Based on characters in the Alex Rider books by Anthony Horowitz.
The life of a man - any man - Yassen considered, could be measured by a list of things done and not done. In his case, of course, most of the things he had done had caused rather more things to be not done, by quite a few other people.
Such is the way of the assassin.
Looking back through the years, few things stood out in the memory. Alex, obviously. Estrov. Leo, briefly. Alex again. And again.
He preferred not to think too much of the early years. Or indeed many of the later years. And so many years had disappeared without trace while he was waiting, planning, waiting again. Travel the world, do the kill, travel some more. Wait. His existence until Alex had been merely a list of jobs, all perfectly executed, all adding to his reputation and his bank balance.
None of them added anything to his life.
He’d been thirty before he knew his life was nothing, thirty-five before it bothered him. The empty flats, the endless flights, the turning wheel of each new year left no mark he would want to read. His soul, like the white walls in the safest of all safe houses, waited unknowing for something worth recording.
Meeting Alex properly at last was the turning point, the waterfall, the chasm into which he’d thrown his past. Alex wrote upon his white walls in blood and pain and fury, forcing him to feel and know, to learn to live.
To love, at last. To cut the ties to deeds he’d done alone.
When all was done, and no going back, they’d held hands under the cold moon as the disks sank, the lists burned and the gadgets died, relics of an empty life with no regrets.
The wind had died and the tide had turned, and they’d hoisted sail together, laughing. They threw the coffee overboard and the champagne over them.
And turned to face the sunrise of their lives.