The Hitman didn’t have a good explanation as to why this young boy was sitting in his office, on one of his desk chairs. He wasn’t even supposed to be in a smoke shop, never mind being here in the back office talking to a hired killer. This kid couldn’t be more than thirteen years old.
But the Hitman was intrigued when the boy flashed the money that was in the backpack. He invited the young one back to the office.
Once seated in the office, the Hitman allowed the boy to take in his surroundings and hopefully state why he was here.
On the walls were maps, pictures, newspaper clippings, and darts. There were three computer monitors on the desk. One currently had the live feed of the surveillance cameras. Probably from around the shop, the boy guessed. The one in the middle was open to some sort of document. The final one was turned off.
The boy focused more on the walls. Many of the pictures and newspaper clippings were of politicians and local celebrities. Many the boy didn’t recognize. His eyes widened when his eyes fell on a clipping tacked near the door.
“Kid,” the Hitman finally said. “Are you going to tell me why you’re here?”
“I need someone dead,” the boy answered.
The Hitman waited for the boy to expand, but they sat there in silence. He sighed. “And why do you think I would do that for you?” the Hitman questioned.
The boy shrugged his shoulders. “You look scary and mean,” he answered honestly. “And your office looks like the ones in the movies where there’s a hitman.”
The Hitman leans back and pinches the bridge of his nose. “You’re what? Ten? Thirteen? Aren’t you a little too young to be hiring someone like me?”
“I’m twelve,” the kid retorted.
The Hitman laughed harshly. “Okay, so you’re like twelve. Why does a kid that young need a hitman? And how did you even get that kind of money?” he asked as he motioned to the backpack.
“It’s my dad,” was all the kid gave.
Again, there was silence. The Hitman stared the kid down in hopes there would be more, but he knew there wouldn’t be until the kid was pushed.
“Alright, we’re getting nowhere. Can you at least tell me your name?” the HItman asked.
The Hitman’s eyes bulged and he almost choked. He knew that name. He stood up and walked over to the wall with the door. Danny watched him closely. He looked for a few seconds before tearing off a clipping, the same one that really caught Danny’s attention. The Hitman tossed it onto the desk next to the young boy.
“Is that your father?”
“Greg, I can’t do this anymore! I can’t keep covering for you!” Suzy yelled at her husband. She didn’t want to. The kitchen was her space, the one area of the house she didn’t feel like they could argue. And she knew Danny could hear them from where he sat in the family room.
“Suzy, you know that it would destroy me if this got out,” Greg answered as calmly as before.
Suzy huffed and stood. The chair she was sitting on fell over, clattering loudly onto the floor below. “You know I was sent photos the other day?”
She walked over to her purse and took out the yellow envelope sticking out of the bag. She tossed it on the table in front of her husband before sitting back down.
“I came into this relationship knowing you slept with men,” Suzy continued. “I knew you did things with other men while we were dating in college. But I also knew that you weren’t ready to come out. So I stayed with you. Stayed even though there’s no love here. And I think Danny knows it, too. Or at least, he knows something wrong with this relationship.”
Greg slowly reached for the envelope and opened it up. He figured there were pictures. All through his life, he was in the spotlight, albeit a local spotlight. He grew up in a conservative town with conservative parents who happened to be politicians.
But he never thought they would be from that night.
“How- who gave you these pictures?” Greg asked.
“The envelope was on my windshield when I came out of the grocery store last week,” Suzy answered. There was a moment of silence before she continued. “I’m not mad that you slept with someone else. But why him?”
In the pictures, it was Greg in compromising positions. One with him going down on the other man. Probably the one person Greg had ever loved. And he hadn’t seen this man since that night. If he knew this guy would use these pictures against him, he wouldn’t have allowed the camera anywhere near the bedroom.
“If my memory serves me right, he went to college with us, right?” Suzy asked. Greg continued looking at the pictures, so he just simply nodded. “I heard he’s been doing some sketchy shit since leaving. He wasn’t exactly right in the head when I met him.”
Greg finally looked up from the items in front of him. “He was the one that got away,” he said under his breath.
“What the hell, Gregory?”
Suzy’s voice drowned out the closing of the front door.
Danny could hear his parents from the living room. He hated how much they fought. And in his eyes, it was always his dad that started it. As soon as his father enters the house when he comes home from the office or a press conference or whatever, he is always angry. If not angry, just in a horrible mood.
Greg caused Danny and Suzy so much trouble. He clearly didn’t love his family.
Even at twelve, Danny had an idea of what he could do. He saw it in a movie once, where someone hired a man to kill someone else for money. So Danny did research and carefully saved up his money. He wouldn’t admit to anyone but himself, but he may have also stolen a little bit from his father.
Danny saw his mom cry many times, even if she didn’t know it. And it usually didn’t happen until after she talked with Greg.
The young boy only picked up bits and pieces of the conversation, but it was obvious that it was a heated one. Danny wanted to drown them out with TV, but he was going to a smoke shop today to follow up on a lead. His backpack sat by his feet as he waited for the moment he could make his getaway.
“Are you kidding me, Gregory?” Suzy shouted.
There was Danny’s cue. He picked up his bag and slipped out the door.
“Tell me, boy,” the Hitman said, slamming his fist on the desk. Danny jumped. “Is that your father or not?”
“Yes,” Danny stammered after a moment.
The Hitman sat back in his chair and nodded. “Can I ask you why?”
“He hurts me and my mom.” The Hitman raised an eyebrow. “Not like that,” Danny assured the man. “He’s just… always angry and yelling. I can’t take it. Mom can’t take it. It hurts too much.” Danny was tearing up; he didn’t want to be crying, but just thinking about his father made him frustrated and mad.
“He hurt a lot of people,” the Hitman answered as he leaned forward. Danny just nodded even though he didn’t fully understand. “I’m one of the people he hurt, too. And it sucks, doesn’t it?”
Danny sniffed and nodded again. The Hitman pushed tissues closer to the boy, who gladly accepted them. The two sat there in silence for a few minutes while Danny collected himself.
“So will you do it?” Danny asked hopefully, picking up his backpack and holding it out.
“Put that bag down, Danny,” the Hitman demanded. “I can take care of him for you for free. He hurt so many people, myself included.”
“What did he do to you?”
“He left me for your mother.”