I was standing between the skyscrapers on the road that divided into two, and my heart is thumping. My name is Harish or simply Harry. I’m in between the junction of two roads. I don’t know which one to take. I don’t know how I ended up here and how I’m suddenly wearing a tuxedo or how my third world city suddenly turned into Manhattan, but everyone around in cars is still Indian. My phone is ringing, and it is the same ringtone, I am familiar to it, but I can’t remember how I end up here. Amnesia? I lifted the call and was stunned when some voice pierced into my ears. Fuck, I have a BlueTooth.
*buzz* Did you receive the targets? *
I didn’t know what to say, but I dared to say. “What targets?”.
*Open your goddamn phone!*
I saw the name, it was weird, I somehow can’t recollect my contacts, but I know for sure that “Agent GOD” is not one of my contacts. “Pardon me, but who are you, good sir?” I asked.
*Ughh! Doesn’t matter! Scroll to the mail and check the photos of the targets*
I scrolled to the mail from ‘Agent GOD’ and saw two attachments. They were of two different places. “What are these?” I asked again.
*There is a link in the mail, click it and it will guide you where to go*
“Alright man, whatever” I clicked the link, and it gave me instructions to walk to the left for five steps and get into the elevator. I did so, and it was weird. The elevator is open, and people were waiting for me to get in. “The lift is not working? Why is it open?” I asked the janitor. “It will run when you get in, we all got fucked, it’s your turn now” he said laughing and gesturing me to get into the elevator. He somehow looked like my older brother, who ran away from home to live with his boyfriend. And I don’t know how I remembered that piece of information? Do I even have a brother? I got into the elevator as Agent GOD started talking again.
*Do not click anything*
I did not and the elevator automatically closed and it was taking me to a floor named ‘Ultimatum’. Are they naming the floors instead of numbering them? What the fuck is happening? Am I in an alternate dimension? The doors opened when I reached ‘Ultimatum’, and it was the terrace. I walked out as the sun pierced my cheeks and the Agent’s voice in my ears. It was aching.
*Go to the edge on your left*
I turned left and can see a sniper hanging on the railing. That is so freaking cool. I get to assassinate someone? I forgot that I’m a secret assassin? Agent GOD is his codename? I guess it is like Bourne Identity. I think I don’t have memory, and it is wiped whenever I’m put on a new assignment. Fuck, I’m a fucking aageeent! I’m a spy! I was smiling, I was blushing, I don’t remember what I always wanted to be, but looking at me getting happy, maybe I always wanted to be an assassin. I went on and held the sniper looked into the scope. Damn! It was so sophisticated and nothing like they showed it on PUBG! Damn! I suddenly remembered that I played video games, I remember it is a video game, and it was called PUBG. Wow! I do recall memories through instincts, I guess. But whom should I kill? The president or something like that? Wait! Am I a terrorist?
*Now zoom into the two locations that I have mailed to you. One is on the left, and the other is on the right. And you have to choose one location*
“What do you mean by choose one?” I asked curiously.
*There are two people on the left inside a home, having their evening tea; a couple of mid-50s. And to the right, there is a young and beautiful woman of mid-20s*
“Next?” I asked curiously, I’m ready to kill. I’m even dressed in a Tuxedo, fuck I’m also dressed to thrill and kill.
*You should either choose to kill the couple on the left or the lady on the right*
“Why not three of them?” I got really sad when he said there is a choice. It is hard to choose. I remembered random events in my life where I was faced with severe questions to choose one among the two. I always failed to pick. I would rather leave them unchosen.
*Hmm.. it does not work like that*
“Okay, you tell me and I will just do it blindly” I said confidently leaving the burden of choice to him.
*I just arrange the consequences and set up the kill, it is up to you to choose whom to kill*
“Then I will just kill them all, come on! What’s the big deal?” I moaned like a ten-year-old. I remembered whining similarly when my dad forced me to choose one between arts and sciences, I love both of them. So I did both! One after the other! Damn, I might just recover my entire memory, somehow I will know how I became an agent before this argument of choice.
*You just zoom-in, kid. And read them, for the first time in your fucking life, choose!*
Damn, he knows that I can’t choose. What is this a test? A test to pass to become an assassin, I guess. It’s okay! I can face my choosing problem to become a cold assassin, and I will rename myself to Leon, the professional. I zoomed in on the right, and it is a restaurant. Fuck, it is Taco Bell! Oh my god! I can smell the Tacos from up here. I need to eat tacos after the kill.
*She is on the 3rd table*
“From the left or from the right?” I asked, confused.
“What?” I whinged.
*There are five goddamn tables in your viewpoint! Three from any side is the same, dummy!*
“Yeah, sorry about that!” I zoomed onto the middle on. I can see her lips, I need to zoom out a bit if I were to shoot her head because the scope is shaky and I might miss the target if it is so close-up. I zoomed out a bit, and my brains blew out. I felt a rush of adrenaline. Her face, eyes, cheeks, lips and those features, I have seen them up close. So close that no one would have seen them that close. I felt her lips on mine for a second. “She is the love of my life” I said it out.
“You want me to blow the brains out of the girl I love? What are you crazy? Thanks that there is a choice! Phew” I zoomed out and zoomed in to the left building. I can see two people sitting in front of each other at a table. The guy is reading a newspaper, and the woman is scratching her head, making it hard to see her face. She put her hand down, and when I looked at her face, I felt an embrace. I have seen her up close too. I can feel a warm hug, her hand on my head; my cheeks on her shoulder and her smile! Her smile makes me so delighted, makes me think that I can do anything for that smile. “Mama!” I murmured in a shock. I turned the scope to the guy, and I saw the name of that newspaper and his watch. I know who that guy is, that hairy hand with that specific watch was over my shoulder no matter what I did. “Papa! My brain yelled. I stood there with my mouth wide open. I’m unable to move away from the sniper. I tried pulling myself out, but my body was not moving, just the trigger finger and the scope finger are moving.
*You would have to choose one them*
“You fucking sadist! I’m not going to kill them! They are the only people I care about most” I yelled.
*It is not me that had put you in this situation, it is your life and your choices to come here. You could have not gotten into that elevator, but you did come to the ultimatum*
“Oh my god! What happens If I remained here?” I asked.
*Well you can’t, it is impossible, you should have to choose among them*
“Two are the people who created me, the family that I did not choose voluntarily. The one that found her way to me and made me unique, the family I chose for myself. Regardless of choice, they are my family. They are part of me. I can’t choose” I screamed my lungs out.
*Well you have to! Kill the girl, save your parents?*
“I love her man!” I cried.
*Kill your parents, they are old, you are not. You can start a family, grow in number, name your kids with their names*
“You are a real sadist. I can’t. Please, I just can’t” I closed my eyes and visuals of me spending time with them was flashing in front of me. I loved them equally.
“How can I even choose one of them! Why the circumstance of choice? Why can’t we co-exist? Why the need for choosing one among them! Huh? Why can’t I choose to live with all you guys!” tears started dropping my cheeks, and they fell through the terrace from almost 50 storeys above.
*But co-existence cannot take place*
“Why not? Why not!!!” I cried.
*Because she belongs to a different religion*
It echoed, and my mind was drifting away. I can see images of random events. The photos are dancing, getting squeezed and playing around me as I’m standing in an eternal black void.
*echo Because she belongs to a different religion*
*echo Because she belongs to a different religion*
I can see my dad standing in front of me looking me in the eye, my mother beside him sitting and her eyes are red and teary. I now recall everything, I’m standing in my living room.
“Because she belongs to a different religion, son” My dad said to me. “Choose” he yelled. The guy who supported me to choose various options and helped me through my problem of choice is giving me an ultimatum. And I still can’t choose.
Suddenly a cold breeze stuck my face, and when I opened my eyes, I was back on the terrace, and I realised that there was no sniper and I was standing on the railing all the time. My jaw opened, the height scared me, and I got down. I stared into the black sky as my phone kept ringing. It had 75 missed calls from my mother, father, partner and friends. The problem is, I can’t even choose to jump! I just can’t decide! You tell me! What should I do? Why can’t we all have everything? Why the need for an ultimatum?