“What is it?” I asked enunciating each word and held the gun tightly as I could feel the pulse in my body rising bit by bit as I took in what has happened.
“B-Boss...it’s about Willi...,” Max said as he gulped down audibly and took few steps back as I passed the gun to my other hand all the while trying hard as much as I could to control the anger that was forcing me to kill everyone then and there.
“I-It looks like Willi has gone missing,” his voice trembled in the end and that was it. I threw the gun on the glass window next to me in anger. The glass shattered into pieces as soon as the gun hit it and pieces of glass went past piercing my skin due to the effect. Even though blood oozed out from all over my face and on the skin on my hand I refused to wince.
The anger that I was feeling dominated my pain and at the moment I was anything but calm. My mind went blank all of a sudden forcing me to think in what point I went wrong. Where was the point in my life where I made a wrong decision for which my every plan is getting destroyed bit by bit. Why is this all of a sudden I have to go through severe paths of failure? My hands formed into a fist as I looked out of the broken glass.
“G-General is here to meet you,” Max said out before I heard the door of my study room opening.
“What a scene,” I heard my grandfather’s voice,” as he walked in and stood behind me. I could feel his presence all the while but refused to turn around to look at him. It was the last thing ever that I wanted him to see me like this. I was a failure.
“Udolf?” he chuckled when I didn’t turn around to face him and that was when I heard Max talking to him before taking his turn to leave us alone in the room.
“I thought you were back on your island...” my voice was neutral as I spoke. As he had always taught me. Never to show emotions. I was trained better to show the saddened and the emotions of a failure to the one who was the mentor.
“Well, Kristian called me back and I can see why all of a sudden he wanted me here,” he laughed before clearing his throat.
“Well, this is refreshing.” I heard him mutter with a sigh.
Even though I wanted to ask him what he meant but chose to stay quiet already knowing that he would answer my unasked question all by himself.
“Whenever I look at you, I am reminded of my youthful days. You have inherited me well. Even your father...he used to behave just like you do. We all same...” he chuckled.
“Udolf your father believed that no matter what you would be the only one in this family who would always stand strong no matter what. Don’t assume that I don’t know about the things that you have been going through. Kristian has told me everything. I believe most of your sentiments are connected with Julliette’s death...”
“General...” my voice was hoarse as I intervened him from saying anything further.
“You can’t go on avoiding this every day. You have to move on now and its the time for you get your head right back at your work. I see... you are not really paying attention to the ones in your surrounding and that is why today you are suffering all this. Remember this Udolf...it was you who chose this line. Nor me or your father ever wished or forced you to be on the same path as we were. You wanted to carry on the business and it was why you fought with Gale to take over the business. Even though your grandmother and your mom and I believe Juliette must have also hated this profession but still you are the one who chose this line. So, what I mean is... if you were the who chose this...then you should be the only one to hold onto this. I do know how it feels when you are away from your loved ones... but as I retired I understood that this was the life I would never ever chose in my next birth. Neither Kristian was ready to work in this line for which he chose to work his own and today he is successful. Even you...You did a tremendous job of working and handling both of your day and night shift work.”
“So far you have been successful but now its the point in your life where you have to stop and think. Do you really want to continue this? As you chose this path I took it as my duty as your General and grandfather to teach you well how to handle all this but now I want to take it back. You don’t have to do this any longer. I already have enough your grandmother’s hatred for this profession and I believe your mother and even Juliette had their fair share of hatred for this profession. You need to understand this well Udolf ... if you are in this profession you can’t lose your balance. Think ten times before you take a step and I do have faith in you. I believe you will be back on your feet before no time. So think what I have just said. Either leave this...and live like a normal human being else keep walking on this path but all the while dodging the obstruction cunningly. It is what I expect only from you Udolf...” he said and I heard the screeching of the chair on which I assumed he was sitting.
He was leaving.
“I will use my brain better from now on...” I spoke out “But... Juliette will be living in my memories. I will never except it that she is not with me and I won’t ever forget her...” my words were filled with determination. Forgetting Juliette was the most painful thing than enduring physical and mental pain.
“Hmmm. As I had told you...” as he spoke I turned around to look at him. He had a sinister smile plastered on his face as he continued “This is really refreshing,” he smiled and turned around and walked out of the room.
"Vă mulțumesc bunicul,” Thank you, Grandfather.
“Let’s start from the beginning hmm?” I asked in a calm tone as I took a seat before the driver who backstabbed me by surrendering my arms to the cops.
He looked like a trash. His clothes were torn and his face; swollen and bruised all over. My eyes fell on his left hand to find two of his finger including his index and middle finger gone. It was what he got for backstabbing me.
“I have nothing to tell you...” he snarled and it was when Max kicked him on his back and he fell on my knee hitting his nose on the process.
“Now...Now” grabbing his hair I pushed his head back and looked into his eyes.
“Max...bring out that pruner...I think chopping all his finger would work...” as I said that he crawled back until his body hit the wall and he looked frightened.
“Alright Boss...” Max obliged as he went out of the darkroom and bought the pruner.
I passed the pruner from one hand to other putting a mocking show of chopping his finger. For the first time ever after so many days, I felt confidence in me.
Max dragged him by his hair and made him sit right before me before forcibly pulling his hands up for me to chop his finger.
“No! No!” he screamed thrashing around and tried to pull his hand back but was completely at a loss as he was held firmly by Max.
“Don’t worry. It won’t hurt..” a smirk appeared on my face watching him suffer and his wailing gave me more joy for torturing him.
“You called it upon yourself...” I said as I grabbed his hand as I glared at him I pressed the pruner on his thumb. The room filled up with his wailings and yellings as I pressed it tighter enough to the point where the blades went past his skin but the pressure was not enough to cut his finger but was enough for him to yelp in pain.
“Stop! Stop! I’ll tell you every-thing. Please stop!” he cried out and as he said that I stopped putting pressure on the pruner and watched as blood oozed out of his thumb.
“Hu..” Max huffed at him and left him and stood right behind him.
“I’ll tell you everything. But you have to promise me that you would set me free afterward...deal?” the driver huffed out air and exhaled in the air as he talked.
“You scum...you’re not in any position to make a deal with us-”
“Deal!” I said cutting Max in the middle.
“What? But Bos-”
“We just want the information. Give it us and we will set you free. I will even forget that you backstabbed me.” I said as calmly as I could to the driver and he nodded looking relieved a bit. he withdrew his hand back and inspected the cut before looking back at me.
“I was paid. I was paid to vacate all of your arms before the police station. They couldn’t find me because I had contacts with one of the cops who helped me in vacating the weapons and he even helped me flee. It was a plan to destroy you and I was just a pawn in that game.
“Interesting. Now, who was the one who gave you the money?” I asked as I kept the pruner on my left thigh and leaned back against the chair and looked at him sitting on the ground.
“I don’t know. A man visited me the same day when the arms were loaded on the truck and asked me to surrender it in return for money. I was selfish and I took the money and did as he told me to do.
“The face of the man?” Max asked him.
“He was just in a yellow jacket with his hoodie on his head and he had his face cover up to his nose... like this,” he gestured towards his face and used his trembling bloodied hands to show me how the man covered his face.
“You mean that man came to our warehouse where the truck was being loaded and paid you the money and went away?” Max asked looking astonished.
“The man knew where our works are done. He must be completely aware of it from the beginning. This only indicates one thing...and its that the man is from our group else he couldn’t have entered in our land so easily.” I muttered to myself.
“Max....go and get me the CCTV photage of the day where our arms were being loaded,” I said and he nodded in response as he turned around ready to live.
“But before that...” I got up from the chair all the while both of their eyes trained on me and passed the pruner to him.
“Cut all of his fingers before anything else,” as soon as I said that the driver yelled curses on my directions and tried to get up wanting to run away.
“You lied about the deal. You said you’ll set me free...” he yelled at me while I smirked at him and shook my head.
“I lied. And I never really told you that I would not punish you for backstabbing me for money. This all happened because of you...You will have to pay for it,”
“Take care of him,” I said and Max nodded before walking towards the man as I walked the other way all the while hearing the driver’s pleas and wailings.
Skimming the video properly I watched the CCTV photage countless times wanting to get a clue on the identity of the yellow hoodie man. The driver was truthful when he said he was unable to see his face. He was indeed wearing a mask under his eyes covering half of his face.
And the way he walked and looked here and there..it was proved that he knew the place.
“Who are you?” I thought as I watched it again and again.
“Whoever you are...Just make sure I don’t catch you..else you would die a painful death...” I smirked when I got a hint looking at a ring that he was wearing.
“Ahh...I see,” a sinister smile broke on to my face as I finally recognized the man.
“You have called it upon yourself. This time I will kill you for sure,” I muttered as I pulled the drawer in my study table and pulled the revolver gun out.
“Enough of me in forgiving you,” I muttered as I inserted the bullets into the chamber.
“Gale...” I spoked his name out with venom and stood up from the chair as I looked at the loaded gun and made up my mind to finish him off this time my eyes fell on Juliette’s photo on my table.
“You see this? He called it upon himself. I don’t really want to give pain to my mother but this time it is beyond tolerance. I hate him so much, Juliette. What should I do?” I picked up the photo frame in which she was sitting next to her friend Kiara. This was the picture which I took sneakily when we went out for a family picnic.
“This was what I scared the most out of everything. I never really had any intention of breaking my own family but it looks...” I trailed a finger on her face “This is what destiny have for me.” my eyes watered up at the corners and before I knew it I slammed the photo frame back on the table and walked out of the room taking long strides wanting to end all this for all.