April 23, 2001
I: Thank you for agreeing with another interview, Reed. I hope it wasn't a problem for you.
Sure. I can't seem to remember it though. Where did we stop last time?
I: Your uncle's death. You were talking about him.
Ah yes, that's right. You were asking me about him. I think I was telling you how I knew he was dead.
I: Yes, and you said you found him lifeless on the floor?
Yes, but at that time I didn't know he was dead. There was barely a sign when I got home.
There was no blood.
The windows were closed. His body was facing down on the floor and for some time, I didn't bother to check if he was still breathing. He usually went home drunk anyway, so him lying down was not such an unusual scene.
When the morning came, a rotten smell woke me up, and his body [inaudible 1:05] ... my uncle's body, remained in the same position, unmoving and perfectly still.
That was how I found out.
It was probably my scream, but the next thing I knew, our neighbors were flocking at the door.
That whole day passed by in almost a blur. I could vaguely recall the police and the men in white clothes, taking my father's body into the wailing ambulance. They didn't even try to revive him anymore. I guess there was no point.
When they got the autopsy results, they immediately informed me, but I didn't understand half of what they were saying. Something about "foul play," a woman whispered in my ear. She probably sensed my confusion.
Her name was Mrs. Smith, or at least that's what they called her. She told me that the culprit of my uncle's death was a poison. They initially thought it was drug overdose as my uncle was sort of a pothead. She said he was lucky to have even survived a day.
Mrs. Smith then asked me what my uncle was doing that day. I told her that he was at work, and that I didn't know anything else. It was true though. I didn't know. Sometimes, he was out gambling. Sometimes, he was out with women. He never really cared to tell me.
The policemen immediately set out an investigation after that. Days had flipped into months sooner than I realized. I had moved out of the house, and the social workers had packed my things. Sometimes Mrs. Smith would visit me in the orphanage. She had kept me updated, but her updates were next to nothing. They said they could hardly find a lead.
It was just hopeless, she told me, and whoever did it must have been a clever one. But I don't know.
Maybe they were just a pack of dimwits.
Even back then, I could not find it in myself to simply accept it. It's not that I loved him so much. It's just I hated people dying on me. I would be an orphan again. I would do the same things again.
I didn't want to accept it.
Perhaps, not at that moment. Not even five years after.
I: So you set out to seek justice?
Justice. Vengeance. What's the difference?
I: How did you do it then? How did you plan it?
What I needed was information. Lots of it. The first place I went to was the police station that handled his case. They were strict about it and I thought I was going to have a hard time. It turned out to be a fairly easy task.
I wouldn't call myself pretty but I had charmed my way around people. The reports and the files I got from the cops were incomplete but they were enough for me to begin with.
I think I spent months of late-night studies and conspiring with the those sketchy gang members in the Brook alleys. I even had to sneak back to my old home and find his work files. I didn't find anything in them though.
It was when I was about to give up. I entered a bar across the street where my uncle once worked. Then the owner of the bar, who claimed he was my uncle's friend, handed me a black coat.
It didn't really matter to me back then. I was about to even throw it away out of frustration. But then, something slipped from one of the inside pockets.
It was a small book.
At that time, I didn't know why, but I could point out that this was it. My tipsiness wore off.
It felt surreal, you know, the first time I held the book in my palms. It turned out my uncle used it as a journal. I didn't even know he read. The fonts were big and there were too much spaces—enough to make it a notepad.
You know what's the first thing I saw?
I couldn't hide it from her anymore, my uncle wrote, the blue ink was slightly faded at the back of the cover.
That sentence made me stop for a moment, my confusion worsened. What was he saying? I didn't understand most of it.
Then it caught my eyes; a badly drawn figure of a girl, holding out the hand (or what probably it's supposed to be) of a man much taller than her.
It was me and him, I supposed. Now I wasn't very close to my uncle. He wasn't my real uncle and we weren't blood related. He was my father's best friend so when my parents died from the fire accident, he adopted me.
I can't bring myself to tell her. His handwriting was a little unreadable, but that's fine I could still read it. It was his language, the way he wrote, that seemed vague.
I: Okay. What else was there? I mean, what else did you find?
He said he felt... guilty?
I didn't mean to hurt her.
I can't remember honestly. I was probably too young. Yes, that's right. I think I was four or five? He said we were in the kitchen and I was throwing tantrums and he lost his temper. I didn't think it was anything unusual though. Don't men usually lose temper anyway?
She was crying, and I left the house until her bleeding stopped.
I still can't remember what he was talking about. But I had this scar here in my upper neck that I didn't know where it came from. Look. It was probably this one. I'm not really sure though.
I had a lot of scars and burn marks around my body that I couldn't tell where they came from.
My teacher once said it was because I was clumsy. Even my uncle said so.
She was an angel, he wrote in the next page. She looked like her mother.
The writings were strange, you know. On one page, he was being positive—sounding pure. Then on the next, it was just pretty depressing. I couldn't describe it. The way he talked about me.
It was weird.
I love her, I love her, he wrote as if he was convincing himself. And I am sorry. She is too precious, too fragile! Anyone who hurts her is nothing but a monster.
And I am a monster.
I: What do you think it meant?
I didn't know.
I didn't know him that much. I told you. We weren't exactly close. He always kept a distance between us. He couldn't even look at me for more than a minute and when our eyes met, there was a strange feeling there, an unsaid one.
He was avoiding me.
He would always come home drunk and he'd sleep until he was late at work. It was a miracle they didn't fire him
But I didn't think he was a monster. Monsters are bad people right? He wasn't that kind of man.
At least not before I saw the last page.
I: What do you mean? What was in the last page?
[Silence: 25:10- 35:10]
Sorry, what did you ask again?
I: What was in the last page?
Yeah, it was my mother.
At first, I thought it was me. There a drawing of a face. My mother and I had the same round eyes. I hated these eyes before, I always thought they were ugly.
I wasn't entirely sure if the illustration was her. It was poorly drawn, but it had my mother's name. It's bizarre. He started talking about loving her then writing how wrong it was.
What was so wrong in loving someone?
I love her so much it killed me.
She said she'll leave him for me.
She said we'll make our own family,
make our own little Reed,
I: Oh, so did that mean that your mother and uncle had an affair?
Yeah, probably. That's how I understood it.
Then he confessed that it was him.
I: It was him?
I didn't know she was there. She shouldn't have died. She shouldn't have fucking died.
What do you think? I may have lost a great deal of sanity now but I could understand that well enough. I didn't know to whom he was writing for or if he's doing it merely for his sake.
Either way, it turned out he was whoring for my mother.
I: But you didn't know that when you were a child.
I: Then--what was your reason?
I: Killing him?
I told you I couldn't remember. I told you I didn't even realize he was dead. Why do I have to keep repeating myself?
You're like other people. You never listen.
I was a goddamn child. I didn't know what was happening.
There was no reason for him to do anything like that to me. Absolutely no reason.
I: Yes. Did he write that on the last page too?
She was like her mother, he wrote.
His handwriting got clearer at this part. I guess it was because he was giving it more thought. I honestly wished he just stopped at that line so I didn't have to remember anything. There was probably a reason I forgot about it. A reason I shouldn't have remembered.
Those same beautiful eyes. Those same hands. Those lips... he started describing me.
But why the hell would he even mistake me for my mother? I was a fucking child.
Why would he do things... with me, that he wanted to do with her?