The Cat that Didn’t Run

It was like a vision. I gaped without blinking, without thinking. I couldn’t move, even when everything around me was chaos.

On top of a table with a white tablecloth, she stood, with all her grace and in all her glory. Her pointy boots, their impossibly thin high-heels, the blackness of the suede. Tailored black pants, almost man-like, with vertical gray lines, the hem fluttering with an unnatural wind.

A wind caused by the bullets flying around her. Her white blouse, tucked neatly inside her trousers, embracing her slim waist, her breasts almost peeking out through the open buttons and framed by the black steel of her Uzis.

That night I went alone for dinner, actually, I was hoping to dine with her even when I knew she wouldn’t want to. I was the only person in the world that knew she was going to be there, that knew what she was going to do there. The woman I loved, of whom I dreamt every night, whom I was infatuated with.

She was a hitwoman, she killed for a living. Every night I slept with one eye open, wondering, dreading where she was, what she was doing. With a knot in my throat, without breathing, I’d answer the phone late at night to her sweet sounding voice “I know you are worried, I’m all right.” And turned around, still not able to close my eyes. Torture, masochism, my own Calvary, whatever you want to call it, I was there to see her die.

The deafening sound of the thousand shots, all at once. Her poise, her strength, her torso rocking back and forth with the recoil of her guns, dancing to their melody. Everything slowed in motion, the air was heavy, gravity keeping me on my seat. I was a witness, not a part of it.

To my left the angel, he hair swaying back, her eyes fixed on her prey. Around, people ducking, crawling, screaming, food, wine, champagne flying to the air. Shattered glasses on the red and golden rug. I was the only straight face, I was the only one frozen in time as three men in suits tried to shoot my angel down. Her portrait, so beautiful yet so stern, one foot in front of the other keeping her balanced.

One man down, his bloody shirt and tie fell swiftly next to my table. Two to go, my angel, two to go, my love. She jumps off the table, her graceful movements just like a cat’s. Cats tend to run away when they know they will die, she was walking forward. There was no fear in her eyes, I was channeling that for both in my stillness.

One step at a time, towards them, another one down. A bullet cuts her arm, she keeps going, still far from the only man left. That we thought was left, or maybe it was me, because she seemed to know that a waiter shouting from the back of the restaurant was actually calling her name. Third man down, her feathery hair sticking to her face, she doesn’t lower her guns when she looks at me. A smile directed at me, a sign of life, she walked to me, I wanted to get up, pull her into my arms and run away from this.

I didn’t see it. With the strength I knew she had from the many times we embraced each other, the many times our love exchanges seemed to turn into wrestling matches filled with panting and sweating, she threw me off my chair and under the table. The tablecloth was blocking my view, I pulled it up in time to see the man fall face down on the floor five feet away, hear a hard thud on my table and see the stream of blood trickle through the fabric and into my hand.

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