So consequences – My hit, Joey, the ghost, whatever you or I would like to call him, to be specific the giant elephant in the room, that’s always there and I literally mean always.
The first I knew anything about him was exactly one week after I had finished my training. And that was exactly a year to the day after the suited man appeared in our doorway. In just a short year, my life had completely changed; I had gone from a self-absorbed, want-to-be influencer to a ghost. Well, not literally a ghost I was still alive, what I mean is I became a digital ghost; I no longer existed anywhere in the virtual world.
The suited man, whom I now knew to be Benjamin, my granddad, Ben as I now call him, (but that’s a whole other story), handed me a small grey envelope and inside it was Joey’s picture. My first hit.
I looked at his cute boyish face and I felt a little nauseous. This was it, it was real, no backing out of it. The day all my training was directed towards had arrived neatly packed in a small innocuous envelope.
‘You can do this’.
Ben, reassured me, with a side thump to the shoulder, no homey granddad vibes attached.
Of course I knew I could do this, but the rather larger question was, ‘did I want to’? I had never been given the choice. And right now in front of me was a choice, would I really kill this person or suffer the consequences?
Everything had been arranged to make my first time an effortless affair, the car, the location, a detailed plan, nothing to allow for an error to occur.
Yeah right, thinking back on that night, like what was I thinking?
Instead of following dutifully what I was told to do, I went in the front door of the hotel, not the back, mistake number one, and then realising this was the first time I had even a sliver of freedom in a year, what did I do?
Did I head to the room and get ready? No, of course not, I went to the bar, and the why, for the stupidest reason I have yet to give myself, I wanted a diet coke. Yep, a Diet Coke. I hadn’t so much as touched one in a year, all the bloody training was focused around healthy body, healthy mind, no junk food, no rubbish calories, Yoga, meditation, peace and calm, all so as I could kill someone, the irony.
And at the end of it all there I stood at the hotel bar with a glass of sweet, oh sweet diet coke, with just the right amount of ice, tempting bubbles popping on the surface.
When from behind me I heard.
‘Let me introduce myself’.
It was Joey, and yes he was talking to me.
For fucks sake, like seriously!
I turned to move away, but he wasn’t giving up.
‘I feel like we know each other’.
I don’t think so, how bloody corny; did he think I fell off the last bus from the back of beyond?
Grabbing my bag, and leaving the diet coke on the bar, I left. And just what did he do? He followed me. Yes followed me.
‘Wait, I’m sorry if I said something wrong’.
I walked faster, and so did he. I headed for the back of the hotel, towards the delivery door, the one I should have come in through, so did he.
Out through the kitchen, along by the staff room, then cool room, the main delivery door next, opening it out on the street that curved by the side of the hotel. As the door pulled itself closed behind me, I reached into my bag, taking out a small 22, just as Joey’s hand appeared in the crack of the door.
Walking out on to the street, he stood silently as I held the 22 up to his head.
When suddenly, bang, a really, and I mean really, gigantic flat screen TV came flying out one of the windows above and with extraordinary precision, smack, it hits him on the head, killing him outright.
And if that wasn’t outrageously weird, or exceptionally serendipitous, enough, he continued to speak, but this time I could hear him just from behind my left shoulder.
‘Well that’s not good.’
I have since learned that Joey has a gift for being very understated during traumatic experiences, his death being probably the most understated I have ever seen him.
Putting the 22 back in my bag I walked away, Joey followed, turning the corner just before whoever threw the TV looked out the window, down to the street.
Followed by shouts, screams and then sirens in the distance.
The only thought going through my head was ‘how was I going to explain all this’ to Ben?