“My Darling Daughter,
I know things have been pretty awful for you these past months. I wish I could undo everything that you have been through. I never meant for you to see what you walked into that afternoon when you arrived home from school. I cannot even begin to imagine what went on in your teenage head when you saw all that blood; saw your daddy and your brother lying there. I am assured that the doctors and the professional people are doing all they can to help you through the trauma.
I didn’t want to hurt your brother, not at all. I had not even intended to hurt him. It just happened. I was so mad at him! Really, what he did to your daddy was unforgivable, sweetheart. He was my husband and in spite of everything I truly loved him. Yet, your brother, off his own bat, decided that your daddy was lacking in some way as a father and killed him, just like that! Can you imagine how I felt?
No, you are far too young and far too innocent to understand such deep feelings. But let me tell you this, one day you will have a husband who may turn out to be less than perfect who you will love unreservedly because that is what being married means: unconditional love whatever. I hope that you will grow to understand that.
I am sure that you miss your brother deeply. I know how close you two were. Perhaps you have just a slight inkling of how I feel now that your daddy is gone, taken from me by your brother. Oh, I know it’s not the same, how can it be? You see your brother as some kind of hero, I’m sure, protecting you and himself from your daddy even though he never laid a finger on you, either of you, ever. He loved you and your brother, he really did. That is why I find it so hard to forgive your brother for killing your daddy. He was a very bad boy for doing so and if I were you I would not be so quick or so willing to put him on the pedestal that you have. He is undeserving of your love and, dare I say it, your adoration?
I hope, darling, that you will not always think of me as a bad mother. I always tried to do what was best for all of us as a family, even if it did not seem like it at times. Killing your brother, I admit, was not one of those times, but, as I said, I did not intend for it to happen. All I remember is being very angry, seeing your dead father spilling his blood all over that kitchen floor and your brother telling me that he wasn’t in the least bit sorry for what he had done. I picked up the knife, with no clear thought or intention in my mind. Moments later he was screaming and crying that I had stabbed him and his blood was spilling out of his stomach and mixing with your daddy’s and I was frightened and then, there you were, screaming and screaming and screaming. Oh dear God, I will never forget the sound of your screams. I hear them to this day when I lay down to sleep.
One day perhaps you will be able to forgive me. Your Aunt Sophie tells me that you are sleeping a little better now; that the nightmares are less frequent and that you don’t keep bursting into tears like you did when she first took you in. She’s a good woman, your Aunt, although not really cut out to be a mother like me. Still, she has a good heart and will love you as best she knows how. Just remember though, precious daughter, that she is not your mother. That is my role and always will be even if I am not there right now to fulfil that role as I should. Love her as much as you like, but save a little for me as well. Can you do that for me?
I miss you, Kaitlyn, I really do. I miss your daddy so much. There is no denying that he had his faults but, in spite of all the violence and shouting and drinking, he was at heart a good man. Your brother could not see past the bad bits. I wonder now whether he would have grown up like your daddy or whether he would have been a very different kind of man? We will never know now, will we? Mind you, if killing his daddy was his idea of solving a problem-that-was-not-a-problem then it suggests that your brother and your daddy were not so very different after all. And remember this, honey: your daddy never killed anybody. Think about that when you cry about not having your brother around anymore. He was a killer and you are old enough to know what they say about killers: when they have killed once they find it easier to kill again. I could very well have stopped your brother going on to be a serial killer! I bet you never thought of it like that before, did you?
I have to go now, sweetheart. They will be turning the lights out soon. I hate the darkness in this place. I hope that I won’t have the nightmare again, but I know that I will. I’ll hear your screams again and I’ll wake up with a wet face, like I do every morning; like I have done for the past three years and I expect I will for the next twenty-two, right until the day they let me out of here. I look forward to that day.
Just one last thing: why don’t you come and visit me? Your Aunt Sophie says that she will bring you if you ask her to, but you never have. Why is that? Please, Kaitlyn, I’m your mother and I miss you ever so much. Please come and see me… soon. Please?
I love you.