Friday, December 18, 2015

Symptoms

She shot him.
She shot him dead.
She wasn't even subtle about it. Not even a little bit! There was no precision to her tactics, no planning. It wasn't like one of those crime shows where the cops desperately tried to figure out her motives or where she was or anything of that nature.
She shot him in the middle of the streets in broad daylight with several bystanders.
And truthfully? She loved it.

She never considered herself a violent individual. In fact, she prided herself on the fact that her friends would call her a joy to be around. Someone who always knew how to cheer them up. Someone who always knew how to keep a cool head. Someone responsible. Someone loving.

Someone who was probably the last person they expected to take a human life.
Hell, even SHE was surprised that she found herself in such a situation.

She moved to the city to better her chances in her career. After all, the city was so full of opportunity and so romanticized on every story she had seen from the time she was a child, she was convinced that she, too, could change the world by basking in its presence. And initially, it was enjoyable, but the everyday grind began to wear into her.

It wasn't the job. It wasn't even her living conditions. It was the commute.

Every day, she found herself under the scrutinizing eyes of hundreds. And while the stereotype always seemed to go that women were harsh and more likely to judge other women, she realized the lie in such a statement. It wasn't the women that she had to worry about, it was the men.

The men with their leering gazes. The men with their objectifying words. The men who would tell her that she was ugly, hideous and unfuckable for telling them to leave her alone. The men who would follow her for blocks and force her into a public building for safety. The men who made her question if her outfit was 'too revealing' even if it was a modest length of her favorite skirt.

Every day she was on display, even if she didn't want to be. And all of this just to walk to work.
Every day. Every single day.

She asked the police for help who did nothing, and even some of them laughed. Asked her to take it as a compliment being the 'pretty young woman' that she was.

Compliment? Feeling like a piece of meat readily available for consumption was a compliment?

She felt helpless. She felt angry.

And it was around that time to take out her anger that she thought it was wise to start taking classes for shooting. She became damn good at it too, hitting the bullseye dead on and barely missing her mark in as little as a month.

She was praised for being a natural marksman.

She had faces fresh in her mind to help her with that on her way to the range.

Not too long after that she decided to buy a gun for herself.

After all, she was living by herself in the city, making her way home at terrible times at some nights. It was better to be safe than sorry.

And knowing that power was at her side, she had nothing to fear walking down those streets. She readily told her offenders to fuck themselves. Readily held her middle finger high. Readily turned to the men following her and asked with a fire in her eyes if they had a problem with her, to which they would be taken aback and scurry away, murmuring under their breaths.

Assholes.

And it continued as such until she walked with her head held high, shoulders squared, and ready to face the day wearing whatever she damn well pleased and paying attention to no one.

But one day, one of her offenders wouldn't take her lack of acknowledgement as an answer to his disgusting words.

He followed her for blocks and shouted obscenities to her the entire way until she turned around and yelled, "Do you have a fucking problem?!"

To which usually worked in some kind of capacity, but this time she was shoved back and called an ugly bitch.

And that shove was enough for her to reach into her bag, pull out her gun and shoot him.

She felt a rush when the look of shock washed over the guy's face. He tried to grab her again despite the bleeding hole in his chest, and she shot again. She only had to shoot twice because training had paid off.

She heard the screams around her, that felt like background noise to what was going on in her own head. The guy fell to the ground. The life draining from his eyes, his blood spilling on the concrete below.

She felt the smallest tinge of remorse because she knew this guy was a symptom of a much larger problem. It was his fault for his actions, but at the same time he was a product of a much larger problem at hand. He wasn't the disease. He wasn't the core. He wasn't the root.

But like anyone who faced any sort of symptom - be it a crippling headache or a nagging cough - it felt good to be relieved of the symptom, even for a moment.

And the blissful rush that came from relieving said symptom.

She basked in the glory of that relief up until the cops apprehended her.

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