"Come With Me." Steve's Version

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium
A follow-on to "Come With Me." from Steve's pov.

Submitted: February 22, 2019

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Submitted: February 22, 2019

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Come With Me” -- Steve’s Version

If only he’d not been there, or had just been a few minutes later, he’d not be in this position. Then again, the kid might not still be alive. The thing was that he could not even be sure of that, only that he was still breathing when he’d put in the call to the emergency services.

Would he have intervened if he’d known who was involved? He’d like to think that he would have done but now he was paying the price, having to run. The kid had probably been involved in drugs, but he was still a kid. Steve had felt he had no choice but to wade in, fight for him. Four on one, especially when they were so much bigger, so much stronger, was uncalled for regardless of what ‘crime’ the kid was seen as having committed.

He’d waded in after putting through a call. They’d not seen him using his mobile, so far as he knew. And then one of the attacker's masks had slipped and Steve had felt his blood run cold. His eyes met those of one of the most notorious gang leaders in the area, and at that moment Steve knew he would have to run. Even before the words, ‘You’re a dead man’ had reached his ears he was on the point of turning, fleeing. It was only the sound of distant sirens that allowed him a chance to escape.

All night he had paced, backwards and forwards, churning over in his mind all of his options. It all boiled down to two choices; stay and die, risking the lives of everyone else he came in to contact with too, for who knew who he might have told; or to run, disappear, build a new life somewhere else and hope that they did not come after him.

He’d go. For Andrea and for Keith. He’d have to take his brother’s car, but he’d leave money. Keith would understand, wouldn’t report the car stolen. He might try to follow, or at least to track him down. Steve decided that once he’d put some distance between them, he’d risk a quick call, warn his brother not to look without saying anything that would put him in danger.

Andrea was more of a problem. He didn’t want to leave her; she loved him, and he....well, he really loved her. Perhaps she’d come with him. There was her mother, of course, and her sister Karen. He couldn’t see her walking out on them without a word, staying forever out of touch. No, it wouldn’t happen, but still he decided to give her the choice and at least say goodbye.

Where to meet? Not at her house, just in case anyone was watching him. That would put her and her family at risk. The cafe where they often met, that offered the best solution. He’d meet her early, make sure he wasn’t being followed, and just give her the choice. Then he’d go, head off who knew where because he certainly didn’t.

He left a message on her phone then packed up his most treasured belongings. There were remarkably few for his twenty-two years of life. Steve tossed them in to a couple of rucksacks, scribbled a message for Keith to leave with the cash, then headed out, pushing his key through the letterbox behind him.

There was no going back now.

He was late or Andrea was early. Steve parked the car close to the cafe and walked in. He hadn’t meant to push the door so hard; the last thing he wanted was to attract attention to himself.

Andi looked up at him and she was so beautiful. He couldn’t walk out on her, could he? They belonged together and they both knew that. Steve hadn’t sat, just leaned forward on the table and said, “There’s no time to explain, Andi. Are you coming or not? The car’s outside, I’ve got to go...now!”

He saw the confusion, the hurt, and the hesitation. He should have known better than to give her the choice. He wanted to explain, longed to explain, but each second that he spent in her company put her more and more at risk.

So, are you with me?” He’d felt cruel saying that, but he’d wanted her to say ‘yes’ even though he also realized it was not going to happen. And then Steve had wheeled round, left the cafe and got in to the car.

He would not look back. The decision was made the previous night, there was no going back on it now. He did not want to see her tears, and Steve did not want to risk her seeing those that were in his eyes too.


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