There was once this amnesiac assassin... stop me if you've heard this one before. Oh, you have? Well, as cliche as it may sound, it's what I think I just might be.
Why? Because as I'm sitting here alone in this diner, my mind is continuously coming up with combat scenarios, exit strategies, I'm mentally taking note of where each surveillance camera is positioned, their lines of sight, it's like my mind won't switch off.
Case in point, I'm looking at what I think is a pretty hot guy making eyes at me from the other side of the room, and all I'm thinking is, he's caucasian, weighs about 12st, 75kg, 5ft 8in in height, left handed and married, probably unhappily, with at least one child.
Ok, so the tiny milk stain on the shoulder of his suit jacket tells me as much and the ring on his wedding finger is a dead giveaway, but the point is, this is the only reason I can come up with that actual makes sense.
As for the 'amnesiac' bit, my mind pretty much draws up a blank when I try to remember anything beyond six weeks ago. That's when they found me, unconscious, lying in the middle of Westfield Park.
No idea what I was doing there, maybe out for a late night jog? Whatever it was, it seems I was the victim of an attack, as I'd reportedly suffered a mild head wound. But bizarrely no money was taken. And thankfully no trace of... well... anything else being done to me, either.
Couldn't track down any friends or family members though. Said they'd pick up on it once they have a moment or two. Guess they're still busy.
Just wish I could remember something. Anything. I don't even remember what I'm doing sitting in this diner.
"Yo, Alexia! You wanna get your pretty little ass off that chair? Customers aren't gonna serve themselves, you know?"
Oh yea, now I remember. I work here. I'm not an assassin after all. Just a waitress.
"Sorry Mr Redmond," I apologise. "I must have dozed off. Won't happen again!"
"Bet yo ass it won't happen again! You know, this ain't baseball. Here, you only get two strikes!"
That's Reggie Redmond, the owner of the diner. He was kind enough to give me a job, even without a reference. Thanks to him being the brother-in law of one of the cops who found me.
"Sorry, Mr Redmond, sir."
"Good thing the good Lord gave you beauty. Cause 'seems the best part a your brain got left back in your mama's womb! Now go serve that kind gentleman, waiting patiently for the bill!"
Ah. Yes. The hot guy. So that's why he was looking my way.
I make my way sheepishly over to him, he's even better looking up close, all the while hoping I don't make an ass of myself. Again.
"Sorry to keep you waiting, sir." I apologise, "I hope the breakfast was satisfactory?"
"The eggs were ok and the toast a little on the burnt side, but the service more than made up for it." he smiles. I blush in response.
"Would you like anything else?" I gush.
"Nothing on the menu." he smiles again.
Damn it, with a smile like that, I'm almost tempted to pay the damn bill for him. I don't, of course. I simply place the bill gently on the table before him, face down, gather his knife, fork and plate, then turn to leave.
"Actually Isabella, there is one thing you can do for me..." he asks.
I turn back to him and smile politely, "Sorry sir, my name is Alexia?"
When they found me in the park that night, it was the name written on my identification papers; passport, driving license, etc. Pretty much the only thing I am sure of.
"Hey, no need to apologise, miss. It was my mistake." he replies. "It's just... you look a lot more like an 'Isabella' than you do an 'Alexia'. Anyone ever told you that?"
Ok, this is awkward. He's trying to make light conversation with me. Probably doesn't know Ive seen the ring. Need to play dumb. Don't want to offend the guy for trying to flatter me.
"No sir, no-one has told me that. At least not in the last six weeks, anyway." I laugh, innocently. Which ends up sounding dorky.
"Strange though," he continues. "Cause you definitely remind me of an Isabella I knew; Isabella Garcia. Actually looked a lot like you, too."
"Well I... hope she was a nice lady, at the very least, Sir." I say, feeling more awkward by the minute.
He pauses for a moment, then shrugs. "Like I said, my mistake." he smiles, again.
"Not a problem sir." I tell him. "Now, there was something I could do for you?"
"Yes, there was..." he replies, "YOU COULD DIE!"
He pulls out a Beretta M9 from nowhere and aims it at me, and time freezes. It's almost as if I've stepped out of my own body, becoming my own spectator to what unfolds.
I hurl the plate at him with everything I've got - He flinches, ducking underneath it, firing shots at me blindly as the plate shatters against the wall behind him - but I've already rolled towards him, safely under the trajectory of the bullets - three of them whistle over my head by the time I've reached his table - I jab the fork in my hand deep into his lower leg and he screams - I rise, kicking the gun from his hand as it spins across the room, cracking the front window on impact - he pulls out a combat knife and lunges towards me - I side-step it, driving the bread knife in my other hand deep into his wrist with such force, it goes right through - he screams, dropping the combat knife - I catch it and drive it into his chest.
As he slowly sinks into his chair, I just stand there, indifferent, watching the light in his eyes slowly go out.
A scream from behind me snaps me out of my trance-like state. It's one of the other girls, a colleague.
"Reggie's been shot!" she cries. "Call 911!"
A stray bullet must have found him. Sooner or later, they find everyone. No, thats not me thinking. That's not how I talk. Who am I? What's just happened?
The other customers come up from underneath their tables and run out into the streets in a mass panic, screaming. Everyone is screaming.
I've never felt so scared in all my life. All six weeks of it. I'm hyperventilating. My hearts beating so rapidly it feels like its in my throat. My head feels cloudy, too many questions. I need air. I need to get out.
I run outside and throw up everything I ate that morning till theres nothing left but air.
Thats when I hear the screeching of a car pulling up in front of me. The passenger door flies open and a man leans over and screams at me;
"Get in! Quick! We don't have a lot of time. Get in and live or stay there and die, its your choice!"
I don't know why, but I get in. I trust this man for some reason. Even though I've never met him before. I don't know why. I need to find out why. So I get in and we speed off in his car, as the sound of approaching sirens echo in the distance.