some presents. Matt cooked us dinner afterwards and the night went smoothly. As I looked around me, I couldn’t be more satisfied. Everything looked great. But something was missing. I can’t explain what it was. Maybe it’s because I was sitting next to a man I didn’t entirely know. A murderer. Or maybe it’s because I was sitting next to a child who wasn’t my own. I want to say it felt too good to be true, but it didn’t feel good in the first place. I wasn’t as comfortable as I hoped I’d be. I never thought I’d hate a holiday I used to love so much.
After dinner, Matt opened the balcony door, letting in a loud and violent wind, and walked outside wearing just his shirt. I observed as he took out a cigarette and lit it. I thought he hated cigarettes. I grabbed my cardigan against the chill of the late evening and joined him. I stood by him and asked whether or not Gisele, Ethan’s mother, minded having him spend Christmas away from her, and he responded saying that they were alternating holidays. When I asked about the kid’s fate after the divorce, he bluntly said he’s working on strategies and different tactics to get sole custody. To him, it’s not about what Ethan needed but more about him winning. He didn’t mind lying and deploying power so he can defeat his wife. He went even further to reveal that in case he fails, he’ll threaten to reduce child support or even worse, impoverish her and make her life miserable that Ethan would eventually beg to live with him. I couldn’t believe those words actually came out of his mouth. It’s like he enjoyed being evil and didn’t care whether I’d be okay with him doing that or not. He turned his face away from me and casually went on smoking his cigarette, showing absolutely no discomfort to the intolerable, cold weather while I shivered nonstop. When I couldn’t deal with it anymore, I walked back inside.
All the anticipation I’ve felt earlier in the morning was torn down after hearing his brutal plan and then looking at Ethan and feeling bad for his future. I can’t understand how he can be so senseless towards his own child. It’s like Ethan meant absolutely nothing to him. He was just a piece of property. A prize. I walked to my bedroom and as I closed the door, I saw him standing right on the other side, glaring at me. He took a step forward and I made him stop. He didn’t say a word, but his facial expressions couldn’t be clearer; he was disappointed and unhappy. I was extremely broken down that I didn’t care about his feelings, and went ahead and closed the door in his face, locked it and went straight to bed. I just can’t fake it anymore. I can’t pretend it’s all going to be okay because obviously, it’s not.