Deathly Secrets, Chapter LII

The confessions.

Alexander looks away, lips burning from the words he will not say. Part of him so desperately wants to tell Alina about what started his strange obsession with confessions; the other part shies away from the thought of baring the rest of his heart to the woman who is so perfect, so innocent. Alexander has already said too much. 

"So...the confessions?" Alina asks softly.

"No, Alina. I can't tell you that part. I can't tell anybody that part. I'm sorry." Alexander shudders and closes his eyes, images of the mocking, condescending onlookers crowding his mind. It's been years since the confessions, but every detail is still seared into his memory. Every night, the memory haunts his dreams and spurs him on in his crime.

Every night, Alexander dies just a little bit more.

"Look at this wretched sinner. Look at the way he hangs his head! Look at the way he knows he's headed straight for the lake of fire! Don't you agree that he is fit for no other end than this? Won't you stand with me when I say he is the embodiment of vanity and hopelessness?"

Alina's touch stirs Alexander from the chains of his own past. "Alexander, please. The only way to move on from the past is to face it. You can trust me, Alexander. You can always trust me."

Alexander stands. "It's been good talking to you," he says. "Really, it has been. I appreciate your compassion, Alina. But I wasn't here for sympathy. And the last thing I want to do is burden you with my troubles. I should have known better than to get you involved; I should have known better than to cast all my problems on your shoulders."

Eyes filled with tears, Alina doesn't chase after Alexander as he walks away. Instead, she calls out into the night air, "What about your daughter and her mother? Are they able to recall you to hope?"

Alexander turns and meets Alina's eyes. "They're dead."

And he walks away. He has to find a victim for tomorrow's confessions.

The End

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