The hangman's suicide note.
A story of hope
…to anyone who reads this…
Nobody saw him as a human anymore. They said he was death.
A rumor was that you would not live to see the next day if you spoke with him at night.
His two sons had died on the same olive market day. The younger one drowned in a regrettable attempt to save the older one from drowning.
The wife had died trying to bring a third child to the world. A world he survived in by taking others out of.
“I am tired. Tired of playing this role. Of living this life. Maybe if I come back in another life, I’ll be a medecine man. To preserve life. Then the lives of those I love will be preserved.
Is it really my place to execute so-called justice in the name of a people who see me as the ugly punishment?
They now say if I walk through a farm, the harvest would be a disaster. Who knows what they will say next?
I no longer walk in daylight. I am now one with darkness. As I go out now, I hope that when I finally shut my eyes, I will see some light.”
In a town with so many dirty hands, he’d thought he’s was a bit cleaner, so he carried out the task of taking out the trash till his hands were dirtiest.
The heavy guilt in his chest was not from the empty faces of the ones he had ushered out of this world. it wasn’t even from looking into the swollen red eyes of the relatives to his clients. Eyes that looked at him with cold fear.
“My guilt is not even from the quiet look of the orphan boy whose mother hung herself a day after I showed her husband my rope; for a crime we were not sure he committed.”
The guilt he felt was from feeling nothing as he did his job with blind obedience. He shut his eyes to whatever he was meant to feel.
Before she died, his wife could sell nothing at the market. No one will buy anything from the house of death. So she asked him if he could put his hand in a fire and shut his eyes to the pain. Can’t he see where this is going and how it will end?
His letter found me before his rope found his neck as I happened to walk into him in the middle of the whole act.
“what if you died to this land but lived in another?” I suggested.” what if you go far up north and never look down. Where no one will know you to be death. Where no one will know you to be anything.”
“It will feel good”.He said with his eyes dreaming.” But tell me, can I go and leave my memories and guilt and my family?”
“You will find a new family with a new life and you will create new memories. you feel guilty for people who have forgotten who you are because you had the courage to do what someone had to do. leave this life here with them. Even you can start afresh. But if you take your life here, right now, then death has truly taken all of you.”
He sat quietly for a moment. I couldn’t tell if his eyes dreamt of his future or the nightmare of his past. Then he stood up, walked to me, and took the note he had written. He picked up his rope with the noose still knotted, gave me a final sad look, and walked away.
Weeks later, I heard them say that death had vanished. They said he was done eliminating bad people here and gone off to purge another land.
Funny enough, I heard no one talk of the ones who gave the death sentence. I guess it is risky to talk about someone who can and will send you to death.
It has been seven years since his vanishing and just now, I received a letter with a note in it. It was the hangman’s suicide note that was addressed ‘to anyone who reads this…’
And he drew a smiley on it!