I entered the gas station, cold and alone. Nothing but brutal knots turning in my stomach, I wanted to be violently ill but I had to do this, there was no other choice. The man behind the till had a smile that could light up the room, it wouldn't make things any easier. A cold sweat dripped down my neck and back, time felt slow, so slow that it had stopped. Yet all I could hear was the ticking clock. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock the sound repeating itself constantly in my head, it felt like I was being pushed towards insanity. The world felt strange and unusual, it spun on an axis that made me feel nothing but ill and light headed. The sounds blurred together, the tick of the clock, the shing of the till, the drip as my sweat hit the floor, the vibration of the air conditioning. My skin burned all over, it’s only relief being the sweat that poured down my back, the chill of the cold, unforgiving metal of the gun in my chest pocket.
I staggered to the till, the man behind it smiled, unaware of what was to come and what might have been if I hadn’t come. “Can I help you sir?” he asked, I felt the tear run down from my eye as the sudden guilt of what I would do became a reality. “Sir, are you alright?” I shook my head trying to force any thoughts of guilt out of my head. You have to do this, for Molly. You have no choice. My right arm, reached into my chest pocket as I drew the gun and took aim, throwing the bag at him. “Put the money in the bag! Put the money in the bag!” I screamed at him. The man looked in shock as he did what I asked. I looked frantically out the window to watch for the cops that would inevitably come and back to him. The bag was soon full with everything the till had, I picked it up and turned to the door, as I approached it I heard a click. In instinct I turned to face the man as he aimed a shotgun at me. “Drop the gun and give me the bag. Drop it” I stared at him, considering my options, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry. I have to do this for Molly, I have too.
I fired four times into the man’s chest as he fell back and bloodied and as I watched, I didn’t move, not a single muscle. I stood for around ten seconds as the realisation hit me. What had I done? I ran over to the man but he was gone, no pulse, no heartbeat and no life. I retched and vomited at the sight as I cried over his body repeating the same three words. I’m so sorry. I had no choice, Molly was only seven and had a chronic disease, my wife and I were poor and hardly brought enough money into the household to feed the family let alone pay for medication out of our price range. Only a parent can understand the unconditional love, a parent can have for their child. I looked into the man’s eyes and I saw Molly, this man was dead because I chose her life over his. If I didn’t get the money, Molly would have life either permanently disabled or she would die. I had to save her, I had to help her. I stared at the man’s corpse unable to believe what had occurred, unable to move as I felt myself in an outer body experience as I watched myself gun him down. Again and again, and again. I was taken out of my trance by the sounds of sirens wailing. I looked out the window to find cop cars with armed policemen waiting for me.
I walked to the door with my hands up, the dead man’s blood was over the window and it was likely they knew he was dead. I faced a conflict, my daughter would see this. I could be a parent and a civilised person and stand down facing the consequences of my actions, or I could run and use the money to buy her medication that could save her life.
As a cop moved closer screaming “Drop the gun!” as he moved ready to arrest me, I made my choice. I’m sorry honey, I’m sorry I’ll never be the perfect father or role model as I turned and ran for the alleyway in the corner, the cops opened fire but missed as I ran through the alley and over a fence. I ran through a series of alley’s as I turned a corner out of one I saw a squad of police turn to me and shout “Stop!” within the second I had turned back to run the way I came. Then I felt the searing pain force its way through my abdomen. Bang, Bang, Bang. Once, twice and a third. My legs went limp and the gun dropped from my right hand and the bag of money from my left. I hit the ground with a thud. I coughed up the warm blood from my mouth and the tears ran from my eyes as I watched my pool of blood seep into the money bag beside me. I felt myself drift away and fade.
I’m so sorry honey, I’m so so sorry
© Copyright 2016 Adam Williamson. All rights reserved.
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