Had I not looked straight into the depths of his eyes, or not made the loud pounding of my heart visible on my face, or looked right through him as if he did not exist, he would not have hit me with the bullet that ultimately sealed my fate. He was a tall guy, one who is so conspicuous that one has to notice him, even when one does not want to. He implicitly imposes authority, his physical stature mandates it. The way he walks speaks about his personality borders on aplomb, but as he walks closer, it suddenly falls short and stumbles into the black abyss of abomination. It is something in his face that does it. For thousand bucks, I cannot point at a feature on his face and tell you what is in it that causes so much revulsion to every self-respecting human being. One is tempted to believe that it is his eyes. But it cannot be. His eyes are cold as stone and not even deceit stands a chance to spawn in there. No, it is not his eyes. Is it his jaw line – the carved line that cuts a perfectly sharp angle, like the antediluvian man that a 3rd grade child would draw in his sketch book? But the jaw line also gives away a certain ruggedness that is associated with every third person in the street. No, even that did not set him apart at the top of the pedestal of hatred. I will tell you what it is. It is his nose. The crookedness of it is hidden behind a certain swell of the tip, swollen like a balloon full of water. The crooked nose smiles vengefully behind the comfortable curtain of the swell, which makes the hatred apparent but the reason for that hatred is hidden behind this deception played out by his nose.
The moment I saw him, I knew I was done for. This was the precise reason I could not figure out a way to run away from there. Hell, I could not even grab at my otherwise sharp instincts that alarm me when something’s amiss. The moment that I saw him hit me with such forceful fury that I was left groping in the dark for a certain sense of clarity, for my self-respect which had ditched me right at that moment, and for my self-preservation skills as I call them, those that had saved me countless times before.
I wasn’t a bad guy. The way I justify it is that I kill people for a living, that’s it. Everyone has a piss in his life. Mine’s this, right in front of you. I kill people. I do not like doing that. Do you like being a banker? Do you like being the insurance agent who no one likes and who ends up alone, like a dog that squats in the shadows, so that his own species don’t see him and spare him the spite? Even I do not like doing it. But I am who I am, and I do what I do. I have certain skills which I leverage to make the most of this short life. My self-preservation skills have saved me from the narrowest of alleys and stupidest of murders, but this time was different. As soon as I saw the inspector walking towards me, I knew my end was nigh. And I gave up, because I started breathing heavily, and I like to believe that my pupils also dilated, so shaken up was I on seeing him. I had heard stories about him, but a thousand words could not have the effect that one close look had on me. I was already enslaved by his nose, that crookedly deceptive nose. I could make it out only when my mind reached that abyss where the aplomb turned to abomination. But he knew it all along. I could see it. He had his finger on the trigger. All that he had to do was to pull it and the work was done. All my motives, ambition and confidence had taken flight long ago (or so long ago it seemed). I was paralyzed by anger, if you have ever had that feeling. I looked into his eyes. And into the black bottomless abyss that stared at me. That was it. I closed my eyes and breathed a deep, soothing breath. The crooked nose had done its trick.