Path: A Question


Celia sat back in her chair, trying to give Natasha some space.  “So is that why you killed your father? Because he knew? Were you afraid he wouldn’t stay quiet?  Because you must know that no one would have ever caught you had you not decided to kill him.”


Natasha slowly twirled the butt of her cigarette into the ash tray and looked at the table.  Silence had never been unusual during their interviews, but this silence seemed strangely thick and tense.  Celia realized she was seeing one of the only glimpses of feeling anyone had likely ever observed in Natasha, and she wanted to lean forward, to watch closely.  However, Natasha was so obviously uncomfortable that Celia had to look away out of some strange sense of sympathy.


“I have thought about many things over the five years I have been here, and I have resolved every question about my life except that one.  You are correct.  I would have been undetected had it not been for my father’s murder.  Of course, psychologists said that I killed him because I needed the world to know what I had done.  That is not true.  I had no need for anyone to know.”


“So you have no idea why?”


“I was not afraid of him, afraid that he would disclose what I had done.  After all, he was just as culpable as I was, and just as Machiavellian.  Perhaps it was his own hypocrisy that killed him.  I do know this.” Tasha pushed the ash tray aside and sat very straight in her chair, her gaze boring into Celia.  “James Baldwin was wrong. The only thing more dangerous than a man with nothing to lose is a woman who stands to lose everything and who is not afraid to take someone with her when she does.”


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