Leading a normal life.
Ramsai wondered if it was a fairy tale.
She wondered if being married, having children and a house with white picket fence was something just out of reach. It certainly was not for her. Not in her line of work.
How did one start over? Wipe the slate blank?
Ramsai decided she needed a do-over.
She began with her name. She was now Ramsai. With an “i”
She cut off her hair, dyed it lavender chocolate. She bought non-prescription eye-glasses to make her features non-descript. She wore cardigans and tweed, instead of Dior and Armani. She no longer worked out in the pricey gym she frequented four times a week.
Ramsai chose a one bedroom loft in a neighbourhood, careful to avoid her neighbours and draw little attention to herself as possible.
There were times she would catch herself looking over her shoulder out of habit, and she would force herself to look forward.
Most mornings she would go to a nearby cafe to order an Americano. Black. It was a luxury she wasn’t allowed in her previous life. She loved how it tasted, so strong, awakening all her senses. She would take the subway, sitting on the end seat because she hated having people sitting on either side of her. To nowhere in particular, just watching the skyline in the window, blur before her eyes.
Often times Ramsai observed how much her former life had left her little air to breathe. Her chest would constrict, her heart would quicken at the thought of the past. Her fingers curled into fists in her lap. She would never be caught in that kind of horror ever again, she promised herself.
This particular morning Ramsai didn’t take the subway. Finishing her Americano, Ramsai left the cafe and walked home.
The keys jangled in her hand as Ramsai approached her loft. About to insert her keys in the lock, she noticed the scratches. Ramsai frowned. The lock was new, having been installed when she moved in.
The tiny hairs on the back of her neck rose.
Someone was in her apartment.
Ramsai hesitated. Taking a deep breath she quietly unlocked her door. The air in the apartment was still, the only noise coming from the aircon, and the steadiness of her breathing.
Ramsai inched across the threshold, pressing her back against the wall before gently closing the door behind her.
“I’m surprised you made it this easy for me to find you,” the voice was familiar and came from the shadows
Ramsai tried to quell the sickening pitch of her stomach.
“I’m surprised it took this long for you to find me.” she was proud of the steadiness of her voice.
There was silence. Ramsai moved slowly further into the apartment.
“I see,” there was a chuckle, “you deliberately lured me here.”
Sunlight poured through the curtains allowed little light.
Ramsai removed her glasses and gently put them on the hallway table beside her.
“You should have left me alone. I wanted a new life,” she spoke.
“Your life belongs to me.” Ramsai could hear the barely controlled rage in his voice. “You belong to me.”
she tried not to let the fear slithering through her overwhelm her. She took another deep breath to focus herself.
“I belong to no one, least of all you”
The floor creaked. Ramsai could feel her muscles tense in anticipation for the confrontation that was about to happen.
“I must admit I almost didn’t recognise you. Your hair is different. You changed the colour. Your clothes. You seriously shopped in a thrift store! I couldn’t believe it! You loved High End! You wouldn’t be caught dead wearing someone’s else clothes” he went on. “Even your apartment,”
he paused as if to reflect upon his next train of thought. “There is nothing about you here. No furniture. No pictures. Remember your penthouse in Indiana? That was something. You loved expensive things. Now there is nothing but cheap crap.”
He stepped into view.
Ramsai froze trying not to shrink back against the wall. She tried to steel herself against her fear. against nausea as memories assailed her.
Memories of them together. Being his mentee, being his lover, then barely surviving his betrayal.
The rage seething in his eyes made the irises dark as his pupils. He was unkempt as if he hadn’t slept in months. His clothes hung off his skeletal frame, the blue chambray shirt and denim jeans body appeared as if he shrunk. His body barely recovered from her retaliation.
“You look like shit” she mused. Her satisfaction was short lived when he revealed his Glock that was tucked under his shirt into the waistband of his jeans.
“I spent months in hospital,” he spat. “fighting infection! I spent every moment thinking about how I would destroy you and everything you cared about”
Ramsai almost laughed. “You destroyed me a long time ago.” she shot back. “Stop being so dramatic!” she almost wanted to laugh. The idiom “don’t bring a knife to a gunfight” was playing out right before her eyes.
Ramsai weighed the odds she could survive this fight, it was not going to go well for either of them. She decided she was ok with that.
“Why couldn’t you just let things be?” she asked. “You could have gone on with your life.”
He laughed. “That is not done with people like you and I. Its a killed or be killed world we live in. ”
It was true, Ramsai had to agree with him. Their world was a cold harsh one, not meant for love or any kind of attachments. He was a cold efficient killer, the only mistake he made was falling in love with her, now here he was, Ramsai thought bitterly, fixing that mistake.
she sensed the air shift, the glimmer of metal caught the sunlight and she pivoted on her heel to the side just as a knife soared past her. The knife sank into the wall behind her. She swallowed back her gasp. Her fingers shook as she waited to reach for the knife.
“Now who is being dramatic” he sighed.
Ramsai’s eyes were focused on him. He always telegraphed his moves, it was what she was counting on. His finger caressed the trigger as if he was debating when to shoot her.
She palmed her keys in one hand, her other waiting to yank the knife out of the wall.
Without warning, she flung the keys at him and reached for her knife. She heard him curse.
The Glock went off, the sound echoing in her ears. The bullet seared her arm, she was too slow to move out of the way.
she sidestepped, throwing the knife at him. The knife sank deep into his shoulder, forcing him to drop the Glock.
Ramsai and he both reached for the gun, but she kicked at him. He deflected the blow.
He grabbed her by the neck forcing her back against the wall. Her head bounced back, as she struggled for air.
Ramsai grappled with him, her fingers clawing at his hands.
She was going to lose consciousness, she realized. Her nails caught his shirt and she dug into his shoulder where he was bleeding profusely.
His howl of pain deafened her, he loosened his grip around her throat. She clawed once more at his face, her feet finally finding purchase on the floor. Her knee came up. He doubled over.
Stumbling free, Ramsai gasped for air. Her eyes seeking the Glock.
She lunged past him to grab the Glock. He grabbed for her. Ramsai fell to the floor. She crawled, as his fingers clasped her ankle. He dragged her towards him. She twisted and kicked at his head. His head snapped to the side and he released her.
Ramsai scurried along the floor and scooped up the Glock. Breathing hard she swung the gun in his direction.
“What are you going to do?” he laughed between gulps of air. He struggled to stand “Shoot me? You cant shoot me.”
“You really talk too much” Ramsai inhaled and squeezed the trigger.
Ramsai watched as the surprise registered on his face before turning to horror. He glanced down at the blood spreading across his chest then back at her. He collapsed to his knees.
“You broke into my home,” Ramsai was stunned on how calm she felt.
The adrenaline racing through her veins slowed. She managed to climb to her feet.
“You were stupid enough to come after me. What did you think was going to happen?”
He chuckled, blood spurting over his lips. “I thought I was going to kill you” his breath rattled through him. “I trained you well didn’t I? I almost had you.”
Ramsai stood over him for a bit longer watching his last breath leave his lungs and then smiled.
She could finally live a normal life!
-#WRITINGPROMPTS: I will destroy you and everything you love