Chapter Thirty-Five: The Devil�s Taxes:

Scratch. Scratch. Scratch.

Nobu doesn't sleep anymore. His brain became jumbled up last November. His former self was murdered that day. Nobu stayed most of his days in his office. His eyes were nearly blinded by the dimly-lit laptop screen. He needed work. His house fell into turbulence last year. Nobu felt like a time bomb.

Scratch. Scratch. Scratch.

His wife feared him now. Sharon always turned a blind eye to his crimes. His kills shocked her in the beginning. So, why does she stay? What's the point?

July 17th, 1983.

Nobu had just started teaching students that year. Tokyo University provided a background for this love story. He worked in a small classroom that year. She walked in like a princess visiting the country. Nobu couldn't take his eyes off of her. He tried to figure out why. Has she always been in this class? Since when? His eyes traced every detail of this woman with her white blonde hair to her jaw and fat apple cheeks. Her light yellow sundress drew attention to her. Nobu gulped. Okay here I go, he thought. Nobu walked up to her. The woman glanced up at him. Nobu stood in place.

"Hi�" he mumbled. The woman blinked at him.

"Yes?" she asked. He struggled in his mind for something cool to say.

"Hey," he said. "You doing anything after class?"

"No, why?" she said. Nobu shuffled his feet.

"Well� could we walk around campus or something?" he offered. "You know, get a coffee or something."

"Are you asking me out?" she asked.

"Yeah," Nobu said with a nod. "Yes, I am." The woman lowered her pencil.

"Alright," she said. "Guess it couldn't hurt." Nobu bowed his head.

"I thank you," he replied. The professor walked into the classroom and Nobu went back to his post. The woman gave him a little smile. He smiled back at her.

March 20th, 2010.

It's slowly falling into ruin. He's trying to keep his distance. The man worries about what could happen. He encountered the mother last November. His mind's been in ruin ever since. It's only going to get worse.

Scratch. Scratch. Scratch.

He typed away harder. Please shut up. Please stop. I don't want to hurt her anymore. He had turned violent lately. So much so that it scared him. This isn't like me at all, he thought. Nobu wished that he could forget every punch, every shout, and every kick. Sharon didn't even fight back. She just lay there and took it. Nobu's heart twisted in pain because of it. Stop me! Say something! Please! He couldn't seem to stop and the blows keep getting worse. I don't know why I do this! Stop me, Sharon! Somebody� Anybody�

Scratch. Scratch. Scratch.

Tonight was no different. Another long day and Nobu felt like screaming. He came home to a silent house. Nobu scanned the room.

"Sharon!" he yelled. "Sharon! Where are you?" When No answer came, Nobu gritted his teeth.

"Sharon!" he yelled again. No answer still and he clenched his fists. His heavy steps filled the room. He knew where to find her. Bubbles floated in the fish tank as Sharon's eyes stayed glued to the glass. She looked out of touch. Nobu shook his head.

"I'm home," he said. Sharon didn't move. Her husband grabbed her by the shoulder. Sharon turned around and Nobu tried to stay calm.

"I'm home," he repeated. His wife said nothing as she blinked at him. No words came out. The woman still looked out of it. Her husband sneered on the outside. Don't do this now. Sharon still didn't respond. Nobu's rage built up brick by brick in his brain. His lips curved into grimace.

"Run," he warned. His wife didn't move.

"Run," Nobu said. She still stood where she was. The thin twine slowly began to break.

"You better run," he hissed. Sharon stood where she was. Snap! Nobu's eyes misted over red. He gave her a look of death. A heavy sneer came on his face.

"Bitch," he mumbled. Smack! She sank to the ground without a word. Nobu's anger grew fiercer.

"Why won't you scream out, woman?!" he barked. "Doesn't it hurt?" Sharon sat up and looked at him. Nobu growled at her.

"Bitch!" he snapped. He raised his foot to kick her. No. Not again. Stop! Stop! Nobu stopped his foot just in time. Sharon still didn't respond. Her husband stormed off to his office. He closed and locked the door behind him. The middle-aged man breathed out hard. That was close, he thought. Too close. Nobu didn't know how much more of his damaged brain he could take. He needed an out. The man walked over to his laptop and booted it up. He opened up Word and began to type.

Don't hit

Don't use violence

Don't shout

Stay calm

Be gentle

He typed this every night. It's his leash that prevented him from giving in to his violence, but how long will that last before he snaps?