It’s all in your mind (2)

Here’s the second half!

 

He had started small. Little experiments. With the influence he then patiently gained, he was sure they could remain undiscovered in the future. The money was collecting. With every passing job it became that much easier to get a new one, and that much easier to earn more. He laughed at how other people struggled with their lives. He had reached a crucial moment now. It was time to take things one level higher. He donned his customary black cloak and walked out.

I knew something was wrong with me when my schedule started to get tweaked around and violated. I felt a tingle down my spine every time I thought I saw someone look at me. I kept my head low and walked quickly. I was grateful for crowds because I felt safe losing myself in them. It was obvious that I needed to seek help, but I didn’t have the time. The man looked more familiar day by day. He had the same walk and the same clothing. I thought I knew who he was, but I didn’t want to believe myself. I felt so insecure that I acquired a gun and permanently kept it with me. I was fairly certain I would need it in the near future.

 “What?! Things were going so well! You’re telling me that there’s actually a report somewhere in the world speaking about mysterious murders?!”

“It’s a really small newspaper. Don’t worry. Nobody who reads it will bat an eyelid,” his partner replied.

“I’m not so sure. We almost have enough funding to go huge. We’ve proved ourselves. Any newspaper means too many people talking about it at the same time. Fuck!”

“As far as I know, some orphan boy walked into the newspaper’s office and spat out this story. An interested junior reporter actually followed up and poked around a little bit. It seems like he’s onto something.”

“Let’s find this boy.”

“Oh. It seems it’s their son. Remember? Long back.”

Their son?” he raised an eyebrow.

“That’s the one.”

The next day, I walked out of the restaurant in order to try and get some change for a customer. Caught up in my thoughts and walking with my head down, I bumped into the man. I froze, terrified to look up, forgetting even to breathe. The gun lay hidden and forgotten behind my back.

“Are you alright?” a kindly voice asked.

I looked up slowly, bewildered, and hesitantly answered the man, “Oh yes. Yes. I-I’m fine.”

“Oh good, good. Well if you don’t mind, I need to hurry down the block to work. Sorry again!”

“It wasn’t your fault don’t worry about it! Errr.. Hey, if you don’t mind me asking, what do you do?”

“Oh ha! The clothes eh? I’m an actor in a small TV show! Why else do you think I’m dressed like this? It’s the most uncomfortable thing to wear in this weather! But since I live just around the corner I prefer to simply put it on at home!” He glanced at his watch furtively, “Uh oh. I’m sorry but I really should run! Goodbye then!” and with that he apologetically brushed past me.

I blinked, and stood there stupidly blocking the pedestrian traffic. Relief washed over me. My paranoia suddenly seemed so laughable, I felt ashamed of myself. Sunlight streamed in through my tiny window the next morning. Humming to myself, I went through the usual variety of papers with an unreasonably optimistic outlook. The usual stories of crime, stock, accidents, environmental warnings, travel and food flashed by. I didn’t get the time to read everything then, since I felt the urge to go out and get some lovely coffee. But if I had, I would have come across an article in a small newspaper dealing with a few unexplained murders.

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