"I swear; he's dead."
While lightly setting down her coffee mug, Melissa's eyes sedately drafted towards me. "That he shall be, but patience is a virtue."
"Virtue won't bring my mother back." I spat from behind the menu.
"And you are implying that revenge will?" Her eyes pierced mine with a sincere interest in my answer.
"Have you gone insane? Of course not, but it sure would be satisfying to make him suffer for what he's done." Veins popped over the surface of my hand as my fingers strangled my mug's handle.
A sly and deceptive smile broke out on Melissa's face in a circumspect manner. "Perfect. However, we don't want to attack him straight forward."
Confusion that swallowed my face most likely suggested to her that she should elaborate further.
"We want to pilfer his sanity and happiness so that he suffers a great deal more than terminating it all at once."
I allowed my body to rest back in the wooden chair as I folded my arms over my chest.
"Okay, I like where you've taken this conversation. So how were you thinking on perusing this painful plan?" Switching my position by placing an elbow on the table before me, I listened intently.
A suspenseful silence filled the air, but it was soon shattered by Melissa's reply. "You toy with his mind." She paused for a moment, and then she continued. "He knows you're a highly trained assassin - as am I - so he'll be on the constant alert for you. Since his goons have recently abandoned him, that increases how vulnerable and paranoid he will react to anything and everything. I would not even estimate that he would last more than a week with the way we shall carryout this plan. Have I your full comprehension so far?"
In response to her question, I walked from the table with the smell of coffee and biscuits slapping at my nose, and I held open the corner store door. "Let's get this started."
After placing a twenty dollar bill on the table in between our two mugs, Melissa rested her sunhat on top of her short raven hair and proceeded through the door. "I promise you, you'll get your revenge."
Her hazel eyes were staring at me as if she could read me like a book, inside out. Her pale hand reached out in unison with mine for the glass between us. The woman's long hair in the glass fell upon her shoulders after I released mine from the pin that held my hair up high. Her hair shrunk as mine was hacked off to the border line of my hair and neck, and then I let my eyelids fall heavily. The ringing of the sink faucet floated through my ears, and a cold yet refreshing wave of water cleansed my face.
When I looked back at the glass, I saw an entirely different woman. She was the type of woman who would never take no for an answer, sit back if the world was laughing in her face, or rest while her mother's death had not been avenged. I no longer saw the image of a woman who would allow a strange man to be roaming around her house, and then find her mother dead later on.
My ears caught the sound of a soft buzzing noise, but then I saw my phone's screen was lit up.
"What do you have for me?" My voice questioned after I checked the caller ID.
"Open your door so we may converse without having to worry if there are extra listeners on the line." A mellow voice commanded me.
I locked the door that had debris of hair coating the floor and walked to the front of my apartment to find Melissa sedately waiting on the other side.
"Good evening, Miss." Melissa greeted me as she brushed my shoulder heading to my living room.
"Good evening to you, too." I greeted back in a devious tone that would have sent bats a flight in fear. "To what do I owe this unexpected visit?" My tongue danced around the false statement.
"I have some information I'm sure you'll find extraordinarily interesting." Once I sat in the single seat across from her, she resumed. "Do you remember that pendant your mother always wore around her neck?" Assuming that was rhetorical, I remained silent. Everyone that knew my mother in any shape or form knew that her symbol was a bird that had her birthstone as its eye. "I left an envelope at his doorstep with a seal in the shape of a hummingbird that had a topaz eye."
"What did you put in it?" Curiosity forced me to ask.
Melissa's mischievous smile broke out like hives making her look childish again, even for a woman in her late twenties. "The ring he left behind."
I could feel admiration flowing through me as I spoke. "You mean the one they found with a serpent engraved on it and stuck on my mother's shirt?" Melissa simply nodded her head twice. "I knew that would come in handy, but how did you recover that from police evidence?"
"Let's just say the police here are not the most highly intelligent beings around. I mean, I knew the location and identification of the murder before they even listed suspects."
I considered what Melissa had explained. "I have begun my part of the plan, but I'm not sure it's enough for me. I'm not the same person who could wait a moth or a year before results start to show."
"So, you doubt me? Tsk, I thought you had more faith in me than that." She gave me a cocky smile to inform me that she did not really take any insult from my statement. Just as quickly, she fabricated her face back into a serious mask. "Just keep your identity and location hidden from him as much as possible. He knows you're your mother's daughter, and he'll be looking for you in fear that you're looking for him."
I could only nod since I knew my words would not have been trust worthy.
"Good. I shall be keeping you updated every now and again, and this weekend we shall meet face to face once more. Have a merry rest of your Monday." Melissa called off as she closed the door behind her on the way out.
I pulled my mother's pendant out of my short's pocket and fiddled with the chain through my fingers. Miscalculating the length of the chain, the pendant slipped from the end of my hand on to the hard surface of my wood floor. At first glance when inspecting the pendant for scratches, I thought that I had created a rift in the side. With closer examination, I realized that the pendant was in fact a locket. Opening it up all the way, a small slip of paper was rolled up inside.
"The closer they are, the harder they betray." I read aloud to myself sincerely confused at the meaning. The idea of calling Melissa about my recent discovery struck me like lightening, but then a small voice in the back of my head decided against it. I'm going to have a very busy week.
"Hello?" an exhausted and annoyed voice crocked through the phone.
"Tired?" my disguised voice questioned in a deep and manly tone. "Received any mail lately?"
There was a pause at the other end of the line before he spoke again. "Who is this? Were you the one who sent the letter? Trained those dumb hummingbirds to attack me?"
I chuckled loud enough for him to hear me. "It's always the same. 'Who are you?' 'What do you want?' 'Was it you?' 'Why are you calling me?' If I really wanted you to know, don't you think I would have introduced myself?"
"I'm going to call the cops if you don't leave me alone." he threatened in a half meaningful tone.
"Oh, you are? Then I can call them for more than a mere phone call. I know what you've done, and you will pay for it." I added with a tone I surprisingly found a bit frightening. "Don't try to look for me, you'll never find me."
"I honestly have no clue what you want with me!" the man panicked in a convincing tone.
"Sure you don't. Good night." I hung up impressed at how sincere the man's cluelessness sounded, and then practically busted my head through the ceiling when I heard a thunderous sound explode from the front door.
Peering through the peep hole, a magnified version of Melissa's head stared at the door. Sighing in relief, I cautiously pulled in the door allowing her to enter.
"Good evening once more." a devious smile greeted me accompanied by Melissa's voice. "I assume things are going well?"
"Yes, they are actually." I began to close my door as I continued. "In fact I'd just-"
A high pitched sound of someone slapping their tongue in their mouth rang through my right ear the moment the door separated us from the rest of the world.
"I saw you made a phone call." Melissa began. "Too bad it was a waste of your time."
I remained silent trying to put the puzzle together and knowing that words would never be able to get me out of this position. However, I was also questioning myself continuously of where I went wrong.
"I know what you're thinking. 'Why is she doing this? How could I have not seen this coming?' Just remember this: I am the best assassin alive, and you have been causing me too many problems as a pupil." She paused, and I slowed my breathing trying to regain my senses.
"I lied about that man killing your mother; it was me. With all of your potential, I wanted to turn you into my ultimate weapon, and she knew I wanted to do it. Before she could get a chance to inform you, I had her removed from my stress list. I never really liked her anyways. But then you became so obsessed with your revenge - and I feel that it is partly because of my high quality teaching that got you in that mode of thinking - that I couldn't afford to use you anymore." Melissa spun me around so that I was facing her.
"The closer they are, the harder they betray." My whisper of a voice betrayed me.
"Ah, so you managed to open the locket?" She surprisingly questioned. I focused my attention to her, and then spotted the drawer to my left that contained a small handgun. "I didn't think you'd actually find it. It's a shame you couldn't interpret the meaning to our relationship before your life was terminated." Using secretive movements, I attempted to make my way slowly to the drawer. Thankfully, Melissa began to walk me in that direction anyways, and we stopped with my back to the drawer.
"I'll even be generous. Since you're nameless, what name would you like to be referred to once you pass away?" She looked at me with the slightest bit of affection, and I took that moment to strike.
"Call me Nemesis." In one swift movement, my right hand whipped my handgun out and shot Melissa in the chest. Being as skilled as she was, she also got a shot at me before she fell to the floor. Both of our weapons collided on the wood moments before our bodies. Melissa's laid brick stiff as I clutched my shoulder in pain.
My eyes streamed more for my emotional hurt than my physical hurt as I rolled around in agony next to the lifeless Melissa. No matter how twisted she seemed, revenge no longer seemed appealing when it took away my last breathing kin.