Three years in a bind, three minutes in a rush. She glanced at her watch again and once more feared it had stopped working. Her pacing picked up speed. She stood still in the silence of the quiet rain. A shadow moved away from the window at the top of the tall building in front of her.
She pushed a button. Her watch showed 03.00, and then not long afterwards 02.59, 02.58 and counting backwards. She pushed her dark glasses back up her nose and unbuttoned her coat with slow, deliberate moves.
A man and a girl walked down the sidewalk on the other side of the street. The man pulled the girl with him, ignoring the girl’s simpering protest. The bloody face of the girl glared at her.
The woman ignored them, not allowing herself to be distracted, but they never truly left the edge of her eye, of her attention.
Her watch showed 02.00 and for a long, long time the numbers didn’t change, didn’t change at all, and when they did, they were just a blur, and she was unable to actually read them.
A man walked past her. She more than sensed the draft when he did. The rain hit his umbrella in an even stream. The drops weren’t drops but a waterfall of ice-cold fluid. The man walking past her wore dark, round John Lennon glasses, a funny hat and a gray coat with a missing button. The edge of the coat was soaked in water and the fabric there looked more black than gray.
Her watch showed 01.00, 00.59, 00.58, picking up speed as her heart slowed to a crawl.
The man and the girl had disappeared. She recalled that the girl had a ponytail, a red shirt and a green skirt. The woman also saw a pair of pink shoes before her inner eye, but wrote that off as a part of her overactive imagination. The square glasses and the pale skin seemed spot on to her, though. The girl wore a deep red, red coat. The bloody visage of the pale face stared at her with its dead eyes. All their dead eyes did.
The man, for some reason had a number of faces and she couldn’t decide which one was the right one. She made the exercise in her head, calming down, and his face, a detailed painting, appeared slowly in her mind.
Her watch showed 00.10, 00.09, 00.05 and she stopped watching it and her inner clock counted down the last few seconds on her own.
A taxi stopped in front of the main entrance. A man walked through the sliding door, tensing, preparing to cross the broad sidewalk in a rush to avoid most of the pouring rain.
The woman wearing glasses and a trenchcoat drew the gun with the silencer from its hiding place in the exact moment the car door opened and the man charged the taxi. She shot him twice in the chest. He yelped, but didn’t scream. He fell and hit the ground. She stepped close to him and shot him twice in the head. He rested unmoving on the wet sidewalk.
She walked away with fast, measured steps. The taxi door remained open. In a few seconds the driver would realize something was amiss and he would turn his attention from the front of the car to the open door and after a few uncertain glances discover the still body bathing in the gray and red pool.
But by then she would be far gone.