I arrived home after the visit with my family only to find a note on the door from Judith. She's had a key to my apartment for the longest time, and I've always told her she's always welcome. The note simply stated she had stopped by in order to play my Xbox, to steal some lemonade, and to "borrow" the notebook.
I cannot remember a time I have ever arrived at her parents' house more quickly than I did on Wednesday.
Judith answered the door, chipper as ever. She smirked at me, asked if I'd missed her that much. In hindsight, that happiness and that smirk frighten me. I asked her where the notebook was, and she became quite apprehensive. She didn't think I'd miss it since I was at my family's house, and she wanted to read it. She apologized. I hugged her. We were okay then. I then did all I could while I was there to keep her distracted from the notebook.
Judith did, however, offer an experiment I couldn't pass up. As she said in this comment, she'd never encountered the same pages I had. I even showed her the ones I've transcribed that I have no intention of posting, and she'd seen none of them either. Curious, we decided to open the notebook to a single page and both write down its contents.
The results are terrifying. All this time that I've been reading one thing, she's been reading another. Looking at the same page at the same time, we both found two entirely separate entries. And Judith's...
I'll start with my own.
I still smell her sometimes. Apple shampoo in her black hair Goddamnit I don't blame her but we could've made it work. But nooo she "couldn't be bothered dealing with my crazy" while she was doing other things. Fucking bitch move. Fucking
You know? Fuck it. I'm gonna take Ted's offer. Done sitting around pouting in my room. Done that all month. Party tonight, drink my love for her away.
Never again. I can hardly remember last night One big blur. What I do remember how gentle and warm and but never again. Not getting drunk again and now. Fuck I have to talk to Ted about this. Fuck."
Judith, instead, transcribed the following. Different date, different entry, different style of writing... She even says the ink was a different color. I saw purple, she saw red.
You see, the greatest asset one can have in fighting this beast is lack of fear. If you do not fear death, it cannot harm you. If you do not fear losing those you love, it cannot harm you through them. If you do not fear the unknown, it cannot harm your mind. If you do not fear change, it cannot harm you by changing your life.
Far too many look at this creature in terror when the correct response is some mixture of awe and disgust. It is a beautiful predator, and so very good at what it does. It devours entire lives without a second thought. It strangles them in its grip without a hint of remorse. It is also a predator that only kills the weak. Even the seemingly strong ones it hunts eventually reveal themselves as spineless and pathetic in the end. A truly magnificent killer hunts worthy prey. This one hunts the unworthy. All of that potential wasted.
What if there is a way to cage the beast? What if it can brought under will? What if it can be tamed? This idea is that which drives me. This idea is the foundation of who I am.
I know of a man who may have the tool I seek to accomplish my goal. I believe it is time I pay him a visit."
I'm not stupid. I know who this is. I listened to Kiera. Judith didn't. I asked her how many other entries she had read were written in red. Her answer:
"All of them."
Judith and I talked. For the briefest moment, her serenity cracked and she begged me to help her. She was terrified of what she'd been reading, and yet she couldn't stop. I've bought a steel box. I've bought a padlock. I have the number memorized. It's written nowhere. I need time to decide my next move.
I won't let anything happen to Judith. I just have to figure this out. I will figure this out.