Barry watched from the shadows from the other side of the bridge. The two of them were putting on quite a show. Big Ben in the background, snow falling, two lovers wrapped in each other’s arms. He held the umbrella over her like a gentleman. Barry was wet, cold and miserable. Estelle was his until he came along. Or, so Barry thought. Barry had severe psychological issues that he managed to cover up in public. He had hidden them from Estelle, but the more he saw her, the harder it was to restrain himself from showing her that dark and deeply disturbed side.
They met at University. Barry was a genius. Not the type of genius who would apply himself to the problems of the world, but the cold, calculating genius whose aim in life was to defeat Superman. As a matter of fact, Superman had become Barry’s biggest nemesis. There had been others, but Barry eliminated them all. He learned to hide such things from ordinary people, like Estelle, his instructors, his shrink. His mother knew some of it but Barry kept things from her as well, otherwise she could make trouble for him. She tried to warn off Estelle. Barry realized that he might have to eliminate his mother some day. He thought maybe he would even get rid of his shrink. And, that physics instructor who thought he would sit in Newton’s chair one day. Barry showed him. The only chair he was sitting in now was a wheelchair. It was snowing harder now. Why didn’t they leave?
Everything was all too easy for Barry. That’s why he couldn’t understand why he was not able to hold onto Estelle. Barry thought all women wanted to be with a genius. He decided that all it took to sway Estelle was a French accent, good looks and charm. He read about a study that showed human females don’t choose a mate based on looks, but on abilities and earning potential, i.e., a good provider for her and her children. Human males, however, appear superficial and choose based on looks. However, what the male is really choosing is a female who will give them healthy, quality offspring. It was one of the few studies Barry thought provided any useful information. He thought maybe he should have had Estelle read the study. It was getting colder.
They were still there, talking, laughing, and whispering; touching each other. He wondered why they needed to show off in public? That’s what they were doing. It crossed his mind that maybe they knew he was there, watching. Almost immediately, before the thought had completed registering on his synapses, Barry became angry. It was an anger that needed feeding to maintain it and his imagination was happy to oblige. He imagined they were talking about him, laughing at him; making fun of him–of his awkwardness around women. And so, Barry decided they needed to be punished for their offenses. He was cold, even shivering. It was all their fault he had to stand there in the cold.
Barry’s brain generated the thought of leaving but he just couldn’t let go of the feeling of anger. No, it was more like fury; it made his blood boil. It was like a stiff drink of whiskey, burning inside but feeling good at the same time. Like the way suffering through pain made him feel invincible. Barry needed them to feel that pain, especially Estelle. There was nothing quite like the screams of a tortured woman.
Suddenly, he charged out of the darkness, and headed for the preoccupied couple. He would grab her first and heave her over the railing, into the frigid waters below. Then him, how would he take him? The umbrella. He would beat him with it, no, plunge the finial into him. Perhaps he could stab him in the eye, through to that bird brain of his.
Barry was so wound up; so focused on revenge with tactics racing through his delusional mind, that he did not heed the traffic. As he charged out of the shadows, the bus hit hard; ran over him with the front wheels, then the back wheels until there was not a spark of life left in him. It was a gruesome death. Later, when the police paid a visit to Barry’s mother to report his death, she laughed. She couldn’t stop laughing. The officers decided she was in shock.
This story is in response to:
Once More With Feeling #16 @ Cognitive Reflection
Photo Prompt: Credit Kayode Okeyode
Word Count: 744