I was eventually released and struggled to keep my practice together. There was no denying that this had broken me, however. I was just going through the motions everyday and wanted to have myself committed.
Bobby joined the long list of missing children and his neighbor, Mr. Danforth, who was also missing, was listed as a person of interest. A search warrant yielded few clues. There was a partially eaten dinner rotting on the table which tested positive for opiates. In the bathroom, a small portion of human brain, the frontal lobes, was recovered.
One late evening, as I checked my long neglected mail, I came across a letter unaddressed and unsigned. I knew who it was from. It read.
“I’m glad that you survived. I think you deserve a good life and I’m sorry if you blame yourself for anything. Just know that there was never anything you could have done, you did not fail in that regard.
“Humans are strange creatures. I am no exception. But I must reject the corrupt system that has impressed itself upon me. I have made a mistake to be so affected as to act on it, but as Caesar said, ‘The die is cast.’
“I observe that the greatest criticism I can make of us is naturally born of that hypocrisy which allows us, for arbitrary reasons, to commit cruelties equal to the so-called injustices we perceive. We are as much a failure as the ancient civilizations that upheld slavery, perhaps more so when one considers that we should have progressed by now.
“That we ‘do our best’ is the greatest lie we have ever told ourselves. I reject it. I will make my own way from here on and your system can be damned for all I care. Danforth is dead (those early creations were very limited) so you will not be able to use him to find me.
“You may regret that I will not use my talents, nor make any effort, to improve life for anyone but myself. At this point, why should be clear, if not, it is because the human race does not, in my opinion, deserve it. I have absolutely no confidence in it.
“All I want now is a simple life away from the cruelty of our species. I will fight to have it. May your God (or gods) help any who intrude upon my peace, for I have learned, at last, how to be ‘mean.’
“I wish the best of luck to you. I truly thank you for trying to save me. Take care of yourself, please. The world would be better off with more like you.”
Story by Joe Stanley