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It's Never Easy

In unfamiliar territory surrounded by insurgents, I knew my objective but was unsure of how to complete it. Armed with a 9mm, silencer, fiber wire, and some change I knew I could find items lying around that would help me on my mission. Just like the start of any assignment, my heart rate quickened my mind raced and my senses heightened honing in on success and survival.

The heat of the Middle Eastern sun burned my newly shaved head, I wore a plaid button up with dark khakis and shoes that accented my shirt. Some civilians sat outside while most hid inside their house as military personnel holding M16's patrolled the streets.

Slipping, unnoticed, into an empty house to scrounge for extra supplies. I find a wrench and a screwdriver laying around which I put into the small backpack I always carry. Small enough to be concealed in discreet places in case I have to stash it and come pick it up later.

If I were to get closer to my target I knew I would have to acquire a uniform, hoping one will be lying around would be futile and most of the soldiers walked in pairs. It's never easy, I thought as I took to the outskirts walking parallel to the river.

Rounding the next corner I stopped short quickly stepping back behind the wall using my thermoscope to check for other heat signatures. The only body that showed on my sensor was the guard standing on duty, he was close to my height.

A prime opportunity.

Taking out my wire I sneak behind and garrote him dragging his body behind the building that I came from. Taking his uniform and dumping my clothes in the trash can behind the next building. There wasn't a fit place to hide the body so I decided to leave him knowing I'll be long gone by the time he was found. My disguise would help some, my time around the military aided me in reading rank knowing who I could slide by and who to avoid.

I found intel on the coffee table of a house I was perusing, hearing the tenant upstairs I made sure to walk on the balls of my feet. Lying around his place was a screw driver and some rat poison that could come in handy. I must've made too much noise cause I heard foot falls on the stairs which caused me to make a quick exit out the window at the back of the house.

Connecting with Oversight, I learned that the information I obtained added an extra objective to my overall mission. It lead me to a drug deal which involved one of my targets, after using the fiber wire I changed disguises again, to the drug dealer. Having to dump my pistol nearby I entered the premises after getting frisked.

They let me travel the tunnels alone after a certain point, which benefitted me. Oversight told me in what direction he would be coming and that he only had one bodyguard with him at the time. Positioning myself, I waited in hiding until I heard the voice of my target. I had to get confirmation from up top because I had never met the man whose life I was destined to take.

In the dark I let them pass by, waiting a beat to ensure they didn't have more men coming. Out of hiding I strike the guard with a brick I found on the path, knocking him out and catching the target by surprise I was able take the advantage. Dealing the target with a blow to the stomach and a knee to the face, he reluctantly crashed to the ground sprawled out in pain.

I should've garroted him or snapped his neck, instead I picked up the guards gun and shot him between the eyes. The tunnels echoed the gunshot which alerted the enemy constituents who immediately rushed towards the noise.

Killing was easy, escaping was the hard part. Looking through my thermal scope I raced down one tunnel only to have to turn around as I picked up heat signatures. Going back the other way I heard footsteps, I was caught in between a rock and a hard place for lack of better words.

With insurgents coming from both sides and only a pistol tightly gripped in my right hand, I knew my chances of getting out of this debacle decreased as the voices got louder. My heart pounded and my palms started to sweat, my mind raced depending on the heightened senses.

I only had cover from one side leaving me exposed, crouching down protecting my back I leveled the gun at what I assumed would be eye level. I thought about my family, the mission, my past, my future, life reeled faster than a hamster on a wheel. The steps came slower and more methodical, it was obvious they understood the threat was around the next bend.

The first soldier came into view and was noticeably surprised to see a gun pointed at his head. To his dismay, his split second hesitation will cost him his life. I locked my finger and started to press the trigger which inevitably sets the hammer in motion to spit out a bullet at high velocity.

Before I followed through, my phone rang, a video chat from my daughter who was returning my call from earlier. I answered, pausing Hitman 2, the new video game I bought online a week ago. It was everything I could ask for in a video game, being a secret agent on clandestine assignments makes me feel like I'm Mitch Rapp, Scot Harvath, or Gabriel Allon. Hitman allows me to live vicariously through the books I read and write as well as my favorite genre of movies.

Due to being exposed to COVID, this is my second weekend without Amara, and I hate it. I miss cuddling with her at night and being responsible for her well being while she is with me. I love being a father, putting her needs before mine ensuring her happiness and love with the time I spend with her.

These past two weeks I've been video chatting everyday for a couple of hours to talk to her but also to watch her interact with her toys and brother. I'll call her name from time to time to watch her pop her head up and give me that huge beautiful smile, sometimes she'll crawl to the phone and try to give me a hug. The kisses are the best, they usually come from nowhere but I always get a lot of them. Amara is very affectionate, and isn't afraid to show it which I love because I want to show her all the love that exist in me.

I talked to her while I had her attention then she went on to play with her new princess tent her grandmother got her. Staying on the phone I got back on the game intervally watching her gain more motor skills. As I've said before, fatherhood is truly a divine experience, parenthood in general. It's amazing how they keep the same skin and it grows with them as they get taller or gain or lose weight.

While I was speaking to Amara I was texting back and forth with Amelia's mom going through the same cycles from the past years. She can look at her blocked messages to respond but not to let her daughter speak to her father. The latest statement is that she wants me to send X amount of money in order for me to start seeing Amelia again. The money isn't the issue, but there isn't a guarantee anything will change considering this isn't the first time we've been through this.

She had the audacity to tell me I haven't checked in on Amelia during this whole pandemic crisis, but preceded to tell me the text I sent when it all happened. Which, of course, I received no response. She even felt the need to say that I didn't check on her and her job situation throughout this time but when I told her in the beginning my hours got cut she popped off telling me I needed a real job.

I remember back in the day, well earlier this year, I would've snapped in anger in not being able to see Amelia and her mother making life very difficult. Kill them with kindness, is what I've been told over the last couple of years but really haven't gotten to a place to where I wanted to be kind. I still haven't honestly, but it's the last thing I haven't tried yet. I have no idea if it will help me prevail but I know I'm tired of being angry and tired of hurting over it.

I'm proud of myself of the way I been handling things as of late, the situation hasn't ameliorated any, but that's what faith is for. If you're in it, you understand that it's much easier to say than it is to live it.

Amara squealing on the phone brought me back to the call as I told her how much I loved her and kept her attention until she crawled away.

I pressed play on the game, still stuck in the same predicament, gun still leveled, and an enemy in view. Unlike in real life where I'm forced to endure things out of my control, in Hitman 2, I'm in control.

Amelia and Amara, daddy loves you.

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