Unexpected Rescue

May 9, 2013
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I leaned against a wall on a street, my hands stuffed in my pockets. Which street, I wasn't too sure. It was late and I had been wandering around. I do every night. I watched as people walked past me in both directions; some going home for the night, others just starting to go to work. A slight wind blew, sweeping through my sandy blonde hair. Summers got hot in Sacramento, and the breeze felt good on my face. A newspaper skidded along the sidewalk in the wind, and I knelt, picking it up. The front page’s article read “Germany Surrenders to Western Allies”. I looked at the date on the newspaper. It was May 8th, 1945. It was strange, I seemed to have lost track of time since my father had been taken away, three years ago.
I call him my father, but he really wasn’t related to me at all. He was my martial arts teacher, my sensei. I can’t remember my real family; it seems that sensei had always been there for me, even from when I was very little. Sensei started teaching me karate when I was very young, and he became a father to me. He had always been so patient and kind; it has been hard living without him these past few years. The government created Japanese internment camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor, sending all of the Japanese and Japanese-Americans to the camps. Sensei had come over directly from Japan, and so he was taken away. I still remember that day clearly. I was twelve then. I don’t think I had ever cried so hard before in my life; even more than when I had almost accidentally cut off one of my fingers from playing with one of his knives. They said that he would most likely be back after a few years, but I wasn't so sure. The only thing I had from him was a knife he gave me as a special gift on my twelfth birthday. On the side it had the words “love and honor”, along with my name, “Matthew”, engraved in it in kanji. I kept it in my pants pocket always, just to keep sensei close.
Ever since then I have been roaming the state, just going from city to city. I couldn't stay at the dojo; the government would have found me and sent me somewhere, and I didn't think it would be the same without sensei. All I had with me were the clothes on me, my light jacket, and a small backpack with my few belongings. I survived off of small earnings from jobs I did for people in each city.
Tonight though, I had made just enough money to spend on something enjoyable for myself. I decided to go to the movie theater. I had never been to one actually. Sensei didn't believe in watching television or movies, so this was going to be a first for me. I looked in a store window, checking the time, and then I started to make my way to the movie theater. As I came closer, I could see the lights on the building. It was dark, and the theater stood out with its brilliant lights. I bought my ticket and went into the theater. It was a good sized room with seats from wall to wall. I looked around for a bit, wanting to get a seat away from people. However, the theater was packed, and I ended up sitting just a seat away from a young couple.
People chatted quietly, and I just looked around, keeping to myself. Then the lights dimmed and the screen lit up. The movie started, and it was amazing. The sound seemed to come from nowhere, and the images were huge. I watched, enjoying this new experience. It seemed to captivate me, and I felt almost as if I was actually in the movie. Did people feel like that often?
In any case, it was going fine until it started to get towards the end of the movie. The scene was taking place during a battle. I suddenly tensed up as I watched, and my hand instinctively flew to my pocket were I kept my knife. While the action was just going on in the movie, I still felt my adrenaline acting up, and my heart raced. I continued to watch for a little bit, then I was snapped out of my trance when the woman next to me screamed. I looked at her, confused, and then I looked where she was looking, at my hand. I had absentmindedly taken my knife out of my pocket, she had seen it. I quickly put it back, but it was too late. She started yelling, and other people in the audience started panicking as well. A man to side of the theater ran out, probably to go call the police. I didn't like this situation; I was in a room full of people that now thought I was out to kill someone, and with only one exit. My options were to either run for it or wait until the cops got there. I probably should have waited and explained the situation to the cops, but in the heat of the situation I booked it towards the exit.
The cops were surprisingly fast that night. By the time I made it out of the theater, they were already there. I ran right into one of them. He had such a strong build that when I hit him, I just fell backwards onto the ground, and he didn't budge. He looked at me in confusion for a short moment before someone called out that I was the one they were looking for. I took the time he hesitated and got up quickly and ran. He started to chase after me, and he gained quickly. I darted down into an alley, taking various other turns to try and shake him off. He yelled at me to stop, and when I didn't listen he started shooting. I moved in random weaves, making myself a harder target. I eventually came to a wall. It was tall, but I managed to jump and get a hold of the top. I pulled myself up and over the wall, but the cop was able to get a bullet in my leg. I made it over and fell to the ground, wincing. I stood up, but the pain in my leg almost made me fall again. I blinked the dizziness out of my eyes and, trying to ignore the pain, I continued to run. The wall had slowed down the cop a bit at least, and that was all I needed. I found a bar and ran inside, getting lost among all of the people. The cop followed me to that point, and then hesitated at the door. I found another way out of the building, and I slowly and carefully made my way out, losing the cop for good.
Once I thought I was safe, I stopped and sat down, resting my leg. I noticed that I had been leaving a trail of blood, so I ripped off part of my shirt and tied it around the wound tightly, trying to stop the bleeding. I stood up warily again, thinking it best to try and get away from any evidence as quickly as possible. I staggered out of the alley, but kept to the downtown side of the city. Not only would the cops be able to recognize my face, but they would also be able to recognize my limp.
For the next couple of days I stayed well away from public and mostly out of sight. I remained in alleys and places where most people don’t go. I spent a lot of time sitting, which also meant that I didn't really do much of anything. After about two days I decided to try and walk on my injured leg some, which hurt, but I did it nonetheless.
That night I was wondering around slowly when I heard some voices a little ways away from me. I stopped to listen for a moment. I couldn't hear exactly what they were saying, but there were shouts from an older man and laughs and chatters from what sounded like a group of teenage boys. My curiosity got the best of me and I went to go see what was going on. I peeked around a corner and saw a gang of older, teenage boys and the cop I had encountered two nights ago. The boys had knives, and one even had a gun. They had cornered the cop against a wall, and he was holding his shoulder, as if injured. This was a strange turn of events. The cop must have been out to arrest the gangsters, but they got him instead. There were about ten of them, at least that’s what I could count, against one of him. I knew that cops were skilled at their job, but ten against one is never fair.
I instantly started going through possible situations in my head. I didn't think that I would be able to move my way in front of them without being caught, which meant that I would have to try taking them on from the back. An idea formed, and it would have been a great plan if my leg hadn't been hurt. I shook my head, telling myself mentally that I would just have to ignore it. I came out from behind my corner and confronted them.
“Hey!” I called out loudly, and the gangsters all turned and looked at me. I was too far away to see the cop’s reaction.
“What are you doing?” I asked, playing out an innocent boy who had just accidentally walked in on this situation. “Thugs huh? Well, wait until I call more cops, then you’ll be in for it!” I said and ran the opposite direction.
Thank goodness these gangsters weren't very smart, and all of them followed me. I wasn't really going to call the cops, but they believed me anyway. I took a turn down a small alley. At the end there was a dead end, but that’s what I wanted. The alley was narrow enough that only one of the gangsters could move down it at a time. I turned to face them, and fortunately for me they fell right into my trap. Each one came at me one on one, and I took them out one by one. I didn't kill them; I never believed killing people was the right thing. I might have broken a few bones in the process, but that was the extent of it.
By the time I was done taking care of the tenth one, they were lying on the ground everywhere, groaning. I managed to get away with only a couple, insignificant cuts. I stepped over them and ran out of the alley. When I was out in the open, I almost ran into the cop again. I skidded to a halt just in front of him. We stood there in silence for a few moments, both of us panting and staring each other in the eye. He had apparently called for backup because I could hear sirens coming closer.
Then without a word the cop nodded his head towards the side, then walked down the alley towards the fallen teenagers. I stood in stunned silence for a moment. Was he telling me to go? I snapped out of my thoughts as the sirens grew very loud, getting closer. I looked at the cop one more time, and he looked back, nodding slightly. I then darted away from the scene. I couldn't have asked for a better compromise.

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