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I reviewed my orders as I crept through the bushes; hide at the corner of the house, shoot the politician as he leaves, get away without being seen. I had already completed the first step and I was waiting for my opportunity to accomplish the second.
I am an assassin for hire. That is just what I do. At the moment, I am being hired by a politician to kill his rival. The man is about to leave on a trip where he would strike a deal that would ruin the other.
“Goodbye honey,” I heard from inside the house, followed by little footsteps.
“Daddy, I don’t want you to go!” said a small voice. I estimated that the politician’s son must be about three or four.
“It’s ok sweetie,” replied the man, “I’ll only be in New York for a week. It’s not like you’ll never see me again.”
“It’s not like you’ll never see me again.” His words resounded in my head as memories from a long forgotten childhood came flooding back to me. Suddenly I was four again. My father was leaving for a business trip. I hugged my stuffed rabbit to my chest as I cried. “Don’t go Daddy, don’t go!” My father picked me up and held me at eye level.
“It’s all right, it’s not like you’ll never see me again. I’ll be back soon.”
The next day the phone call came that left my mother in tears. At first I didn’t understand; he said he would come back. But slowly, the reality of the situation sunk in.
As I crouched in the bushes I heard the door open, and the politician stepped out. The picture I held in my hand must have been recent. He looked exactly the same; the same pale skin, the same blonde hair, the same relative height.
For the first time I looked at one of my victims as a person and not a target. What right did I have to take another’s life? What right did I have to hurt their families the same way I had been hurt?
To shoot this man would be like shooting my own father. In one split second, I made the crucial decision, and raised the gun. No one will ever see me again.