“$100 per brick, any message” read the sign.
That’s when he had the only complete vision of his life, surrounded by the budding trees and the sounds of spring. This was the place. It was where they had met. It was where they had their first date, their first kiss.
He had thought only of the romance when he filled in the form, paid the money, and winked conspiratorially at the clerk as he left. “It will be perfect” he thought.
As the weeks went by, he waited, biding his time. As the seasons passed, the new walkway was built. He hoped it would open soon, but as always, there were delays.
The two would still visit the park every week, though the spot itself was barricaded off. As time went by and the days began to grow dimmer, she grew more distant. He did what he could, asking what the problem was but not understanding her answers of “I’m just thinking” or “it’s about my family” or “I don’t want to talk about it”.
He knew that her family had expectations of her, that she was, eventually, to have to pass some sort of test. But that was in the future and, he was certain, their love was strong enough to withstand any changes that may come.
Then, finally, the day arrived. Though the day was dark and snowy and she seemed even more withdrawn than had become usual, he cajoled her until she acquiesced to their weekly walk. He was envisioning the look on her face as he knelt down to brush the snow off the pathway. He was so distracted by his vision of the future that he barely felt the cold metal until he saw the other end of her long knife protruding from his chest.
“Wha…?” he gasped as he died, looking first at the retreating knife tip, then at the brick, as tears fell from his face as blood poured from his chest.
Crystal stepped around his body and, for the first time, saw his message to her. She knew she was being watched but couldn’t help but to shed a single tear, which joined his growing pool. Then she turning her back, having passed the final test, walked out into the snow rejoining her family as a full assassin.
There then the brick lay, getting covered in snow, marking the place where they had met. It marked the place of their first date, their first kiss. It marked her first kill and his only death.
And there it lays today, forever stained by tears.