Rules. There are rules for everything in life. Good or bad, the rules are there for someone to follow. Traffic? Rules. Tests? Rules. Life? Rules. Well, some rules anyway. My life has rules too. Not my rules mind you, but my father’s. Even his rules are not all his. But as I’m reminded, if I’m to live a long normal life, I need to follow the rules. His rules.

Question: When was the last time you spoke to your father?
Answer: This morning, on the phone.

Setting the rules
For as long as I can remember my father has been a busy man. His profession takes him away, a lot. I haven’t seen him for quite some time, but he calls often enough that we can keep up with one another. Here’s a photo of him and I from a several years ago; not sure who scratched out his eyes, but it’s what I’ve got.

I live with Saul; he’s my “keeper.” He’s been around for as long as my father has, or at least as long as I can remember, he’d tell you he’s been around forever.

He started as my nanny of sorts, but he’s become my surrogate father while mine is on the road; as well as my school and physical instructor. He’s always been a wiz at everything.

As I mentioned before, life, my life, has rules. Lucky for me I’ve only had two real (well technically three I guess) rules I’ve had to follow: one, family is priority number one. Helping or protecting family is the most important thing one can do in life. The second is to never question Saul’s instructions. It’s worked out well for me thus far, and if it didn’t work out, well, I’ve had a few bumps to show what happens. The third, which is a “house only” rule is to never enter the door on the east end of the house. Never. Easy enough, it’s in my dad’s office, and I don’t go in there anyway.

Question: What did you two talk about, on the phone?
Answer: He told me it was good to catch up over my Birthday and he’s looking forward to seeing me when this is over.

College
The last time I actually saw my father, well prior to recent events, was when I was nine. On my nineteenth birthday, he called me, to let me know he was home and he wanted to see me. I told him I was bringing my roommate, Chuck, home with me for the weekend to get him out of the dorms. I’d only been at school for about two months, but I already missed home.

Saul picked us up after our classes on Thursday letting the local security know I’d be back on Sunday night. Yes, I have my license, but I’ve never really been able to drive myself. Saul’s always called it a precaution and says my father’s insurance won’t let me be alone.

As we pulled up to the house I realized Chuck was serious when he told me that he’d never really been to a “fancy” house before (his words, not mine). He came from a Detroit suburb and was attending school on an academic scholarship. I admit I felt a little embarrassed when he saw the house. Well, actually, I’d call it more of abash than embarrassed; I hope he didn’t think I was showing off.

After we got ourselves settled, Chuck and I went for a swim out back before we rode the four-wheeler tracks for a few hours. It wasn’t until he asked me why there were so many cameras in the woods that I actually noticed how many there were.

“Security,” I told him. “My dad’s business makes him a ‘corporate target.’ He’s what Saul calls a corporate hitman, he smooths over issues with business dealings.”

From the look on Chuck’s face I could see he was confused, I assured him I was just as confused about his job, but didn’t really think about it much. It’s never been an issue for me.

We rode back to the house and got some food for the night before chilling out in the media room to watch movies and play video games. We were playing Fortnite when I dozed off. Chuck was kicking ass on the game. That’s the last time I saw him. Saul notified me the next morning that Chuck had a family emergency and asked to be driven to the airport.

Question: When was the last time you saw Chuck Anderson?
Answer: He came home with me over the weekend of October 8th, he left for a family emergency.

The Trial
It’s now December, I just started college this past August. However, today I’m sitting in a courtroom packed with onlookers and reporters. I’m not part of the crowd this time, I’m in the front flanked by two lawyers on either side and shackles around my ankles. Behind me is Saul, sitting on the other side of the waist high wall.

“This is a huge mistake,” I say to a well groomed lawyer to my right.

“Don’t worry, we’ll get you out of this,” he assured.

His assurance was nothing more than words. The trial was short, and it didn’t go in my favor. I honestly remember very little from the ordeal, but what I do remember was damming.

A Dr. Sagen took the stand for my defense and told everyone in the room, to my dismay, that I suffered from dissociative identity disorder; split personalities. What’s worse, the prosecutors agreed. Further evidence was brought forward that Mr. Thomas Deal, my father, was responsible for over one-hundred confirmed assassinations around the world. However, the killings stopped approximately two months ago. After the FBI ransacked the house they found that my father had been buried underneath the cement floor of his side office, the most westerly room of the house, and had been there for over ten years.

The prosecution suggested, then produced evidence that I suffered a breakdown about ten years ago after he died and assumed his responsibilities as a hitman, at the age of nine. Saul Horvat, my keeper, was later accused of inciting violence in several countries and training me to do my jobs on behalf of my father, a private contracted hitman.

Let the record show that Jacob Day’s father died over ten years ago. These “conversations” that Mr. Day’s been having with his father were, no, are, in his head as Dr. Sagen has stated.

Categories: Short Story

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