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My Story – Natalie chapter two

January 14, 2016

Well, it seems you are still here. I’m impressed.

This is not a pretty story. It certainly doesn’t have a happy ending.

But you wanted to know, so this is my story.

 

Four years ago I was on a mission—the purpose of the mission is not important nor is the outcome. I guess you could say my story is more of a side note, an event you don’t think much of at the time but it stays with you like a muscle injury you can’t shake, one that comes back to you if you twist wrong. One day you are hidden behind enemy lines with your favorite pistol in your hands counting down the seconds in your head until the breach of the compound but you know the count is already too long and something is wrong but you can’t put words to it.

It’s like that.

Just a moment in time where you stop and you breathe, and in the silence it comes back to you. Unexpected and with no trigger warning. Sounds and smells return as if you are right back there in that moment.

For me. It’s that night in April.

It was a warm night. I was dressed in a sleeveless shirt—collar open, and a pair of sweatpants. My hair was longer back then and tied on top of my head to keep it off my neck. The room behind me was holding the heat from the past few days and it was hot, sticky and uncomfortable.

I could smell someone’s cooking—pasta certainly, it was very garlicky. I was doing my best to ignore my stomach but it growled angrily informing me it was not happy with my culinary exploits tonight. I eyed the torn powerbar wrappers tossed haphazardly to the floor around my position. Well, get over it. Hunger was not going to kill me—not in two hours at any rate. It smelt fabulous though.

The sun was setting over my left shoulder shining into my eyes. The view through the binoculars was the same as it had been for the last three hours. My target was in the fourth window across from my position. She was still painting. Most sessions with the brush lasted five or six hours. I was anticipating a long night.

Uncomfortable, I shuffled on my chair and covered the movement by leaning forward. The voice in my head reminded me not to show weakness—even in here, alone in this little box of an abandoned flat I couldn’t shake it. My instincts and training ruled my head and my body.

Conceal everything.

I adjusted the camera minutely. It was perfectly positioned of course, but again, I had to conceal everything. A moment later I raised the binoculars again.

A flash of movement caught my eye and I lowered my gaze to locate the source. A child, perhaps four or five years old stood at the window below my target’s apartment. He, for it was a little boy, stared out onto the street below. There was nothing that should have sparked my curiosity or concern but the look in his eyes had captured my attention. I could not look away. He looked so lost.

After a moment I tore my gaze away to eye the window above. Stay on mission. But that little boy stayed in my mind for hours—even called to me in my sleep that night. His eyes stared into mine, silent and staring. I bolted awake gasping. I knew I would have to look into this little boy further. If only to restore my nights to a semi-restful state.

 

Go to chapter three

 

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Go back to start

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