For three days now, he awoke to find an empty coffee pot.
For three days he had been forced to brew a fresh pot before being able to sit on the steps, gather his thoughts and become human again, in the perfect warmth of the morning sun.
This particular morning he watched her pour it.
Not quite all of it. A small sip remained at the bottom, just enough to tease his craving.
He was sure that in some places this was grounds for divorce.
Not here though. Here he was left with only two choices.
Love or a bludgeon.
He really envied their lives sometimes. They were able to trust other people, even if for some of them it was only in a limited fashion; no matter what their sins they could go home to their loved ones, or have a night on the town with friends. He had forgotten what it was like to have friends, or to fall in love; well probably lust but the difference really was irrelevant. He couldn’t afford to have any of those entanglements. Yes entanglements would seem the proper term for the relationships all these normal people got to have. He had a comfortable life, often more comfortable than his perspective clients might enjoy, even before they made his acquaintance, but it was a sterile kind of luxury. He never lacked the means to acquire anything he needed or wanted, but he rarely had anyone to enjoy it with. When there was someone else it was always by arrangement and usually quite brief.
Sometimes, before he met with a client he imagined he was on his way visit with an old friend or former business associate. That they were just going to have a few drinks and reminisce about the good old days. The illusion usually fell apart when he met the clients, he simply just didn’t know what to say to them. What did people talk about anymore anyway? He did try on occasion to be a bit friendly during the meetings, just to put them at ease, it didn’t ever work out. By the time they got around to realizing who he was they were usually put right out of a talking mood, or if they did talk they would begin to babble about their families. Their wives or husbands, and their children. Often this would lead to a moments of confession and self-reflection, a litany of regrets that he little understood. Soon the sobbing would begin and the whole affair seemed very cathartic for them. In the end they were only left with one question, it was always the same single word, “Why?”
He would look at them calmly in a manner that he hoped was comforting, though it probably wasn’t; he never could tell if it was acceptance or terror on their face when he simply, and politely replied, “Because it is my job. I kill people. It’s just what I do.”
Sometimes he envied them, when their meeting was over they were done with the matter; he was the one who always had another meeting to go to.
This piece of short fiction was inspired by a Daily Prompt.