I'm writing a short story. In it, someone hires a professional assassin to kill a young woman. While the killer is investigating his target he unknowingly starts having feelings for her but he only realizes it after he pulls the trigger.
What I want to do is describe the descent of the main character, from being distant to having a breakdown step by step - but I don't want it to feel too sudden. What I'm afraid of doing wrong is that the moment I start showing details inside the killers head, it feels like he goes from cold killer to lovestruck bird instantly, which is not what I want.
How can I portray a shift like this? Is there a name for this technique? Are there any examples of this done correctly?
Below is my story for reference.
I'm sorry we didn't meet under other circumstances.
The trigger that ended your life was pulled the moment I signed the contract. I don't know why someone would want you dead but it didn't matter.
It doesn't matter.
What matters is that the job is done. I took it and completed it. This is usually the part where I leave the stage and destroy any equipment. Yet here I am. Over your body, looking at you, waiting for you to speak to me. Almost like you are about to get up with your messy hair and puffy eyes so can go brush your teeth with your orange toothbrush.
I'll never use a telescope again. The telescope brings you closer than it has to. I see all the details of your face without the awkwardness. Almost close enough to have your hair tickle my face. If I focus well enough I can almost read your lips murmuring songs while you wait at the bus stop.
A scope is much more appropriate for such use. The crosshairs make sure a target remains just that: A target. Unfortunately I just realised you became something more. A person. Peaceful, on a pillow drowned in rose petals. Almost smiling, like in a pleasant dream.
I knew I shouldn't get close. I still don't know why I had to be inside your room to do this. Maybe it was curiosity, maybe intrigue. Maybe I wanted to know about whether your room smells of choc-chip cookies shampoo. Not quite, but close enough. At least that's from how much I managed to smell before my nostrils got choked.
Maybe it's not too late. I know you will soon wake up, and while scared you won't scream. Please don't scream and give me a chance to meet me. We'll escape from this together and will be far away before anyone figures it out. We'll live together, away from this hellhole. You will wake up. You will wake up.
You will wake up.