if dad hadn’t done what he did, maybe daniel could be normal
Daniel bit on his thumbnail, the white edge coming off between his teeth. Everything was set up but he needed her to stand still. Through the gap in the sliding window, he spotted her on the stage. The proud Ms. Alison Powell, Ms. Prime Minister, in her navy blue suit. Her short cropped, brunette hair made her look like a man. Long blonde hair would suit her more. She insisted on attending events like these to ‘connect with the community’. The cheers from the crowd floated up towards him. Police in their blue uniforms and vests stood around the perimeter, moving around and banding together like ants.
Ms. Alison Powell. Not Miss, even though she had no ring on her finger. If the Prime Minister had a husband and kids, maybe he would have a wife and kids. His wife would cook for him, good food too, like Mum used to for him and Dad every night. He missed the delicious aroma of homely dishes like beef stroganoff and lamb casserole. If Daniel had good food, maybe the doctor wouldn’t tell him he was at high risk for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. If he had a son, he’d name him Daniel Jr. His son wouldn’t grow up to be a pussy, he’d be a real man. Daniel Jr. wouldn’t be like his grandfather. No. Daniel Jr. wouldn’t be a pussy but Daniel would let his son cry, sometimes. And he wouldn’t leave his son to fend for himself. If Dad hadn’t left Mum for that home-wrecker, the other kids wouldn’t have called him a bastard and he wouldn’t get into fights.
If the Prime Minister was a man, maybe Daniel would have a girlfriend. A real hot and natural one, not one of those ones with makeup caked on. Seriously, why did girls wear so much makeup? Were they hiding their ugliness? His girlfriend would also be fine with cheeky banter and be able to take a joke. She wouldn’t be one of those hairy feminists with a stick up her ass. She would ask for sex everyday, he wouldn’t have to convince her. And she wouldn’t look anything like the home-wrecker, who hadn’t even been that pretty.
If the Prime Minister could do her job, maybe Daniel would still have a job. If he still had a job, maybe he would have his own house by now. He wouldn’t live in the middle of nowhere in some place that could only be reached by car or two bus transfers, after getting off at the closest train station. He wouldn’t be living in Mum’s house, which he got the urge to burn down every week because memories of Dad seeped through every corner.
If Mum hadn’t gotten sick, maybe Daniel wouldn’t have had to come home from the U.S. to take care of her. If Mum wasn’t a woman, maybe she wouldn’t have needed him so much. But then if Mum was more like Dad — well, Dad could rot in his jail cell for all he cared. If Mum hadn’t been with Dad, maybe she would have had a better life. And maybe her last words to him on her deathbed would have been something else. If Dad hadn’t done what he did, maybe Daniel could be normal.
If the Prime Minister didn’t try to pander to everyone, he would like her more. Prime Ministers always said such bullshit to placate everyone. Ms. Alison Powell had the most bullshit to say out of all the Prime Ministers. Higher taxes for an improved healthcare system and community services. Land Back. One day off a month for ‘people with periods’. People with periods were women! What had the world come to? And guys didn’t get periods so were they not allowed a day off for some mundane reason? So much for this supposed ‘equality’ feminists kept banging on about. If the feminists weren’t so sexist against men, maybe he wouldn’t feel so shit about being a guy. Was it his fault he was born a guy? Was it his fault Mum and Dad had sex and had him?
Daniel assumed the position. The scope magnified the Prime Minister in his right eye, her chest in the centre of the reticle. She looked so smug.
His finger rested against the trigger. A simple pulling motion and everything would be set to rights.
His hand shook. He took a deep breath but the shaking carried through to the rest of his body. No, no, why was his body betraying him now? He wiped off the sweat gathering on his forehead with the back of his hand. Fuck, get it together. Just fucking pull the trigger, you dipshit.
He resumed the position again. He closed his left eye. He steadied his hand. He pulled the trigger.
She fell back onto the stage. Screams pierced through the air. The crowd ran like headless chickens. A group of police carried Alison Powell off the stage, blood blooming through her white shirt.
If Dad hadn’t taught him how to load a gun, Daniel would never have learnt how to shoot. If Dad hadn’t been so shit, he wouldn’t have opened fire on those unsuspecting people at the shopping centre. If Daniel hadn’t gone to the U.S. and picked up hunting as a hobby, he wouldn’t have tried his hand at assassination. What was Daniel supposed to do when Mum said she had regrets and the biggest one was meeting Dad? If Daniel wasn’t fucking raging all the time, if everyone just fucking listened to him for once, if everyone stopped looking at him like he wasn’t right in the head, maybe he’d be okay.
Mum’s last words to him: “You don’t be like your dad, okay?”
He couldn’t help it. If Dad wasn’t Dad, Daniel wouldn’t have turned out like this.