It seemed to Sins as if, his life was just perfect. It was neither too comfortable but neither too tough. Just perfect. His job required him to stretch his limits intellectually while his evenings were spent exerting himself physically. It was the ideal life, according to him. Once, his finances were taken care of to satisfy his desires, he would pack his bags, leave the city and go settle in a rustic village, preferably much above sea level, where the sun would be warm and the cold would bite his bones.
He was 23 years old.
He planned to accomplish his blissful thoughts about retirement well before he turned 40 years old, and he knew he would. He didn’t know how, not yet at least, but he just knew he would. He felt it deep in his retirement bones. After he had finished college two years ago, he had returned home in joy, and proceeded to spend the next three months debating his next move with his dad. As far as his dad was concerned, his only wish was to see Sins happy and see him do something that he would love to. Sins was glad.
Sins started smoking and dealing marijuana.
His plans for retirement were on course. He told his dad, that he had begun an internship with an import-export firm, and began a lengthy discourse about how trade and globalization worked in tandem. Sins liked what he was talking about to his dad. After all, Business was about people. People moved non-living things to their destinations to satisfy the principles of supply and demand. He could imagine how dynamic, trading was in real-time.
Sins met his now turned girlfriend, Starr outside a bank, when she had driven her scooter right between his legs. She had simply laughed. Sins had joined in, and asked her out for a coffee after 10 minutes of exchanging names and numbers. The coffee didn’t happen. They skipped it for a movie that weekend.
Starr was studying criminology. Final year.
He loved her. So did she, after Sins had told her what he did for a living. They spent their evenings holed up in one of the many hotels across the city armed with marijuana, beer, cigarettes and condoms. This was exactly how Sins had envisioned life to be. So had she. They planned to get married in three years time, and retire in ten. Sins cut down his trading window to six hours a day. Volumes were partially down, owing to a clampdown in transport activity at a majorly producing farm 150 kilometers away. Sins sighed. The farm was a major contact, and he had lost the man. He wished he could have foreseen this, from his network across the city.
Starr had given him a major client. A big shot. A thug. A parasite of a woman. Quite unbecoming of Starr really, as he had expressed to her in a raised voice. Starr was adamant, the woman was her Godmother. Sins had given in, he had a business to run after all. He was increasingly spending his time away from home, and had told his dad that the firm had offered him a permanent contract, which meant travelling to other cities across the country, mostly near the coastline. His parents were happy.
Seventh of July dawned bright and sunny. It was Starr’s birthday. She was lying next to him, naked. So was he. Her Godmother had told him to drop by in the afternoon, remarking that she had a man in her network who was eager to meet him, apparently because ‘he had never believed Sins had it in him’. Sins had shrugged, Starr’s Godmother could be weird sometimes. She had once, received a big consignment from him, in a towel.
He kissed Starr’s forehead on his way out.
Navigating the busy streets on his bike, he was sweating by the time he rang the Godmother’s doorbell. He heard voices inside. A man’s. The door opened, revealing a tall man, with curly hair like Sins’, with a familiar grin on his face and a face similar to Sins’. Sins’ heart froze.
“Come in Sins”, beckoned his Dad.