#11 I, Isabel Scheherazade, Actually SAY Something to the Killer. It’s bad, this scene, it’s bad.
The guy takes his head out of his hands and looks at me, blinking. A lot. He picks up his coffee. Yes? he asks. Can I help you?
I take a big breath. You killed my Mom and Dad.
It’s like I punched him, but with words, not fists. His hands shake.
I wonder if the sloshing coffee scalds his fingers. I hope it does, but then I worry that it must hurt. Go figure.
His eyes dart back and forth like he’s hunting for an escape route.
And see those kids there? I point back at my table without looking. Those are my brothers. You killed their Mom and Dad, too.
I stop. I don’t know what else to say.
We stare at each other. His face collapses, tears spill over his bleary eyes and into his whiskers. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry, he says in a whisper. Sorry. Then he gets up so fast from the table that his chair tips over. He rushes out the door. And leaves his coffee.
I watch the door slam shut after him. I’m in shock or something. I didn’t know I had this in me. Like a robot, I pick up his chair, push it back to the table, wipe up the coffee spills with his napkin, throw the coffee in the trash bin, and walk back to my table.
Mimi watches me over the heads of the twins. She’s horrified.
Not me. I’m hate-i-fied.
(sketches by Ryan Grimaldi Pickard)