The Last Kiss

Never mind that what he said was true. Nobody humiliates me and gets away with it. I don’t get even — I go one better. He’d learn his lesson.

I knew he’d be at his usual hangout with his buddies, which made it easier to plan the sting. I told the Captain that I’d identify him with a kiss. We used to kiss all the time, instead of saying hello. This would be the last kiss.

With the officers in position behind me, I went in. He was there, all right, talking to his friends. When he looked up at me, I couldn’t meet his eyes, but it didn’t matter — I went up to him, said “Good evening” as casually as I could, and kissed his cheek.

In the silence that followed, I heard him sadly say, “Judas, you would betray me with a kiss?”

What happened after that was a blur. I tried to forget it all, to pretend that it didn’t matter. Then I heard his verdict — torture, then death by the cross.

I rushed to the temple. I couldn’t believe that the priests would murder him out of spite. I had forgotten that it had been my own petty malice which had sold him out, when he was the only person who had ever really understood me… who had ever loved me.

I burst into the temple, shrieking, “You can’t do this! He’s innocent!

“So what?” they sneered. I knew then that it was useless — they had sealed his fate. I threw down the silver they had paid me, the thirty coins that had bought his blood.

“Keep your filthy money!” I shouted, then ran out. I tried to outrun the demons in my mind, but it was no use. I made a noose, hoping to escape my guilt by death. But it was only the beginning of my eternal torment…

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