The first time I killed a man, I was seventeen. Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big step compared to what I had already done, but it’s harder to kill a man. They’re generally larger (especially next to me), but more than that, they are willing to do almost anything to protect their own lives. And they won’t even consider the implications for the people who care about them like women will, they’re just selfish. They think they have so much to offer the world, when really, anyone could do whatever it is they think makes them so special. Men are more successful because they believe they are worth everything, when in reality, they are worth nothing; while women are so self-deprecating. You can see the cogs turning in a woman’s mind when you kill her; she’s wondering what she did wrong, and why karma is coming to bite her. She will believe vehemently that this is God’s will, and that she will only live if she deserves to. Men, on the other hand, see no reason for anybody to want to kill them. I remember when one man asked me if his wife sent him, which amused me. What had he done to his wife? This man was not chosen. He didn’t do anything wrong. He simply sat next to me on a train.
I had been minding my own business, on the way to see my then-boyfriend in Bolton, just a forty-minute journey from Preston, when he chose to squeeze into the seat next to me. The train was rather busy, but what irked me to begin with was the fact that he had clearly sought out an empty seat with no assigned ticket, which meant he might have not purchased one. He proceeded to pull things out of his old, brown travelling bag, with a handle torn on the left side, and mended with duct tape. He drew out a book, some sandwiches, his reading glasses and a bottle of diet coke. He set himself up a nice little station, taking over half of my table space which I considered rude, forcing his elbows in front of me, the left sleeve of his lilac shirt brushing my arm every few moments. He looked to be in his sixties, clearly was not retired, dressed in smart shirt and trousers, silver round bifocals encircling his small eyes, encased by puffy skin brought on from years of gluttony. His skin was pale and blotchy, and with a bald patch covering the majority of his round, pudgy head, he was not looking too good.
He began by opening his book, 5 People You Meet in Heaven, which he held down with his elbows as he grappled his sandwich out of its packet. He had selected a New York Deli, which had some combination of beef and maybe horseradish sauce and ate it with his mouth wide open. I caught a glimpse of some yellowing teeth as I scrambled for my headphones. Having severe Misophonia does not help in public situations like these. Blasting Blake Shelton into my ear drums, I had to take a minute and relax my brain, scooting closer to the window, hoping that it would envelop me so I wouldn’t have to be in such proximity to somebody with such a lack of compassion for those around him. I relaxed, and picked up my clearly superior novel, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, avoiding breathing in his general direction as the smell of his food was hard to swallow. I had recently painted my nails, so brought a hand under my nose and sniffed the cool, chemical odour, allowing it to reach my cilia so I couldn’t smell anything but, as I took in the words on the page. I decided I needed to create some space for myself and assert some authority since his shirt sleeve kept inching closer, lightly skimming me, making me want to physically peel his skin back to view the veins hidden below. That was when the urge started to creep up on me. Kill him. He appeared to be moving; maybe this was his stop, or he had decided to find a less intrusive position in which to seat himself. Alas, he merely crushed the sandwich packet into his bag and drew out a new packet. To my disgust, it was sushi.
I believe I am a tolerant person. I put in headphones to avoid people’s loud eating habits, I attempt to sit by myself in most public situations so as not to annoy anybody else. If somebody sits next to me, I allow them their own space. I am not particularly selfish in this regard. But I had seen none of those people; in fact, I’d never seen anybody choose to eat fish on a train. It is simply disrespectful. There are fewer smells more pungent than sushi on a train in April. Sushi on a train in August perhaps. Cow dung. But on this particular day, I was faced with this situation. I wasn’t moving; this was my seat, I had paid for it, and if anything, he should move. I tried to breathe my nail polish past the fishy stench currently being devoured by my neighbour to no avail. He slurped his diet coke so loud my headphones couldn’t conceal it and by then, it wasn’t a choice. It was a need. I needed to kill this man. Nobody would mind if I was late. My boyfriend would wait for me.
The man departed the train about twenty-five minutes into the journey, at Blackrod, a rural area inhabited by old people’s homes and nurseries. I followed him off. I mimicked his slow, pathetic plod to the lift. What a lazy idiot. A lift murder would be too obvious. I had to think quickly; although this was a quiet station, it could fill up on a day like this. I raced up the stairs, narrowly skimming him on his way over the bridge to the second lift, and down the stairs to assert the area I was in. The platform he was heading towards had just two people waiting, both absent-mindedly scrolling through their phones, paying no real attention to the outside world. He headed toward the waiting room. God, this man really was a drone. He wouldn’t even sit outside on such a beautiful day. I followed him in and realised he was heading for the toilet. I caught the door, and slipped in behind him. He entered a stall and was in there a good three minutes, fifty-two seconds. Enough time for me to sort out my weapon of choice. The second he exited the stall, I whacked him in the neck with my stiletto, making the smallest of grazes on his puffy white neck, but shocked him enough to send him stumbling backwards, so I could deliver a kick to his gut, leaving him sprawled, half in the stall. I hurriedly tugged his overweight body further into the stall, bolting the door behind me. I took a moment to relish in securing my victim, leaning close in to his neck to smell the rusty moisture oozing from the wound. I decided to kill him in the style of Levi Bellfield, ‘The Bus Stop Stalker’. A fatal blow to the head using a heavy, sharp ended weapon, assumed to be a hammer. This method would be messy if you didn’t understand human anatomy. But it was rather simple. My stiletto heel in the lower right of the back of his head, and there would be minimal splatter, and it would be over quickly. I made a mental note to sterilise that heel before heading out that night.