Frank Collins was an average man who led a life of banality and boredom. He would wake up every morning at six forty-five, brush his teeth, and eat a breakfast of unbuttered toast and oatmeal.
He worked at a small office that handled insurance claims, rarely spoke to his coworkers,
and rarely spoke to anyone for that matter; he was a quiet man who people paid little attention to, and he paid even less to them.
Frank had once been a vibrant man, had a wife and a daughter who he loved very much. He would sing and dance with her, play princess, and take her to the park.
The Collins’ daughter was an especially beautiful child, everyone in the neighborhood said so.
Her hair was golden and always kept neat by red bows and her smile was infectious, partly because of her dimples. She was the sort of child people said “Could be on TV.” Mrs.
Collins adored her outgoing and caring husband, she loved him so much she gave him a daughter despite her own misgivings about children, and she tried to love the child, but found it beyond her.
Mrs. Collins hid this from Frank and pretended until the child’s fourth birthday, April 17th 1998, when she could pretend no longer. Frank was out getting the cake, Mrs.
Collins was alone with the child, as she was bathing her the idea entered her head: I could drown her, it wouldn’t be hard either.
I could just push her head down, hold it there for a little while, and poof, it would be over.
Frank came home to his wife sitting on the porch, rocking in her chair, silent, staring off into the distance with a slight smile on her face, her clothes damp.
He asked his wife, “Where is Claire? Is she sleeping?” His wife gave no answer, and appeared to not even notice his presence.
With panic in his voice, “Beth, where is Claire?! Is everything alright?!” Again, his wife gives no sign of response.
He rushes into the house, calling his daughters name, going from room to room, frantically searching for her, finding no sign in the living room, next the kitchen,
nothing but her half-eaten sandwich, he checks her bedroom and finds her socks and shoes on the floor, realizing she must have had a bath.
He approaches the bathroom, slowly, as if the floor had suddenly become mud; he struggles to move toward the door, light piercing between it and the floorboard. His hand grasps the handle.
He can barely muster the courage to turn it but somehow finds the strength, light pours out of the room, blinding him. He moves his blurry gaze toward the bathtub.
Frank Collins’ body was found in his apartment on April 17th 2005, suicide by an overdose of his sleep medication. In his hands was a lock of golden hair held together by a red bow.