Everett made his way to the training room, scowling at the people in the hallway; holding their guns like they were pots of gold. When he got to the room, it was cold and empty. Out of the corner of his eye, Everett saw a new blade placed gently against the wall. He walked over to it, green shoes tapping on the polished wood floor. Everett picked it up, and rolled the blade over on his arm. It was a long spear, maybe three feet? Four? The smell of fresh leather made a home in his nose. It smelt of old shaving cream and macarons. Not ideal, but comfortable in a way.
His grey eyes traced the object. The blades were carved in with a pattern resembling a Mongolian wolf. A smile appeared on his face. On the back was a tag, words written on it in messy cursive. It read:
“Hey evvy boy! Hope you like the early birthday gift!
Everett smiled wider, before flipping the note over. The back read:
“Look at that dumb smile on your face :)”
Everett never smiled. Or at least it was a rarity. Everyone admired him, constantly giving him compliments. Yet still, Evvy never smiled in public. That was just a law of nature. But when he was with Thomas, he was a completely different person.
Thomas was an old guy, but he didn't look it. If you can picture Leonardo DiCaprio, you can picture Sir Thomas Harvey. If Thomas wasn’t there, Everett could have escaped the military base five times over by now. Being born to two five star assassins' isn’t the best. But alas, Evvy still had to work.
By the time he was seven, Everett had mastered the art of using an AK-47. Even his trainers had a hard time beating him in practice. And by nine, he had mastered every trick on a balisong that was ever created. He won awards, scholarships, jobs. And not once did a smile appear on his face.
A breath came out of Everett’s mouth. The clear carbon dioxide turned a light shade of grey in the cold winter air. The alarm on the wall rang. Practice time.
Everett slipped off his sweatshirt, the fabric frizzing his thick raven hair. Under the sweatshirt was a tight, navy tank top, lining Everett's chest almost perfectly. He wiped the dust from the counter on his grey Nike sweatpants and picked up his headphones. From the speaker came the loud tone of his favorite song. Evvy hummed to himself, grabbing and holding the new spear in front of him.
4:30 PM. Right on time, the training bots came out to ‘play.’
When marimba rhythms start to play
Dance with me, make me sway
He swung the blades at the bots, effortlessly slicing them in half.
Like a lazy ocean hugs the shore
Hold me close, sway me more
The cold air ran through his hair. Everett’s eyes were closed, body sensing where the walls of the room were. His feet swiftly danced across the floor, turning and banging the last bot as the song ended.
Everett opened his eyes and stared at the timer.
3 minutes and 27 seconds for 400 bots? That was a new record. Everett looked down at the blade. It wasn’t dull like he had expected, but it looked as if it was straight out of the box.
The silence in the room was broken by the sounds of gunshots in the other room. Everett had never understood why someone would use a weapon that required so little skill to handle. He shrugged it off and walked over to the counter. Sitting upon it was his sweatshirt and the rest of his belongings. He took them and left.
Everett walked through the dimly lit hallway. The walls painted a goldish brown. Backpack slung over his shoulder.
Finally, he arrived at the VIP dinner table with his parents. It was comedic how far away from them he was sitting. The dead silence was eating him alive. His mom spoke up first. “So, Evie, how was practicing?”
“Yeah, did you finally use a gun?” His dad butted in. Everett stared at his food and answered monotonically,
“Yeah it was fine I guess. I set a new record.” He took in his parents' praise, and also his mashed potatoes. As Everett started eating, he naturally tuned out his parents. They always seemed like the perfect couple, but in reality that just wasn’t true. He leaned back in his chair and stared at the white popcorn ceiling.
After an hour of awkward silence and eating alone with his parents, Everett left the room as fast as possible. He ran down the hallway, aiming for his room.
He flopped on his bed, letting out a loud sigh. Everett sat up, staring at himself in the mirror on the other side of his room. A pitter patter was heard from outside. Silently, he got up and walked to the window. It was raining, a soft rain that gracefully fell from the sky. Everett’s eyes turned up to look at the sky. It was still blue, and the sun was still out.
He looked back to his desk, and saw the first handmade spear he had ever made. (Thomas had helped make it, but Everett would never give him the satisfaction of making him smile) Everett thought about his life. Why couldn’t he just make it easier on himself and use a gun? What was stopping him? His family was known for sniper assassinations, what made him so different? Maybe it was the technique, or the excitement of getting something perfect.
Everett grabbed the spear by the handle and walked over to the window ledge. He swung his legs over the concrete windowsill. A sea of mixed thoughts crossed his mind. Teeth clenching in agony, he stood up. Looking over everything. The garden, the gates, the training field. Everything. Everett had no idea what his purpose was. Rain dripped on his face and ran down his nose. It made his hair damp.
“Bye guys.” Everett whispered to himself. And without a single word, he outstretched his arms.
The wind falling from the fortieth floor dried the boy of water. Yet the rain still dripped on his face. A few people noticed from the ground below and began yelling for help.
And just then, in a moment of pure bliss,
Rain dripping on his face,