My name is Mortimer Oldtimer, and I am a villain. I guess I first knew I was a villain when I was 27. Before then I had just sort of drifted through life. You know the guy at high school graduation, when his name was called, all his classmates look at each other and say, "Who is that?" Well that was me. I didn't mind my existence. I mean, yeah, I got left behind a lot of times in life, but it gave me a chance to focus more on my true passion-- watercolors.
I loved to paint. Some days, I would stay in the art room at school until the janitors kicked me out. There was nothing I couldn't do with a blank space and my prized set of watercolors. It was actually my watercolors that got me into Massachusetts School of the Arts.
Now, I know what you're thinking, a villain that went to college? Impossible! But here me out first. I got my bachelors degree when I was 22 and began a six-year graduate program where I would be working with other painters on a new project. We were going to take an old, run down building and turn it into a work of art.
At this point in my life, I was still invisible. But like I said, it didn't bother me. That is, it didn’t bother me until I met Maggie. She was amazing, more beautiful than even my most vivid watercolors. And she had such an understanding of art. The only problem was, I had been invisible for so long, I had forgotten how to talk to a person, never mind a girl.
I had tried over and over again to talk to her, but all my attempts ended in awkward silence. Until finally, some months after I had met her, we were assign to work on a room together on the third floor.
We were actually the first people to begin working on the third floor, so we had it all to ourselves. Maggie and I often stayed up well into the early hours of morning working together.
We began talking. At first it was little things like can you hand me the brush, weather's nice today, I like your smock. But soon the conversations became much deeper and more personal. We poured out our lives to each other in that room.
Things progressed quickly, and my feelings for Maggie grew each day until I couldn't help from saying anything. That's when it happened.
Maggie and I had gotten a lot done on our room and finally progressed to the ceiling. The ceilings were high, and she needed to paint on scaffolding. She was like Michael Angelo painting the Sistine Chapel. I was mesmerized with her skill.
Maggie stopped and stepped back from what she just painted. I looked on from the ground, still in a Maggie induced daze.
"Mortimer, could you bring me some sky blue please?" She asked.
"I love you." I blurted out. It was unplanned, unintentional, but most of all, it was true. I did lover her.
"What?" She said. My candor had thrown her into a shock. She spun around to face me but was met instead by the edge of the scaffolding. Maggie lost her balance and fell 29 feet, slowly spinning in the air. I closed my eyes and shielded my face. With one sickening thud, it was over.
When I opened my eyes, a new black and white world confronted me. Nothing but grays and whites and blacks. The color was gone.
I rushed over to Maggie, but it was too late. A dark pool surrounded her head. It was too much. I began to back away, covering my mouth for fear of vomiting. I turned to run and accidentally knocked over a can of yellow paint. Yes, yellow. Not grey, not white, not black, but yellow. In fact, all of the paints were vivid and bright, unlike the rest of the world.
I looked back at Maggie lying on the hardwood floor. The tip of her paintbrush was a soft purple. That was how I would love her now: by making a mural of the world for her.
In that moment, I became a villain. Now, every night, I dawn my costume, holster my brush, and paint the town and all of its inhabitants.
Sure, maybe not a big time villain like Lex Luther or Johnny McEnroe, but I have more vandalism accounts against me than you could imagine. And the world is a better place for it.