Meet Nate Sawyer.
The perfect kid. That is no exaggeration. He really is. So perfect that it made you queasy with envy. The whole package; quite a remarkable specimen. Tall, dark haired, gorgeous, and a body like one of those on the front of a Men’s Health magazine designed to make you self-conscious of your meagre frame. His perfection manifested itself in every wake of life, believe it or not. He was the school jock. He placed in the top three academic performers in the grade. Worst of all? He was insufferably charming and polite. It was impossible to hate the kid, no matter how desperately you wish you did.
Perhaps if you knew more, knew what I did…you may just find that hatred.
Who am I then? Not much else but an envious admirer. I won’t even give you the courtesy of my name, because I am not important in this story. I am but a fly on the wall. A chameleon. A shade who fits in with the rest of the kids, but makes just too little sound to be noticed. Oh, please don’t pity me. I am neither lonely nor some loser. In comparison to Mr Sawyer, however, I am simply, factually, an unremarkable fellow. Intelligence, I believe, is being able to grasp the concept of self-honesty rather than self-delusion.
Why then am I fixated on him? I assure you that I am not some fat sidekick living vicariously through his rendezvous with hot cheerleaders and athletic and academic achievements. I can at least tell you that I am male, and not a homosexual, so my compliments paid to Mr Sawyer are purely objective, and not in some Twilight ‘Bella drooling over Edward’ vain. I am merely able to recognise and state the facts as they are.
And the fact is that Nate Sawyer is an icon of human achievement. He’s the kid that will have to make the choice between national athlete or surgeon. He’s the kid that has opportunities pouring out of his ice cream scented arse. He’s the kid who’s going to marry a foreign super model and have the best sex of his life. He’s the kid who conquered this chaotic world before even emerging out of his fucking teens. It’s quite extraordinary.
Why then am I writing about him so? It is the second time I’ve raised this enquiry, and I’m sure you’re wishing that I got to the point already, because apparently patience is a relic of a time long past. But you must know that I have no vendetta here, before you can know what I am about to share. I can assure you that I am not jealous of the man. Jealously is foreign to me, even when Mr Sawyer smiles his radiant smile and makes a point of greeting me every single morning of every single day. By name, for Christ sake. I can assure you that I do not dislike him. Did I not state earlier that it would be impossible to do so? That’s the calibre of perfection we are dealing with.
Do you understand? Make peace with that understanding, because your perceptions about Great Nate are about to get fucked sideways.
One final time: why am I writing about Mr Nathan Sawyer, the golden kid?
Because I know who he truly is, late into the night behind closed doors.
I know what really makes him feel alive. It’s true. I know what he does; the cruel, cruel work that causes surely even God himself to avert his eyes.
The sincerely odd ones are never the people you expect. We look at nerds and think they’re odd, but in reality those kids probably just play video games in their spare time, attend Star Wars day celebrations and enjoy some pornography on occasion. Perfectly normal kids. We think gays are odd, but they’re just mildly eccentric versions of ourselves who happen to like their own gender. We think quiet people are odd, but they’re just trying to fight a sense of social anxiety they can’t control. We think nature lovers are odd, but they’re just trying to protect an earth they love inhabiting (for some reason). None of these examples are really odd people, just people.
But Nathan Sawyer? Oh, he is most odd indeed.
I must commit all of this to the written word, where it’s safe, because if he finds out that I know his little secret, well, he could easily crush my neck with one hand, leave my mangled body on the side of the road and continue about his day as though I was a small inconvenience that needed tending to. That is not a hyperbole. I’ll swear on my mother’s life, on whatever Holy Book you require me to swear on, on my own poultry existence. I am utterly confident that that is exactly what the man would do to me if he found out.
How did I come to know his secret? Obviously, you’ll want to know that. And I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you all of it. Every last detail.
Mr Sawyer did not know that late one quiet evening, when he thought that his parents were asleep, when he thought no one was watching and he was free to satisfy his need, I was there at his window. What was I doing there? Well, I am odd too. I like to watch people. I like to know their real selves. Again, I am not a loser or a creep. I am merely invasive by decree of my own need. Honestly I wish I could cure this about myself, now more than ever, because what I saw Mr Sawyer do that night is something I can never cleanse my eyes of; something that torments me, leaves me writhing in bed night after night locked in nightmares I cannot be free of.
Everyone knew that Mr Sawyer had a dog, a mutt that he called Logan. I was no big fan of dogs, but even I could admit that it was a magnificent beast; a beautiful grey-white husky that was as perfect as its master. He spoke of it often. The creature often occupied his posts on Facebook, but the pictures were always of him with it, taking just enough attention away from the animal; the pictures framed in just the right way that you couldn’t see.
That night I saw.
I saw Mr Nathan Sawyer smile at Logan, rubbing the dog’s face in his hands. I saw the fear in the poor animal’s eyes, just before Mr Sawyer hit it across the mouth. There I stood, rooted to the very ground, caught between horror and nausea, fighting all urge to scream and to throw up, as I watched Mr Sawyer remove his belt and strike the hound again and again. Watched him lash out with his foot and catch it in the ribs. Watched him smile at it as he removed a pocket knife from his jeans and carefully sliced where he knew its fur would cover the wounds. Logan the dog thrashed and yelped, but not once did it ever bite, fight back or even run. For the dog understood what Sawyer needed, and knew that it was powerless before his might and his wrath.
I stood there helplessly, just like Logan, for an immeasurable amount of time.
I remained long enough to see the once beautiful dog weakly limp to its bed, grateful for the small comfort that Mr Sawyer had not taken its eye when he had lingered the blade millimetres in front of it. I remained long enough to see the look of pleasure and relief on Mr Sawyer’s face as his bare chest shined with blood and sweat and his muscles bulged. I remained long enough to know that Hell was empty, and the devils were right here.
I write this because I cannot speak it. I cannot go public with this, because nothing terrifies me as much as Mr Nathan Sawyer. I write this because I must remember that I have it documented somewhere just in case. I write this because I know my where my place is, beneath cool, handsome, perfect, vicious, Mr Sawyer, the man who owned the world.