The Assassin

The Assassin had attempted to choke me twice. Once at a social gathering and again backstage a musical production. I had always thought of us as friends, ever since I had first caught sight of the mysterious Assassin at the previously mentioned social gathering. He was silent and strange with his blood and midnight hood shading his features from the dim lighting by the door. The Assassin lurked around the walls of the large room, moving not even a toe into the middle. A leather book rested in his powerful grip as he wordlessly flipped through the pages.

I soundlessly sauntered over to where The Assassin leaned against the wall, sliding myself onto the table next to him. I searched him for something to say, glancing over at the book only to find it without a title. So I settled with a simple hello. The Assassin looked to me with the ghost of a perplexed expression before muttering the greeting back and returning to his reading. I sat next to him for the next few moments, glossing over the ancient looking words on the page. I attempted to start conversion but was only greeted with simple answers or otherwise grunts of disapproval.

Eventually, I decided to leave The Assassin be and make the rounds, mentally noting to check back with him later. But it was when I started taking to another young man that I saw The Assassin step off from the wall and trudge towards us. Before I could blink, The Assassin had one muscular arm wrapped around my neck with the other tightly securing it there. I honestly didn’t understand what was happening until I felt him apply pressure upward, partially blocking off my air flow.

“I could snap her neck right now if I wanted to.” He told the young man from next to my ear. The tall young man spoke, what I assumed to be The Assassin’s name, in a disappointed tone and then complained,
“Come on, dude.” The Assassin growled before letting me go.

I found myself in a similar situation three years later. I was searching for a friend of mine an hour before opening night of a theater production. The door to the boy’s changing room was knocked on three times before I let myself in. Suddenly, I found myself in a familiar headlock.
“Oh, hello. How are you?” I asked sweetly. Then I questioned the whereabouts of my friend.
“You have no idea of the danger you’re in, do you?” The Assassin mused, seeming to be making a mental note rather than speaking to me. He let me go and made his way over to the piano in the corner of the room and motioned for me to come over.

The piano was old. The foot petals had stopped working the month before and all of the A flats on the right side of the keyboard had been removed. The wood was heavily faded, varying in shades of brown.

“Do you know how to play?” He asked. I nodded and he motioned to the broken keys. I played a series of songs as he listened. My hands trailed over the rough paint.

This friendship will turn out fine. Just fine.

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