The Accident

 My soul has been cold for some time now.  My parents, fiancee,and I were in a fatal two car accident 15 years ago.  I was the only survivor; six other people died.  I lost it after that.  Nothing else mattered at all.  I spent a few years trying to drink and drug myself to death.  It didn't work.  I had a cold empty chill in my body that would not leave.  I began stealing, grafting, and hustling people just for something evil to do.  I had no conscience left.  No matter what I did, there was no feeling of remorse.  While hanging out in an Irish pub on the south side of Boston one afternoon, I was approached by a fellow drinking about doing a hit.  At first, I thought he was kidding or the booze was talking.  However, he told me he had heard about my con rackets around the neighborhood and that the Irish mobsters weren't too happy about it.  I needed to do this hit to make peace.  I thought, "What the fuck."  That's how I became a hit-man.   

   I'll fast forward ten years.  I had become the primary hit-man for the Irish mob in the greater Boston area.  My severe lack of any soul or conscience made me a perfectly built killing machine.  In fact, I even got off on it in a way.  It seemed to help fill the empty hole in my life.  I know that may seem contradictory, but the loss of my loved ones changed me deeply.  It made me a monster.  Before I started killing for a living, I would stay awake for days dwelling on the reason why I survived the crash.  I could not come to terms with it.  Being a hit-man allowed me to sleep.  It removed me from my depression.  I had no remorse for the people I killed and I could care less if I got caught.  My life, nor anyone else's, had any meaning to me.  I was perfect.   

   Yesterday, I met "One Thumb" McShane at Paddy's Pub.  He gave me the address and the last name of a guy I was to take care of.  The guy ran a deli in a mob controlled neighborhood.  He had stopped paying protection money and was rallying other shop owners to follow suit.  This could not continue.  "One Thumb" gave me $1500 up front and told me take care of it right away.  I nodded and ordered a double Bushmills.  I waited for darkness to set in and set out for the mark's house.   

   The mark lived near the neighborhood I grew up in.  I rolled up in front of the old brownstone and I saw him through the dining room window.  He was a single guy.  I didn't have to worry about family members.  I cased the spot for an hour.  The scene looked ripe.  I grabbed my gun, stuck in my shoulder holster, and walked across the street.  He opened the door for me and had a look of surprise.  I asked, "Are you Mr. Brennan?"  He swallowed hard and said, "Yeah, what do you want."  I stared coldly at him for a moment.  I finally said, "Some folks are telling me you're not paying them some owed money.  They aren't too happy.  They want something done."  He wobbled a bit and braced himself against the kitchen table.  His nervousness gave me a rush.  He knew why I was there.  I asked, "What are we going to do about this Mr. Brennan?"  He cried, "Look man, my parents opened this deli 40 years ago.  If I pay the protection money, I can't afford to stay open.  FUCK!  I don't want to lose my family deli."  A memory came over me.  I softly said, "Brennan's Deli?  You're the Charlie Brennan from Perkin's Elementary?"  You grew up in this neighborhood?"  He looked up, stared at me for a minute, and asked, "Holy shit! Roman?"  I nodded and a wave of something I hadn't felt in a long time rushed over me.  I had some feelings come back.  They were raw and piercing.  I had buried them for so long.  Charlie had been a friend.   

   When were in 5th grade, Charlie and I were walking home one evening.  Charlie was walking backwards so he could face me.  A car came screeching down the road and Charlie saw it swerving at us.  He yelled for me to get out of the way.  I slipped in some gravel and fell.  The car was speeding closer.  Charlie grabbed the hood of my jacket and pulled me between two parked cars; just as the car nicked my shoe.  I would have been killed that night if it weren't for Charlie.  I hadn't thought about that for a long time.  That was the first time I realized my own mortality.  When I was in the accident with my parents and fiancee, my mortality left me.  Seeing Charlie made me get a little of that back.  Had Charlie saved my life again?  I couldn't do what I had intended; not to Charlie.  I told him some of what had happened to me.  I told what he had given me back.  We talked for awhile.  The memories filled my head and dizzied me.

     After another hour of talking, I got up to leave.  Charlie was walking in front of me to get the door.  I took out my garrote and wrapped it tightly around Charlie's neck.  I drew him close to me.  I whispered in his ear, "You should have let me die that night Charlie.  I would never have had to live with the obscene emotional pain of that car accident.  I was supposed to die that night you bastard."  The life escaped his body and his legs fell limp.  The emptiness returned to my body.   

Uploaded 03/12/2010
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