Poison Guilt

by Fatimah A., Age 14 , Grade 9, MBA, Mississauga , ONTARIO CANADA
Teacher: Ms. Yoser

     What did I just do? Who am I? “Okay— Okay Relax, you did nothing wrong,” I tell myself. But I still feel terrible. I’m sixteen years old and I can’t be a criminal. “But he didn’t love me. that’s what he deserves” I try to convince myself that it’s okay that I killed my dad, he didn’t let me see my mom. 

I am standing now in the kitchen panicking and shaking. I can't feel my hands, it feels like the universe died itself. “Where’s everyone” I wonder. I look at my dad one more time and all of a sudden, memories of him and me flash in my head. I open my eyes and close them multiple times to break off the pictures of him in my mind, and unluckily, I FAIL.

“Think hard. Think! don't just stand there and wait for other people to arrive, you’ll go to jail and die.” I tell myself. I try to remember the movies and stories I've watched that have things to do with the killing. Then I remembered the short story that I took at school, “Lamb to the slaughter.”

Lamb to the slaughter is about the murder of police detective Patrick Maloney by his wife Mary. Driven to homicide after her husband's unexpected announcement that he's leaving her and their unborn child, Mary quickly regains her senses after fatally killing him with the leg of lamb.

That’s easy! I’ll mirror her actions. It’s perfect! because I was supposed to come back home at five and now it’s three fifty-nine. I have exactly two hours to go to the library then come back and get ready for the drama. As I was walking by, I saw my best friend, Rory. “Now is the time, act normal, pretend like it’s a normal day,” I tell myself. I put my earphones on and pretend that I'm listening to something.

I walk up to her and pretend that I just saw her right now. She recognizes me then waves, I wave back. Then just seconds later, I find her approaching me. “You're okay, nothing happened,” I tell myself.

“What happened?” she asks. I look at her in confusion. Does she know anything? Is she asking what happened today or is she talking about my dad? She senses the confusion on my face then tries to declare it so I could understand. She looks at me for a few seconds and then says. “ Oh, I wanted to inform you something,” she says. I pray that it has nothing to do with the dreadful situation that I’m in currently. “yeah?” is all I say. I don’t wanna add anything else or else I could utter something that would give her a hint about my dad. “it’s your dad.” she says. Right when she said that, it hit me. I feel my stomach twist into knots, chills proceed through my spine. This is it. She knows.

I try to remember my plan, to follow what Mary did. But she never got caught, she was wise, unlike me. I am an idiot, I should have thought about it millions of times, but no. I am a stupid girl that deserves to live down the streets with no parents. I feel guilty at the same time I don't, all I want right now is a hole in the ground that could swallow me and kick me out of this depressing world.

“Are you all right Lorelei?” Rory asks. I look at her then nodded. she copies my actions and nods. We both laugh at this point. “yeah, so as I was saying… Your dad wanted me to inform you that he loves you so much, he stopped you from seeing your mom only because she was sick. She had covid, he didn’t want to tell you because he claims that you were in a good mood and he didn’t want to ruin it for you.” She starts.

At that point, I feel guilty. I do and I mean it. I felt that the world was ending, I could never be the perfect daughter— who I wanted to be.

“So He told me to give you this bracelet because I’m your best friend, you could understand me better. He said you were really mad at him, he really wanted to be the person to tell you all that and tie this bracelet to your wrist. he wanted you to know how special you are to him. You mean the whole world to him, Lorelei! he loves you more than everything. he was just stressed out these couple of days because your mother was sick, he didn’t mean to ignore you. He loves you so much, he could drink poison for you!!” She finishes.

Tears started running down my cheeks like waterfalls. I knew she repeated my dad’s words, those were his words. he loved me, he could drink poison for me! can you believe that? his own daughter, me. I poisoned him only because he wouldn’t let me see my mom. Is this who I really am?

I couldn’t help it, my tears are striking the whole world. I am guilty. I am guilty. I should admit it. “Please don’t cry, you’re so emotional!” she says and gives me an intense hug that I could barely breathe. I hug her back and move along to tell her about what I’ve done.

“I need to tell you something,” I say. “Of course, anytime! wait I know what you're gonna say, buddy… You love your papa!” she says applying a Spanish accent on the last sentence.

“ Don’t tell me, go tell him… let’s go, girl!!” She says pulling my hand and not giving me a chance to speak. When we arrive she literally opens the door without knocking and I find my dad sitting on a chair drinking his cup of tea.

I am shocked! I didn’t kill him!!!!!

I go to him and hug him really tight as if my life depends on him. “I love you so much!” I tell him and he does too. I then tell him the whole story and he laughed as if it were a joke. “You’re funny” is all he says then continues laughing. I laugh along with him but I will always know, deep in my soul that I have poison guilt to make up for.

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