If you ever bring this up again I’ll deny it, but all right.
It happened on James Street at around 11 pm on a Tuesday night, unremarkable for all intensive purposes. I had a gun, and the gun had a target, that was the plan anyway. There are a lot of things that people will tell kids to get them to do stupid shit, I know that now, and I wish I had known it then. He thought he was fighting the man, making a political statement, he thought there was nothing I could do. I wore a ski mask, even though I probably didn’t have to, and baggy clothes I found at the Goodwill.
Nobody tells you just how loud your heart beats when you set out to do something like that. They don’t you that it will feel like a hammer coming down on your chest, that it will vibrate so violently it will probably make you sick. Nobody tells you those things, to them it’s just a job to be done, just a days work.
There was a time he was supposed to arrive, and the seconds ticked by slower than I ever thought possible, until I saw him. There he was, wearing the same clothes as this morning, gun in hand, target assigned.
I remembered the things I had read, exactly what position I was supposed to hit, what kind of damage I needed to cause, this didn’t stop my hands from shaking.
The whole thing occurred in about ten seconds flat. The vibration of the pistol shocked me, and I waited until I knew contact had been made. I heard him scream and bit down to keep from crying as I ran. I could already hear the ambulance; I had called from a payphone exactly thirteen minutes prior. It was the only way to stop him, it was the only way to make sure he wouldn’t do it.
I reached the back door of the house just as the phone began to ring; I knew what was coming.
“Mrs. Reynolds, this is Clark County Hospital. Your son has been shot”