Make Her Smile
<Doctor’s Logs, 2/12/02. All names redacted for privacy and legal purposes. Do not share this information!!!!!…………….>
10:51 AM. Patient’s First Session
<Doctor’s Notes: Patient seems to have adapted well. Clean, ironed and pressed prison blues. He is washed and clean shaven. He seems calm, but his knee is constantly shaking. Possibly indicative of stress or nervous disorder.>
–From here on out, audio and video signatures will be marked as dialogue for transcript purposes–
Patient A: Hey, doc.
Doctor: Hello A. Ready for our first session?
Patient A: As I’ll ever be.
Doctor: Good. Let’s start with the night you met Caroline.
Patient A sighs, then let’s slip a small smile before he continues in a reminiscent tone: We were at a party, of course. Of all places, right? (A guffaws, then takes a sip of his water). We were kids. I had just barely made it through my first year of college and she was on her way to doing the same. I uh… saw her there, with another guy.
Doctor: Just for clarity, A, I need you to tell me who that other guy was.
Patient A sighs again, fiddling with his steel watch before eyeing the doctor carefully: And I’m protected by HIPA?
Doctor: Of course. Anything you say here is confidential, you know that.
Patient A gets visibly frustrated, tearing at the same screws in his watch idly: It was him. Mark.
Patient A sighs, appearing to regain composure as he stares blankly ahead: He uh… went outside. Maybe for a smoke, maybe to call one of his loser friends, I don’t know. But… I saw her, and she was alone. And to this day, I’ve never wanted anything more in my life.
Doctor: She really was quite beautiful.
Patient A: No, man… no. The pictures don’t do her justice. Standing there all alone, in all the chaos of the party… the pages of a magazine couldn’t even do that justice. I knew right away.
Patient A shifts oddly and suddenly, as if shifting from a direct blow to the face. He immediately regains his composure and continues without a blink: So… by some divine miracle or twist of stupid luck, I get it in my head that I can talk to this girl… this 18 year old Goddess of a woman sitting by herself at our little makeshift bar, which of course was nothing more than somebody’s kitchen table.
Patient A, sighs loudly again, as if catching his breath: I was playing beer pong with some friends. One of them went to go get more beer, so I stupidly jumped up and shouted to her that she should play. Just like that. Nearly across the party. I didn’t know her at all. But she laughed, with that ridiculously beautiful smile of hers, hopped up and played a few games with me. We won every game.
Patient A: A couple days later, she dumped Mark and started dating me. It was the happiest moment of my life, without a doubt.
Doctor: Again, I have to ask… That wasn’t the last time you saw Mark, was it?
Patient A has tears welling in his eye. He shakes them away angrily and shifts his chair loudly, trying to mask the noise of his sobs: No, sir, it wasn’t.
Doctor: Just doctor is fine. When did you see him again?
*Patient A quickly becomes violent. After the doctor’s comments, he quickly breaks the small screws on his watch and slams the table aggressively, lunging forward and screaming at the doctor as security rushes in and holds him down to the table. The doctor, clearly annoyed, shoos them away and places his hand on Patient A’s shoulder.
Doctor: Son… I know you’ve told this to the police. But I need to ask these questions for your evaluation. This could mean a lot.
Patient A settles himself, his face a contorted mask of rage mixed with tears and spit. He wipes it calmly and levels his eyes at the doctor: He didn’t stop talking to her. He texted, called, tweeted, whatever the fuck. He didn’t leave her alone. I was never the jealous type, and I sure as hell didn’t want to be, but one night I caught him saying that he was outside her house.
Doctor: And what did you do about this?
Patient A: I mean, what could I do? Naturally I freaked out on her a little bit, asked her why she was still talking to him. She said she still wanted to be friends, and she thought it was stupid that people couldn’t be friends after relationships. She said he had his flaws but he just needed to get over them being together. It drove me crazy but what could I do? I loved her with every ounce of me.
Doctor: Okay. I’d like you to talk a little about the messages he sent her, if that’s okay.
Patient A: It was mostly normal stuff in the beginning, I think. I never stole her phone to look or anything, but I could tell because I knew her better than anyone. If it was weird she would have been upset. But… about this time last year, he made it clear that he wanted her back. He sent her pictures… some with clothes, some without. Texts saying that he wanted to fuck her. Texts saying that she wanted to fuck her and another girl.
Doctor: And how did she respond?
Patient A: She told him to fuck off. I mean, literally, every time. She stopped answering altogether, but then it got worse. That’s when we got the text that he was outside the house. I went outside and caught him as he was running to the car, and punched him until she pulled me off him.
Doctor: And then?
Patient A: He called her a bitch, ran to his car, and left. I never saw him again… I mean… not until… (Patient A trails off, his eyes glazed and staring off, dead).
(The incident Patient A is referring to happened on May 30, 1999. A man, suspected to be Thomas *[REDACTED], entered Caroline [REDACTED]’s home and brutally murdered her and everyone inside. The details of this crime, though never thoroughly proven to be the work of one man, were grotesque. Caroline’s parents were hanging from their bed sheets in the living room. Her three brothers and sisters were positioned in a reclining chair, facing the door, with small knives in each of their hearts. Caroline was discovered in her bedroom, for the most part.*)
The doctor squeezes Patient A’s shoulder for reassurance: I know this is hard. I only have one more question. We know you killed Mark, son. But where is he?
Patient A smiles grotesquely at this point, unable to control his joy as he continues to fiddle idly with his watch. He cannot contain his grin and giggles as he continues: Nononono, doctor. This is the fun part. Do you know where I found him? At a whore house. Apparently Caroline and her family wasn’t enough, because tough guy Mark had to find himself a little more tail.
Patient A slams the table, excitedly this time as he hums to himself melodically: He SAW ME! He tried to run!! And where else, the silly little fuck, but into the woods somewhere in North Jersey? I chased him. God, that was the best run of my life. I sprinted like a cheetah, tackling him into some big oak tree once he ran out of breath.
Patient A grins again, looking straight at the video camera as he speaks softly: I didn’t ask him about it. I didn’t beg him to tell me what had happened. I saw that glint in his eye… that same little glint of stone that I now have myself… and I ripped it out of his fucking face.
The doctor shifts uncomfortably as Patient A locks his eyes onto his: Nono, doc, you wanted to hear didn’t you? THAT’S WHAT WE’RE HERE FOR? I ripped his tiny little eyes out of his head first. He was still alive when I did that. Then I took a bowie knife from my car, and Marky Mark said goodbye to his little Marky Mark. Can you believe he was still alive?!?!?!
The doctor moves his chair back as the patient lungs forward again, inches from his face: And then I beat him. I punched him over and over again until there wasn’t any piece that resembled his face. I buried those tiny little pieces in little holes all over the forest… we wouldn’t want those to crop back together now would we…
Patient A grabs the doctor, holding onto his collar as he spits the words into his mouth: And I took his mangled, stinking fucking carcass and I dumped it in the river. ANY MORE QUESTIONS, DOCTOR?
Security rushes in, grabbing hold of Patient A’s arms as he thrashes wildly and laughs hysterically. He latches his legs onto the doorway, hollering back at the doctor before he is pushed through.