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This is me
This is me. I am wearing black. My cap. Is pulled down low. Low enough to cover my face, to shield me, from everybody. I feel the weight of my bag. It is heavy, but heavy ,for a reason. I stop. I put my hand into my bag. to check if everything is ready. I feel inside. My hand grabs on to my mask. It will be necessary for later on. Moving on, my hand grabs my half eaten milky bar which today served as my breakfast, lunch and now dinner. I take a bite and taste the rich chocolate in my mouth. I do not swallow just yet. I let the taste linger, for this is a treat, and treats are hard to come-by. Plus, i like chocolate. I do not take another bite. Instead, i put it into my dirty bag, saving it, for i know there will be no food later on. My hand lets go and i continue rummaging. This time, i get what i have been desiring for. my source of motivation. I pull out the old paper, yellow and aged. I read it and my spirit lifts. Now i am confident. I walk steadily ahead, towards my destination, never missing a beat.
Business is slow today. darn. Actually,business has been slow all week. Must be because of that stupid recession here again. Why do so many recessions happen anyway? I am doing my math homework. I hate math. My brain just isn’t made for all this sums and equations and multiplication stuff. What is 2a+ 3ab+889n= 7887ab+ ? what does that mean. What is the point of math anyway,it won’t help me in my future. That is, if i have a future at all. I don’t think i do. my future will probably be in this tiny 7eleven store. After all, where does a poor Indian teen who is lagging in his studies and is neither talented nor smart stand in this world? The answer: no where. I read the next question. If p:q:r = 5:2:8, find the sum of p and q. I groan. My math teacher said she would kick me out of class if i didn’t do my math homework again. Truth is i want to do it. I just can’t. But i cant tell her. I’ve gotten enough sniggers and smirks from my classmates. Too much, actually. I sigh and turn to the window,away from math. That is when i see him.
I have reached my destination. Now is the time to do it. I am nervous. For this is my first time. I hope it will be the last. but deep inside, i know it’s only the beginning. I am scared. I am usually never scared. My nickname is “the hawk”. I have to live up to my name. Otherwise, the gang will lose respect from me. i put my hand into my bag, grab my mask and put it on. Physically, i am ready. Mentally? No, i am most certainly not. Even so, i stepped into the store. the bright light making my eyes water.
Ooh. A customer.I was right. He did come in. Usually, when i am alone sitting behind the counter, i play this funny little game with myself- guessing wheather the customer would come in.i have good instincts and I’m right most of the time except this week, cause of the recession. I hate it when i’m wrong. So i feel a little tingling of self-satisfaction. But, why do i have this nudging feeling in my head, like something’s wrong?
I am sitting in my police car. Again. Listening to the police radio, again. I hate this job. Hated it from the start, fifteen years ago. I am alone. It is raining so i buy myself a coffee and a box of donuts. I realize how much weight i have put on this fifteen years. My stomach is bulging. Sitting in this police car gives me a lot of time to think. So i think. What am i? No wife, no family, no friends except for Sandy, but that doesn’t count, because cats don’t count. I have no proper career. I have never caught a thief before. Never solve a case before. never discovered new evidence that helped in any way. never shot my gun. never discovered the meaning of true love.never felt the love of a family.never loved.never hated. Never anything. Never never.
I turn to greet the customer. I say hello. He doesn’t say anything.he browses through the shelves of minty sweets.and i don’t think he needs my help because nobody needs help picking out sweets, do they? So i go back to my math homework. Next thing i know, he is shouting at me.” SHUT UP AND GIVE ME ALL THE MONEY YOU HAVE IN THIS JOINT OR I’LL KILL YOU! I SWEAR! I SWEAR!” i freeze.There’s a gun in my face. Oh my God, its a girl, i realize. Not a boy.ist a girl’s voice. A girl. a girl is waving a gun at me. a girl. a GIRL.
I am full. Of donuts and coffee. And i am sleepy. Shall i doze off? My shift is almost over anyway.
I see the cashier freeze behind the counter. I yell again.” HURRY UP I SAID! HURRY UP! YOU DON’T WANT TO DIE DO YOU? BECAUSE NOBODY DOES!” except that i do. i feel like dying this very second. I am crying. Why? I don’t know. Maybe its because i hate myself for doing this. Or because i’m doing the only thing that i swore i would never do. Luckily he cannot see my tears behind the mask.
I do not fully grasp what she wants until she the second time. Then i realize. I’m being robbed. The shock takes a while to sink in. There’s a gun in my face. But more importantly, she wants the money. But there is no money.except in the safe. Hundreds and hundreds of the boss’ money. I know where the key is. Hundreds of questions run through my head all at once. Will i get fired? Will i even get a chance to be fired because i could die now? What is going to happen? Should i call the cops? Why is this happening? AM I GOING TO DIE?
i know the cashier is panicking. Thats bad. Cause he might call the cops or scream for help or something. Then i might have to shoot. And i might kill him. i hold the gun closer to his face. I realize that he is surprisingly handsome. I put my index finger on the trigger to threaten him. I am still crying.
I make a decision. I will give her the money. The boss’ money. Maybe then i will survive. I should start observing her, so i can identify her if i will still be alive.that is. I tell her that there is no money in the cashier. I open it up for her to see. I see her become angry. I become worried. I see a strand of brown hair sticking out from her cap. Good. I have some information now. “ WHERE IS THE MONEY?” i point towards the store room. She goes there. i am going to call the cops. Right now.
I receive a report on my radio, instructing me to go to the 7eleven located on Kings and Miners street. I put my key into the ignition, driving as fast as i could. Could this be my lucky break to be a hero??
I go to where the handsome cashier points me to. I see a safe. I hear a muffled sound outside. He is talking to someone. I rushed out back to check.Damn. he is calling the police. I have three options: 1. Run 2. Kill 3. Take. I choose number 2 and 3. I grimace.
I feel fear. She heard me on the phone. OH MY GOD. She is coming out now. She is holding the gun. i pray. She points it at me. i think she is going to shoot. I run. I don’t know if i’ll make it out the door alive.