The drive to the old family house took less than an hour. Whether that was because the house was not that far off or that I drove at the maximum speed possible, Anita couldn’t tell.
We drove in an eerie silence for the most part of the trip. Anita kept asking where we were going, and upon seeing the direction we were headed, why we were going there. She gave up after her attempts at starting a conversation was met with stony silence from me.
I wasn’t angry with her, I just needed to focus. It occurred to me then that Silas did not just not give chase. He was tracking us for and for all I knew, was headed to the very same location as I was…worse still, was there waiting for me. I knew I was probably going to die today, but one thing was clear, I, not Silas would kill that old goat.
I tried to imagine the pain he caused Anita, and the torture…right after Jo’s death for that matter. No wonder she withdrew so suddenly. And mum knew about it! I was livid.
As we arrived at the house, I looked everywhere for any sign of Silas. There was none. The old goat’s car was parked in front as always…he hardly went out lately, not since the accident with his leg some time last year.
Okay fine, I did keep track on them more than I cared to admit earlier. It was more out of curiosity than care… then maybe not. In any case, this was not going to be a caring visit.
I got out of the car, slammed the door behind me and walked to the other side waiting for Anita to step out. She didn’t. I looked at her through the window and we locked eyes. I saw she was scared to death, but more importantly, she saw my resolve to right this wrong that had befallen her, us… she saw that I would protect her to my death. I gave her a slow nod of encouragement and she got out then.
“Silas might be here already, so…” I didn’t need to finish, she got the message loud and clear.
The gate to the house was open. The main door was also unlocked. We both took a deep breath and stepped in.
The house looked pretty much the same way we left it. The smell of alcohol hung strongly in the air as we stepped past the entrance into the large living room. There he sat, legs crossed, huge half-full bottle of whisky on a stool beside him, a smoking cigarette in one hand, complete with a smile on his face.
“Welcome kids. Sit down.”
We didn’t see that coming. He actually expected us. The hair on my skin rose sharply and I knew then that we were in grave danger. Something was wrong.
“Sit, come on.”
Anita sat. I stood, one arm on her shoulder, the other behind me, clutching my gun.
The old man just smiled and took a swig from the bottle.
“So, let me guess, you have come to what, kill me? Hahahahahaa”
Anita looked up at me, confused.
“It seems you were expecting us.”
“I’ve been expecting you since before you were born child.”
“Great, makes this easy then. Since you probably already know why we’re here, care to explain?”
“Explain? To you? I owe you nothing you fool!”
Something was definitely wrong. I looked around the house again for anything out of place, nothing. I couldn’t place it but something was not right. I retracted the arm behind me and pointed the gun at him. He was unfazed.
He just eyed me, and took the bottle for another gulp. The bottle shattered before he could get any into his mouth, glass and liquid all over him.
“The next bullet will go through your mouth.”
He laughed again.
I was getting frustrated. What’s it with this man?
He stood up, shook the glass off him, sized me up and made his way to the wine bar.
The nerve! I sent two bullets to each of his kneecaps and watched him crumble to the ground in pain. He looked up at me, surprised.
“I take it I have your attention now.”
“No not that. I just expected the bullet to the head, not the kneecaps. You’ve gone soft, they were right.”
“They?” Anita voiced my thoughts.
He just smiled and pushed himself up to the couch, ignoring the blood.
It occurred to me then that everything he did and had done was very intentional. Me, Anita and even right now. This was no ordinary businessman.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I briskly walked up to him and punched him hard, grabbed his neck in rage:
“I came here for some answers and you’ll give me some before I leave here.”
“Or what? You’ll kill me? Huh? Dark!!!”
I froze! What the hell is going on here?
“What? How did you…”
“That’s because he’s also an agent, like you.”
We all turned to the sound of mother’s voice as she walked in, taking in the scene unfazed. Anita was on her feet.
“Oh, I’m not your mother darling.” Then in my direction, “Uh uh, definitely not your mother either Dark, eeew.”
I staggered backwards, letting go of his neck. I didn’t know how to react. It’s not like I cared that they weren’t my parents, but the ease with which she said it and the apparent lack of discomfort at all the blood in the room or the violence.
I quickly backed up and pushed Anita to a wall, standing in front of her.
She just laughed and sat on the chair beside her husband. I saw her closely now, her eyes were crimson red like she had been smoking or crying or drinking excessively, I couldn’t say. She had put on a little weight and her hair had greyed a bit. This woman, whose approval I sought for above all while growing up, wasn’t our mother.
“Don’t be so shocked. I’ll explain in a minute, but I swear to you, you’re both not our children. However, he is.”
Silas literally appeared that very moment and before I could react, he had disarmed me and slammed both Anita’s and my face to the wall with such force I felt the blood flow.
“Not yet. Let them hear the story.”
So, in that uncomfortable position, pressed to the wall by a raging Silas, we heard the story.
They were both agents/security operatives and part of their program was to raise us to be too. The way the program ran, they gave up their child in exchange for others. So, while they were to tactfully prepare us to be monsters like themselves, other agents were doing same with their child. The strategy was – let the children know what love is, and then take it away from them. Make them damaged goods so they can blend into the system (be recruited) without much ado. Everything about our lives was planned – schools, jobs, experiences, purpose etc.
However, Jo’s death wasn’t planned. Once that happened, they knew that Jo’s parents, who had their son (Silas) would take it out on him (and they did beyond measure). That explained the bitterness and sudden change after. They were human after all. They accelerated Anita’s learning process, made mine worse and fast forward a few years down the line, here we all are.
“But I’m not an agent? I haven’t killed anybody.” Anita blurted out.
Mother laughed heartily.
“My dear, do you know how many assassinations you have carried out without knowing? You think all the men you slept are still alive? Hahahaa. Those pills you take before your engagements are not contraceptives baby.”
It was a perfectly evil conceived plan.
Father laughed then. My blood boiled.
“I wish I could see the look on your faces.” He said. “Silas. Son.”
Silas eased the pressure on our necks and turned us to face them. A kick in the knees sent us down. Silas wasn’t taking chances, especially with me. He needn’t have bothered as I was too destabilized to do anything.
“And guess who came up with this amazing plan. The current VP! Back in his glory days in uniform! Hahaahahaa! Can you imagine that? Anita, you overhead a plot or something didn’t you and that led you all right here. Hahahaaaha. The irony.”
I struggled to regain control but my head spun. I was also careful not to make a slight move cos from his position, Silas could end us in a second.
“I’m sorry, we’re not the ones to die today. You are failed products, nothing like Silas.” He produced a gun, aimed squarely at my head. “You’re both going to hell today.”
The world slowed down. In a split second I felt the blood being pumped through my veins, the adrenaline being pumped through my entire body, the cool air from the air conditioner on my cheek, the vibrations of the rug as Anita shook beside me. I felt everything…especially the slightest of ease in the grip Silas held me in.
I rolled forward with all the strength and speed I had in me, before Silas had the chance to react, and sent three small daggers flying. He had no chance.
They hit their targets. Gun hand. Forehead. Chest.
I was already up on my feet, spinning to take on Silas when with the corner of my eyes, I saw mother snatch the falling gun mid-air (absolutely mad reflexes). As I spun I saw Silas, already pointing the gun in my direction. I knew this was it. I froze.
The shot rang out. Loud.
When the smoke cleared, mother lay on the ground beside her husband. Silas, gun still in hand only said.
“Such lousy parents.”
I took a deep breath and turned back to look at their bodies, Anita beside me.
“Wow.” That was all she could say.
I looked at Silas who gave a short nod.
It dawned on us at the same time and we turned and walked out of the house into a car Silas indicated.
We were quiet but we all knew.
We all knew that this whole thing was a plan from the beginning. The three of us were not here by accident. I looked at the back mirror and caught Anita’s eyes, they were set, as were Silas’.
Anita hadn’t heard of the assassination plot by accident. What we now understood with clarity was that we were the assassination plot.
We were going to kill the VP.
Back in the house, mother smiled as she felt life leave her body.