Am I a psychopath?
Touching the spine of the book, a laugh tugs up my lips. What a title for a psychiatrist to have on her bookshelf. Am I a psychopath?
I’ve asked myself this question many times, but never thought buying a book would give me the answer.
We all have psychopathic tendencies. If you strip back the traits and dive into the essence of your core, the parts that make up the foundations of who you are, what makes you, you—they’re there. They’re in all of us to some capacity.
Am I a psychopath?
It’s a question everyone could ask if we broke it down to the basic facts and stripped ourselves back to reveal the whispering behaviors we try to ignore—we pretend don’t exist.
The question we should ask, however, is how many of these traits exist within our minds? How consistent, persistent, are these qualities? The reason behind them and how they manifest in situations is forced upon us, separating the psychopaths from the “normal” people.
“Does that title interest you?” Dr. Winters asks, taking a seat and placing a glass of water in front of her on a table—a table that will separate us as soon as I sit on the couch opposite her. I hadn’t realized I was still touching the book.
“I asked someone this question once,” I say, brushing my fingers across the other titles and then pretending to dust them off. After coming here for over two and a half years, I know there’s never a thing out of place or a speck of dirt in her office. She’s a clean freak.
I squint my nose in distaste just to watch her eyes widen and dart to the bookshelf. Seems I’m not the only one in this room with issues. I walk toward her and push the glass of water to my side of the table before moving over to take my seat. She didn’t ask me if I would like water—she’s become used to me declining—but it’s our last day, and I want to mess with her a little.
“Whom did you ask?” she queries.
“Is that important?” I pick up the glass and take a deep swig, the ice-water chasing the dryness from my throat.
“If they matter to you, it matters.” She smiles…almost.
“Do you want to know what they said?” I arch a brow and wipe my lips. Her eyes follow the movement.
“Do you want me to know?” Her voice is calm, like her words are spoken through a silk cloth. It’s a trick to get me to trust her.
“He asked me a question in return,” I inform her, leaning back with my hands behind my head. I lift my feet and cross them at my ankles on her table.
Her eyes flinch when a piece of mud from my boot drops in the glass and floats on top of the water.
“Do you want to tell me the question he asked?” She straightens and shuffles her ass back.
“If I killed someone you love, would you care?”
She tenses, but it’s fleeting. “Is that a question or the answer?”
I smirk. “That’s the question he asked me.”
“And what was your response?” She tilts her head, studying me.
“I didn’t have one at first. He said if I was searching the sea of people I love in my mind, then I’m probably not a psychopath.”
“So you got your answer,” she concludes, crossing her leg over her other thigh. Her skirt rests just above her knees, giving me a brief glimpse of her panties from the movement. I’m not sure whether it’s deliberate, but I also don’t care. I narrow my gaze on hers.
“But what if I don’t love anyone?” I ask, leaning forward. “Is the answer the obvious one?” I smirk.
Her hands tighten on her notepad. “That doesn’t make you a psychopath.”
I keep my eyes trained on hers, holding her gaze.
“Doesn’t it?” I frown, holding back my grin when her eye twitches. She’s never been able to figure me out.
And I don’t need her to answer that question. I already know the answer is yes.
Yes, I would care.
I’d care a whole fucking lot.
Because I do love.
I love her.
And that’s why I had to kill him.