I am a monster.

I’ve tried to cover up this truth. I wanted to be like the others. Each lesson that my mother and society tried to instill in me never worked. The first signs came early. I was too young to notice that my true nature was something far from those around me. A monster is still a monster even if it doesn’t know it is one. The earliest sign was when my mother grew very ill around the time I was six. I could only think about how I had to make food myself and how annoying that was. I never cared that my mother was lying in bed unable to get up for days. She recovered, but it didn’t mean much to me.

My mother told me many stories when I was a child. My favorite was always the one with the serpent causing the fall of man. The serpent ruins everything.

He’s just a snake, not a massive creature like a dragon. It can’t fly. It’s not physically imposing. He has no fire but he burns their paradise to ashes. He didn’t use his teeth or poison to kill the two fools. His only weapon was his tongue. With his words, he had more might than an infinitely powerful being. He had enough wit and cunning to get the two to disobey. The serpent did not fear the repercussions from a being that could turn him to dust or end his existence. He didn’t care. His nature was to deceive and cause suffering. And he gets what he wanted. He achieves it in the face of opposition that is limitless in power.  I admired that snake. He was the first true monster I was told about.

My mother called that story the fall of man. The lesson I was supposed to take away from it was to obey. I did for many years after that. After she told the story,  I always asked my mother questions about the serpent.  The serpent was in paradise. Why would it cause the ruin of it? Wasn’t it happy there? She could never give me a good answer.

I spent the majority of my youth concerned with my grades. I wasn’t happy. I was just stressed. I completed my work as best as I could. I outperformed everyone, but each accolade I received meant nothing to me. The yellow honor roll paper lined the floor of my room. I had no true purpose to be on this planet. I didn’t find it in the textbooks I put my eyes to for hours. It wasn’t in the words of my teachers’ lectures. I didn’t find it in the standardized tests the government thought that I needed to take.  I didn’t find one until a boy who called himself my friend cheated off of me on a test. He thought he was my friend, but I’ve never had any real connection with any other person. I’ve touched lips with women. I’ve shook hands and hugged many blood relatives. But I’d never say that I liked any of them. The boy had told me in the past that his father would beat him if he didn’t pass this class. I had noticed him during the test glancing over at my paper. We made eye contact. He winked at me, a sign that I should let him continue to leech off of my work After we took the test, he nodded toward me. A sign that he was glad to be a parasite.

The test results came back. And we both had perfect scores. The teacher asked me in front of the class if I had been tutoring the boy. It was here that my true nature came out. The boy and I were in paradise. We were both getting what we wanted. But why wasn’t I happy? I told the teacher that the boy had cheated off of me. Not because of academic ethics or integrity or any garbage like that. I did it to see if I would feel different. If I would feel something. And I did. As I watched the boy have his test ripped up in front of the class, I felt up. I wanted to laugh. He broke down and cried as the teacher called his father. His tears warmed my heart more than any perfect score on a test did. More than any friend’s smile or wink ever could.

My words changed the course of his life. He was expelled. My words cast him out of my school. I saw him a week later in a grocery store. His eye was purple and bruised. I didn’t feel sorry for him as he told me what his father did to him. In fact this put a smile on my face. He asked me why I did it. I just winked at him and then left. I couldn’t help but to taunt him while he was down.

I realized why the serpent did what it did. What is success if everyone is successful? What is happiness if everyone is happy? Not everyone should win. There must be losers. It is not enough that I must be successful, others must fail. They must fail substantially and they must hate me for my success.

The smiles of others bring me no happiness. The touch of a lover is not something that can bring me joy unless it is the lover of another person. I couldn’t cover it up any more after that day. I don’t know why I ever tried to. After that day, I spoke up my accomplishments. I would always rub it in the faces of people who tried but couldn’t have them. I turned meaningless grades and tests into my greatest tool. People hated me for it. I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I am a monster like that serpent. We have the same weapon, our cunning tongues. That is my axiomatic truth.

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