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30 Years! That's not right, or could it be? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   "Oh,no!" I screamed. My head was swimming as blood rushed tomy brain in tidal waves; every ounce of my being called forescape. But the cold, unrelenting eyes and the solidindifference of his gun held me at bay. I stood motionless, astatue of living flesh, with my hand on the doorhandle.

"Give me your money," he said coldly.His gun pointed at the back of the cab driver's head. Thedriver's hands were already in the air; they had instantlyrisen at the sound of my screams.

"You can haveit, you can have it!" The driver quickly shouted. We wereboth leaning forward, desperately looking for cover andhopelessly trying to gain some ground on the gun. The driver'shead turned from the road to the gun behind him like arevolving fan.

Then, without warning, the car jumpedforward. An explosion drowned my outburst. The car stopped asquickly as it had started. The explosions continued. No morescreams filled the cab. I could only hear the barking of thegun; I tried to bury myself somewhere in the cab. I could donothing but focus on the gas pedal. I wanted to reach out andpress it, but found myself paralyzed with fear.

Myprayers were answered as the car sprang forward again. My headpopped up; the driver held the steering wheel firmly in bothhands. I'm safe, I thought. Then the driver violently jerkedin his seat. His legs became heavy on the floor pedal as thecar accelerated. My eyes leaped with horror as the driver'shead rolled toward me in slow motion. I looked forward andbraced myself for impact with the trees.

After a seriesof wild bumps, I tried to exit the cab. I managed to find myvoice again after discovering the door wouldn't open. My voicesounded unfamiliar; my cries for help were foreign. It was asif I had left my body somehow. Panic left me no time toconsider what was happening. I quickly crawled across thefront seat to exit out the back. I took one last look at theman sitting beside me. His dark brown eyes were turning gray.His mouth moved slowly without sound.

"You'regoing to be all right," I lied. "I'm going to gethelp," I said as my eyes blinked viciously, fighting backtears. The real fight came as I left the car; my firstinstinct was to run. "I'm going to get help," Irepeated as I ran toward the apartments, shouting for help. Myonly thought was, how did I get here?

As I look throughthese thick, ugly, steel bars, I realize the guy who shot thedriver ran from the scene as soon as the cab crashed into thetrees and left me there to take the blame. And the guy wassupposed to be my friend. Who would have thought that a simplerobbery would turn into a murder? All we planned was to robthe cab and get a few bucks.

    We both went to trial; I endedup with 30 years and my friend is serving a life sentencewithout parole. But I can't understand why I got 30 years,when I was the one who stayed with the dying man and even wentfor help. Plus, I wasn't the one who shot him in the firstplace. Even the robbery was my friend's idea, although at thetrial he said I planned the whole thing. Now I sit here in mysix-by-six cell. We didn't even really need themoney.

But I can't blame it on the other guy because Ishould not have been there in the first place. Look where itgot me - serving 30 hard years. The cab driver was only doinghis job; he was an elderly man trying to make a living and myfriend and I took away all of his hopes and dreams.

Wasit fair? I don't think so. And that is why I am in this cellasking you, "Thirty years? That's not right, or could itbe?"




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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Stephen said...
Aug. 13, 2008 at 10:23 pm
You should work on your spelling and writing before you send it. But great job anyway!
 
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