I think I finally understand Lady Macbeth’s famous lament: All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.
I am not a murderer. Or at least, I would like to believe so.
I do not know if it was destiny or just co-incidence, but I was the one who picked up the rat poison from Spar Hypermarket that day.
“Mortein Rat Poison Cake” the cover said.
Under directions of use, it said, “Break the cake into six small pieces. Scatter these pieces around the floor of your house.” A big highlight on the cover said, “Most rats die 3 – 4 days after consumption, outdoors.”
So I was the one who brought the weapon of murder into the house. And as fate would have it, I initiated the “breaking of the cake” so that the rat would come and pick it up. I couldn’t break it on my own. My brother did it.
Both of us together decided where we should place the pieces, so that the rat would pick them up. And eat them. And die.
Five minutes after we had placed two pieces of the cake near the hole that the rat used to enter our kitchen, it disappeared.
That is when the pangs of guilt began their torment.
The rat was just looking for food for survival. It was a poor hungry rat who, even if it wanted to, would not be able to cause me any harm.
It was probably a very hungry rat. Because it fell for the bait so easily.
And it did not eat bits of the cake and leave. It carried the entire cake along with it, probably back to its home, to its family, happy that it had found such a big chunk of food. It probably fed the cake to its little babies first.
I am a murderer. I am responsible for the death of not just one life, but the death of a whole family; of little babies.
And no matter what I do, that guilt will not wash away anytime soon.
“All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.”