When I woke up, the train had entered a long tunnel. It felt strange, feeling my body awaken while we were all under the flickering lights. Thankfully, no one was watching my way. I didn’t want people to look at me directly in the eyes. I didn’t want them to discover what I was hiding, which was curious, as I had no idea myself. The only thing I knew was that I had been running for at least a year now. As always, I only remembered parts and pieces, some faces and gruesome images but not much else. I felt pain but the fear that had driven me crazy before was nowhere to be seen.
This fact made me nervous. I was still waking up covered in sweat and in blood. I knew I had killed again but I didn’t feel bad about it as I did before. If anything, I felt strangely proud of myself. Not for killing of course but for having no more fear. Anyway, now I was brave enough to try to know more about the people I attacked and it was a great surprise to know none of them where exactly loved by their peers. Was I targeting a specific type of person? I had no idea, as it was that other me, the one that lived deep inside me, who decided that.
But in that train, I realized I didn’t care anymore. All the feelings of angst and dear had gone. I was in pain, yes, but it was only physical. My head was not about to explode from the headaches that I used to have and I didn’t feel strangely hungry anymore. Somehow, I thought, it had to do with my two personalities finally making peace. It was going to happen some day; I just knew it, because at the end of the end they had to share my body and my brain. It wasn’t like if that wild creature inside me could just walk away. T was trapped inside of me and it had learned, for my sake, that it needed me to stay alive.
After the tunnel had passed, I looked through the window to the mountains: it was beautiful scenery, with green valleys and snow-covered peaks. I could see farmers and cows and their crops. It was the first time I had noticed the world since I had gone insane. It’s strange but I had never noticed it to be that beautiful, that full of color and bright. I smiled, a first time in a long time too. I looked forward to the future and hoped it would calm down for me to have a normal life. My earlier job as a salesman was good but I had always wanted to draw for a living. People often told me they liked my drawings but I had never tried to show them to anyone that mattered.
Maybe I could get myself a whole new life now, drawing and painting, doing the covers of books or music albums… Maybe I could get that small apartment I had always wanted, with a black and white cat and someone I could hug at nights. My life was going to change and for the first time in my life, not only after what had happened, I felt I was in full control of everything that could happen. I smiled and when I went to the restaurant wagon I smiled too and people smiled back to me. I decided to eat until I was full and then shower so to be ready when the train finally arrived at my destination.
I had thought of stepping down in Germany but realized they might look for me there, as I had an aunt who had lived there long ago. So I decided to get down in Zurich and just get to know the city. I had emptied my bank account before leaving and was carrying that money with me. It wasn’t much but it wasn’t two bills either so I was especially cautious with it. I carried it all in a black backpack, with some underwear and my toothbrush. That’s all I could get from my home before I escaped. Remembering that brought tears to my eyes but I dried them and decided to shower. I paid a guy working in the train to let me enter an empty first class cabin and do it there. I had five minutes but it was more than enough. I didn’t change of course but I felt renewed.
After an hour, the train finally arrived in Zurich. I stepped down fast and exited the station. It was raining in the city but I didn’t care. My first thought was to get into an Internet café where I could look for the cheapest areas to get an apartment. I would then get there by bus or whatever and finally rent a place before sunset. I saw several places but none like the one I imagined and certainly not the prize I could pay without running out of money before I got a job. Thankfully, this old lady told me there was a young man looking for a flat mate and that it would cost far less than if I decided to live alone. I followed her advice and met the guy: he was very nice and an artist so I accepted in heartbeat. Maybe he knew people to get me to start drawing.
I moved in immediately, as I had nothing to really move in. We talked a lot that day with the guy I moved in and he asked me to show him some drawings but I had nothing on me. But then I remembered something and asked for his laptop. I had uploaded some of the drawings I had done to this kind of blog and people had actually liked them and shared them with other. I showed the blog to him and he told me I was good but that I needed a bit of training. He was a painter and a musician so he knew what he was talking about. After we chatted, I felt hungry again so I went out for a burger and decided to make a list of everything I needed to do and get.
First of all, it was necessary to buy a laptop. I had the money but it had to be a cheap one because I couldn’t just blew it all of in one buy. I also needed clothes, at least the basics and getting a job. Sam, the guy I lived with, told me he could talk to some people in a university he knew so I could teach, or clean or whatever. It was the same to me. Now I needed a job to eat and keep living. My dreams could wait a bit longer. I also had to check if people were still looking for me and then decide if I lived there by my real name of by the new name with which I had bought the train ticket and had fled my country. It wasn’t as if I was running from the police or anything but people were looking for me and had hunted me down for a long time. Now it all seemed calm but you never know…
I have to explain that they had never been able to tie me to any of the crimes I had actually committed. If my feelings served me right, I had committed murder at least ten times. I didn’t remember any of it but I did remember how scared and confused I felt afterwards, waking up in places I didn’t know and with dead bodies I had no idea who they were. As I said before, I looked up some of them when I escaped the asylum and learned they were all murderers themselves or thieves. Just bad apples from every corner of society. They certainly had families but that, I preferred, had to stay in secret for me forever. Guilt wasn’t going to get me the new life that I wanted.
The next day, Sam and I visited the university and introduced me to his girlfriend, a teacher called Magda. She was a photographer and she taught the youngest students about it. She was in need of an assistant to help her in and out of class with everything that had to do with the chemicals and such of the labs in which she worked with her students. The day after that, she told me everything I needed to know and taught me how to process pictures myself in order to properly understand the process. She made me spend all morning outside the university taking pictures of random things. I decided to go artistic, or what I thought was artistic, in some and rather boring in others.
When the pictures started showing up in the paper and Magda smiled at me, I smiled too and felt really happy, like back in the train. It was something silly but I felt everything was going to be great for me now. I was learning new things and I had met very nice people. I had a job and everything was finally going well. I mean, I still had some nightmares but I couldn’t remember the last time I had woken up covered in blood. My inner persona had apparently calmed down. Maybe my own brain had tamed him or maybe, just maybe, he had left me for good. This last thought made me hopeful but I soon realized that was probably not the case.
The night of the pictures I slept nicely but they day after, when I got stressed out at work, I didn’t slept as good and woke up in the middle of the night. Suddenly, I realized he was still there, inside. He trying to get out, for me to accept him and I fought it silently, sweating as if we had run into a desert. I wasn’t going to lose to him, not now. But then, I felt I had taken the back seat and he was controlling everything. I begged for him to stop, to give me my body back but he wouldn’t back down. He used my body to get out to the street barefoot, in the middle of the night. I begged him not to kill again, not to make me go crazy again but I felt him asking for silence. It was the first time he made sense to me. And that scared me.
I was right to be. Suddenly, out of nowhere, six men wearing black clothes appeared in the street. They were pointing guns at me, at us, and before I realized what was going on, he had launched us towards them. I heard the bullets but I wasn’t in control until the following morning. I was in bed, the one I had moved in. I was naked, my clothes nowhere to be found. And the sound of people made me look out of the window: six bodies laid there in the pavement, dismembered. A woman screamed.