View Full Version : Guilt (CAUTION: Violence/Triggers)

paul wojnicki
09-23-04, 09:19 AM
I sat there and stared at my poem. Where had these words come from? How had I crafted such a thing? I read the letter that had come with it, it said I had won the £5,000, unbelievable. They said my poem would be published in a book "the hearts content". I sat back in my cell and thought of the boy in the poem and how we had killed him. He had been the biggest boy in the class, but that didn't stop us persecuting him. Tormenting him everyday. I tried to imagine him getting up in the morning, getting ready for school. Did he dread school? Probably. I thought to how he had befriended me when I was new to the school, he was the first to do so. I'd had some happy times with him, i was innocent then. Then I sold out, I wanted popularity. Friendship with Martin and popularity were not a happy couple. It had to be one or the other, so it was goodbye Martin. I may as well have stuck a stake in his heart, he was never the same after the night of the Danny's party. I remember that it was November 4th, because it was mischief night.

Martin hadn't even gone to the party but as we all left, we came across him. He was playing, alone, on the swings. There must have been twenty of us, when Martin saw the gang he expected the worst and ran. We gave chase. Martin was big, but he was clumsy and we soon caught up with him. One of the boys, Richard Hall, rugby tackled him and then everyone began kicking him. I moved back, I had no wish to hurt Martin but I wasn't about to help either. Then I spotted him through the crowd of boys kicking him. He was curled up in a ball, his hands over his face. But through his fingers I could see his eyes, wide with terror. They were looking straight at me, pleading with me to help. I had turned away and held back my tears.

My poem was dedicated to Martin, or Gappa as we called him. I hadn't thought of him in 15 years until last month when i wrote the poem. They say that you can block out guilt in order to cope with it. I guess thatís what I had done. But now I had time on my hands. I had nothing to do, but remember. I read my poem again and was surprised to find that I was crying. I looked around to make sure no one could see me and then I sat back in my bunk. Where had those words come from? They were beautiful, yet tragic. Every single word was loaded with emotion. Feelings I had repressed for so many years had spilled onto that page. Was it my second victim that had sparked my creativity, after all until his death i had only ever read the Sun, let alone written anything. He was called Martin too. Two Martins, one killer, one poem. Which Martin was the poem really about. It was dedicated to the first but I would give the £5,000 to the family of the second, if they would met him while we were both working in Italy. We had both worked for accept it from his killer.

I had known my second victim for 5 years. We had been inseparable, best friends. Then I killed him. We had lived remarkably similar lives, we had both worked at Butlins holiday worlds too and it turned out we had even been on the same course in the same university. Though he had been in the year below me. We supported the same football team, Barnsley. We even liked the same sort of girls, sometimes the exact same girl. After moving back from Italy, Martin and I rented a flat together in the student area of Leeds. Here we had found a great nightlife and a constant stream of girls that were young and without inhibitions. We worked as cocktail bartenders in a trendy bar and were known to many people in the area. Life was great for the two of us, one long party. Until November the 4th, mischief night.

On November 4th I set off to work like any other night in my blue Fiat punto. It was a busy shift as their was a flair competition. All the best bottle spinners in town were there competing for the £1,000 1st prize. I was hopeless and eliminated in the first round but Martin was amazing. He pulled off a series of stunning moves and the watching crowd cheered him on. As with all these events, the booze was flowing freely and I was shooting Jagermeister as I worked. At the end of the night Martin was clutching a cheque for a thousand pounds and had picked up a girl called Alena, from the Slovak republic. We had both had our eye on her for a while. I have to admit, I was jealous.

On the 8th of november 1986 Mr Armitage, our head teacher, stood solemnly before us in assembly. He had, he said, some tragic news. Martin Jacobs had died yesterday in Wakefield hospital. He had hanged himself at home, leaving no note. The teacher asked that if anyone knew why he might do such a thing that they should come forward. The family were desperate to know. They had lost their only child and had no reason, as far as they knew Martin had been perfectly happy. I wanted to go to Mr Armitage, I wanted to tell him what had happened. But I knew I was more guilty than any of the rest. They had always shown contempt for Martin. I had been Martins friend. I had been the one that betrayed him. I was the reason he was now dead.

We climbed into my car; Martin, Alena and myself. He was ecstatic, it was the first time he had won first prize. He talked endlessly about how we should move to London. these competitions were much more frequent there. And what would I do in London? I wanted to know. I could be his manager he told me. I was getting a little annoyed with how carried away he was getting. Your not bloody Tom Cruise, I thought. You're just another god damn bartender, there are thousands of us. I was driving too quickly, I wanted to get home. I couldn't be bothered listening to his bragging anymore. I saw the lights ahead turn green and put my foot down. Then I realised the car in front was turning right. But it was too late. We smashed straight into the back of it. As the car twisted around us I looked at Martin. Just past him I saw the truck getting closer. Then it hit us.

Back in 1986 I hadn't gone to Martins funeral, none of us did. It was as though his parents had kept it a secret. But afterwards I decided to scour the grave yard looking for his grave. I would say my final goodbyes and apologise for my treachery. It didn't take long to find the grave. There were a bunch of kids from my school stood at the far end of the graveyard. Well at least other people want to pay their respects, I thought. But as I got closer i realised that they were laughing. One of the boys was urinating on the headstone. Then another did do. I moved forward, angry. As i reached them I realised they were taking it in turns to **** on the grave. I said nothing, I just stood, entranced, and watched.

Amazingly Alena and I were virtually uninjured. My punto had turned sideways and the truck had struck the front passenger side before stopping properly. Martin was cut out of the wreckage by the fire brigade, but he was already dead. I didn't go to his funeral either. I was warned away, the parents didn't want me there. They came to my court appearance however. They sat there as I was sentenced to 5 years. I remember Martins mum shouting at the judge. She wanted more. I had killed her only child. Another Martin cut down in his youth because of me. Another friend that I had let down.

I know guilt. He shares a cell with me and torments me in the night. He shows me pictures of two boys and plays a montage of happier times in my fitful sleep. He never seems to visit victor in the bottom bunk. Victor sleeps soundly despite his horrible crimes. No, guilt sits on the end of my bed. I'm the one he wants. But guilt has a talent. He knows all about poetry, and tells me what to write. Those beautiful words that won the £5,000, that are to be published in that book. Those aren't my words. They belong to guilt.