Writer’s Block: “I swore to myself that this would be the last time…”

by The Cowl Editor on February 1, 2019


Scrabble tiles spelling out Writer's

Scrabble tiles spelling out Block

TWO WRITERS, ONE LINE: “I swore to myself that this would be the last time…

The Last One
By Erin Lucey ’20


I swore to myself that this would be the last time. But as I sift through the pile of potential suspects, I can’t help but torture myself with the thought that I must have missed something again. Okay, I thought, THIS will be the last time, and then I have to go home. Carly is probably one re-run episode away from falling asleep on the couch, trying desperately to wait up for me. I feel so guilty about how often I have been leaving her all alone with the baby. I’ve lost count of how many nights it’s been since I’ve made it home while little Troy is still awake. I had always promised myself that I wouldn’t be that type of dad, but at this point, I can only hope that my son won’t remember these days without me, and that soon I will learn to balance and separate my personal and professional lives. After we crack this case, I thought, I am never getting this involved in my work again. I am missing out on so much of my life, obsessing over the twisted acts of this anonymous criminal. By subjecting myself to this endless cycle of leads followed by deadlock, I am letting this monster steal life from me, too, though not with the same direct brutality as that used on these poor girls.

The dim light of my desk lamp begins to flicker, probably a sign that it’s time to pack up for the night. Hopeless, I am just about ready to give up. Maybe I am just too invested, but I can’t ignore the feeling that I am so close to cracking this. There must be something obvious that I am missing! Has it been right in front of me all along? This barbaric man is getting away with some of the most savage slayings I have ever seen. How could I let these innocent little girls down? As guilty as I feel for spending so much time away from my family, the guilt I feel for these young girls who have suffered, never to see their own families again, is unbearable. I can’t let this guy get away with this. With just enough incentive to look through those arbitrary clues one last time, I finally see it. Of course. It’s been right in front of me all along! I practically jump out of my seat. The killer! I know who he is!


I swore to myself that this would be the last time, but as the thrill of the enchanting power I held when taking the life of another person engulfs me again, I already know I am going to crave this feeling some more. Okay, that statement made me sound crazy. It’s not what you think. I do know that what I am doing is wrong. It’s not like I am one of those psychopaths that doesn’t feel any guilt. The truth is, I do feel really bad about it. Every day, the thought of just ending it all and turning myself in crosses my mind. But at the same time, what do I have to lose by continuing with my actions at this point? When they do catch me, I will probably already go to jail for life for what I’ve done so far, even despite my status as a minor. So why not chase the electrifying feeling all the way to the end?

I don’t quite understand how no one has even thought to question me yet. Do I really seem that innocent? Anytime I see my famous crimes on TV I completely freak out. How has no one noticed that? I always feel like I am making it so obvious! While part of me wants to just get caught and get it over with already, I can’t escape the intense desire to keep this up. How far can I go? How blind can they be? I must be really good at what I do.


Late Night Visits
by Sarah Kirchner ’21

I swore to myself that this would be the last time…
The last time I went into his room and
The last time I let him manipulate me with lies,
The same lies he told too many girls before me.
Those girls who I see too often and have to hide from,
Because they know just like I do.
They memorize the lies only to tell themselves
That he really means it this time.
“It’s only you.” Classic.
I swore to myself that this would be the last time,
That I left his room at 4 a.m.
And walked home alone in the dark.
The feeling of regret washing over me
But not enough to make me not go back,
Because he has a pull that I can’t quite refuse.
The way he smiles at me makes my heart beat faster,
And I never know exactly what to do.
He texts to me “u up?” and somehow
I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
He barely does a thing,
Yet he’s become my everything.
I swore to myself that this would be the last time,
And one day it will be the last time.
It terrifies me that someday
He’ll really be gone.
I’ll believe in myself instead of his lies
So that one day I will walk out that door
And never go back.