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Draw A Monster

Please don’t ask me where I work.

I won’t tell you the school. I won’t tell you the city. I won’t even tell you the state. It’s better that you don’t know.

I work as a campus police officer. “CamPo,” as the students call us. And I’ve seen some shit. You’d think it would be an easy job, watching over cushy, privileged white kids going about doing cushy, privileged white kid things. But it’s not. It’s fucking terrifying. And I think that’s because we’ve been conditioned to think that the monsters in this world show themselves. That we can pick them out from a crowd.

“Draw a monster. Why is it a monster?” Janice Lee said that. And it’s a valid question. What makes a monster a monster? We’re so used to book and movie and TV monsters as these deformed, grotesque things. But the truth is that real monsters don’t look like that. They look like regular people. They look like your next door neighbor, they look like your mother, they look like your father.
And sometimes, they look like cushy, privileged white kids.

His name was Joshua Simmons. That’s not a fake name. I know we aren’t supposed to use real names on this sub, but he doesn’t deserve the courtesy of anonymity. It won’t matter anyway. You won’t find anything on him. His hedge fund parents made sure of that. Even after everything, I guess money makes the world go ‘round, and the university ate it up. But I’m getting ahead of myself with this story here.

Joshua Simmons looked like a normal person. And for all intents and purposes, that’s exactly what he was. A normal young adult male of the douchey frat bro variety who thought the world of himself. You know the type. And that’s all I thought of him, too, until the girls started coming in.

There were so many. God, there were so, so many. Freshmen and sophomores and juniors and seniors. Undergrads and grad students. Girls who went here and girls who didn’t. And they all had two things in common, and that was that there was something missing in them that should have been there, something unplaceable but important, and that every one of them was there to talk about Joshua Simmons. And I had to listen to every single one of their stories, and I had to try to tell them that unless they were willing to testify, we couldn’t do a damn thing.
I think… I think at first that I didn’t want to believe it was him. That it could be him, could be somebody I knew, someone I saw every day. I didn’t want to believe that he could just walk around the scenes of his crimes like nothing was amiss, like it was just another day. I wanted to think that it was a stranger, an outsider, or, if it was a student, one of my students, at the very least that they felt guilty about it. That it was eating away at them. That they couldn’t go to class, couldn’t even get up in the morning without throwing up at what they had done. But Joshua did go to class, and he did well. He played in all the football team’s games. He went to all the parties. He kept on living life like no one could touch him. And for a long, long time, we couldn’t.

And then Amy showed up. Unlike Joshua, Amy is not her real name, and I’m not going to tell you what is. It’s all that I ended up being able to do for her, but she deserves that much.

Amy was not like the other girls. “Not like the other girls,” is a statement that’s always grated on my nerves. What does that mean? “Like the other girls?” It doesn’t mean anything. It’s a bullshit qualifier that idiots use to describe their manic pixie dream girl. But when I say that, I don’t mean that she wasn’t like any other girl ever. I mean that she wasn’t like the other girls that came forward.

There was something about her that put me on edge, made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. Something dangerous in the way she looked at people, like she had lost everything and more, had nothing left to lose. “Never put someone with their back against the wall.” My dad used to say that all the time. “Never put someone in a position where they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.” It wasn’t the way she acted, exactly. If I had to narrow it down to one thing, I would say it was her eyes. They say the eyes are the window to the soul, and if that’s true, I don’t know what it says about her because her eyes were dead. Cold and emotionless and wild, like she could rip your throat out with her teeth and not even flinch. And the difference between Amy and the other girls was that she was ready to testify.

The trial was in November, right before Thanksgiving, and I remember thinking that there was nothing to be grateful for. Not for these girls. And Amy took that stand, her back a steel rod, and she told her story. She didn’t cry. Her voice didn’t shake. She didn’t even look at Joshua Simmons, sitting ten feet away from her, smirking like he knew he was untouchable. She told her story, and the entire room was silent. And when she finished, she sat there quietly until the DA asked her more questions. And even those she answered as calm as could be. And when she was dismissed and took her seat, the entire audience began to murmur until the judge called for order in the court.

The rest of the trial was a blur. I know there were witnesses called to attest to Joshua’s integrity. I know his friends were called to verify his alibi. I know that Joshua Simmons took the stand as cocky as could be, and I know that I wanted to use the Bible he swore in on to smash his face into a bloody pulp. But I don’t remember the questions they asked, and I don’t remember the answers they gave. I don’t remember anything after the look Amy gave me when she stepped down from the stand until the judge dismissed the jury for deliberations. After that, I remember waiting, holding my breath, praying that the jury would make the right decision. I remember thinking that the truth was right there, so close that anyone genuinely looking could taste it. How could they not? And I remember the jury filing back in, so soon, too soon, and my stomach dropping into my boots.

Joshua Simmons was found not guilty. And in that moment, I knew. I knew what it meant for someone to be above the law. I knew what it meant for someone to be untouchable. And I wanted to kill him. I wanted to strangle the life out of him right there and then, wipe that arrogant, self-assured smirk off his face and make him understand what it meant to be afraid. But I didn’t. Because I’m an officer of the law, and that means standing by it even when it doesn’t always feel like the right thing to do. Well, I thought, we tried our best. But I didn’t really believe it, and it didn’t feel true. But there was nothing I could do.

And I thought that was that until I got the call two weeks later.
They found Joshua Simmons in an old cabin three hours away from campus. They were able to save him, but I think maybe that was Amy’s intent all along. She was careful with the way she hurt him. She wanted him to live with the memories. She wanted him to live with the scars.

There was a second trial, of course. And I remember thinking, Here we are again. But it wasn’t the same. Not really. A crime that no one really believed was a crime, and a defendant that no one really believed was a criminal.

Amy sat on that stand for a second time and calmly told the story of what she did like she was talking about the weather, like she was completely detached from the person who had done it. Or maybe like she didn’t care. Like she was beyond caring. That’s a scary thing to see. Someone beyond caring. It’s like people lose a little bit of what makes them human when they get to that point.
She described how she approached him at the party, flirted with him, teased him. Enticed him. She talked about how she gave him the drugged drink. Led him on, played his desire like a fiddle until his eyes began to droop and then whispered all sorts of promises into his ear, fantasies that could all come true if he would only leave with her right then and there. And he did.

She led him away from the party and to her car. By that time, he was having trouble walking. By the time they got to Amy’s family’s cabin, he couldn’t keep his eyes open, and he knew. He knew something was horribly wrong, but he didn’t have the strength of will to fight it. “What did you do to me?” he had slurred. “What did you do to me?” And Amy looked the jury straight in the eyes when she gave the answer to that question: “Oh, honey, I haven’t done anything to you yet. And I won’t do anything less than what you deserve.”

She took him into the cabin and chained him to the dining table. One limb to each leg of the furniture. And then she waited until he woke up.

“He wailed like a banshee,” Amy said. “Screaming and crying like a baby. And he begged. Oh, how he begged.” But Amy didn’t set out to bargain with him. Amy wasn’t interested in a deal because there was nothing he could possibly offer her that she wanted. She had a purpose in mind, and she had made a plan, and she was going to stick to it.

He stopped screaming when he saw the knife, she said. “Started whispering, like we were in church. But I’ve learned one thing from all of this, and that’s that God? It’s not real. And if It is, It’s not listening to a damn thing we say.”

She said he started to pray. Started to plead. Started invoking every deity he knew of in between the screaming.

“The skin was so easy to cut through. Like wet tissue paper crumbling beneath my touch.” And by the time she was done, she said, his dick had been split into four long, perfectly shaped quarters. “Like a hot dog cut lengthwise.” She smiled at this, face lighting up for the first time I had seen since she entered my office that fateful day. The day that everything changed.

She didn’t do it all at once. He kept alternating between passing out and waking up in a daze, too high on the endorphins his own brain was releasing to understand what was happening. And she waited. She waited until he would come to, eyes widening in horror and mouth opening on another scream, before she’d continue.

“I asked him if he wanted it,” she said, and her voice went vicious. “I asked him if he wanted me to keep going. And he said no. And I did it anyway. And I told him that he must want it because his dick was hard when I started. And I kept going until it was done.”

The balls came next. She used a scalpel to carefully separate them from each other, and then she used a hammer to destroy them. And when they were flattened, she cut them off, and she sawed off the quarters of his dick, and she told him to eat them. “‘Put them in your mouth,’” she said. “‘Put them in your mouth and suck.’ Isn’t that what you said to me? Isn’t that what you said to all the other girls?” He was crying and whimpering, snot and tears running down the sides of his face, and she forced the bloody bits into his mouth, snapped it shut, and plugged his nose. And he ate them. She made him eat his own genitals, and she did it ruthlessly, meticulously, carefully. Made him drink every last drop of his own blood.

And then she called the reporters. Didn’t tell them what they would find, just that they would want to be the first ones to break the news. Told them where to go and how to get there. Told them the door was unlocked. Told them to bring their cameras. And afterwards, she drove herself to the police, bloody clothes and all, and turned herself in.

“The bastard didn’t even remember me,” Amy laughed. I remember that part distinctly. I remember my heart constricting in my chest and having difficulty breathing because she sounded unhinged when she said it. Beyond caring. Beyond saving.

“He didn’t even remember who I was. He didn’t even remember my name.”

Of everything she said, that’s what made me sick to my stomach the most. Crazy, isn’t it? How the most innocuous things can become what pushes you over the edge in the right context.

The jury was back within the hour. Innocent by reason of insanity. And I wanted to call it a victory, but when I remembered the way Amy had laughed, I knew it wasn’t a win at all. Because she hadn’t lost the trial, but she had lost something else, something much more important and infinitely more lasting than a court decision. And when they took her away to wherever they take the people that society would rather not think about, she looked me in the eyes, and she smiled.

I wonder sometimes how many girls there were. How many didn’t come forward. How many to this day don’t even know, don’t remember enough of those nights to piece together what happened. I wonder how many girls Amy vindicated and how many girls Amy saved. I wonder why sometimes the wrong person takes the fall as a price for their retribution. I wonder why sometimes that price is something that can’t be reacquired. And I don’t know. I don’t know.

Make no mistake, Joshua Simmons is 100% the antagonist of this story. And the things he did were beyond a doubt monstrous. But the most horrifying thing to me about all of this is that I don’t know if Joshua was a monster. I think you could make a case for it. But on nights where the memories are particularly bad, I find myself staring out the window, smoking a cigarette, and wondering whether maybe he was just a person.

Because I want to believe that evil is the real culprit, that people are just a conduit for the darkness to act through. That makes things easier. That makes it easy to justify, to move on. “He didn’t mean it.” “He didn’t know what he was doing.” “He’s learned his lesson.” If the person isn’t inherently flawed, then it’s an outside force acting on the person.

And I want to believe that. I want to believe that so badly. But I think the truth is that he did mean it, and he knew exactly what he was doing, and the only thing he learned was not to get caught next time. Because with people like Joshua, there’s always a next time.

And if it’s not some outside influence, if it’s not a third party that made Joshua do the things he did, then it was just him. It was just a person. Not a monster. Just a man.

And the scary thing is, of course, that that’s what we all are. Just people. And if Joshua could do it, then who’s to say we couldn’t? Who’s to say we aren’t capable of taking a person like Amy and utterly destroying her humanity?

What makes a monster a monster? We’re so used to book and movie and TV monsters as these deformed, grotesque things. But the truth is that real monsters don’t look like that. They look like regular people. They look like your next door neighbor, they look like your mother, they look like your father. And sometimes, they look like the person in the mirror staring back at you. And that’s the most horrifying thought of all.

---by reddit user Novacia via: 


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