When I can trust myself to think about her, Katherine drifts into my mind. Fair of skin, with honey blonde hair, deep blue eyes and a voice that could melt away the cares of a madman, she was the one true love of my life. She was a rare orchid, too beautiful, too exotic, a hothouse flower never meant for the outside world.
What she saw in me, I don’t know. Her laughter rang like a crystal bell when I told her the best of my jokes. She was a study in empathy when I showed her my scars. She told me she loved me for myself, my inner person, not just the mangled husk the army sent home from Da Nang after Tet. Softly, gently, she bathed my wounds in her love, setting me adrift on a sea of conflict that slowly shredded what humanity I had left.
Many times I have been asked why did I kill her. One hundred stab wounds, a detective told me; that had to come from the deepest hate a man with no soul could muster. He was wrong. I loved her. I adored her.
She was my rare orchid and I saved her from a slower death.