Echoes of the Night

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic


Echoes of the Night

I heard the heels of her shoes touch the ground of the subway station, step by step. The echo bounced off the dirty walls full of graffiti as she innocently made her way to the exit, adding to the suspense of the night. No one was around. Rich, Tyson and I were hiding behind a set of old stairs in an attempt to not be seen. They knew she was going to arrive at exactly 11.43pm, they’d seen her get off at the same stop on previous days and figured her schedule was consistent. She’d carry around her Gucci purse so carelessly, making her an easy victim. Time began to slow down and I could feel my heartbeat racing as blood began to rush through my body. Rich, my older brother, whispered some words to his bestfriend Tyson, but I could only make out parts of it. I knew it was about our plan, I also knew I didn’t feel ready, but I didn’t have much of a choice. Brotherhood meant loyalty and we needed the money to put food on our table. We had lost our dad due to a stroke early last year and our mom was constantly battling the mental game of drug addiction. So, we had to take it into our own hands if we wanted to keep a roof over our heads. I knew Rich didn’t necessarily surround himself with the right group of people, but where I come from it was hard to find people within a different circle. We didn’t have a promising future or wealthy parents that could afford to pay a full ride to college. It was either hustle until you make it or sit back and watch everything fall apart. Rich usually told me to stay home and watch over mom, but he said he could use my help this time. He told me he mainly needed me to be on the lookout, since it was a public area with only two ways of possible exit. He also told me he didn’t want her to scream and draw attention, so he gave me some tape and told me it should do the job. I wasn’t sure if I had it in me, but it was hard to say no. 

The steps started coming closer and my pulse began to increase. I could feel my body shaking and sweat pearls running down my face. It was the perfect moment to begin. Rich and Tyson ran towards her and grabbed her from the back, as planned. A high pitched scream left her body. I knew it was my turn now, but I couldn’t seem to build up the courage to move. I was still standing behind the stairs, frozen and unable to think straight. Tyson gave me a sign and I remembered I had to act fast. I finally put my thoughts aside and moved towards her. I caught her glancing at me and noticed she had tears rolling down her cheeks. My task was to cover her mouth with duct tape. She was feisty and started kicking recklessly while trying to free herself from their grip. I wouldn’t be surprised if she had taken self-defense classes before, however her chances for escape remained low. While Rich and Tyson were struggling to hold her back, I slowly took a step closer. I heard her fast and frightened breath, as if she was battling to catch air. I inspected her face closely and noticed a small birthmark on the left side of her forehead right above her thin plucked eyebrow. It almost matched her skin color, so one could hardly see it from afar. She had used blue mascara with black eyeliner, which was now flowing down her face together with tears. Our eyes found each other, making direct eye contact and my heart stopped. I had never seen such beautiful eyes before. They were dark, clear blue and it felt as if I could stare right into her soul. Wait, what was I doing? I looked over her shoulder and saw Rich and Tyson holding her hands back, waiting on me to do my move. Rich was angry that it was taking me this long, I noticed his eyebrows transform into a V shape, which happened every time he was upset. She, on the other hand, had a hopeful look in her eyes, as if she thought I was going to save her. However, this look slowly disappeared the moment I ripped off a sticky piece of black duct tape. Without anymore thinking, I placed the tape on her mouth and I could see the disappointment in her eyes along with further tears flowing down her face. Ashamed, I began to feel resentment building up within me. I asked myself why I had the job to look into her eyes and be the person to diminish the last hope within her? Why couldn't it have been the others, Rich or Tyson? 

I had done my part and was now watching Rich, who had given her hand over to Tyson, walk over to her. He looked at her shortly, ignored her tears and pushed her against the walls with a tough tug. Something inside of me wanted to stop him, but I knew I wouldn’t change his mind. Rich grabbed her purse and threw it to Tyson, while searching through the rest of her pockets. Yet he found nothing, but some loose change, a notebook and a red lipstick. 

“Man, this bitch got nothing else on her!” Rich stated, while punching the wall. 

“So, let’s let her go and get out of here.” I suggested, while wishing this was all just a bad nightmare.

“Nah man, we not done yet bro.” He replied, while looking over at Tyson with a slight smirk on his face. 

Confused, I asked myself if we weren’t here for the money, what was it that they were after? Clearly, I didn’t have much say from this point forward. Next thing I knew Tyson pulled up her skirt and exposed her body. She continued kicking hysterically in an attempt of getting him off her, however with little success. Tyson was strong, he had played football in high school together with my brother back in the day and was at least 6’3 ft tall. He began unzipping his pants and that’s when I realized where this was going. Tyson wanted to feel powerful, always did. His dad raised him that way. They used to live in the apartment across the hall and I could hear his dad screaming at him to toughen up every other night. He wanted to feel vigorous and dominant and take control over another person’s body, especially the body of a young, beautiful lady. My brother joined in and began slapping her butt. Her screams for help faded away in the echoes of the walls of the empty train station. I felt powerless and I wasn’t even the victim. I wanted to stop it, I wanted to be the hero and save her from this traumatic experience, but I didn’t know how. This is not what I came here for, nor was this part of our plan. It was a crime, we were committing a crime much bigger than I had intended. We were criminals raping a young girl who probably had prayed to make it home safely, yet her prayers weren’t heard. This wasn’t me; it didn’t define my morals nor bring me satisfaction whatsoever. Were Rich and Tyson a bad influence on me?

From the distance I heard a night-train slowly arriving, soon we would not be alone anymore. Soon it was all going to be over. I could see that she wanted to scream louder, but she couldn't. Her mouth was covered with the duct tape I placed on her. She knew we would leave her alone and discard her like a piece of trash as soon as the train arrived. It wasn't fair. It was too late now; the harm had already been done. I just stood there frozen and unable to interfere, I felt helpless. Rich and Tyson noticed the train approaching the station and returned back to reality. 

“Oh shit!” Tyson said. “C’mon we have to get out of here, we got company.”

Rich pushed the lady to the floor and they both sprinted towards the exit. After short hesitation I followed, but I felt guilty. I could not forget the look in her eyes, no matter how hard I tried. We had all ran into different directions after the exit, so I didn’t know where either of them were. It was late and I was exhausted, so I made my way home. Shame and regret began overflooding my consciousness. I was disgusted by my brother’s actions, I had never met this side of him, but more importantly I was ashamed that I myself had not done anything to intervene. I wished I could go back in time and do everything differently. Not put myself in the position to have been there in the first place, but it was too late now. The damage had been done and there was nothing to make it better, nothing that I could have done at this point to make her forgive me. She was traumatized and that wound cuts deep. Often men don’t realize how much of an impact situations like these play on the mind of individuals, a scar cut so deep that it is almost impossible to heal from. 


Submitted: May 27, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Sky Candelario. All rights reserved.

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