Dear Dead Dahlia
I don't know you. I'd never even heard your name until policemen broke into my house in the night, grabbed me by the throat and told me I'd taken your life.
I've never seen your face without the big red slashes they say I've made or heard your voice say anything other than the words you screamed; recorded on close- circuit television and played over and over again until my mind replays them all on its own.
Yet you and I seem to have the most intimate connection of anyone in the world. Only we know I didn't do it. We know that the man in the black tracksuit wasn't me. We know it wasn't my hands on your shoulders, forcing you on the ground, taking your life. Your blood is on someone else's hands, not mine. And yet, to them, standing in the courtroom throwing stones, I am drenched in it, with the murder weapon clenched firmly in the palm of my blood- stained hand.
I've come to accept it though, I await my last day in place of a murderer and I almost wear the title, the label, as if it was mine. I take the place of the man who killed you. I wish you could speak from wherever you are now, send a multitude of letters swirling into the courtroom, on each page emblazoned the words, 'he didn't do it' and there, on the flip side, the face of the man who did. But you seem to want to remain speechless and so I await death, as you'd awaited yours.
Systematic, quick, humane. They tell me it will be over as quick as I came into the world, unlike how you went; slowly at the hands of a lunatic. The words are spoken with contempt, meant to remind me of how I took a life but I can only laugh at how little they know, of whose life they're about to take.
So, dear Dahlia, I spend my last night writing a letter to you, my newfound friend. What awaits me after the first bullet leaves its barrel, I don't know. I spend my last day wondering how things could've been different, if they could've even been different.
I hope to meet you, after it happens in a few hours. We are the same, after all; innocents whose lives were wrongly taken. I hope to sit with you in some utopia in the sky and smile perfect smiles at the day they realize what they've done and catch the man who killed us both. It will be a victory for us, I think; Having our dignities restored and relishing in an unlikely friendship between two strangers who have one too many murderers in common.
Not - your- killer, A friend