I do not know how long I have been standing here, or what brought me to this place, but I am grateful for it, nonetheless.
I am grateful, because I can see him, as he eats his dinner alone in the small cafe. Even this far across the street, with the dregs of the city and a dirty window pane between, I can still recognize him.
How can I not? He’s the one who killed me.
My cover had been blown; I knew it as sure as I knew my smile was loaded and ready to go.
I had been foolish and careless, the best way to get yourself in trouble when you are under cover. I knew where my target was. I knew his name and his face and was ready to go through the kitchen into the living room of the house to complete what I had been assigned months before.
They all had gotten to know me as a low-rent drug pusher – I was good at making that little trick of the trade work in my favor. It was one of the reasons I was given the assignment to begin with.
I was dressed in the usual scum-bag clothes they had become accustomed to seeing me in, and when the guard my target always had on staff saw me, he waved me on in with a smile.
When I saw the smile drain from his face, I knew something had gone terribly wrong.
Such a rookie mistake, one that never should have happened, but I had been distracted by that pretty new officer assigned to the front desk. You know how it is, the right smile in the right moment can lead you to your doom.
The guard was looking at my waist and, when I looked down as well, i knew there was no going back.
There was my ID, hanging out of my pocket. Stupid regulations requiring all officers to have their ID showing at all times when in the precinct, combined with my foolish moment at the desk, led to the guard shouting a warning that a cop was in the house.
Hell broke loose with all its fire coming down on my head and I knew I was done.
If only I had my gun…
The thugs got me to the ground pretty quickly, though I think I did enough damage to at least one of them to make the day a memorable one. The butt of the gun put my lights out before I could even say a word.
The room I woke in was cold and dark. I realized pretty quick it was the walk-in freezer the cooks used to store everything in before making the meals for the small army the boss had around him most of the time.
That man, DiNardo, was there in the room with me, staring embers into my eyes, but my head ached a little too much to really care.
I was seated in a small chair, with my arms tied behind and my lower extremities strapped to the legs of it. The man was sitting before me, with my ID loosely hanging from his hands. He kept making it sway as he held it. I couldn’t help but stare at it.
The taste of blood was heavy on my tongue and I could tell at least one of my teeth had been cracked to bits by the gun that slammed into my face. The pain of it was just as strong as the ache in my head.
“You disappoint me,” he said, finally. His voice was loud in the enclosed space. “I do not like to be disappointed.”
“Me either. Why don’t we just call it even?” It was hard to speak, but I knew I was damned either way.
DiNardo stood, the chair creaking as his weight was taken off of it. He was not an obese man, but his large frame was still a little more than the small wood frame of it could handle.
He stepped to the door and motioned to someone outside. I could see one of his lieutenants handing him something before DiNardo returned to stand before me. The rope hanging from his hand was thin, but looked strong enough.
“I guess I will see you in hell, DiNardo.” I spat at him with everything I could muster up; watching the glob of spittle and blood was over his nice suit and tie was more rewarding than I thought it would be.
I was still laughing when the rope went around my neck. “You’ll get there first,” was the last thing I heard before the lights went out again.
So now, here I stand. Is stand the right word for it? I don’t really have legs anymore, at least as far as I can tell, but it’s a close enough approximation.
I don’t know how I got here, and I don’t even know for sure what I am anymore, but I am sure of one thing.
I will make him pay, any way I can.
I might even be able to laugh in his face again, one last time, as I drag him to Hell.