Neil was sitting by himself, in his room. The house was no longer empty, now that Loren and his girlfriend were back. He ran his stubbly buzz cut against his hands. Regret was marked on his face. He couldn't hide it, so he hid himself. His regret was about the haircut, to some extent. He thought he would finally have creative control. So much for that. How was he supposed to know Loren's retirement was only five minutes? There was a violent rage radiating and lining and pressing against every thought. The girl would tell. That was the only way she could maybe get out of this. What was he to do? Convince Loren to drop the charges? But. He had been the one who so fervently suggested that Loren flee to France with his new girl. Spend time forgetting his troubles. A hiatus wouldn't kill anyone. He would never get away with changing his tune, especially when they would start looking into the girl's claims. He was jealous of Loren. Just like millions of other guys. But most of them hadn't paid a girl to do a hit on him. A minor one, at least. It was punishable by what, time served? A small fine? None of that mattered to him. If only he could take the downfall he deserved without having his name attached to this. His inevitable defeat was spelled out in front of him,and he was slouching on a bed with his head in his hands, cradling his aching disappointment. In himself. When had he done anything right? He never did anything right! There were so many things he could/should have done. He should have hired someone who was an established con, someone who knew not to rat him out because they'd never work again. But this innocent girl would never keep her lips sealed. She probably already spent the money. What did she have to lose? Nothing. But he had everything: his career, his respect, his entire life hinged on eliminating the girl. He had to get rid of her. These were the violent thoughts occupying his head. His neck was getng so sore from being bent against his knees, so he changed positions flopping onto his bed. The window blinds were open. It was dark but he only had to crane his head slightly to see the moon. It looked like it was dripping blood. He quickly looked away. Neil curled into fetal position, feeling more alone than ever before. Alone, like when his parents had first disowned him for going to music school. Alone, like when Loren was at their first release party and went to hang out with a random girl over celebrating with his bandmate and so-called friend. The world was a big, empty nothing, population him. He had to fix this. He couldn't lose his reputation. That was all he had left. He fumbled in his nightstand drawer for the burner phone. But he didn't have the number to any legitimate hitmen. He had to go find one, this wasn't just something you could google. So Neil sat up and grabbed his leather jacket with seven pockets. He also grabbed a fistful of money from the shoebox under his bed. He had a new plan, a better one. He wordlessly crept out of the house, walking down the long moonlit driveway to his car. He told himself he was confident but his shaken and sweaty hands trembled against the wheel. He had to reach into his glove department and swig some liquid courage before he could start the car. He drove into the inky blackness in silence, his headlights reaffirming that the only thing that mattered was getting where he was going. A few turns down some back streets and a few more sips from the bottle. He was headed to sports pub in the lesser part of town. He had a mission. An ends. And he could pay for the means easily. The only thing left was to execute his plan. His hands were still trembling just a slight bit. He clenched them into tight fists, so tight his fingernails dug into blisters causing small crimson streams to drip onto the murky pavement. 'Bye, Bye Miss American Pie' was playing when he opened the door to the pub, using the sleeve of his jacket so he didn't leave a trail of his diluted, angry blood on the handle.
28 Day Writing Challenge #19