The Vanity of the Mind #2: A Damsel in Distress

The story so far…
Prologue
1. Anathema

A damsel in distress

He was pushed to the back seat of a helpless moderator who was about to witness a heated debate.
The heart and the mind were arguing. How could he not listen to either one of them?
The mind. Cunning manipulator.
The heart. Excruciating torturer.

He came back after quenching his thirst. But his thirst for an answer was still not quenched. The curtains were open and the soothing lights from the moon were falling inside. The warm doona was glowing bright white in the silhouette. Under that was a beautiful face, no less than the face of an angel, because it was glowing with twice the aura as the moon. His gaze quickly went again to his silenced pistol kept in the bedside table.

No.
NO..NO..
Please…No…I can’t do this…
I love her.

Did I really ever love any one? Did I really care about any one?
Do I know what love is?

All I know is that she is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life..She is my sole solace from all the misdeeds I do.

Misdeeds? Or deeds? There is nothing wrong in taking life.

How can I take life when I can’t give life?

I don’t care. All I know is, this is what I’m good at and this is what I’m paid for.

But how can I? How dare I hurt such a person as her?

Because she asked me to.

What?

Don’t I know?

The world then zooms to an alternate reality…what has already happened!
The assassin and his lady love are conversing. The heart and the mind are watching.

Assassin: I didn’t expect you outside so soon. You like parties.
Lady: I like to be in your company for as long as I wish.
L: Care for a smoke?
A: No thanks.
L: As usual.
A: We should stop meeting like this; these chance encounters make me feel insecure about myself.
L: Chance encounters? Heh. You have been hiding so many things from me.
A: Like?
L: Like what you do for a living.
A: You never asked.
L: I didn’t because I didn’t want to know.
A: Very well.
L: But I found out nevertheless. I’ve seen you hide that pistol of yours inside your tuxedo.

The hitman frowns.

L: I’ve known that the one the world thinks as an Urban Legend, is the world for me.
A: Still you love me?
L: Yes.
A: Why?
L: Because I’ve seen a heart of gold in you.
A: But I have a mind of stone.
L: But I see your heart in your eyes whenever your eyes see me.
A: Look. I’ve tried to tell you several times, but faltered every time. You should stay away from me. It is not safe.
L: How can one stay away from one’s shadow?
A: I am the shadow of the people I kill. I cannot be with you.
L: Then kill me.

The assassin frowns again. How the hell did she know?

A: That is the stupidest statement I’ve heard in ages.

A cheshire cat grin comes on her face. He senses her signal. He leans forward. He feels her satin-like skin. They hear the song played in the background.
I swear by the moon and the stars in the sky
I swear like the shadow that’s by your side

They kiss.

The heart and the mind come back to the present.

That is just a passing statement. Not good enough a reason for killing her.

It’s not finished yet.

They zoom to another reality.

The assassin and the lady are in the bed. He is lying on his back, facing the ceiling. She is lying sideways, her head rested against her left arm. Her other hand is caressing his chin.

L: Do you love me?
A: I don’t know.
L: That’s one honest answer.
A: But you are the only human I care about in this earth.
L: Then why did you come here to kill me?
A: What?
L: I know you are here to kill me.
A: I di…
L: I’ve seen the concentration in your face today. Today is the day you are going to make another hit. I don’t mind it being me.
A: I don’t get it.
L: I’ve been running away from them for so long. They want me dead. I’m tired. Tired from running. You see. I’d rather die in your hands than from the bullets of an unknown person.
A: Are you not afraid?
L: Not when you are around. I only have one request. Hold me close to you until I die.

The assassin doesn’t know what to say. He can’t keep his eyelids open. He feels sleepy.
What is happening to me?
He wakes up in an unknown place. He walks across the street, but this time it looks a bit familiar…The road laid with stones. The medieval buildings. He is back in his dream.

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