He slammed me against the wall. Hard. A bloody imprint was on the wall, and my hair was slick with the crimson liquid. My mind was working overtime, trying to comprehend what was happening, but I didn’t have time for anything except to close my eyes and clench my jaw as a fist flew toward my face.
The tears rolled down my face, and I felt the cut on my cheek begin to bleed. I fell to my knees, sobbing.
“Please…please,” I begged, but I could mutter nothing more. I held my hands up, palms out, for what little good it did me.
“It-it’s just…a big misunderstanding,” I managed to mutter softly between sobs and breaths. My voice choked, and I spit out blood. “You…you have the wrong guy.”
I was lying, but I kept my head down and the tears coming, still whispering how it was a misunderstanding over and over again as he repeatedly struck me. I remember what had really happened, as clear as if it was yesterday…
Four years ago to the day, I had held the gun in my hand. Smoke rose from the recently-fired barrel. The young man laid face-down, blood beginning to pool from the hole I had just put in his head.
A woman was crying, kneeling near the body. That was the worst part. I wanted to put a round through her head as well, just so I didn’t have to hear her screams. Her cries. But I didn’t.
I would never kill an innocent. That’s what I had promised myself all those years ago, and I had kept that promise. I wasn’t going to break it then.
Instead I had quickly gathered up any evidence of my presence, took the few files from the vault he had opened moments before, and left.
It was all still so clear in my head. They always were, every kill. I couldn’t just ignore them, and they wouldn’t let me even if I wanted to. They all haunted me in my dreams nightly, even though I knew every kill was just.
But there was always that slightly sliver of doubt that filled me after every kill. Was the intel truly accurate? Was I really doing the right thing? I had convinced myself that I was, just like I was doing right now.
I prepared myself for the fist flying at my face again. It struck hard, but I endured. I must wait, I thought to myself. Wait for the signal.
And then I heard it. The faint whirring of helicopter blades. Panic struck my attacker, and he stopped his assault on my body for a moment or two to issue a command for someone to find out what was happening. That was my chance. His head was turned away from me, and I struck. I put my hand-cuffed hands around his neck and twisted violently. He fell easily, and I removed the key from his pocket, quickly getting rid of the cuffs that bound my hands, and made my way out of the room, toward my approaching teammates.