It’s the 12th of June and I am going to die. We all die at some point, but knowing your death is imminent, it changes your complacency about the matter.
My name is Bill Rogers, yes the Bill Rogers you’ve been hearing about. However, you have to know something . . . I did not do what they said I did. I did not kill that little girl, but I did kill the man. In a minute, I am going to stand up and die, but before I do, here is my story.
I haven’t had a home since shortly after I was laid off. At first, I slept in my car, but then I had to sell it. So for the last five months I’ve been sleeping in back alleys and doorways. That is why I was there and saw what I did.
It was getting late; I was on my way to a favored sleeping place. It had been a long day. It’s hard to find work when your clothes are dirty and you are just as dirty. At least I wasn’t hungry. I had found a cornucopia of food behind the Korean’s market down on 7th Street. It was in the man’s dumpster. Once I discarded what was rotten, I had myself a nice salad. It was the first thing I had eaten all day. I can’t bring myself to beg, at least not up to now.
Passing by that abandoned building over on Fairfax, I heard a small voice say, “Please don’t hurt me,” I knew right off it was a little girl’s voice. There was a pleading in what I heard that just broke my heart. Sound is a funny thing, it’s hard to pinpoint where it comes from, but wherever it came from, I decided to make it my business to ensure the little girl was not hurt.
I went into the building and started my search. I went from room to room and then I heard it, the scream. It froze my heart. I rushed to where I thought it came from and blundered into a scene from hell. There before me was a man on his knees, bending over the body of a little blond-haired girl. There was blood pooling on the floor. He had a knife in his hand and he was cutting off her clothes.
My only thought, not knowing the girl was already dead, was to save her. I jumped on the man’s back and we fell entangled. He held onto the knife and slashed me across the chest. But before he could make another swipe, I grabbed his wrist and turned it inward and fell on him. He was dead before we stopped rolling. The knife had pieced his heart.
Without a thought for him, I went to the girl. She was looking at me, her eyes were wide open, but she did not see me. She was dead; he had slit her throat. I knelt down beside her and brushed the hair away from her face. She couldn’t have been more than ten years old. She was a pretty little thing. Then I did something I hadn’t done in a long time, I cried. I cried for the girl and I cried for myself. I did not want to live in a world where something like this could happen.
Then I heard a noise behind me. Turning I saw Teddy. Teddy was someone that I had met at the soup kitchen while waiting in line. I stood from the girl, tears still on my face, and spread my arms. I was silently asking “Why?”
Teddy saw the murderer’s blood on me and ran. I couldn’t run after him, I didn’t care what he thought. I knelt back down and closed the little girl’s eyes and then I prayed for her soul . . . and mine.
Teddy told the police I had killed two people and they came looking for me. I wasn’t hard to find, I was not about to leave that little girl. The police thought I might have a gun and I didn’t tell them otherwise.
I am surrounded by at least fifty cops. They all have their guns drawn . . . that is good.
It is time to die. I stand and point the killer’s knife at the cops. The last thing I hear are the pops of fifty guns. The last thing I feel are the bullets as they take me to a better world.