His Wicked, Wicked Heart

The lying, the cheating, the selfish seeking of personal satisfaction,
all started early in his life. The cause - who can ever truly know
the cause of such a life - may have been genetics, parental disposition,
falling in with the wrong peers. Does it matter any longer? No.

His nature first manifested when a toddler, then as a difficult child.
He ate what he liked, slept when he desired, never seemed to learn
to mind. His parents always said, “He does whatever he wants, while
managing to never do what he dislikes,” his behavior staying a concern.

Examples abound: As a lad, his father bought him a desired BB gun
for shooting paper targets, but he promptly killed a beautiful red bird,
which his father considered a cardinal sin. A life of violence had begun.
A troublemaker, a bully at school, he started fights for reasons absurd.

An adolescence filled with days cutting school, nights awash in booze,
bad girls, and drugs led to an adulthood of constantly being out of work,
barroom brawls, nights in jail, a man tattooed and pierced, one whose
attitude was that being responsible, getting married was only for a jerk.

But then,…then she enters his life, or, more precisely, he enters hers.
They meet at their apartment complex’s laundry room. She smiles.
He talks. He excites her. He is so different from the men she prefers
to date. She hesitates…then falls victim to his sexy, manly wiles.

They go out. His rough, rowdy manner frightens her rather much,
but he is persistent in his pursuit. “I can change. I promise I‘ll change.
I can become what you want.” And he does change, even quitting such
bad habits as drugs, brawling, and other women. They make a strange

mismatched pair - he the very epitome of bad, she of purity and good.
She begins to fall in love. Still she thwarts all his advances toward sex.
Several months show steady improvement. He always acts as he should.
“I am going to be the man of your dreams,” doing better than she expects.

“With you in my life, I will be a better man. You must agree to marry me.”
To the sheer horror of her family and friends, they now become engaged.
“He has always been misunderstood. He’s a good man, you all will see.”
Soon, he has won her complete trust. He educates her about sexual ways.

She is so happy, planning their future together as loving man and wife.
Then, she comes home to find him high on drugs and in an evil mood.
“Why aren’t you at your new job?” she asks. “I quit. That working life
ain’t for me. I spent all afternoon with some old friends, the kind who’d

not be good enough for prissy you.” Tears flow. “Why are you doing this?
I thought you loved me!” “Love you? You were no more than a conquest,
a challenge. I’ve gotten what I wanted from you now. You think I’d kiss
my way of life goodbye in order to jump through hoops for you for the rest

of my days.” She goes to him, trying to caress him. “I know that you are
just upset. You are better than this.” Angered, he grabs her by the hair,
punches her in the face twice, throws her across the room. “So far
you’ve never seen the real me.” Smiling, tapping his chest, “In there

beats a wicked, wicked heart. You think you are so good. Well, I pity you.
I do whatever I want. I am a happy man. Girly, you need to open your eyes.
This is true life, not some poem or silly fairy tale. Please tell me why do
people like you think I want you to save me? Such thinking I truly despise.

“You, not me, are the pathetic one!” She stands up. “You may think your way
of living makes you happy now, but in truth your selfishness and the pursuit
of self-gratification is so shallow that it can only end with one result. The day
will come when you’ll look into the mirror and you’ll have disappeared. Acute

awareness of being devoid of substance, your loneliness, the overwhelming lack
of love in your life shall leave your heart black, withered.” Eager for him to depart,
she calls the police to escort him out. He gets furious and foolishly fights back.
When he pulls a gun, the policeman shoots him dead in his wicked heart.

Harry Edward Gilleland      03.08.03