Trigger warning: sexual assault, attempted rape
To my Best Friend,
This is my first and only entry.
Thank you for the nice book anyways, Jamie. It’s very pretty. I love green.
I’ll address this entry to you.
Let me start with this;
Loving your job was rewarded oftentimes since hating your job was so normalized. In this form of business, as you very much know, loving your job made you nothing short of a monster.
There are people who are trapped in this way of living, people who kill and lie and cheat more to get out of it. To cling to any semblance of normalcy, any scrap of morals. They do it to try to hide their shameful pasts. People like them fight for freedom. Who muddy their morals further to escape the trap of being a spy.
There are other people who abandon all morals after a few kills. Who already deemed themselves unforgivable. Unsavable. These are the people who either lose all humanity or become the most skilled spies there are. People who no longer care about murder as long as it isn’t someone they are close to. Those whose morals are changed so drastically they skip right over panic to dealing with it. Sometimes those people are born into it.
Then there are people like me. Hypocrites. People who claim to dislike their job but if given the choice wouldn't leave the life they lead. People who are good at nothing but murder and lying.
Even at a young age, I was unnaturally good at acting. Maybe it was my vanity. After all, all my life I was told I was beautiful. So I spent hours in the mirror looking at my own reflection. I pursed my lips and twisted them. Finding which expression made me look more fearsome, or scared or angry, or happy. I shifted my eyebrows looking for which expression made me look more confident or mature or innocent.
I flared my nose, tilted my chin, sucked my cheeks. I tested my voice looking for the one that made me sound sweeter, or scared or angry, or chilling.
So after it all hapenned it wasn’t such a surprise that I was the best. The best liar. The best fighter. The best spy. I didn’t get what the big fuss was. I was always good at convincing people, crafting stories with the little pieces of the puzzle I was offered. Softening the blow when it all exploded in my face.
I guess you can say I was a manipulative bastard. That's what you would call someone like me,, right? But... I dunno... even though I controled everyone around me with a few carefully planted words and innocent looks...I never thought it was a bad thing. Just safe.
Anyway, being the best of the best it's a miracle I ever found a way out. A way out of this line of business. Pheonix, they called me, I
am was infamous for faking my own death during missions. Shaking people off my tail. But you already know that. Here is something you didn't know, how I ended up in this hell hole.
I committed murder... or maybe just killed someone. It was an accident. I didn't mean to kill him.
It was cold. I remember that much. I remember because I wanted to hurry to my car and turn on the heater. I was wearing a little black dress and was slightly tipsy from a night of drinking and dancing.
My heels were hanging from my fingers on one hand and the other was holding a phone, flashlight on, lighting the path ahead. I remember staring furtively at the floor afraid to step on glass and get hurt. I was so distracted that I didn’t notice when someone snuck up behind me and wrapped their wiry, flabby arms around my waist.
The alcohol slowed down my thought process because before I knew it I was swept into the parking lot, hidden in the shadows. He must have been surprised when I offered no resistance. Just following him like a little lamb, maybe the danger didn’t fully register.
I vaguely remember thinking it was Noah, the boy I love. But looking back at it... it wouldn't have made sense since Noah is dangerously skinny and has no flab.
But the moment when his hands cupped my ass was the moment when it hit- the panic.
That was not Noah. Noah… Noah was busy that weekend. And Noah wouldn’t grab me like that. And Noah had short brown hair, not stringy long greasy hair… that wasn’t...that wasn’t my Noah.
'No’ I told him, pulling away, but his hands seemed to be multiplying, his grip tightening. Even tipsy I knew he wouldn’t stop to achieve consent. I had to be smart. So I stopped saying no. Resting my head on his shoulder I remember his cigarette stinking laughter. I even made noises of arousal. The second he let his guard down I landed a clean hit to the side of his temple. Knocked him straight out.
I blame the alcohol but that's not a proper excuse is it? It wouldn't be an excuse for what he tried to do to me. So... I guess I was already screwed up, deep down.
I hated him for what he tried to do. So I kicked his side repeatedly. Hoping that he’ll remember this, how he got hurt. Why he did. Maybe I was high off my victory because what I did next was so unlike me- I took out my new lipstick (what a waste) and wrote his flabby hairy stomach in all caps ‘CREEP’.
Things only went downhill from there- his friend came bounding around. Probably eager to join in on the fun- and his slimy smile pissed me off to no extent. Unlike the CREEP he was actually well-built.
It was too late to try and lull him into a false sense of security. Even then it wouldn’t have worked... the man, I named him ‘PERV’ in my head, would have overpowered me anyway. So I grabbed a wine bottle, heavy glass in my palms, and kept it like a baseball payer would with a bat. Ready to hit.
PERV didn’t like that. He lunged, ready to hurt me... I dodged and hurried behind him, quicking hard to the soft of his knee. The back part. PERV was so focused on catching me and probably really intoxicated it didn’t take much to lose his balance. He fell, his body slumping on the concrete. His head hit the street with a sickening crack.
I stumbled back, ready to make a run for it when... when CREEP came around and noticed the scene. (You can see a crude sketch of it on page #12) His friend slumped on the floor and bleeding from the head and me... standing with damp dreads and wild eyes. He opened his mouth to scream and I panicked- I landed a hard hit on his head. With the heavy bottle.
Maybe it was my fear or the parnoia talking but then I got the idea- I know how stupid it is now- what if I give him a big enough concussion so he can’t report me? Give him amnesia? Invalidate his claims?
I had such a bright future. He can’t ruin it for me. He can’t.
He didn’t... I ruined my own future when I brought the bottle up again and hit it onto his head. Again. And again. And again. I think I was crying.
He was bleeding, I was too.
The difference was, he was dead and I wasn’t.
One man with a severe head injury another dead...
Later a group of people offered to keep my secret in exchange for a few favors. That was how a scholarship university student for anthropology ended up a recruited spy. My attack on them was brushed aside as a bar fight between two hot-headed males.
My name at the time was ‘Margot’ which meant pearl. I changed my name to ‘Renee’ which means ‘reborn’.
I pretended to hate my job. The lying. The killing. But I liked it. I felt important when I stole information from terrible bastards and felt terribly detached when I had to pour poison into their drink. (I think I hate who I am because of it.)
But still, I pretended. Pretended that I wasn't working to be a better spy but to buy my way out of the system.
And here I was.
The same black girl who earned herself a full scholarship was now in a terribly clean room, devoid of anything personalized waiting to be ‘mind-wiped’ and dropped into the normal world.
The room I'm in right now is very boring, Jamie. But I'll describe it anyway. Smooth clean walls, a small cot under a bullet-proof window. A clean but now a little dusty tile floor. The only interesting thing here is the tally marks I carved into the wall with my knife. Every time I see the sunset I add a new line. If the window can be trusted I have been in this room for 4 days.
I used to be someone. Someone good. Margot, the girl I was, she was beautiful and popular and intelligent. Yes, she was a little too good at manipulating others and knowing how to trick the human mind but...I never used my knowledge for evil, not untill that day. The date is exactly, February 19th of 3028.
Margot was a good person. A good daughter. If a little manipulative. Her parents didn't deserve my terrible excuse before my disappearance... being that I was going to run away with my European boyfriend. That I was cheating on Noah.
It stings that they believed me... then again, I am a good
actor liar. I was crying and screaming and everything. I wish Noah screamed too... he just stared at me sadly.
Of course, this can be a lie. I can be waiting for my execution. I wish I was a little more worried. I'm nothing like the uptight little goody-two-shoes from before. I gained a new ability! The ability to not give a shit.
I’ve always liked being good at something. I haven't been anything but a good liar and killer for so long I don't know what I’ll do with myself. Here's a secret; my literal body ached to be on the run, to seduce a bastard then steal from him. To ruin another miserable life.
Such a terrible addiction to have.
Let's talk about why I’m putting myself in the proverbial rehab.
It’s because of you, Jamie. If you ever read this.
My best friend. You actually want out. You hate being associated with us even if you don't do any of the actual killings. You didn't murder someone and try to cover it up... you took your sister's sentence.
Your sister, you claimed, was a genius. She had a bright future and a boyfriend and a life to live.
You said it was a necessary evil.
You are working hard to break out. It's harder for you since hacking doesn't pay as much as fieldwork. For what it's worth... I think you had a bright future too. Have, even.
Because, unlike me, you are selfless.
You, unlike me, are good.
I’m on the poor excuse for a bed right now. My dagger is under my pillow, right next to where I’ll leave this journal for the night.
I know I said I wouldn’t write in this more than once but consider this my continuing the next entry.
But before all of this… I want to apologize.
Jamie, I’m sorry. I tried. But I don’t think I can ever be Margot again. Can you find Noah? Noah Evans (A white boy, I know), used to go to my university. Tell him I’m dead.
I’ll start from when I woke up- if the window was to be believed it was morning.
Breakfast had already been slipped in and was still warm enough. Sticky oatmeal if you were wondering. I know you were. Don’t try to deny it.
Anyway it took a while but eventually I was bored! Yeah.. likcing your bowl loses it’s appeal rather quickly. So… just take a look at all my beautiful drawings. There all you, by the way. (Besides the one with more than one person on it.) Even the one that looks like a poop emoji. Anyway, I was looking around the room for something too draw when I noticed it.
My lovely tally marks, which I carved into the wall with great care, were gone. Someone must’ve painted over them while I was asleep. But… that’s impossible. I would have smelt the paint. And I definitely would have noticed or heard if someone opened the door.
So I head to the wall to check and… it’s an illusion. To hide some type of plaster.
As soon as I touched it the lights flickered (cue cliche drama moment) and Evain stepped in. He was wearing the same things as usual (I know you were wondering), the pointy villain attire. With a candy can stripe tie. Anyway, he made me an offer.
He was friendly.
I can claim that he manipulated me into staying. But you deserve the truth… I wanted to.
He did try to manipulate me though, went on how awkward life will be when I reappear to my family after eloping with someone who doesn’t exist. How my strange talents were going to be wasted ad I’d have nothing.
All things I’ve already thought but amplified to be worse.
Jamie, I’m sorry.
I said yes. I’m not leaving the business. I’m back in.
Jamie, I truly care for you. Love you even.
But I can't imagine being any use elsewhere.
My face to recognizable. I can’t be famous. I don’t even want to be an anthropologist anymore. Not when I buried so many bodies myself.
I’m leaving this in the room because I have no doubt you’ll find it.
They are going to relocate me too… I can’t say where.
Even though I'll miss you plenty.
Never will I forget you.
God forbid, I die before I see you again...but if that happens know that you were good to me.
Love might not be the same for me anymore.
At least, I know for a fact that I love your friendship.
Never will I stop hoping well reunite.
D you understand my message?
We will meet again, I’m sure. Hopefully, you’ll be a free man by then.
Lots of love,