bah hambug, indeed
Jason could be, what most people considered to be, a modern day Scrooge. The holidays simple brought him little to no joy, for reasons that he kept close to his vest. Even his closest friends didn’t know the entire story with what had happened on that fateful Christmas Eve so many years ago. It was never something that he wanted to relive because he didn’t even know what had happened to her. Perhaps she was married now, found a man that was far better than he could have ever been. It was likely the case. She had been such a beautiful and smart woman.

It wasn’t like him to do this but something had been compelling him to look her up, just so that he could see what kind of life she led. He needed to see if she was happy because, in some way, he didn’t want to be the cause of her demise. He had done enough harm that fateful day and he didn’t need to know that it had lingering effects on her. At least not the same lingering effects it had on him to this day. Even though Jason had casual relationships over the years, he couldn’t let them in. When he finally felt that he was able to he had ruined that with the same cold fist and he wondered if, perhaps, he was just some kind of monster.

He was some kind of monster when he thought about it. He was an awful human being most days; cunning, manipulative, awful human being who covered up everything with a sly smile. For the longest time it was all he knew and he didn’t want to change now. He had accepted the fact that he would never be a good human being. There was a part of him that felt like he didn’t have to be a good or better person. He was exactly who he was going to be and there was nothing that anyone could do to stop him. It had started all those years ago when he had been trapped up in that attic with his grandmother beating him. He had to be smarter than everyone else because he needed to plot his next move.

He sat at his computer in the private of the cold December evening, glass of scotch sitting next to him as he pulled up a web browser. Slowly, he typed her name into the system and looked to see if perhaps he would get a hit. When he did he clicked on the first thing that came up. It was her professional page for her private practice. There was a bit of pride that had washed over him because he had always been proud of her. She was smart, she was beautiful, and he had always known that she could do anything that she put her mind to. He scanned through her biography and got to the last sentence, the one reserved for a spouse or any kind of family. There was nothing there. For a moment he felt his stomach drop because he wondered if this was his fault or, perhaps, she just didn’t want to include that information in her biography. She was in Maine, though, so not too far and, ironically, the same place that he had gone to fix himself earlier in the year. Without thinking he grabbed his keys and drove up to Maine.

He didn’t know where she was living and, considering it was the weekend, he wasn’t sure that he would even see her. The drive up was lonely and he wondered why the hell he was even doing this. There wasn’t anything he could possibly gain from seeing her and he wasn’t sure that he even wanted to talk to her. Essentially, he was a glorified stalker right now. Once he was one his way, though, there was no stopping him and he just continued on, in hopes that perhaps he would come up with a plan somewhere along the way. He had to come up with something because this would be a waste if he hadn’t.

When he had arrived he pulled out the tiny pocket computer that was called a smartphone and googled her again, seeing if perhaps he could find some kind of address for her. He was in luck because he had hit the jackpot and now, now he was a glorified stalker. It didn’t matter to him, he plugged the address into his GPS and found his way to her place, pulling past it in his car and pulling up just past it, parked his car and sat there, inspecting the place. It was a respectful house, something she no doubt bought thanks to all of her success.

Then he saw her come out of the house and he hadn’t seen her in years, since she had left, all those years ago. Almost fifteen years ago and he couldn’t understand why he was there. Perhaps it was more or less to gain a sense of closure but he didn’t get out of the car. Instead, he watched her slowly as she got into her car and she drove right past him and he waited a moment before he followed. She was driving to the grocery store and he didn’t want to follow her in, not there. Instead he parked a couple of spots away and watched as she entered the store. She came out about twenty minutes later with a couple of bags filled with items that were tossed in her car. She drove away thinking none of the wiser that someone had been following her and he settled back behind her to her home. When he arrived he saw her unloading the groceries out of her car and he put the car in the park and got out.

“Maggie,” he said with a tremor shaking in his voice. She looked up with horror and fear, no doubt recognizing the voice that said her name. When they locked eyes he thought she might drop her bags on the ground but she didn’t, she stood her ground. “What the fuck are you doing here? How the hell did you find me?” He stopped approaching and wondered why he was even here. This didn’t seem right at all. “The internet is a strange place.” It was all he could say to justify that. She shook her head and threw the few bags she had in her back seat again and approached him. She was still so beautiful up close, even though they were older now. “So you’re stalking me? Why now, Jason? Do you honestly think that seeing you is going to make me feel better? Especially this time of year? I’ve never forgotten and I will never forgive you for what you did to me. Ever. I can be calm and cool and collected because I don’t want to disturb my neighbors but the rage I feel inside right now…” she drifted off and slapped him hard across the face. It stung and he didn’t say anything, he took it and turned around and got back into his car, driving away, not looking back to see her tears in the cold. He couldn’t do that again.

Bah humbug, indeed.