He was running as far and fast as he could from her in the dark deserted street. It was late at night and all that was heard was the running sound of his footsteps on the road. He was a stout man, as he panted and momentary looked back over his shoulder in fear. He was yards away from her as she stood there watching him run. With a stoic expression, she took out her 357-hollow point, a cold silver plated magnum revolver gun from her black overcoat; she calmly took aim. A huge explosion from the gun broke the night’s silence as the power of it kicked her arm backwards. She shot him in the back. The impact of the bullet hitting him caused him stumbled a few more feet as he fell to the ground. He didn’t see it coming. She slowly walked up to him lying flat on the ground. His face was facing towards the ground, arms spread wide apart as a pool of blood leaked out onto the ground. Then she took one of his arms and turned him over. She didn’t say a word, but words were not important; she had no expression on her face. But then in seconds of thought, she smiled, put her gun back in her overcoat and walked away. It was all over. Then I heard my mom shouted.
“Turn down the TV Harry, your dad is trying to sleep, it’s midnight”
I went over to turn off the TV, it was a rerun on a thriller movie but I always enjoyed that end part when she got the bad guy.
Now for me, I am fifteen. Thriller movies are my thing. But my life is far from any thrills. It just home, school, a few friends, back to home and it goes on and on, and back around and around. Nothing ever changes. Until this one day, this one special day things started to happen. Oh yes, it was not a dark and lonely night..it started on a bright sunny day. It was a hot sunny day as I prepared myself to get ready for school. I could almost hear my mom yell from the upstairs in her bedroom, as I was just about to open front door to leave.
“Harry, you better get going, the school bus will arrive any minute now!”
I would nonchalantly respond, “Yes mother!” as I opened and close the door behind me. A few steps out of the walkway I could see the school bus at a short distant coming in my direction.
I got on the bus. I saw Marcia and Andy who goes to the same school as I do. Marcia had practically no boob, skinny redhead with a Mohawk haircut that would resemble a scarecrow in a scary movie. Andy was like a goon with buck teeth, big for his age, had dirty blond hair, a crew cut but with five different other colors at the side of his head, and he thought he was cool, while I wore round rimmed glasses, dark slick back hair of a regular cut. Now I dread having to deal with these two idiots. Marcia made the first contact, looked at me and answered her own question.
“What did you do last weekend Harry..??...Nothing!”
Andy the sarcastic idiot smirked and responded, “And now, Mister Boring, so all you did was study, got dinner, and study more, and then got bored and studied again, no wonder you wear those thick magnifying glasses”.
Marcia filing her finger nails that looked more like claws laughed and responded.
“You know Harry, there’s more to life than getting A’s at school. Even if you got a stinking B, but your life was a little more interesting, that would account for something”.
I looked at them with utmost disdain. I couldn’t think of any sarcasm to say to them so I said, “I like my life as it is Thank You!”
Now in case you, the reader who may be too young or are way too old and don’t know about nerds, Marcia and Andy were definite nerds, they dress weird, and are socially inept, while me a potential geek looks academic and are overly literate in conversations. Now back to the story.
Now here’s a little more about me. The fact is that, apart from watching thriller movies, being the only child and doing fairly well at school, I do have an addiction. I was into video games. You see video games takes me into another world that make me be a part of the action, something that is virtually so real that makes me become the main event, the hero, the main man and that I was interesting. I would spend hours in my room with violent “kill ‘em” type of video games. I was almost a god, controlling and determining my life, my world with me as the center of attraction. But there was also the slightly less than dramatic side of me but still adventurous one that I would calm down and try my flight simulator. Well what I can say about aero planes that I am able fly without a license. I flew many planes and put lots of hours in that too. In reality, I wanted my dad to spend some money on lessons on me with a small plane like a little Cessna but he thought that me being fifteen years, I was not mature enough to embark on that step. Nevertheless I was good at the simulator small planes and then graduated to commercial airlines and was now in the fighter category. I flew in wars, killed the enemy and devastated the enemy lands. Sometimes I would try my hand at commercial airplanes, flying to different countries and enjoying the sights. I even met some cool girls from different countries. That was so cool too. But then reality hits when the game is all over. Well it seems that my life was limited in excitement to indoor situations via games and movies and nothing else. So I began thinking that maybe Marcia and Andy were right. How sad I was when I felt like that. I wanted my friends to see me in a more positive way and not so boring.
But then one rainy night I was looking at my thriller movies and my dad came to me.
“Son, I have some bad news to tell you”
I looked at him in suspense and was afraid what he was going to tell me. Is he going to stop me from looking at late night thriller movies or no more video games because I am having way too much fun and I should spend my valuable time studying!? Or are my mom and dad getting a divorce? I looked at him in his eyes with his not-so-happy expression.
“Your grandma Stella is dying”
I was in a little state of shock. She lived in Florida. I remember last visiting her when I was eleven years old, she was eighty four then; it was a long flight from California then. Hearing that from my father, I was saddened but not devastated.
“Oh I am so sorry to hear that dad” I said
I looked at my father, he was more heart broken than I. I glanced back and saw my mother standing about some distance away leaning on a wall listening to my dad break the news. My mom then spoke.
“She dying from cancer and your aunt Doris who is looking after her said she won’t last very long. We will be travelling to see her”
“But mom”, I responded in surprise, “What about school?”
“I’ll take care of that and tell the principle that you may be absent for a few days”
A thought flashed in my head: another long and boring flight from California to Florida.
Then my dad spoke, “We’ll be leaving tomorrow actually so get your stuff ready and don’t bother pack any stuff like video games”
I looked at dad as he always had to have the final point to whatever fun I wanted to have. Of course he was like that, he’s a senior finance executive in a company and plays with numbers all day; I hoped to god that I wouldn’t want to be like that. My mom on the other hand was more flexible and a lot more compassionate, sometimes overly; she’s a nurse and always felt that her stake in life was to take care of the two men in her life. And the definite thing they had in common was to dress in the most unappealing unfashionable dress wear. I swear they were nerds when they were younger but I couldn’t fathom the thought. Nevertheless, they were made for each other.
The next morning we took a taxi to the airport, of course my dad didn’t tip the driver but my mom went around the other side of the car to his window and gives the driver a tip. I often wonder how my mom and dad lasted so long with each other. My mom was a pleaser and my dad was super conservative.
We boarded the plane. The plane was just a 727. I asked my dad a really silly question.
“Dad, why didn’t we take a 747, I would like it one day you paid the extra money and travel in style.”
“Harry, why do you have to be so stupid at a time like this, we are on a budget, and if I don’t skimp right now you won’t have a ghost of a chance for a college education.”
“Oh Jim”, my mom said, and held my hand as we boarded the plane, “He’s just a kid, they all say silly things like that, we were kids once!”
He looked at her with a smirk, “Why do you protect him, you’re the one Gloria that spoils him, one reason why he got a B- in physics in his last report card.”
Then I secretly whispered to my mom, “We’ll never win with him”.
My mom whispered back, “I know, it’s because his mother is dying, so let not irritate him. You know I love you both.”
The plane took off and I took the window seats. My dad sat at the other end and decided to take a nap while my mom read the magazines while I enjoyed the sights as I look out the window.
After a while suddenly I heard a disturbance in the other section. That’s the first class; we were in the coach section. The plane then suddenly dropped a few feet and regained. Then there were some shouting. I was curious to know what was happening. Some of the passengers began to talk among themselves. Then a big man with a beard like a pirate came to the door with a gun. He wore dark glasses a bandanna on his head carrying a big gun. He spoke with an accent.
“Everybody stay quiet”, he shouted, “This is a hijack. Cooperate and nobody will be hurt. This plane is not going to Florida, we are going to Cuba.”
“Cuba! Who the hell wants to go there!!?” one man shouted.
The armed man went over to the man and hit him on the face with the butt of the gun. Blood spilt on the other passengers as the man yelled in pain holding his left eye. Then the man with the gun spoke.
“Anybody have something else to say, let me know, otherwise shut up and everything will be fine.”
Then another guy came to the opening of the corridor with a gun to relive him. He was a smaller man who spoke Spanish and called the bigger man by his name, Fidel. I was curious about that. The bigger man left. I told my dad that I understood what he said to the other guy. I understood school Spanish but I was able to pick up a few words on what they were saying.
“Mom, they will kill the pilots when they are almost to Cuba and take control of the plane.”
“Ok Harry”, my mom whispered, “We shouldn’t talk now that guy has a gun”
Then the guy looked in my direction.
“You.. boy… shut up!”, he said with an accent.
I then looked away, became quiet and looked out of the plane window. It was almost an hour that went by and I wanted to use the restroom. I looked at my dad who kept his nose into a magazine page and didn’t seem to turn the pages. My mom looked nervous too as I could see the trembling of her lips. She held my hand momentarily for security. Another lady, two rows down then broke the silence, “We’re all gonna die, they’re killers…!” Then the man with the gun walked towards her and slapped her with the back of his hand. It was a hard hit as she fell immediately back into her seat. Then I put up my hand up in the air for him to see me as if I was in class at school with a question. I hope that distracted him not to beat up more on the lady.
“I would like to go to the toilet sir”, I asked.
He looked at me with a stern expression then his face relaxed.
“Go head, make it quick!”
I made a brisk walk to the rest room. I sat in the toilet. I did a #1 but sat in the toilet like it was a #2 as I heard the two Cubans speak in Spanish. I found out they did not only want to go to Cuba but intended to kidnap a special passenger aboard. His name was Sam Heinz. I didn’t know who he was but I know he was important. I rushed back to my seats nodding my head in thanks to the guard for using the restroom.
Then I asked my mom, “Do you know who Sam Heinz is?”
Not really, I heard the name but I don’t really know who he is.”
Then my dad hushed me. “Shhh!” he said, “I know who Sam Heinz is, he is the research developer of a pharmaceutical company and he is worth billions. He developed the vaccination for AIDS and other stuff that is on the market.”
“I get it”, I said, “They’ll kidnap him for some big money, a ransom”
“Yes”, my dad said, “Something like that, now let’s see what’s going to happen next”
Mom looked at both of us, “I don’t want to see what’s going to happen next, I want to go back home”. My mom started to cry. Then the man with the gun came by to inquire.
“You better shut her up or I will”, he said.
“She’ll be ok”, my dad said, “She is a bit afraid, we don’t get this kind of experience too often”
My mom looked at my dad with her eyes opened wide on what he said.
The man walked away and resumed his position.
My dad and I decided to exchange seats as he was getting tired and I wanted to be at the end seat to see what was going on. Suddenly the plane dipped a few feet and some of the people gasped in apprehension. Then one of the passengers stood up came out of his seat, he looked military with a crew cut and muscular, he ran towards the gunman, saying, “You bastards, you sons of bitches aren’t gonna kill us without a fight!” The guy slugged the gun man in his face as the gunman fell backwards. Hearing both of them wrestling on the ground, another gun man came to rescue. The big man was over the gunman’s body as he tried to take his gun. The other standing gunman who came to the rescue of his fellow gunman put his gun barrel towards the head of the man. The standing gunman’s finger was on the trigger trembling as the gun barrel was pressing onto the man’s head. Seeing this, I shouted, “NO!” I looked at the gun man’s face and ran to his feet, “No, please don’t shoot him, we are all scared here, please don’t kill him”, I said. The gun man relaxed his trigger finger as the man_ the passenger rose up. “Get to your seats”, he told me and the man. The gun man spoke out loud to everybody sitting, “I could easily kill anybody who tries that hero stuff again, who else wants to be a dead hero!?”
I took my seat and the gunman looked at me. He pointed his finger in my direction.
“You are a brave kid, but I wouldn’t have done that if I were you!” he said.
After some moments of silence I nervously looked at my dad.
“Harry”, my dad said, “That was a real stupid thing to do, you could have been killed”
Then my mom intervened.
“No, not at all, that was a very brave thing Harry did, if he didn’t, that guy might have been killed”
The big military guy looked over to me from the other side row of seats and nodded in thanks with smile.
My dad sulked, then turned his face and looked out of the plane window.
After some minutes one older guy who seems to be the leader with a grey beard came to the gun man. They talked in Spanish. The older man came over to me.
“What you’re name boy?” the man asked.
“Come with me, I want to talk to you privately”
“Yes sir”, as I got up from the seat he told me to follow him. We walked in the first class section of the plane.
I saw Mister Sam Heinz sitting alone and talking on a phone; apparently to his associates about the situation.
“Harry”, the older gun man said, “I want to be your Friend. My name is Alvarez, How old are you?”
“I have a son your age, you are a brave boy. I admire your courage. Now I have a favor to ask you.”
“I will try my best sir”, I said.
I was introduced to Mister Heinz. Mister Alvarez who was the leader asked me a huge favor. He continued to talk.
“I want you to kill one of the pilots and then I want you to talk to Mister Heinz’s people that if the money is not delivered to our banks in Cuba within the next hour, you will also kill a few more important people on this flight”
I looked at Mister Alvarez in nervous apprehension.
He took a chart and showed me the list of people on the plane and highlighted were some important people.
“You see this name Harry”, as he pointed on the sheet, “He is a Sheriff in Texas”, it doesn’t bother me in erasing him from the face of this earth. And here, another man on this list”, as he point to another further down the sheet, “He is a banker, an executive director, all of these people are worth money and I would kill them for nothing. But Sam Heinz is my pick. All I am asking is for a stinking 1 billion dollars. Their company is worth a many times more. For that price, we can save everyone’s lives”
I nervously watch the older guy calmly spoke those hard words. Then Sam Heinz looked across us as a gunman was standing near to him.
“Why do you have to get this young boy involved with this”, Sam Heinz said to Alvarez.
Then Alvarez said, “Because it sends a message, a really good one. A young American killing your own kind, how humiliating can that be!?”
“Using a child to do your dirty work, how low can you be” Mister Heinz said raising his voice, “That’s like being a coward!”
Then the gun man standing next to Mister Heinz took the butt of his military gun and shoved it in the middle of the chest of Mister Heinz. Mister Heinz fell forward.
“You should have respect when you talk to our leader”, the gunman said.
I looked at Mister Heinz hold his stomach as he slowly got up. Mister Alvarez then spoke, “You should not aggravate Fidel when you talk to me like that, one day he going to be the president of Cuba. He has a grandfather in high places in the government. Fidel was nice enough to help me out in this expedition”
I looked at Mister Alvarez with those words he said. Then I spoke.
“Sir, will you need me further?”
“Yes Harry, you are an important part to the plan. Let me introduce you to our pilot and captain”
We walked a little distance further and entered the door to the operating console of the plane and I was introduced to the captain and his copilot. Suddenly there was a disturbance again in the plane. Their leader, Mister Alvarez and I left the cockpit area and one of the gunmen brought a man who has his hands tied behind his back.
“We found a gun in his possession Senor Alvarez”, the gunman spoke.
“What’s your name?” Alvarez asked the man.
“Ah, I think I know that name from the passenger manifest. You are the sheriff from Texas”
“Yes, that’s correct”, the sheriff answered. The sheriff was a stocky older man and had a strong demeanor.
“So you though you could take us all, did you?” Alvarez asked the sheriff
“The thought crossed my mind!” was the sheriff’s response.
“Well think no more, now you’re our prisoner. Please have a seat with your American counterpart Mister Heinz”
Mister McDonald, the sheriff politely sat down next to Mister Heinz.
I was getting unsure what their leader Alvarez was going to do next. I kept quiet and began to think the best way out of this. I counted that there were six gunmen including Alvarez, two in the coach section, and two in first class, one guarding outside cockpit area and Mister Alvarez. I looked at the sheriff and gave him a friendly smile. He looked at me and gave me a nod.
“What’s your name son”, he asked.
“You never thought you would be in a situation like this, huh Harry!?”
“No, not in a thousand years”
The gunman who was standing near Mister Heinz and the Sheriff walked some distance away to talk to another gunman. Then the sheriff decided to talk in a low manner
“I have a plan Harry. You see, you’re the only one free to walk around. Mister Heinz and I are not at liberty to do that. I need you to get one of their guns. We may need to kill to survive. There are killers and young as you are you may need to grow up fast and do what it takes.”
I thought about what the sheriff said and I had to decide quickly. I talked to one of the stewardess and she told me that she knew where they had a few guns hidden in a closet section. One of the stewardesses whose name was Yvonne was serving the people in the coach section of the plane instructed me where it was. It was a little section near the restroom toilets, not a large section but enough to store small articles. I entered the closet unnoticed pretending that I needed to relieve myself. It was a bit dark in the closet but I managed to find the area where there were several guns and ammunitions. I took a few pistols and tucked two of them behind my pants with some extra ammo in my pockets. Suddenly I heard some footsteps. I saw the door cracked opened as a beam of light shone from the open door. Then I saw a shadow as it stood there at the door. I thought: now I am as good as dead; now the plan has all gone to the shits. I had nowhere to hide in this small area. I decided to kneel down and face the wall. Then the door opened wider and the figure walked in. The person walked five steps and stopped. A hand was put on my shoulder. It was a soft hand.
“Did you get what you came here for?” It was a female voice. I turned around. It was the stewardess.
“Oh, thank god it’s you, yes I am set and ready” I said with a nervous voice.
“Good, I just wanted to make sure. I distracted the guard and told him that you had a sick stomach and that I’m getting something for you”
“Great, thanks Yvonne, you are so cool”
“If you only knew the truth, I will be a nervous wreck after this, if we ever live though it”, she said
“Sure we will Yvonne”, as I hugged her.
“You are the coolest fifteen year old, you sure you never done this before”
“Nope, never did, but I do watch at a lot of thriller movies”
“Well anyway, you should get going”, she said.
I walked back to where the sheriff and Mister Heinz were. I winked at the sheriff to let him know everything was fine and sat next to them. As the two gun men talked some twenty feet away in Spanish I smiled at them and they smiled back as they continued their conversation. Then I slowly took out the guns; I bent over as if to tie my shoe lace and place each gun between Mister Heinz and the sheriff’s legs. Mister Heinz looked at me and nodded. The sheriff whispered to me,” Those guns are perfect, .357 magnum with hollow point will blow their heads off, and a .38 caliber, Saturday night special, two dangerous combination, thanks Harry”. I looked at him and walked away. I had a smaller gun in my side pocket. I had no idea what it was but I know we were preparing for a little war some few thousand feet in the air.
Suddenly, I heard a gunshot and then another as the plane dipped and then turned and dipped again. They were yelling in Spanish and English. It was coming from the cockpit. I ran to the cockpit area leaving Mister Heinz and the sheriff. I found out that one of the pilots was dragged out of the cockpit. He had been shot. A long stretched stain of blood was seen on the floor from the cockpit’s door to a few feet in another area. It was if he was shot and dragged out, as the captain lay on the floor, lifeless.
“What happened?” I inquired.
“Don’t be concerned Harry”, the leader, Mister Alvarez said, “Go back and sit down, the other pilot has taken over”.
I silently obeyed. Most of the gunmen were gathered in this area of the cockpit, all six of them. They began to argue and Alvarez shouted at the top of his voice in Spanish. I quickly walked to the coach section to see my parents. I was talking to them for a while when I heard again a gunshot echoed. I walked to the border section opening that separated the coach from the first class section. I crouched at my knees to slowly go back in the first class section, hiding behind some seats. One of the gun men with the large AK-47 machined gun was shot. Blood suddenly spilled all over the area as the gun man yelled in agony. Part of his arm was blown off. I looked, hidden behind some rows of seats. I felt that shot came further away. Suddenly the sheriff showed up in the clear as I look above the seats in a crouched position, then behind him was Mister Heinz, both with guns pointed to the gunmen. All of the gunmen were corned in the cockpit area by Mister Heinz and the sheriff.
“One down, five more to go, who wants to be next”, the sheriff said.
Then Mister Heinz came to Mister Alvarez pointing the gun to his head.
“Don’t think working in a pharmaceutical company, that I can’t use this 38 and blow piece of your skull off your head. I was in the army, and now the attitude is coming back to me, I always had a nervous finger”, said Mister Heinz.
Alvarez looked at him with bright opened eyes.
“Ok, ok, don’t shoot, don’t kill me”
Then Alvarez told the rest of them to put their guns down. I had the job to tie the gunmen hands and escorted them in the same seats where Mister Heinz and the Sheriff were.
“You did good son”, the sheriff said to me.
Then Mister Heinz said, “I want to thank you too Harry, we couldn’t have done it without you. You got guts kid.”
Mister Heinz immediately got on the phone to his people and explained the entire ordeal. An announcement was made by the pilot as the passengers cheered. The captain was not dead but was shot twice in his ribs and hand. My dad and mom couldn’t believe what I did. The passengers all clapped when I arrived at the coach section. I was a hero in the coach section. But the most interesting part was when I sat with the pilot when we landed. I had the opportunity to fly the plane and landed it with the instructions of the pilot.
“You have the making of an excellent pilot, you sure you didn’t fly before?” the pilot said.
“Well, I have a flight simulator game at home and am pretty good at it, so I have had some idea of it”
“Smart boy!” the pilot said with a smile, “but more importantly, we got the bad guys, huh Harry”
I smiled back and nodded, as we approached the airport to land.
“Well done Harry” the pilot exclaimed as I adjusted the flaps of the plane and put down the landing gear and slowly backed off the power. I flared the planed on the touchdown like a pro and the pilot gave me thumbs up. I could see ambulances and fire trucks coming into our view as the plane taxied to a stop. We landed as planned in Miami, Florida.
I had the greatest hug from my dad when we came off the plane. Apart from his stoic composure I saw a gleam of relief in his eyes. I had my final words with the sheriff and shook the hands of Mister Heinz. I left the sheriff to take care of the bad guys and Mister Heinz to fix up his loose ends of his situation. But as I entered the airport there was a mob of people that suddenly gathered around us with cameras flashing and reporters holding microphones to me asking me, “How did you do it?”, “What really happened?” and a whole lot more. The media, TV and newspapers and even the radio crews were there. I felt like a celebrity for a while. It was all happening so fast that we had to run. Run where? Someone that looked like a chauffeur and another big guy in an expensive suit escorted us to a limousine. The big man instructed us to follow him_ to safety. I was given a business card by him as me, my mom and dad ran into the limousine that took off in a hurry.
The big man in the limo extended his hand for a shake.
“My name is Stanly Cummings, head of security for Pharmatec”
My dad gasped, “I know Pharmatec, and isn’t Mister Heinz an employee of yours?” my dad asked.
“Yes, Mister Heinz is one of our board-of-directors for our company and we wish to offer our gratitude by giving you a reward for your son’s bravery?”
I looked at the man, and smiled.
“Ah, that’s ok sir, anybody would have done what I did?”
“Nope, not anybody Harry, that took a lot of guts and smarts”, Mister Cummings remarked, “We are prepared to offer you a $100,000 reward”
“Take it Harry, take it!”My dad said eagerly.
Then I looked out the window of the car as we passed a homeless guy, who had a dog with him, they both looked like they been through a harder ordeal than I did. Then Mister Cummings looked at my dad and then me. My mom then held my hand, looked at me directly and spoke.
“Any decision you make honey is fine with me”
Then her eyes were set on Mister Cummings.
“We are not a greedy set of people Mister Cummings. Harry was brave but we don’t want to be on the tabloids, on every TV news and things like that”, as she said that she hugged me.
“Ok”, Mister Cummings said, “Where you guys want to go”
“To my grandmother’s place”, I said.
My dad kept quiet after that, sulked at the opportunity for getting one hundred grand. My mom was indifferent, she was just happy that we all made it out alive.
Finally we arrived at Grandmother Stella place. We said goodbye to Mister Cummings and my dad said, goodbye to all that money he would have love to see in his bank account.
Granny came out on a wheelchair, one of my dad’s oldest sister was pushing her on the chair. Mom and dad hugged grandma in the wheelchair and I could see the sad expression come to life from my dad.
“Hi Doris”, my dad said, “embracing my aunt.
“Oh, I am so glad you could make it Jim”, Doris said to my dad, then turning to my mom, “And you too Gloria, you look great!”
My aunt Doris gave me a brief hug and grandma called me at the side.
“Hey don’t I also get a hug, come over her Harry and give your granny a hug”
I walked a few steps, bent over to her sitting on the wheelchair and hugged her.
“Yes, that feels so good, especially when someone as young as you Harry gives an old lady a hug, a few more hugs like that and I may get a few more years on life”
Dad looked at her quaintly based on the thought she has cancer.
We walked into the house that was elaborately decorated with fixtures, statues and large paintings. It was a big home, it was grandma’s home when all her children lived in it and now aunt Doris resides there to help her.
“So ma”, my dad said to grandma, “Doris said that you have a lot of pains from the cancer”
Grandma then looked at my dad and smiled.
“Come her son”, she said in a low tone, “I always loved you. I never told you a lie, right”
“No ma, you were always straight with me. You taught us not to lie but to work hard. But life is not always easy for me” my dad explained.
“You have a good woman Jimmy, I know you love Gloria and Harry but you know what…
“What ma?”, my dad inquired after that pause.
“You’re too dam cheap, you haven’t visited your mother in a while and Doris said you always tell her that you have to save money and can’t afford to come and see me so I told her to lie for you to come and see me”
“What you mean, you lied ma?”
“I don’t have cancer; I just wanted you to bring you and your family up here to visit me. It’s my birthday you idiot.”
“Oh my god, you’re right”, my dad exclaimed.
My mom, Doris and I looked on with smiles and amazement. My grandmother was turning 89. Doris told us that there was going to be a party for granny’s birthday as more of the relatives was piling in to see her in preparation for a big party. Some of grandma’s old friends showed up. I was introduced to my cousins, nephews and a few other aunts and uncles. Oh, the house that I thought was pretty big suddenly seemed small when all my relatives showed up at the party. I found out a lot about grandma and grew to even enjoy her company.
“I heard you’re a brave boy in that plane” she said.
“Yes grandma that will be a memory for the rest of my life”
“You know your grandfather was brave too, fought in a war, got a medal of honor”, she said.
She then looked at my dad and then looked at me.
“You’re dad is really a good man Harry. We were poor once when he was your age. He worked two jobs while going to school. He’s the only boy and had to be responsible real fast. That’s why he is so conservative. But I know he is saving for your education and he loves you dearly”
“Yes I know grandma; I realize that especially on this trip”
We left after a week to California. There were so many memories on that trip that it felt unbelievable. My dad began to ease up on his super conservative attitude and came away with a virtual smile on his face when he hugged grandma. I think he ended up accepting the lie she gave him rather than if it was the truth of her dying. Fortunately the flight back was less of a thriller. Soon it was back to school as usual.
I saw Marcia and Andy again. Of course my parents and I decided to keep the thriller part of that trip confidential as we didn’t want any publicity. So Marcia was the first that spoke.
“Hey Harry, did anything interesting on your little vacation to Florida”
“I was a short trip just to see my grandma and that’s it” I said.
Then Andy put in his two cents, “So you didn’t even go to the beach or drink a beer or nothing..oh you are so boring Harry, nothing ever happens to you”
Marcia then looked at me and said, “I heard from my dad that a plane got hijacked last week and a kid like our age save them. The family didn’t want to reveal the kid’s name because of publicity”
I was now getting nervous that they may discover a little part of me. Then Andy spoke.
“Why didn’t that happen to you Harry, that would have been so awesome?! But that would be impossible; you are too boring to do anything like that”
I looked at Andy, smiled and said, “Yep, you’re right about that”
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