The water was cool and refreshing on my hot skin. I was dirty and sweaty, my clothes stained with grime and blood, some my own, some other peoples. It felt bad to be this clean and refreshed after what I'd just done, and to add to my feeling of guilt it was all premeditated.
Frank Bilders is now dead. I killed him with his own sidearm – a somewhat tarnished .50 caliber desert eagle pistol. I tell you this detail not because it’s important (although the image of that weapon will be forever stamped in my mind) but to distract from the painful sense of culpability I feel for his murder.
I mean, I knew Frank stood a good chance of getting hurt but I had hoped that something with the missions execution would go lethally awry, saving me from having to get any more blood on my hands. Every time we work together the man seemed to take another bullet wound. ‘Heh, just another scar to add to the collection’, he would say. Always focused on the job at hand, was Frank. ‘There’s some bugger out there who cut me out of a deal, and I want him dead’, he’d say in his Northern Irish swagger. No need for a reason, or context - Frank wanted something done, and you were going to do it for him.
When the time came, and he was lying on the ground writhing in pain, the situation hadn’t really forced my hand. I had plenty of syrettes, there was time and I could have saved him, but I wanted him out of the way. So instead of his healing his wounds with medicine I took out his own gun and shot him in the mouth. I hesitated, mind you– I very nearly couldn’t pull it off. But I did, and his body is now lying on a road somewhere in Sefapane, gathering flies and a layer of the all pervasive red dust. And I’m swimming up the river. Getting clean. Getting refreshed. There is no music, no victory anthem. Just the water and the noise my body makes as I move through it.
And Frank Bilders is dead.