A Kinder, Gentler World
Celia, there are two things that I need you to understand before I can go on my way. The first is that I never loved you. The second is that I murdered your brother.
You werent the first girl I engaged in intercourse with, Celia, you werent even the first girl I recognized perfection in, although I can barely recall those other darling beauties first names now. Ah, the passage of time. Ah, the maze of memory, the veil of the ideal. Summertime is often terrible, Celia, you have to understand, I grow lonesome in my library, I grow lonesome writing my letters and petitions. Summertime is the worst for me, Celia, I wont try and hide my shame, summertime is cruel and preposterous.
Do you remember when we met? You probably believed that was the first time I laid eyes on you, but it isnt true. Id seen you on the terrace of that café many times. Id seen you in winter and Id seen you in spring, but alas, summertime, ah, in summertime, how everything turns so tragic in summertime.
Well, its not like I had trouble charming you, anyway. Its not like I had trouble getting an invitation to dine with your family, its not like I ever suspected it would be anything but simple to get what I wanted from you.
Celia, do not chagrin me. Do not use those words, Celia, they sound so ugly from your pretty mouth. It was not your fault. It was not your brothers fault; I hesitate to say it was even my fault. But I cannot stand to be disrespected, Celia, I simply cannot tolerate it.
Perhaps if he hadnt been a painter. Perhaps if he hadnt loved you and wanted you for himself. Perhaps if youd both had a better upbringing, perhaps in a kinder, or a gentler world.
No, Celia, I did not love you, but I found you beautiful. I found in you the sort of perfection that I ache for every time I go into the world. Your brother found this also, he too ached for your immaculacy, and this I could not tolerate.
It wasnt violent, Celia, at least it wasnt much more so than it had to be. All it took was a blow from behind and it was done. You may wonder what became of his final painting. Well. It belongs with me now. A truly stunning work, I must say, truly worthy of your beauty, Celia, truly worthy of your perfection. Such skill that lay in those hands. Such promise. Such a tragedy, Celia. Such a shame.