He nodded. 'Reminds me of my Rex,' he said. 'I'd be heartbroken without him.' I could have punched him. Rex. His fucking dog. He was comparing some little rat with my dad, the man who raised me, the man who worked a shit job to bring me up. For a while, we sat in silence. If he could see me staring at him, he didn't say anything.'I've seen you in here before,' he said. 'I know who you are. What you are.' Then, just like that, he offered me a job. Four hundred dollars! That's more than a week's wages for someone like me.'What would I have to do?'He told me. I'd have to kill someone. A couple of seconds passed then I stood up. I glared at his blank face. He was serious. In a minute, I was in the toilets, staring at my reflection, wishing it wasn't mine. I couldn't do the job. How could I? The drink, the drugs, it was all to fuck up my brain so much that I didn't have to think about how I'd lost my dad. What kind of sick fuck would I be to do that to somebody else, to make them feel like I did? But then, I thought about my rent, rent arrears, the payment due on loans that I took out to cover last month's bills. The drugs. I was fucked. In two minutes I was back opposite Frank and he told me what I needed to do.It was easy. That's the problem. When your first hit is easy you think they'll all be like that. Think you'll always be able to creep in at night and shoot them in their sleep.
I couldn't. What would my dad think, and what if she had a family? I turned to get out then saw a blank, dirty wall, and the thought struck me: my dad wouldn't like it but so what? He's dead. If she had a family then I didn't know them. It didn't matter. Nothing did. Fuck 'em. I pulled the trigger and turned her pillows red. She slumped sideways, one lifeless hand thrown up against the wall. The sound echoed. Everything but my heartbeat was still. Then I ran. Outside, I pressed my back against the wall. Vomit rose in my throat. I wanted, needed, to hide. But… I had a feeling inside like I'd taken two grams all at once and I couldn't escape the touch and I didn't want to because this time there were no side-effects. The next night, Frank paid me and I now had the money to get the headstone, but it wasn't enough. It's never enough. Now I wanted a bigger headstone, maybe some flowers. I could pay my rent. I swore to myself that I wouldn't blow it on coke.'Do you want another job?' Frank whispered. We were sat in that same booth in the bar. The barman brought us both drinks. He could linger and look at us both all he wanted but I waited until he'd gone to answer.'Yeah,' I said. The money was heavy in my trembling hand.