Malcolm Sedgwick was a thirty-eight-year-old, beastly, obese married man of four young children with a mortgage and a strong commitment to his spiritual faith. He was a very well-respected and leading figure in the local church community; any spare time, Malcolm would use to organize fundraising events and social gatherings to help spread the good word.
Malcolm worked as a courier for a small but busy inner city delivery service, ‘Speed Guaranteed.’ He rode a Honda CB125 and his hulking mass dwarfed the small machine and the other couriers would laugh as he left the depot with the bike coughing and sputtering beneath his weight. Malcolm had been employed at the company for five years; most of his fellow employees were younger and he felt them coarse and unread and he mostly kept just himself to himself. He was loyal and punctual.
As usual Malcolm was the first to arrive at the depot at 08:15. He parked the Honda and strode slowly into the office to be given his first delivery of the day.
Manager Bob Stone had the day’s deliveries sorted for each courier. He smiled and greeted Malcolm, who stood before him with tiny beads of sweat gathering upon his forehead.
“I’ll give you an hour to deliver this and get back here,” said Bob. Malcolm took the small package and nodded his head and made his way back outside.
As he placed the package into the top-box he noted the name and address, a local adult sex shop. He stared hard at the package like it was a bomb about to explode. He couldn’t help but ponder what might be in the package and he began to feel uncomfortable and unclean as he tried to shut those thoughts from out of his mind.
Malcolm made good time. He pulled over and killed the engine. For a few moments he sat feeling anxious and confused, his mind still racing with images of what the package possibly held, torn between light and darkness.
He climbed off the bike, took the package out of the top box and walked across the road to some public toilets. He locked himself in one of the cubicles and with shaking damp hands he opened up the package.
His fingers were trembling as he looked down at the photographs and he felt disgusted and aroused simultaneously. He began loudly cursing the photographs; “YOU FILTHY WHORES! GOD DAMN YOU! YOU HORNY SINFUL BITCHES! OH FUCK! OH FUCK!”
He unbuckled and whipped out his throbbing member; feelings and sensations that had laid dormant for years were unleashed and were now screaming through his body and mind and he was powerless against it.
“OH, OH YOU DIRTY LOUSY BITCHES, OH SHIT! OH YOU,YOU ARE FUCKING BEAUTIFUL! OH! OH! YOU DEMON WHORES!
With an overwhelming urge he began masturbating and very quickly climaxed over the photographs. He sat panting and puffing and then in a sudden rage of self loathing and guilt, he ripped up the sticky photographs and threw them onto the floor and began screaming loudly and pleading for forgiveness.
“OH DEAR GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE! OH LORD FORGIVE ME PLEASE! PLEASE! WHAT HAVE I DONE! FORGIVE ME!“
“Hey, keep the noise down in there!” said the attendant, knocking hard on the cubicle door.
“Okay, okay…” said Malcolm, still catching his breath. He gathered up the torn pieces of paper and thrust them back into their packaging. Panic and guilt and shame swirled within. He had no package to deliver. Of course he couldn’t tell the truth. He would lose his job. He’d lose everything; job, wife and children and house, everything.
He would not be able to live with such shame and embarrassment.
If a courier somehow loses a package he is fired, there is no argument. However, the one exception was if the courier was robbed.
Malcolm made his way out of the public toilets and began walking with no thought of a destination. His hearted pounded like heavy shell fire and perspiration rolled from his forehead as his mind raced in every direction. He felt helpless. He needed to think of something.
Wandering the narrow back-streets, he rounded a corner and literally crashed into a gang of youths.
“WHAT THE FUCK YOU DOING FATSO!” one of the young men screamed in panicked face.
Malcolm had begun to apologise when he felt a fist smash into the side of his face, and his legs were kicked from under him. He had let go of the package and one of the youths snatched it up and opened it and dumped its contents onto the pavement.
“Look at this shit!”
Malcolm curled into a ball to protect himself from the volley of kicks that came without mercy.
Several hours later, he awoke in the hospital having sustained numerous injuries. He saw his wife and children standing beside the bed and beyond them in the corridor waited two police officers.
He lied to his wife and children and he lied to the police officers. He related how he had been forced by a gang of young men into some alleyway, somewhere he didn’t know, and how they had attacked him, robbing him and destroying his delivery before beating him unconscious.
The story was featured in their local newspaper. He received dozens of well-wishing cards; particularly from the church community, from family and friends and from his employers and from total strangers. Each card that arrived was a reminding stab of guilt and shame.
Every day he lives this lie and everyday he lives with guilt and cannot find it within himself to forgive himself. He thinks of this often, of what he did, and he feels ashamed and empty of goodness and no longer feels worthy into looking into the eyes of those who love and trust him most.
And every time he thinks of those photographs, the primal urges surge, and he mutters a prayer to heaven.