Back on earth when I was still alive, starting a letter with “Dear so and so” was the acceptable way of doing things. So this letter would have started with “Dear Lucifer”. However, you are not dear to me and I find myself in a place where it is impossible to lie. You will hence forgive my insolence for substituting the “dear” with the “hello”.
My name is Patrick and I am a murderer. I don’t know why I feel the need to introduce myself to you. Now that I have finally landed in hell, I have come to realize that you, same as God, are omnipresent and knew me before I was born.
As you well know, I had a daughter. Back on earth I was a father to a little girl named Sophie. Her mother and myself visited the city of Sofia in Bulgaria a long time ago. We saw the sights. We were mesmerized by the city’s rich history. Our room had a view of the Vitosha Mountain and it was in this magnificence that we made the love that culminated in the birth of our daughter. Sophia.
I can’t say I liked that name. Not at first. It seemed very unoriginal and un-African But Naserian, the love of my life, thought it was a brilliant name for a girl conceived in a city called Sofia so I went with it.
You have never been married, have you Lucifer? I don’t think so. Are you a virgin? I think you are. A long time ago before the creation of man, it was you and God and some other guys up in Heaven, right? Just a bunch of super powerful dudes in a splendid magical land.
Then one day y’all were bored of hanging out with each other in what my challenged imagination thinks was a land of milk and honey and God said, “Let us create someone in OUR image.” In fact if I am correct, the Bible says in Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, “Let US make mankind in OUR image, in OUR likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.””
Now why did y’all have to go do that for?
How many were you? I wonder. And where did y’all come from? I guess it is no use asking all these questions when the answer I am likely to get is, “I am.” Anyway, I am guessing there were no women up there before Eve. Meaning none of y’all were getting some.
You did defy Him, though, didn’t you? Didn’t you get the memo? You don’t defy God, dude. And now here you are in Hell as a political prisoner who I am guessing is a virgin unless some of your demons down here are opening up to you in more ways than one. *Wink *Wink.
But you are too cranky for someone who’s been getting some.
If you ever were in a relationship with a woman, you would know that men really have no say in some of these things and that is how come my daughter was named Sophia.
We men thump our chests and say, “I will NEVER have a big church wedding. A church wedding?! Who? Me?! Kai wina ngoma we?! Do you have demons in your head?” Then we meet THE girl and next thing we know, we are in that sharp suit standing at the altar, grinning like idiots and screaming “I do” in front of hundreds of people of whom you only know about 6.7%.
After that we find ourselves with daughters named Sophia, we find ourselves going to work in a pink pair of socks with little red flowers and bicycles on them because our significant other saw them in the mall and thought, “awwwwwww, they are so cute!” .Thank God for the world will never see us in those multicolored boxers our wives got us for our birthday. Unless we die in them of course in which case the guy conducting the autopsy will have a good laugh at the dead guy on his table in red boxers with the words, “Who’s my big man?!” written across the junkyard.
But that is neither here nor there Mr. Lucifer.
My point is, you think you are THE man, you are THE shit, until THE woman shows up and shows you just how much you ain’t shit. But since you have been single all your life, you wouldn’t know any of this, would you? Allow me to enlighten you.
Before coming to hell, a part of me thought you were a woman. See, we live in an age of gender equality so I figured if Heaven was ruled by a male deity, then hell might as well be ruled by a female one, right? Wrong. Well, I am pretty certain the feminist movement will remedy that in good time. Just you wait and see. Soon you will be replaced by a female Satan.
Another random thought Mr. Lucifer.
So, we humans were created in the image of you guys, right? You who were in heaven with God, that is. Here is my little theory. You guys are immortal. And originally, humans were meant to be immortal too. So it looks like the plan was working out great. You know what’s immortal though, a vampire.
Here is where things get interesting. We humans ate the fruit. And yes, I am still blaming Eve for that one. And Adam’s overwhelming boner power. But that’s a thought for another day. For eating the fruit, our immortality was cut short and we were kicked out of the magical garden and into this shithole we call earth.
Stay with me man. After a long time of us humans rebelling and God kicking our asses to near extinction, He was like, “You know what? I think we have lost sight of our original plan. Time to go back to why we started this Humanity Program in the first place.”
So He sent His kid to earth so that the kid could die and wash away our sins. Now, all humans had to do was “eat his body and drink his blood” and they would be immortal again. In the afterlife of course, but that is all semantics. Or what is the meaning of “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” in John 6:54?
You know who else eats flesh and drinks blood for immortality purposes Mr. Lucifer? VAMPIRES!!! So, are you immortal vampires and were we humans meant to be vampires too?
I digress too much.
You and I both know why I ended up becoming a murderer and owning a place here in hell. Thing is, I am not complaining. I deserve to be here. I never was a whiner and I am sure as hell not starting now. Yeah. I am in hell and I said “sure as hell.” I hope when you read that part you will be like, “Hahaha funny guy. I like him.”
Where was I? Ah yes. Me and Naserian and my little girl Sophia. Sometimes we called her Sophie and other times Soph.
Naserian only called her Sophia when she was really pissed at her though. “Who was that boy you were talking to over the fence? What have I told you about boys Sophia?”
And when she was happy, Naserian would be like, “I love you Soph.” Or when the kid aced an exam, it would be, “Oh, this is really good. You want to go the mall with me Sophie? I’m going to get you something real nice!”
My wife was always the disciplinarian in the house though. I hate how cliché this is, but it is simply one of those things you don’t see coming until you are married and have a kid who is four years old.
She was a special kid Sophie. Reminded me of me every time. Did I tell you she hated cartoons? Oh man, my kid couldn’t stand the damn things! I remember taking her to the movies this one time to watch “Coco.” I have to tell you, I immensely enjoyed “Coco.”
My wife enjoyed “Ferdinand” but I couldn’t stand it. It was this dumb movie about a big bull with a soft heart. Argh! Such a borefest manipulative piece of shit.
But “Coco”, now that was a movie! And that song;
“What color’s the sky? Ay, mi amor, ay, mi amor
You tell me that it’s red, ay, mi amor, ay, mi amor
Where should I put my shoes? Ay, mi amor, ay, mi amor
You say, “Put them on your head!” Ay, mi amor, ay, mi amor
You make me un poco loco, un poquititito loco
The way you keep me guessing, I’m nodding and I’m yes-ing
I’ll count it as a blessing that I’m only un poco loco”
It is a good song. Tugs at my heartstrings every time I listen to it. But you wouldn’t understand that, would you Lucifer? You wouldn’t appreciate music. You are after all the Prince of Darkness. You come to steal, to rob and to plunder and to murder…all that bad shit.
Quick question though. If you are the Prince of Darkness, who is the King of Darkness? Just asking.
So I took Sophie to watch “Coco”, right? And I was seated there in the theater, my four-year-old beside me holding onto a box of popcorn that looks too large in her arms, but she wouldn’t let me hold it for her, and I am feeling all warm and fuzzy inside because this is such a good movie and the next thing I know, Sophie is on her feet pelting other moviegoers with popcorn.
Haha. She hated “Coco” man. I asked her to sit down and chill but she wouldn’t hear of it. And the other guys were getting all furious because my kid was upsetting both them and their kids. So I tried to grab her and carry her off the theatre but she bolted off, tripped on something and fell. Her forehead hit something on her way down and she got six stitches.
After that, Naserian didn’t like it when Sophie wasn’t in her eyesight at any possible moment. I’d be like, “Baby, I am taking Soph to school tomorrow, OK?” and she’d be like, “No Paddy. I’ll do that. You just rush to the bank and talk to the branch manager about that loan extension.”
Another time we had visitors and Soph just got it into her head to ask for their phones and do I don’t know what with them. Naserian considered this rude and gave her a bit of a whooping. Kid came crying to me, claiming that mama’s bad and I’m good. And that I’ll go to heaven and mama to hell.
She couldn’t have been more wrong now, could she?
You know what really pisses me off though? The fact that I gave up and dedicated my time to whatever the hell I spent my time on earth doing. See, Naserian demanded so much time with Soph that I figured, you know what, “You do the parenting, I will do the rest.”
So I got on planes and travelled on business. I made calls home and figured that was enough. “I hear you are getting really good on the cello.” I would say to my daughter over the phone from some really cold hotel in Scotland. “Is that true?”
“Yes daddy. You should hear me play some time.”
I did. I did get to hear her play a few times. But only barely because I was too busy on the phone catching up on my emails and trying to convince that guy in Osaka that my company should be his local liaison with the government and not my business rival company.
I am also going to let you in on a little something which you will probably not understand. Most times, if not all, I don’t understand it myself.
When Soph rejected Coco, I felt a little rejected too. I had been so jazzed about taking my little girl to the movies to watch this really great story unfold on the biggest screen she had ever seen. But she couldn’t sit through twenty minutes of it and I felt affronted on a personal level, you know?
I understand she was only four years old but still…
There were many other times when I felt rejected by Sophia. Like that time she was upset about something at school and I decided to cheer her up. She had always loved music. You can’t get so good at the cello, or any music instrument for that matter, if you don’t actually FEEL the music.
So to cheer my daughter up, I invited a famous musician about my daughter’s age to come to my house and give her a private performance. The musician’s parents owed me a favor, so they let their kid come. He was about Justin Beiber’s age when Justin first got famous.
The moment Sophie saw him, she rushed into her bedroom, banged the door shut and screamed “Go away!” at me for two days.
What sin had I committed?
Well, unbeknownst to me Sophie and her best friend had gotten into this big fight about a boy of all things. The musician I had invited was the best friend’s favorite musician. That coupled with my daughter being a typical ten-year-old who has watched too many “Mean Girls” type of movies led to her exploding in my face.
And then there was that other time when I went to hug her and she pushed me away.
I tried to be a cool dad all the time. The more I felt like she was pushing me away, the more I tried to be there for her, so much so that she claimed I was suffocating her. So I guess I gave up and focused on my work and left it all to Naserian.
Naserian who wanted our little girl to be a well mannered human being of decent character.
Naserian who wanted to make sure our daughter was safe at all times, lest she came home with another gash on her forehead.
Naserian who one day, three weeks before our daughter’s fourteenth birthday, became Sophia’s enemy number one.
Here is how that happened.
Because I was focusing too much on my work, I was making money by the bucketloads. You know that of course because they say that money makes man greedy and greed is a tool of the Devil. Or is that money? Either way, I am sure you are well acquainted with my wealth. Well, what used to be my well. Now I have nothing down here in hell.
Even had to literally exchange a piece of my liver for this pen and paper with a demon to get to write to you.
For the record, I hate hell. People are too smart down here. Too smart for their own good. They are all like me. Which means I don’t stand out. I hate that! I can stand the fire, but I cannot for the life of me, stand not being special. That shit sucks!
Where was I?
Naserian has finally driven Sophia to the edge of madness with her overbearing demeanor and now, the little girl has turned to me for the first time in years.
The source of the conflict? Horse riding. See, with me making so much money, it meant I could manage to send our daughter to the kind of school that charges over a million bob per year, comfortably. Kids who attend schools like that can ride horses.
My kid couldn’t and this was bearing down on her pretty hard.
So she asked her mother to allow her to take classes but my wife was like, “That shit is too dangerous baby.” Well, I am paraphrasing here. Naserian couldn’t let the word “shit” tumble out of her lips to save her own life.
How the hell else do you think she made it to heaven while I am down here in hell not getting laid? Which by the way is another thing I can’t stand about hell.
You know when they say that hell is all about getting burned alive for eternity, nobody says, “Oh by the way, that also means not getting some forever!” If someone had mentioned that, I swear I would have been a better person and I wouldn’t be a guest here at Luciferville.
I hate Luciferville man. There is no music and there is no sex. What kind of a joint are you running here man? Even prisons have conjugal visits dude. Come on!
My little girl comes crying to me, telling me how she is feeling out of place at her school because she can’t ride a damned horse.
So I think, ah. It is just horse riding. Not being able to ride one in a society where everyone can do it is not in her best interests. So I enroll her in a horse riding program.
That is the secondary sin.
The primary sin is that I do it without consulting with her mother. Or even telling her that I am doing it. I should have known better Mr. Lucifer. I really should have.
But some of these things are pretty unforeseeable. I mean, we can’t all be all seeing, right? We can’t see into the future. That is a privilege enjoyed only by you deities. Haha. And we humans are the selfish ones. You know what, I think you all nailed it.
I think you managed to make human beings in your image. We are temperamental, ignorant, selfish, greedy, lustful, rebellious and weak pieces of shit. And we are bullies too. On earth, big countries bully small countries, rich people bully poor people and poor continents are looked down upon by the richer ones. It is just how it is man.
Now, because you creators of mankind are stronger than us, you have bullied us since the beginning of time. You (God and whoever else was up there with him) created Adam and figured he was bored. So you created Eve for him and said unto them, “You are the boss of all other creations. But whatever you do, DO NOT eat that fruit from that tree over there.”
The said tree was out in the open. There was nothing special about it, it was just a damn tree with fruits just like other trees in the garden.
If it was such a special tree, why didn’t y’all put an electric fence around it? And armed guards? I mean, y’all had an army of angels up there, right?
But for your own amusement, you guys (again, God and all who were there before man) had to drape your arms around Adam’s shoulder, point out the tree and go like, “You see that tree over there? Don’t eat from it, cool?”
Adam: Why not?
Y’all: Don’t ask questions, just do as I say, OK boy?
Adam: Yeah cool.
Y’all: (Ruffle his hair) Good boy.
And y’all left. What did y’all think was going to happen? And let’s not forget you could see the future. You not only expected Adam and Eve to eat the fruit, you knew they would. See why am I saying mankind is made of bullies just like the ones who created us?
I know God is a jealous God and we as mankind were supposed to fear him. He was also supposed to be our parent and we his children. As a parent though, I came to realize that you don’t want your kids to fear you. It is very easy to make someone fear you. All you have to do is smack them around from a very young age. They will both fear and hate you and at some point they will either rebel or run away. Now what the hell kind of a parent wants such a fucked up relationship with their children?
As a parent, you want your kids to respect you. Now, respect is harder to come by because it has to be earned. You don’t act like a shithole then expect your kids to have any respect for you. Sure they will be connected to you, but that is a default setting. Respect has to be worked towards and I just feel like God’s idea of parenting was a little lazy.
The “I will smack you and kill you and burn you forever if you mess around with me” kind of lazy. Why not try something else? Something like, “You are my children and I love you unconditionally. I will love you even when you lose your way, I will love you even when you reject me, I will love you even when you kill each other and I will love you even when you look to the mountains and worship some tree over there.” Because let’s face it. Parenting is hard. But you cannot kill your children and send them to hell to burn forever as you tell them, “I love you.” Seriously, let’s be real for a second. That is hate. Pure and simple. It is revenge and God is vengeful. Even goes so far as to say, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” In Romans 12:19.
Vengeance is mine, says the Lord.
He has gone ahead and privatized revenge. And since when did revenge become a result of love? If you say you love me, act like it dammit! Don’t burn me and say “I love you” as I scream in agony. And deny me water when I cry and beg for it. Instead, try “I hate you and I’m burning you because you didn’t fear me as the Lord God your Father. So shut the fuck up and take the fire like a man, you dick!” I will respect you more for the honesty.
Now I know. I know. You Lucifer the Light-Bringer were kicked out of heaven for standing up to bullies, but you are here burning us sinners, bullying us who are weaker than you same way you were bullied by those stronger than you. So what makes you any better, huh?
All I did Mr. Lucifer, was enroll my little girl to a horse riding program because I thought as her father that she needed it to boost her self esteem. I loved that girl to death. I still do. I love my daughter more than I fear you and your hell combined.
The program said that my daughter rode the horse too fast.
That she didn’t follow the requisite safety measures set aside by the school for the horse riders.
They tried to blame the fact that my little girl fell off her horse and broke her neck, on her.
What would you do if you were in my shoes? Wouldn’t you sue them for all they’ve got? Wouldn’t you wish they went through the same kind of pain you were going through?
Yes. My daughter died. But you knew that already, didn’t you?
And Naserian man, haha. Well, shit.
I have never seen so much pain and hate in one woman’s eyes. They say that upon the loss of a child, most couples break apart. My marriage to my wife ended the second our kid’s neck snapped like a dry branch.
You have never been in a dead marriage Mr. Lucifer, so you probably don’t know. Or maybe you do seeing as how you are a Mr. Know-it-all. Divorce papers don’t have to show up at your doorstep for your marriage to be over.
Something inside the both of you just shuts down and can’t be brought back up.
We tried therapy.
We tried fucking some feelings back into our lives.
We even went back to Sofia to try and recreate something, but that only ended with us screaming into each other’s faces.
Her: You just had to get her to ride a horse, didn’t you? You just wanted to be the cool dad while I was in the doghouse. Well congratulations! She died thinking you were cool.
Me: Don’t you dare put this on me!
Her: What did it mean to you?
Me: What did what mean to me?
Her: Her. Liking you.
Me: I was just trying to be a father to my…
Her: Trying to what?
Me: TRYING TO BE A FATHER TO MY DAUGHTER! DON’T SPEAK WHILE I AM SPEAKING!
Her: Trying to be a father, Patrick? Trying to be a father? If you had been there more, you wouldn’t have had to try to be your own daughter’s father.
Me: How was I supposed to do that when all you were doing was hoard her from me and keep her to yourself and “protect” her from me?
Her: Because you were trying to be her friend when what she needed was a father.
Me: I just wanted her to live. You just wanted to lock her up in a cage.
Her: Well, she ain’t doing much living now, is she?
And I brought the wrath of God on anyone I deemed responsible for her death. See, when you have money like I did, it is very easy to turn into a god. By a god, I mean, command and it shall happen.
I sued the school but Naserian was like, “No! No! Don’t put us through this pain please Patrick, I’m begging you!”
But I am created in the image of thee who saith vengeance is mine, aren’t I? So I sued. And was awarded a handsome amount in damages, after about four years. They had tried to settle out of court but no amount seemed enough.
And of course Naserian asked, “Are you happy now?”
Me: Don’t even start.
Her: I am too tired to even look at you now.
Me: Why did you stay?
Her: Where was I supposed to go?
Me: Somewhere that didn’t remind you of how I killed our daughter.
Her: I have a map. Maybe I can pull it out and you can point that place out for me please. Because there is nowhere I’d rather be right now, than there.
I looked at her. At how hollow her cheeks had become. At how her eyes had sunk into their sockets.
She had been reduced into this zombie that didn’t even realize how wasted it was when it was around the house naked. There were flabby pieces of skin where her authoritative breasts used to be. Bones threatening to jut out of the dry skin where her waist and hips used to be.
Her fingers had turned into these claws that threatened to fall off any second now.
My foot got heavy on the gas pedal.
I remember the last four years since we got the phone call from the school with the lifeless voice on the other side of the line saying obligatorily, “It’s Sophia. There has been an accident.”
She didn’t look dead on the slab Mr. Lucifer. She looked happy. Full of life.
Were you there in the room with us when we went to see her body? Were you scrambling to get a piece of her soul as it ran off towards heaven?
When they pulled away the white sheet covering her body, I didn’t cry. I kept thinking, “She will wake up in the morning. Just you wait and see.”
Naserian screamed and I kept thinking, “Would you shut up baby, please? You will wake her up. Can’t you see she is just trying to catch some sleep? She must be tired after all that horse riding.”
My foot gets even heavier on the gas pedal. I am doing 90-something going a hundred.
“Slow down Paddy.” I hear her weak voice saying from a million miles off, but I am nowhere near the car with her.
Instead I am back to the months following Sophie’s burial. To the many time I found Naserian seated by the grave saying, “Time to wake up now Soph. It’s a school day, remember? And you have that cello recital coming up so you have to be a t school early for practice.”
And when I tapped her shoulder, she smiled and said, “I don’t know why she isn’t waking up. She has been sleeping for a while now, you know?”
I cried. Just silent tears going down my cheeks. I told her, “Baby, we’ll just let her sleep on for a while now, OK? She will be up when she wants. Come on, let’s get into the house. There is coffee in the kitchen.”
Her: (To the grave) See Soph, your dad can never bring himself to be tough on you. Loves you too much.
Anytime any phone would ring in the house, she would run to it saying, “That’s Soph calling! Don’t let it ring too long or she’ll get tired of calling and hang up!”
There was that day when she ripped my pockets apart trying to get my phone out. “Can’t you see! Paddy, can’t you see? She has been gone too long and she needs to talk to mommy.”
When she finally took the phone out, it was my boss calling but she still answered frantically and cried into it, “Soph, it’s mommy. Time to come home now, OK? Your daddy and I miss you too much. So come on home and we’ll talk about whatever it is that you want to talk about.”
I guess she never got over the fact that she and Sophia had been in a fight and didn’t quite resolve things before she died.
How long was I supposed to let my wife go on suffering like this, huh?
She needed to be pointed to a place in a map where she could go and forget about all the pain she was feeling. Since that place wasn’t in any map, I decided to think outside the box and as we both know Mr. Lucifer the Light Bringer, nothing good ever comes of me thinking outside the box.
Right before I drove into a tree at 160km/h, I looked at her. At the ghost that she had become. She had this questioning look in her eyes but for the first time in years, the pain was gone.
She didn’t resist when I reached out and unbuckled her safety belt.
Neither did she make a sound when I unbuckled mine.
She closed her eyes. There were no goodbyes. No tears. She didn’t reach out and squeeze my hand gently as she smiled. She didn’t smile.
All I could think of, a few seconds before we crashed into that tree was, “I haven’t seen her looking so peaceful in years.”
I am in hell already Mr. Lucifer, so there is no point in trying to lie to you or to that guy over there who is more scared that the fire might scorch his genitals than that he is in hell and doesn’t need the said genitals, or to that woman over there whose job in hell is to watch all her four sons burn forever.
I am not going to lie. I don’t even know I can lie anymore so I am just going to come out and say it.
If I had been a better human being Mr. Lucifer, I wouldn’t be here. Well, maybe I would, but under different circumstances. She died because of my insecurities as a father. The reason why I let her into that horse riding program wasn’t because I wanted what was good for her but because I was bribing my way into her heart.
And the reason why I killed my wife by driving us both into that tree wasn’t because she was suffering. It was because I couldn’t watch her suffer anymore. I couldn’t watch her suffer anymore, not because I loved her that much, it was because watching her suffering made me acutely aware of how guilty our daughter’s death made me feel.
See, it took losing my life and waking up in hell to be a better human being, not that that counts for anything down here.
If I could go back in time and wake up in that hotel room in Sofia, facing the Vitosha Mountain and in Naserian’s arms, I would be more patient. I would spend more time with my daughter and even when she pushed me away, I wouldn’t budge because that is what it means to be a parent.
It simply means being there through it all. The good and especially the bad.
I am hoping that you and God talk from time to time. You know, catch up on things. I am hoping that you will ask Him to revise His practical definition of love. See, He so loved mankind that He gave us His only child so that those who believe in Him and all that nice stuff shall not perish but shall live for eternity.
That is all well and fruity. But let us revisit that for a second.
Both God the Father and God the Son will live forever. The Father donated The Son to show us the way for thirty three years at the end of which the Son died and came back to life then went back Home to continue enjoying eternity by the Father’s side.
I am a father whose only daughter died and I will never see her again.
What use is a temporary sacrifice? A sacrifice means giving up something for somebody else, forever. Not for a bit, then get it back, then impose sanctions like, “My son died for you so behave or burn!” I’m sorry Pops, but your Son is still very much alive.
If I had sacrificed my self importance for my daughter, if I had sacrificed my ego, the ego that said, “Ah, your daughter and your wife DON’T ACT LIKE THEY NEED YOU so run along little man and show them you don’t need them either”, if I had sacrificed that ego and stuck around like a good father and a good husband should, this story would have ended differently.
But I didn’t and now here I am. Writing a letter to the Prince of Darkness. Hoping that he who has been described as a thief and a liar will pass my message to someone who kicked him to hell.
But I am just a guy with nothing left to lose.
All I am saying is that I hope God doesn’t end up making the mistakes that I made. Parents don’t need to be feared, they just need to stick around and show (with more actions than words) that they love and respect their children and those children will love and respect them right back.
And I hate hell.
Just another guy in hell.