There you are. You're the guy. I've finally found you. I didn't even know what you looked like until I laid my eyes on you just now. But I know it's you because of that telltale ace of spades tattoo on your index finger. You're sitting there at the bar, holding a beer with that hand. Do you even remember what you used that hand for?
Do you remember the night you came to my house? When my father burst through my bedroom door and the hallway light sliced through the darkness of my room? He was panicked, sweaty, out of breath. He had already dragged me halfway out of my room before I realised I had even been awoken.
“Whatever you do, don't make a sound,” was all he said, like some terrified mantra. I asked what was going on and all he would is repeat those seven words back to. I heard the front door downstairs come crashing down, like it had been kicked off its hinges. Do you remember kicking my door down? Maybe that wasn't you. Maybe one of your goons did that. Because you came with a group. Like a coward.
We went into my father's bedroom and he told me to get under the bed. At this point I was crying, too young to understand what was going but old enough to understand it was bad. But my father still wouldn't explain. He put his hand over my mouth and stifled my crying.
“Whatever you do, don't make a sound. Whatever you do, don't make a sound.”
Then he breaks the mantra.
“I love you.”
He said it like he was saying goodbye. And those three words frightened me more than the other phrase he'd been repeating. I could hear the footsteps of the men downstairs stopping up the wooden steps towards us. My father. shoved me under the bed and the dust I kicked up immediately began scratching my throat. I looked back at his terrified face before he stood up and disappeared behind the bed.
From underneath the bed I could see the light from the hallway spilling out onto the faded lime carpet and my father's bare feet. Then an ominous shadow stepped in front the light and cast my father's feet in darkness.
I don't remember what you said. Do you remember what you said? I remember the deep, menacing timbre of your voice. I remember the smug, threatening tone you employed as you spoke. I remember the pleading tone in which my father spoke back. I remember you didn't speak for very long before you smacked my father and he fell onto the ground.
As you took a step towards my father I saw the shiny, premium leather shoes you were wearing and the dark fabric of your trousers. I could only see up to your waist. But hanging there, I could see your hanging hand holding the gun. And most importantly for you, I could see your ace of spaces tattoo on your index finger. I watched the hand raise up and point the gun at my helpless father. And I watched that finger pull the trigger.
I never heard the gun. It was a flash and then a high pitched whine. I could see my father's lifeless body lying on its back, as the crimson blood slowly oozed out the back of his head slowly soaked the faded lime green carpet. I watched your feet walk out of the room as you rejoined your goons who were waiting in the hallway.
I stayed under the bed for hours. I watched the blood on the carpet coagulate as it dried around my father's head. Eventually I crawled out and went to hold my father's hand. The terror in his eyes which had animated him the last time he looked at me was gone. Now they were blank and vacant.
I knew that day I'd find you. I knew it would take a while. I knew I'd first need to grow up and there was no accelerating that progress. I held on the hatred I felt for you all these years and turned into a sharp, clear determination.
And once I came of age, I started asking around for the hitman with an ace of spades tattoo on his index finger. And that's how I found you. Think about that. Think of the life you lead. Think of all the decisions you've made. The first time you decided to kill a man for money. The time you decided to kill your former boss when someone offered you more money. The time you went abroad and murdered a high-ranking politician. And yet the decision that got you killed is the time you decided to go to a tattoo parlour when you were 16 and get a tattoo on your index finger. The tattoo artist had no idea as he was applying the ink that he was signing your death warrant.
When you see me, will you remember me? When I kill you, will you know why?