Christian Droulers

Agile and flexible programmer

An open shot

The crosshair hovered closer to the man’s head. I could see his wife right behind him, walking out of the plane. She was not the target, I’d have to wait. He approached another man, waiting by the car, no one else in sight, no one else in my line of sight. There’s a nice open shot…

‒ Don’t you ever feel bad?

‒ About what? I ask.

She was laying beside me. Her warm body against mine, exhausted and smiling.

‒ About what you do, She precised.

We’ve known each other for three years now, and she knew from the beginning that I was no ordinary man. I also knew she was unlike any other woman. She believed in everything I didn’t. She had ideals anything but similar to mine. And still, we were together yet again.

‒ What do you mean?

‒ You know, your jobs.

It’s not like we’re going out together or anything. We just enjoy each other’s company. I know she’s there when I need to talk, and I’m also there for her. We usually have sex first; sometimes gentle, sometimes wild. And after that, we lay together and talk. There’s always something to talk about after sex.

‒ Why should I feel bad about it?

‒ Well, you kill people…

‒ You know humanity deserves to disappear, one more or one less won’t make a difference.

‒ You also steal and destroy things…

Do I love her? I don’t know, and I don’t want to know. I feel good with her and that’s enough to me.

‒ Things that were made by humans. So what?

‒ You know…

‒ No, I don’t. Speak your mind.

It wasn’t meant to look rude but I know she took it this way. I’m a man, and I am not going to try interpreting words from a woman.

‒ I know you don’t just work for good people. Don’t you feel bad when doing stuff for evil people?

It wasn’t the first time she asked questions like this one. She’s known about my job for a while now, and she’s the only person I could trust to keep it secret in this screwed up society. But she’s never brought the good and evil point.

‒ Evil stuff? There are no such things as good nor evil! It’s all a matter of standpoint. And anyway, I’m only the body doing it, if I wouldn’t be someone else would do it anyway. So I make my money out of it.

She didn’t answer and silence settled in the room for a little moment.

‒ I’m sorry, I was a little rude… but I really believe in what I said.

‒ It’s okay, I know you. Maybe you’re right after all.

‒ No one is right. Nor wrong.

She seemed to like my words. The conversation dropped dead. She leaned closer and slid her hand slowly over my chest.

‒ You know I’m scared when you leave…

‒ You shouldn’t.

I would’ve died instead of hearing those words, but they still came.

‒ But I need you, I’m scared that you’ll never come back and I’ll be left alone.

‒ You don’t need me, not at all.

I didn’t want her to need me. The last things I wanted were ties. I had managed alone for all those years and I wasn’t about to change. Relying on others only brought pain, despair and hatred.

‒ I just can’t imagine the pain of rethinking about all those nights we’ve spent together if you’d disappear. Remembering how you were then, what I would be doing with you. I’ve come to depend on you…

Was this how people thought of the dead? Was that how I’d be treated after my death? Would I only be a memory? Something she would drill around in her mind, torturing herself with something that doesn’t exist anymore?

‒ Promise something to me. I’m serious, I want you to dig it deep into your heart and keep your promise.

‒ What?

‒ Do not ever talk about me in the past tense, even in death. Do not ever cry for me either.

She almost said something, then stopped, waited for a minute.

‒ Okay, she said.

I thought she’d ask why, I think I wanted her to ask why, I wanted to tell her that I’d never die, that life is only a period we go through during eternity, that she had to live on, do all she ever wanted and be happy. Never dwell on such a stupid thing as another human.

‒ You and my job are all that I have, I live for both only!

‒ Hands up! the guard screamed.

Fuck. I still had the shot, with a gun pointed to my head. I could risk shooting first. Or could I? Images sprung into my mind, images of her and me together.

She hugged me.

‒ I couldn’t live without you either sweetie.

What had I become? It wasn’t only her love, it was mine also. I loved her. How could I have become so weak, so dependant, so human?

‒ You have me. From now on, you’ll have me forever. I’m quitting after my next assignment.

‒ But didn’t you just say your job was all you had?

‒ I can’t have both you and my job. It’s dangerous for my mind and my body, as you cannot even imagine. And you’re more important than my job.

That was the hugest lie I’ve ever said in my life, my job kept me alive, kept my brain working. I’d go crazy staying put for more than a month. But I couldn’t work with her in mind, I’d go crazy as well! She moved her body over mine, kissing me, gently brushing her soft hands over my chest.

‒ I love you Leon.

Those words I’ll remember for eternity. I pulled the trigger and then, there was nothing. My biosigns flatlined and a message was automatically sent to my bank, confirming the transaction of all my money into her account, followed by a letter with the words “I’m sorry” printed on it.

I know she cried.

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