Prompt Day # 284: A parent uncovers a dark secret on their child’s computer, smartphone, music player or gaming device. A secret which involves the parent’s significant other. What is it?
What the Boy Saw
For the longest time, I had suspected my fifteen year old son, Jax was into drugs. He was always in his room, up late at night, or out at odd hours. My once bubbly, outgoing boy was now quiet and brooding. I tried to talk to my husband about it but he worked nights as a security guard and as a nurse, I worked several shifts and we rarely had time to talk. So, I took matters into my own hands. I searched his room for paraphernalia, but found none. I let it go for a while.
But things got worse. I began to worry that he was depressed, maybe contemplating suicide. I gave up on the drug thing and began to worry about Jax being bullied or maybe he was cutting himself. I even went so far as to “accidentally” walk in on him once getting out of the shower. In the quick moment I saw him, I did not see any scars.
I had no choice but to resort to complete invasion of privacy. I hacked his computer. I checked his history and that’s when I found some disturbing content. He’d been searching serial killers He had files for each one, their victims, their methods, and maps marked with their homes and locations of the bodies. This was his obsession? Was my son a serial killer? I was sick, nauseated.
I began reading the local papers, looking for any signs that a serial killer may be on the loose. No reported deaths, but a surprising number of young, college aged girls reported missing over the last three months or so. Oh God, what was he doing? I suspected there would be more information on his phone. Pics and videos potentially. I had to know. The problem was, the boy was never separate from his phone. Never. I had to do something drastic.
I drugged him. I had to. When he was out cold, I took his phone. I opened every pic and every video. Girl after girl being dragged through the woods behind the house. Girls being strangled, their clothes torn, their make-up smeared across their faces. I sat there in the silence of my living room and watched in horror at the assaults filmed in my own backyard, right under my nose. I looked at my son. How could he? I watched another and it hit me. He couldn’t. He couldn’t have filmed what he did from the angle and distance he did if he had been the killer. No. My son was documenting the killing being done by someone else.
It had to be a friend because he never showed the killer’s face. I checked on his breathing, he was good. I took the phone and downloaded the videos to my laptop, where later I could look at them on a larger screen. I put Jax’s phone back, turned on the TV, covered him up and went to my room.
I wanted to go out back, I wanted to dig around and see what I could find, but I didn’t have the guts. Not tonight, not in the dark. Instead I tried to sleep until four when Kyle, my husband came creeping in. I listened as he showered and crawled into bed. I couldn’t sleep, I tossed and turned for an hour or so until finally, I got up and turned on the laptop. I sat there beside my sleeping husband watching videos of hands strangling half dead young women. Hands that I knew. Hands that had touched all my private places, hands into which I once placed my newborn son, and hands that were currently lying on top of the cherry blossom comforter I’d just bought when I repainted our room.