Ryan was driving home from hurling training in his little red car. He was a tall, young man and he always was squashed into his car but it was all he could afford after his previous problems. He always stood out not only for being tall but for his bright auburn hair that looked like freshly cut wood and his steel blue eyes that gave a sense of mystery to him. In the back of his car was his tennis racket which he had bought thinking he would keep it up but like most things, he gave up after a month at most. Without stopping to think he looked down at the fluorescent glow of his car clock only taking his mind off the road for a second; but that’s all it took.
“Get up Ryan, ya feckin’ idiot ya.”
It was his younger sister Laura that he lived with in the secluded Galway countryside because he had no money; he was as poor a pauper. His alarm clock was buzzing but it was no use – he was a log on his bed.
“Get up or I’ll tell ma all bout your lil’……… Mishap”
“Kay, I’m up”
“That goh ya up, didn’t it”
“Just leave ih, tis too early for that argument”
He slowly dragged himself out of bed like a sloth. Today was special as he was finally going to propose to his girlfriend. They had been going out for two years and even through his bad times she loved him unconditionally. He couldn’t afford a ring but he knew she would understand. His plans were to wait until after hurling training that evening.
He strolled down the hall, rubbing his eyes trying to wake himself up. He stepped into the bathroom with a cheeky grin on his face; he always pulled one when his sister passed by so she would believe that he was coping with the stress. He then calmly closed the door but he wanted to burst his fist right its hollow centre.
Ryan began to undress, hoping a shower would give him some sense of relaxation. The tension was getting to him and he clenched his fist so tight he was shaking and turning red. He looked at himself in the circular mirror on the wall. The reflection was a sight he despised.
“Calm down, they don’t know where you live”
With that he took some deep breaths but nothing could calm the rage that was growing inside of him. He hit the mirror with his full force, he was breathing heavily now. The mirror was cracked all over but he couldn’t care about it. He was about to finish undressing but he was stopped when he heard a window break with a deafening crash.
He ran out to check, but when he got out there was his sister lying in a pool of bright red blood. Her head had a gaping hole like it was drilled. There was a small hole in the television from where the bullet had cleanly penetrated her skull and came out the other side. Outside were skid marks from the vehicle that was used for the shooting.
Ryan didn’t cry, he just lay still as if frozen in time. He had mixed emotions. He was happy that he was not killed but angry that they had killed his innocent sister and not him. Many thoughts were running through his head. What he should do with his sister and what should he do knowing that he was being pursued and that they were ruthless.
He eventually decided to hide the body in the bathroom until he got back from training. He knew that people of the surrounding area would think of the shot as just another person hunting. He cautiously lifted his sister’s cold blue body to the bathroom and washed the floors incase the neighbour from a mile down the road came to complain about the hunting.
At training he put on a fake smile, just so no one would get suspicious of what was wrong with him. He still didn’t say much but nobody suspected anything. He hopped into his car and began to drive. Taking his mind off the road for a second he didn’t see the oncoming van.
The van struck him from the side. Ryan was severely injured but he knew now he was going to die. He was like a rat in a trap. He spotted a face in the van; he knew the face all too well. It was Fran James the notorious drug dealer he had borrowed money off to fund his gambling addiction.
This was it, the end of it all for Ryan. He didn’t mind dying anymore; it had become an escape route from this life of lies and deceit. Fran got out of the van and walked over to him. The area was a quiet as a funeral. Ryan watched as he walked slowly towards him, in his hand was a gun with just one shot left. It was meant for him. After what seemed like an eternity Fran reached him and pointed the gun to his head.
“You take my money and don’t pay me back. You give me no other choice but to write you off as a bad debt,” Fran spoke in his strong Limerick accent.
Bang. The bullet pierced Ryan’s skull putting an end to his life, but on his face apart from the cuts; he wore a smile.