SELECTION FROM

His & Hers

Alice Feeney

It wasn’t love at first sight.

I can admit that now. But by the end, I loved her more than I thought it was possible to love another human being. I cared about her far more than I ever cared about myself. That’s why I did it. Why I had to. I think it’s important that people know that, when they find out what I’ve done. If they do. Perhaps then they might understand that I did it for her.

There is a difference between being and feeling alone, and it is possible to miss someone and be with them at the same time. There have been plenty of people in my life: family, friends, colleagues, lovers. A full cast of the usual suspects that make a person’s social circle, but mine has always felt a little bent out of shape. None of the relationships I have ever formed with another human being feel real to me. More like a series of missed connections.

People might recognize my face, they may even know my name, but they’ll never know the real me. Nobody does. I’ve always been selfish with the true thoughts and feelings inside my head; I don’t share them with anyone. Because I can’t. There is a version of me I can only ever be with myself. I sometimes think the secret to success is the ability to adapt. Life rarely stays the same, and I’ve frequently had to reinvent myself in order to keep up. I learned how to change my looks, my life … even my voice.

I also learned how to fit in, but constantly trying to do so is more than just uncomfortable now, it hurts. Because I don’t. Fit. I fold my jagged edges inside myself, and smooth over the most obvious differences between us, but I am not the same as you. There are over seven billion people on the planet, and yet I have somehow managed to spend a lifetime feeling alone.

I’m losing my mind and not for the first time, but sanity can often be lost and found. People will say that I snapped, lost it, came unhinged. But when the time came it was—without doubt—the right thing to do. I felt good about myself afterward. I wanted to do it again.

There are at least two sides to every story:

Yours and mine.

Ours and theirs.

His and hers.

Which means someone is always lying.

Lies told often enough can start to sound true, and we all sometimes hear a voice inside our heads, saying something so shocking, we pretend it is not our own. I know exactly what I heard that night, while I waited at the station for her to come home for the last time. At first, the train sounded just like any other in the distance. I closed my eyes and it was like listening to music, the rhythmic song of the cars on the tracks getting louder and louder:

Clickety-click. Clickety-click. Clickety-click.

But then the sound started to change, translating into words inside my head, repeating themselves over and over, until it was impossible not to hear:

Kill them all. Kill them all. Kill them all.

His & Hers