His tea cup was set down with a slight shake of the hand. Aaron clasped his hands together in an attempt to calm his nerves, or at least, hide his anxiety from himself. The leap from fantasy to reality was one he never imagined that he would make. To think, after so many years, he would do the deed that he had only ever imagined. The deed that stimulated his sexual passions nightly. And yet, what he proposed was illegal. He was keenly aware that if he did what he was thinking, there existed the possibility he would be caught.
At the age of 30, Aaron made his way from the poverty he had known as a child without straying too far from his humble roots. A bright and eager student, his teachers encouraged him to go to college, while his blue collar background pulled him toward a world of physical toil for meager wages. He split the difference, attending a local community college and graduating just two years after leaving high school with two things nobody else in his family could ever achieve, an education and hope. Shortly after graduating, Aaron officially became a Registered Nurse, providing him a career of greater means than his family had ever known. It also afforded the young nurse to achieve something else, home ownership. In the coal scarred city in eastern Pennsylvania, he was able to find a house in a working class neighborhood, 3 bedrooms and in need of a lot of work for less than $100,000. The house was to be his money pit. The first few months saw him sleeping on a cot while the renovations went on. But after only a year, the humble home on Adams Avenue had its interior transformed into a contemporary bachelor pad. It was the room in the attic that gave him a special thrill, however. The workmen only repaired the damages and made the small room livable. It was Aaron who took to decorating it with great care after they left.
Walls were painted and then adorned with images of balloons, clouds and pretty pretty ponies. The bedroom of a little girl. Since his youth, Aaron had fantasized about treating a grown woman like a baby. Perhaps it was one of the things that initially attracted him to his chosen field. Once the walls were prepared, he tried his hand at making furniture, fashioning a crib using wood from the local Home Depot and creating a cage around the perimeter of a twin sized bed. He was proud of his accomplishment, yet ashamed at what he was doing. He realized he was taking this a bit too far. This was a fantasy that best remained in his mind.
For the next two years, the room remained largely unused. Every so often, he would find a date with similar interests. However, Aaron soon learned that sexual fetish was hardly the best foundation for a relationship. No, if he was to have a baby girl of his own, it had to be on his terms. While the idea of forcibly making a baby girl had always aroused his passions, Aaron was still a morally sound man. The idea of hurting the innocent appalled him, putting a sickening feeling in the pit of his stomach. Aaron was resigned to the likelihood that his fantasy, despite the well decorated nursery he had created out of passion, would go unfulfilled. Then, he met Corina.
Corina was a teacher and the girlfriend of his best friend Steve. While sweet and charming at the very beginning, everyone soon saw a different side of her that Steve refused to acknowledge. Things began slowly enough with her forcing Steve to get rid of his golf clubs despite his love for the game. But things soon escalated. Against the advice of friends and family, Steve, a pharmacist, opened a joint checking account with his girlfriend. He co-signed a loan for her new car. All the while her grip on him was growing. Despite both depositing their paychecks in the joint account, Corina’s withdrawal’s far exceeded any money she put in. He bought her expensive jewelry. Eventually, Steve asked Corina to move in with him, but she refused, saying that was a privilege she wanted to save for marriage. Steve compromised by paying her rent. All was well for Steve, until one day when he surprised her at her place. Entering through the front door, he saw her there, on the couch, with another man. Worse yet, a heart broken Steve was confronted with Corina’s wrath as she berated him for coming into her apartment unannounced. The anger and the hurt became too much and Steve ended his misery with the help of a .40 caliber hollow point bullet.
Corina didn’t come to the funeral. Instead, as Aaron and Steve’s other friends and family gathered at his graveside, Corina called his insurance company, verifying that Steve had made it past the suicide exclusion in his policy and that his beneficiary designation had been changed to her before his death. For leading Steve to take his own life, Corina gained $75,000 tax-free, while his mother, a waitress, had to cash in her retirement savings to bury her son.
Aaron sat on the back porch of his house with a beer idling in his hand. He was too sad to cry. On that very porch he and Steve toasted to the “sweet life” every Friday night. Steve was a true friend, and now he was gone. Corina came into Steve’s life and trashed it like a rock start in a fancy hotel, even going so far as to gleefully financially ruin Steve’s mother. She used part of her money to pay off the car, and the rest, well, who knows? It was then that Aaron’s hatred of her began to mingle with his other passions.
Aaron never believed that a person is truly evil. But sometimes a person is hurt so badly in their youth that they go on to do evil things later on. It was a shame. There was once a time when Corina surely was innocent and sweet, when nobody could imagine her bringing a man to his death and spending his life insurance money on her own selfish pleasures. Maybe she just needed a stronger father figure in her life. And that was it, the connection was made. The trap was set. Aaron refused to harm the innocent, but perhaps he could reform the wicked.
Over the next few months he studied his best friend’s ex-girlfriend’s every move. Since the death of Steve she had been seeing a gentleman by the name of Todd, the very same gentleman Steve caught her with that fateful night. Todd was an auto mechanic and part-time janitor at the school where Corina taught. Part of his motivation for pursuing the schoolyard shrew stemmed from an inferiority complex he had developed years before. Upon graduating from high school, Todd enlisted in the U.S. Army, kissing his high school sweetheart goodbye as he went off for a two year deployment to South Korea. There, he advanced quickly to Sergeant and began supervising others in the motor pool, an important man with his future ahead of him. His girlfriend, however, went to college and soon became embarrassed by her blue collar lover overseas. She began to spend time with a senior named Andy Kilpatrick, pre-law and a political science major. Kilpatrick was a worldly young man who appreciated the finer things in life, introducing her to opera, symphony and art. Slowly she drifted away from Todd but neglected to inform him. When he came home in his Class A uniform, he went to his girlfriend’s home only to find her on her way to the theater with Mr. Kilpatrick, then a first year law student. All Todd wanted was an explanation, but all he got was arrested. As the cruiser drove away he looked from the back seat window as Andy laughed at the “low life” who thought himself worthy to enjoy the company of a college student with a future which did not involve grease at all. Todd then harbored a resentment to the rich and the well-off. When he learned that the reasonably attractive Corina was dating a handsome pharmacist, Todd felt his blood boil and leaped at the opportunity to turn the tables and cause someone else pain.
Aaron knew all too well that people go missing all the time. What makes a person who goes missing a “missing person” however, is someone to miss them in the first place. Corina’s parents lived in Texas and were frequent European travelers. As such, they communicated largely by postcard and didn’t pay much attention to lengthy gaps in between. So, the only person who might reasonably miss her would be Todd. Aaron was hardly going to resort to murder. No, Aaron didn’t want more death, just a little bit of justice. Some light investigative work told Aaron that Todd was a drug user. Heck, most of it was on Todd’s MySpace page. Aaron found his solution. While he was hardly Tony Montana, Aaron found a weak spot that was about to be exploited.
Buying the drugs was the easy part. Breaking into Todd’s 1985 Plymouth wasn’t much more difficult. He sat at a coffee shop across the street from the school and placed the call to the police department. About how he saw what looked to be a drug deal out of a powder blue Plymouth. sedan. Less than an hour later, Todd was under arrest and his picture smeared all over the front page of the local paper. Being accused of selling drugs was one thing, but being accused of selling drugs at a school was an even bigger animal, especially for a man who would surely test positive for residual illegal substances in his system.
With Todd out of the way for, well, a while, Aaron set to planning the regression of Corina. After three weeks of watching, waiting and planning, he believed he was ready. And there he sat, sipping his tea periodically as he reflected on the evil that had been done, and upon the wicked deeds he himself had committed. Was he fooling himself? Was all of this to avenge Steve? Or was he just using Steve to rationalize his felonious acts. If that were the case, he was no better than Corina and Todd. Maybe Ayn Rand was right, we’re even selfish in our altruism. Either way, Aaron shook his head. Now was not the time for jitters. He set his tea down and watched the sunset, it was going to be a very long night.