Lonely. Bored. Nerd. Those were the words I wrote down on the little pad of paper Dr. Gordon had given me as I sat in front of him in his office that Tuesday afternoon.
“How did it feel writing that?” he asked, sitting back in his chair and rubbing his gray beard.
“Depressing,” I said.
It was my second therapy session. My mom was nagging me to go. At 19, I hadn’t even kissed a girl yet. And that would have been fine if it weren’t for my complete lack of motivation in life. I had no desire to do anything, so most days I binge-watched Netflix and ate various junk food while tuning out the rest of the world.
“Describing yourself can be an eye-opening experience, Andrew” said the shrink. “Surely you have a few good friends?”
I didn’t really. Not even a few. I had one guy I hung out with from our high school. Mason. But, for lack of a better way to put it, we were both losers. Outcasts. We didn’t like the rest of our classmates, and the rest of our classmates didn’t like us. We connected in that way. My mom wanted more for me. More friends, more of a social life. For me to come out of my shell.
And I did. That very Friday after I saw Dr. Gordon for the second time. He ripped me off a prescription from his notepad for some anti-depressant and I left. I never had any intention of taking it. What good would a pill do, anyway? If I was going to come out of my shell, I wanted to do it without medication.
I signed up for online dating. I picked the most decent photo I could find of myself, although I never smiled in pictures. I filled out all the standard stuff, like location, man seeking woman, and typed up a short description of myself:
5″10, I consider myself fairly smart. I’m a bit of an introvert, trying to come out of my shell.
It wasn’t long before Jane messaged me. But with long, blonde hair, and the most beautiful blue eyes I’d ever seen, she was far from plain. And yet, she sent me a message. For a brief second I wondered if it was too good to be true.
“Hey, saw you’re an introvert. Me too. Wanna chat?”
Of course I did. But I didn’t want to come off as too desperate, so I waited about four hours to respond, in the late hours after my mom had gone to sleep and stopped nagging me about the laundry, or the dishes, or whatever else.
We chatted all night. And for a few weeks after. Then she suggested we meet. I offered to take her our for coffee, but she insisted I come to her house. You might think that should have been my first red flag, but I truly didn’t care about myself enough to even care about any potential danger. I wanted to meet Jane. To see her in person for the first time. To get everyone off my back about being more social. To end the loneliness. To come out of my shell.
My buddy Mason got his older brother to buy me a bottle of rum. Meeting at her place was a good idea after all, I had told myself. Maybe she’ll like me better if she’s drunk, I thought, half joking, half serious.
I put that rum in the front seat next to me and peeled out of my driveway that fateful Saturday night. The plan was to drive over to Jane’s place. She lived at home, like me, with her parents, but they were supposed to be out of town for the weekend. We would then watch movies, talk, drink some rum, and everything would hopefully be perfect.
I didn’t start to get a little creeped out until I was driving for miles and miles out of town. Jane said she lived in the country. I had quickly typed out the address into my phone before I left and was following all the directions. Still, there’s something about driving through a pitch black forest at night, on a winding road, with only my headlights illuminating the short distance ahead. I was sure something was going to pop out and murder me any moment.
Eventually I came to a clearing after the narrow road in the woods and saw a small house. While not completely run down, it wasn’t in the best of shape. The yard looked unkempt. Siding on the house had worn off and exposed wood. Still, I didn’t care that much. But I cared enough to call Jane. She picked up.
“Is that you outside?” She giggled. “I see you, come in!”
“Oh good, so this is your place,” I said.
“Yes, and I have something I need to tell you. It shouldn’t be too big of a deal, hopefully.”
“Your parents are here?”
“No, no. They’re gone. Just come in, I’ll explain.”
I parked, grabbed the rum, made my way up the short gravel driveway, and knocked. This was it. Jane, her beautiful blond hair, her striking blue eyes, her soft creamy skin, were just inches from me. I was about to come out of my shell.
Except the door swung open and a short, stocky woman appeared in front of me.
“Hi!” she said.
“Uh hi, I’m looking for Jane. Is she here? I must have the wrong…” I started to say.
“She’s here, come in.” I followed her inside. Her hair was tattered, her clothes were old, and she kind of smelled too. And not in a good way, like I’m sure Jane smelled.
“I didn’t realize she had a roommate…” I said.
“She doesn’t,” the woman said, turning around. She pushed a pair of glasses up the bridge of her nose. “That’s what I wanted to tell you. I’m Jane.”
I stood in silence for what was probably only five seconds.
“Oh please don’t be mad, Andy!” She said “I just…I get so lonely sometimes and…I knew you wouldn’t come if I sent you my real picture.”
“So…you,” I struggled to find the words.
“I lied, yes. I just wanted a chance with someone. There’s hope for people like us, Andrew… Will you please stay?”
It was then that I finally came out of my shell.
The handle of rum shattered before my mind could even comprehend the situation. Jane fell back, hit her head again on the wall and fell to the ground. She was out cold. Blood poured out of her head, mixing with the brown liquor. There she was, sprawled out on the floor, shattered glass among that tattered hair. She was dead.
I left as quickly as I had arrived, locking the door behind me.
I didn’t mention what happened until a few days later in Dr. Gordon’s pale, depressing office. But I didn’t give everything away. I told him I met a girl.
“That’s good, Andrew. But tell me, why didn’t you take the pills I prescribed you? I called the pharmacist and they said you never came by to fill it.”
“I guess I just felt better,” I shrugged.
“Tell me about the girl,” he said.
“Oh I won’t be seeing her again. Didn’t work out.”
“Why not? What happened?” He said, a confused look on his face.
“I am exploring my options,” I answered. “I came out of my shell,”
“Well,” the doctor said as he got up. “I”ll see you next week, Andrew. Do go get those pills though.”
“I will,” I lied.
I never went to the pharmacy. I went back on the internet and met lots of girls. Some pretty, some not. I killed them all.
I’m going on another date in a few hours, in fact. I’m thinking it’s going to be pretty special. But no matter what, I’ll always remember Jane.
She was the first girl I killed.