Fiction

1:47 AM

Tap tap. Those are the sounds I heard at 1:47 a.m., starting the worst night of my life.

I was always paranoid when I stayed home alone at night. That’s why I would stay in one spot the whole night in silence. I would never sleep; my paranoia would keep me up. And at 1:47 a.m., my whole life changed. The second I heard tapping, chills rolled up my spine. “I’m probably hearing things,” I told myself. But it came again, and I was up. I grabbed my phone and snuck into the closet. “I think we’re clear,” I heard a voice say. The door was quietly opened, and the alarm went off. “Thank god,” I thought. But 10 seconds later, the alarm stopped. I tried turning on my phone, but it was out of battery. Heavy thuds were coming closer and closer and then a sudden stop. The thuds were coming from farther now. “Hurry up Rick, we have to go soon.” That was the last thing I heard before fainting.

“Hurry up Rick, we have to go soon.” “Alright calm down I’m almost done,” Rick said. As I watched Rick tediously open the safe, I took a seat in the chair next to me to rest. I reflected back to my first robbery — a nice Suburban house in West Port. It’s not like I wanted to be a criminal; I had to for my kid. No one here hires a guy with no diploma. I’ve tried my luck with hundreds of jobs, but no one wants me. And no job means no income to take care of Sarah, my 15-year-old daughter. With all her chemotherapy bills racking up, I needed money — and fast. And then I met Rick. I met him at a bar, after another failed job interview. He came over to me, bought me a beer and started talking. I still remember the first words that came out of his mouth, “Do you want to make money with me?” I stopped drinking my third beer and with a drunken smile said, “Yeah, when do we start?” This was the start of my double life.

When I woke up, I was dazed and afraid. Everything rushed back to me in an instance, and I panicked. I hit my arm against the closet door and then heard thumping footsteps quickly heading my way. I closed my eyes, preparing for the worst.

I was suddenly roused from my flashback to a loud noise coming from the closet. Rick gave me a silent nod, and I sighed. This was the least favorite part of my job. Rick made me promise that if we ever encounter anyone during our robberies, we kill them. Kill them, move to another part of the country to be safe, and repeat. I cocked my gun toward the door and cautiously approached it. “It’s for Sarah, nothing else,” I thought to myself.

The closet door came a crash, and the next thing I see is a man with a gun. I’m so terrified; I can’t move. The man with the gun isn’t doing anything though. He’s staring at me with saucer-like eyes.

The second after I kicked the closet down, I saw a young girl. I’ve never dealt with teenagers or kids in these situations. She’s Sarah’s age, with the same eye and hair color as her. Her face full of innocence, just like Sarah. I turn to Rick, shaking my head. “Let’s just go Rick, we have the money.” He looks at me with disapproval, “Just one shot to the heart, and let’s go. Stop wasting time.” I turn back to the girl, trembling with the gun. “So innocent. Just like Sarah. So weak, so fragile, just like her,” were my last thoughts before pivoting around to shoot Rick. He fell to the floor, gasping for air, “What is wrong with you, you idiot,” he sputtered. I turned back to the girl, who looked absolutely terrified. I gave her a weak smile and then whispered to myself, “I’m sorry that I let you down Sarah, you’re too good for this world.” Those were the last words I said, before the gun entered my mouth.

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