Just One Shot

I found the perfect spot. It’s taken hours of research and I had to be here before dawn but it’s going to be worth it this time. The number of favours I called in is unbelievable and if this doesn’t pay off it might be the end of me, but I have to try.

From here, I can see the entire courtyard. I have a table to myself with an empty glass and my satchel resting beside it. I moved the other chairs to nearby tables earlier so that I would be alone, my laptop is in front of me and I have earphones plugged in so no one will disturb me. It also cost me a lot to make sure the waitress isn’t going to bother me for the whole morning. This has to work.

Sleep has eluded me for days. The excitement and nervousness of what I’m about to do is too much to handle – this is the biggest chance I’ve ever had to make a difference, to prove I have what it takes. It’s do or die this time. The balcony is small, so there’s never going to be more than twenty people out here. I can do it and get out before anyone notices and the stairs are right next to my table.

It really is the perfect spot.

The courtyard started filling up about an hour or so after I had arrived. This is an unscheduled appearance so there had been plenty arguing about whether this would pay off or not but that’s where it pays to have people on the inside. They have no idea how valuable that information is to people like me.

Plenty of people below were fans but just as many were critics. It’s almost a standoff between the two groups with a thin – a very thin – line between them. That’ll vanish the moment she appears.

The sun is beating down and while I have sunglasses, I forgot to bring a hat. That’s going to be a pain – the glasses will soon be coming off and the glare might be a problem. Next time, if there is one, I’ll need to check the weather forecast on the day to stop this from happening.

A cheer erupts from the crowd below and is quickly followed by screams of excitement, joy, anger and outrage. Across the courtyard, there’s movement in a darkened doorway. It’s about to start.

From my bag I take the key to my success. Everyone on the balcony has already moved inside or ran down the stairs, leaving me alone and unwatched. No one cares about a nobody, especially one content with keeping their distance. I look through the scope and begin tracing the route I expect her to take. The sun’s glare is much stronger than I’d like but I’ll make do. Holding it in one hand, with my finger ready to take the shot, I use my left arm as a rest and wait.

It seems to go on for hours but not even minutes pass. After this eternity finally ends, the doors fly open and suited men burst out onto the plaza, bordering the route I guessed and keeping people at bay.

Then she appears, waving to the crowd without a care who is a fan or a critic. Not once does she get too close to them. There have been too many instances for her to not learn from. I trail her movements perfectly and keep her centred in my sight.

I just need one perfect shot. My finger tenses, not wanting to miss what might be my only opportunity.

Then I see it. There’s no time to think, I just have to react. I take the shot.