If you found this note in a small wooden box with a heart on it, then *congratulations!* You are probably the first person to read this. I didn’t really plan on sharing this with anybody, but for some reason I think it’s exciting that somebody out there, a complete stranger, will come across this note and read my story. Someone I will never meet, sharing such a personal bond with me. I’m fascinated that either one of us could die - even as soon as tomorrow - with the other being completely clueless to the fact. To you, my entire life is within this note, and so I will live for as long as your memory can carry me. Writing this, I’m wondering if that makes you feel fascinated or violated. It’s so exciting.
I’m sorry if my story is a bit disorganized, but I’d like to get it down while it’s still fresh on my mind. First, I’ll tell you a little bit about myself. I’m a first-year college girl and have led, by most standards, a pretty unspectacular life up to this point. I grew up in an upper-middle class school district with decent teachers. I did track in middle school and some of high school, and I’ve had two boyfriends. Now, I’m studying for a career in occupational therapy, because I feel the field is undervalued and provides tremendous help to people.
I’m giving you this background because there’s this strange misconception that if you want to kill someone then you’re either sick in the head or you have anger management issues. But, it’s very apparent that I don’t fall into either of those categories. It’s true that most murder cases are in a domestic setting where someone loses control of their anger or something. But the thing is that those people kill under provocation, whether by a singular outburst or by a slow-burning series of misfortunes. Those people kill because in that brief moment, they want a specific someone, for a specific reason, to be hurt or killed.
What I’m talking about is wanting to kill someone for no specific reason, maybe just to see what it’s like. Do you ever get that? I wouldn’t know how others feel, because it’s not something I ever talked about. But I’ve been curious about what it’s like to kill someone ever since I was a child. Not killing anyone in particular, just a random person. It’s always just fascinated me that if I put my mind to it, I can approach anyone, and in five minutes they would be completely gone from this Earth.
But I’ve never done so for a couple of reasons. First of all, for most of my life it was logistically impossible for me to do it without getting caught. I only got my driver’s license a couple years ago, and even then, the preparations would take too much time, definitely stirring suspicion. It was only once I started college that I realized this was no longer an obstacle.
Another reason is that I was afraid of causing harm to too many people. You might laugh reading that, at how hypocritical it sounds. But, let me explain: Why should I feel bad about killing someone if they’re too dead to care? Who would I be feeling bad for? Contrarily, it’s the grief of the living that I’d rather not be responsible for. Because of this, I knew it would take a good deal of research before finding a suitable person to kill, and I’ve never had the means to do so - again, until I started college.
And now, having just experienced it, I’d say it was pretty satisfying in the end. Something I would try again? Probably not, since my curiosity has already been satisfied. It really wouldn’t be the same a second time.
But anyway, if by any chance you’re also curious to kill someone, then you’re welcome to take notes. :)
I started a hobby of people-watching soon after I entered college. People-watching is interesting to me because it’s taking one of the infinite extras in your life and turning them into a main character - without them knowing, of course. It’s so easy to forget that every single one of the hundreds of strangers you pass every day has a life story as deep and complex as your own. One thing I noticed about people-watching, and wanting to kill someone, is that you are in more constant awareness of this. When I find a person to observe, their story slowly becomes more clear to me over time, gaps being filled - it really is amazing.
I usually went to grocery stores on weekends and looked around in people’s shopping carts. If I saw something that interested me, I decided to observe the person for a little bit. Of course, since my goal was to find someone to kill, I ruled out anyone who had children or a partner with them. Wedding rings were another tell-tale sign.
So maybe once a weekend, I would find someone who fit my criteria, at which point I would follow them home and note their address. From there, it became incredibly easy to investigate a little bit more; most people have normal work hours, meaning I could spend afternoons going through their mail or looking around in their house. I repeated this with several people (and had one close call), but for varying reasons I didn’t really feel satisfied enough with them to kill any of them.
I started getting a bit impatient and thought that I might just settle for killing the man named Devon, even though I didn’t really want to kill someone wealthy. But then, I came across someone new - someone who just, felt perfect. The feeling only strengthened as I investigated her further, and I knew that she would be the one for me to kill.
A young-looking woman I met at the grocery store, as per usual. She was doing some light shopping with a basket. Her hair was wavy and dark brown, sitting inelegantly on her slumped shoulders and surrounding her tired-looking face. Her bare fingers told me she might be single, but beyond that, my gut was almost certain of it. This woman just seemed so…plain, really. I guess I felt a greater acuity for the personal lives of strangers ever since I started my people-watching. But the way she carried herself, I just got the feeling that if she suddenly died, nobody would be around to miss her. Of course, I still wanted to investigate her a bit.
I followed my usual routine of checking out her place during her work hours. I learned immediately from her mail that her name is Linda Watson. Linda lived in a quiet apartment complex, her mailbox easily accessible right outside her door. Instead of quickly shuffling through it, I decided I could take her mail back to my dorm and return it before she was finished with work (she only lived about 15 minutes from me). I did some research and learned how to open and reseal the envelopes without damaging them, which took some technique along with a hair dryer, rubbing alcohol, and Q-tips.
This made it easy for me to learn a little more about her. Linda was a 33-year-old woman who worked for a small accounting firm - I’d rather not name the place outright. Her birthday was December 11th which, coincidentally, was approaching in a couple weeks. I also managed to find a bank statement that gave me a nice look into how she’s been spending her past month. It was at this point I realized that my assessment of Linda Watson as an extremely plain woman was pretty spot-on, because there was absolutely nothing interesting on the list. A trip to Old Navy, a bunch of Starbucks, something about $40 from Amazon - no restaurants, no movies, nothing that would really imply she was spending any time socializing. That aside, I also found a cooking magazine, so I guess she was into cooking.
Apartments are harder to break into than suburban homes, because there are fewer doors and windows. Every time I got Linda’s mail, I would check the front door and the windows in the back, but they were always locked. This was a bit frustrating because I was really interested in getting into her house. So, I came up with a sort of plan that I thought would be fun, even if it didn’t work.
Last Saturday, I visited Linda Watson’s apartment complex as I would on weekdays. The difference is that this time, I wanted her to be home. I thought it would be interesting to have a conversation with her. If I got lucky, I could take advantage of the situation to discreetly unlock a window from the inside. So, I walked up to her door wearing nothing warmer than a light sweatshirt, and knocked. The adrenaline rush was crazy. I was afraid I might screw something up.
The door opened, and in front of me stood Linda Watson, exactly as I remembered her from the grocery store. It was at that moment, making eye contact for the first time, that I realized I was running the risk of beginning to care about this person. As selfish as it is, I couldn’t kill a person I cared about, even if it’s a 33-year-old woman standing in a doorway with a slightly perplexed look on her face, giving me a reserved “Hello.”
Arms crossed from the cold, I shyly returned Linda’s greeting. I explained that I was walking my dog near the woodsy area behind the back of her apartment, and that he had gotten away. I had been looking for my dog for an hour and was wondering if Linda may have seen him roaming about. Of course, Linda sympathetically apologized for the situation and that she couldn’t be of use to me, but that she would keep an eye out. I wore a defeated expression in response, apologizing in return for troubling her.
It somehow went exactly as I had hoped - Linda invited me inside to warm up a bit with some coffee. I outwardly hesitated before accepting her offer, although on the inside I wanted to jump through the door and hug her for cooperating so well. And that’s how Linda Watson ended up with a 19-year-old girl next to her on the couch - who knows if it was just a nice gesture or if she really has no better way to spend her Saturdays than talking to some kid she just met (who happens to be interested in killing her).
Linda soon learned that my name is Maria (it’s not) and that I attend the nearby community college (I don’t). I was a little bit nervous that she would ask me too many questions because I didn’t have many answers prepared. I was able to steer the conversation toward her, and she was pretty happy to talk. I asked what she does, and she told me that she works for the accounting firm I already knew about, communicating with outside clients and keeping records. I told her I was pretty nervous about growing up. She told me to enjoy college and to make lots of friends because there’s less opportunity once you start working.
When I asked if she was married or anything, she laughed. Of course I knew she wasn’t married, but I wanted to hear more about her love life. She said that she doesn’t currently have a boyfriend (I guess she’s at least had boyfriends, but who knows how long ago). When I asked her about kids, she said she doesn’t want them until she gets a better job. On top of that, she told me that her family has a history of some genetic diseases such as arthritis and depression, which she is afraid to give to her kids.