“Look at the sky Athena, Illuminated with infinite stars. Does it look the same every day?” asked Ares.
Athena smiled and said “yes dear. We never got a chance to gaze at the night sky full of stars and such a cute crescent moon hanging like a brooch on a blue dress of a beautiful princess.”
“Ha –ha-ha-ha…… I never knew this new poet Athena.” Ares was laughing at her sister.
Athena gave a small pat on Ares’ head and said “I remember those cozy nights with mom and dad. We used to go for long drives very often. You weren’t born then. Mom and dad used to sit near the lake and I used to sit at the car’s bonnet. Mom and dad spent hours gazing a star filled sky and the moon – it kept on changing its shape. As a child I used to wonder at the moon when it travelled with us from the lake side to our house. It was fun.”
Both of them heaved a long sigh.
“What do you think Athena about our job? It’s wrong. Isn’t it?”
“Perhaps it is. But we were left with no choice brother.” said Athena in a pensive tone.
“Money is a bitch I tell you. The day we tasted the bitch, she became our only mission. The greed, the hunger never deceased. It grew bigger and bigger with each passing day.” There was rage in Ares’ voice.
“We never looked back; that was our mistake. What if we had stopped after our first mission? Do you remember our first mission Ares?” asked Athena.
Ares nodded his head and said “how can I forget sis? The most heinous of crimes we had ever done till now. We shouldn’t have kidnapped that little girl.”
Athena said “then Rocky would have killed us. Don’t forget that day when we were left crying on the road beside the dead bodies of our parents in the accident. Rocky took us to his home, fed us, and trained us. We can’t be so ungrateful to him. Okay fine. I agree the money enriched our greed. But initially we used to just follow his instructions without giving a second thought. We made it a practice to obey him word to word.”
Ares added “yes true. And by time the thought of judging the good and evil came; our hearts were corrupted with the darkness of the crimes we did and the money we earned from that. The money blinded us. Isn’t it?”
Athena gave a crooked smile and said “hmmm…..probably you are right. Rocky filled our hearts with so much obscurity that even a single ray of goodness didn’t dare to penetrate.”
They both fell quiet. Silence is an amazing thing. Silence has its own voice, the voice of the beetles, crickets, frogs, nocturnal birds and even the sound of the breeze. Who says silence is silent?
Few moments passed in solidarity.
Ares broke the decent silence “Athena do you remember Peter? He was really an awesome person. You were in love with him. Is it true or not?”
Athena turned red. She said putting her index finger on her lips “shh...Shh… I don’t want to talk about Peter or anything related to him.”
“Come on sis. What’s wrong with that? You never told me, neither that day nor today. Come on today you have to tell me what happened that night. Look at the sky, the stars and the moon they all want to know. This is the perfect time to pour your heart out; whatever it is killing you from inside. And………this is our last chance too.” Ares held his sister’s hand tightly and looked deep into her eyes.
Athena said looking above as if she is wandering in the solar system “tonight is our last chance to confess all our sins. Actually before today we never thought our sins to be sins. But tonight it’s different. Tonight we are free. Tonight I will open my heart to the auspicious heavenly bodies and allow them to fill my conscience with their poise light.” Athena broke down sobbing.
She quickly rubbed her eyes and wiped her cheeks and said “that night was a dreadful night. Rocky had sent us to kill Kent. Kent was Rocky’s left hand. But lately, Rocky came to know about Kent’s betrayal. Kent was lending Intel to the cops. So, one night Rocky sent me, Peter, Roxy and Gumball to silent him forever. Peter was our lead and we were covering him. When we entered his house he was having dinner with his wife and a five year old daughter. They looked such a happy family. Peter started getting cold feet after seeing Kent’s daughter. He stepped back. He told us he will wait for Kent to come out of the house because he didn’t want to kill Kent in front of his family. But that would be breach of Protocol. Roxy denied. Then peter insisted us to wait at least till he finishes his meal. He said we should not kill anyone when he or she is eating and sleeping. We were dumbfounded. Just then we heard the sound of three bullets fired. We ran inside. To our horror Rocky was holding the gun still pointed towards Kent. Three bodies lay dead in pool of blood. Peter was shivering like a dry leaf. For the first time I broke down. I was crying profoundly.”
Athena paused for few seconds. She began again “that night when everyone else was asleep, Rocky summoned me and Peter in his backyard. Never in my dreams had I thought about this what happened next. Rocky gave me his gun and asked me to shoot Peter on his chest. That night I saw a totally different Rocky; a cruel, outrageous and stubborn Rocky. I fell on his knees begging and pleading to spare Peter just for once. He stood like a statue motionless and still. Few moments later he said that if I don’t shoot Peter he will shoot you. For the first time in life I got a choice but look at my fate. I killed Peter that night, a bullet straight into his heart. That heart which used to beat for me once.”
Athena was sobbing loudly. Ares comforted her by stroking her hair.
She said again in a shaky voice “it was my mistake entirely. I forgot the very first lesson taught by our master Rocky. I breached his protocol by falling in love, by developing sympathy in my heart and flowing with my stupid emotions.”
Athena’s sobs turned into hiccups. Both were quite again. Athena rested her head on her brother’s shoulder. Just then Ares jumped up and said aloud in excitement “hey Athena!!!! Look a shooting star. Come on make a wish fast.”
Both the siblings joined hands together and closed their eyes for a moment and uttered together “may the darkness inside us Rest in Peace. May we find the enlightenment for our souls.”
Both of them looked at each other and smiled. Athena and Ares stood up and started walking towards a new journey and eventually vanished in thin air. A new dawn was about to begin with a glorious sunlight.
With the break of the dawn the cops reached the accident spot. They received news of an accident on the highway last night. A car badly crushed was found in the forest. Two bodies were found dead, one of a girl and a boy. Probably they were brother and sister.