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Buiness... Not as Usual

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My name’s Joe. I guess my life was normal a few months ago, when things actually made sense. I had a job (not saying anything about that, yet) and I never married; no kids, just me. I was only just a college graduate when the whole world started spinning anti-clockwise. Well, that’s my opinion at least. I made some bad mistakes, but not as bad as the one that got me to where I am today, a runner from humanity. Scared to go out, scared of everyone who looks at me; who knows, they could be the ones who are looking for me.


Here’s a look at my life before my life turned for the worst. Don’t worry, I’ll come back and explain the good part. So, about 5 months ago everything was normal for me. As I said before I was just out of college and working for a newspaper as a journalist. It’s a pretty good job, it got me the money to support myself and my girlfriend. Me and my girlfriend, Aubrey, started dating our Senior year at Stanford. It’s been about a year I would say, and still going pretty good. We haven’t talked about marriage at all, but it’s not what we're focusing on at the moment. We just want to be with each other no matter what, happy. I always try to explain how much I love her and how I can’t live without her, but I get the feeling she doesn’t quite understand when she nods and says “aww.”


We live in a pretty nice apartment in Palo Alto, still by the beautiful Stanford campus. My job takes me into San Francisco quite a bit, since my office, The Daily Journal is located downtown, it takes awhile just to get there. I would say I’ve been the head journalist for this job for maybe about 6 months now? I really enjoy what I do, I get to go in and get the inside scoop from the families or the police or from whoever is/was involved with the story. I work in the crime area of the newspaper. My expertise in communication and patience is always a big help, for some people don’t always like, well, lets just say they don’t like when newspapers are snooping into their personal affairs. My boss, Kevin, is a well known businessman in the state of California and Nationally. I’m not too sure how far outside the borders his reputation and name goes.


I enjoy working with Kevin and my many different colleagues and associates. Everyday has its own special kind of excitement, some days are just lame! Today, as normal, I awoke at precisely 6:00 am, in order to complete all my morning tasks. When I first got out of bed, my eyes were so heavy and I felt incredibly tired. I walked over to my grand, spacious, shiny and granite furnished bathroom, where I proceeded to turn the cold tap on. I rinsed my face, splashing the crisp clear water all over. The chill soon after started to work its magic. I felt so awake and ready to go, I was as alert as a wild horse as a predator pounces towards it. Every little creek in the floor or in the ceiling made me stop and look, I felt like I wasn’t the only one in the house. Aubrey was in Seattle for a business conference and wouldn’t return until two weeks later. Being alone in our apartment makes you feel so lonely in every way. Its so spacey and open, you don’t even know who is with you or what is around the next corner. It would be the worst nightmare for a paranoid ex-CIA officer. I walked down our long and wide hallway, turned left at the T-junction towards the kitchen. When I walked in, I surveyed the room, left to right, up and down. Everything seemed to be in order, just how I had left it the night before. I had my usual breakfast of toast and cheerios with a mug of coffee, and of course I added hazelnut creamer.


After my hearty breakfast, I felt ready for the day ahead. I knew it was going to be a long one. I have to go into Oakland and get some information from a single mom about a death in the family. That should be fun. So, the next to-do on my morning list, is to go and retrieve the mail from the end of our driveway. I proceeded to exit the door slowly, cautious of everything around me, I felt so jumpy and alarmed. As I was filing through my mail, I saw a letter addressed to my father... This shocked me because I haven’t talked to or seen my dad since my college graduation. I was hesitant to open it at first, but I’m a curious fellow. I opened the small envelope, and inside was a postcard. A postcard with no return address or beautiful picture of an island or something. I thought to myself, “this is so weird... Why would I get this?” I wasn’t really sure what to do! I was dazed and confused, I sat down on the living room couch. I flipped over the card, there was a small, but detailed message printed on the back. The printed message read, “ Meet at Pier 39, 2nd floor gift shop in 4 hours. Look for the tall blonde in the back by the Christmas ornaments. He will give you further instructions.”


After reading this, the one thing that just kept repeating in my mind was, “Dad, what have you gotten yourself into...” There were many problems with this, like no signature and I have no idea what it is even about! But the only one I was involved with was, how do I contact my dad? We haven’t spoken for months! We have such a great relationship, and we would do anything for each other, but it’s just, he moved away. No note, no phone call, he just left. Right after mom died. He didn’t take it well, I was still in school, and I couldn’t be there for him; he just ended up leaving without a peep. I need to be there for him now. He needs me, no matter what trouble he’s in, I’m his son. If I was in trouble, I know he would he would show up to that meeting. I have my decision, I am definitely going to show up and do what I need to do to fix this mess. For my father.


I sat there for a few extra minutes just gazing across the room at an old picture of me and my father, it was my first day of college at Stanford. We were standing outside Maples Pavillion. I got up off the couch and started to walk up the stairs to my bedroom. I reached across the bed and grabbed my cell phone off the bedside table. I called my work to tell them I was ill and wouldn’t be at the office today. A few moments later, I received a call on my landline, it was Jack, my best friend at work! In a rushed and desperate voice, he said “Joe, please do me favor. You need to be at Pier 39, 2nd floor in the Christmas gift shop at 11! Look for anything suspicious, take notes.”

“I’ll be there,” I replied. I wasn’t sure about anything besides I really had to be there. Before I could say anything else, the phone went dead. He hung up. I had to get a plan and fast! I hurried over to my closet, just threw on a t-shirt and some shorts. I grabbed a bag and threw my phone, a notepad and my car keys. I threw in a banana in there just in case. I ran down the stairs, turned the corner sharply and sprinted down the hallway. I was in such a rush that I forgot to turn the lights off. I hope Aubrey doesn’t see the electricity bill. At that current moment I wasn’t too concerned about my bill, I had to stop by the office and search something on my work computer. This has been a hectic morning that hasn’t made any sense at all. What is so important about this meeting? Why do I have to be there? I really do hope these questions get an answer by the time it’s all over.

After locking my front door, I ran down the stairs to my car waiting on the driveway. I quickly unlocked the door, threw my bag into the back after taking my cell phone and banana out and jammed the key into its place. I turned the key and the motor started to roar, I slammed my foot on the gas pedal and flew down the street. Once I got to the meeting point that was mentioned on the letter, I stationed myself out of sight behind a shelf full of nutcrackers. It wasn’t the best cover, but it would have to do. I moved a few of the dolls out of the way so I could see the meeting area without being in the view of the people who should soon be here any minute now. I kept my senses alert, I didn’t know why I was here or what was going to happen.

Then, threw my little peep hole I saw a tall blond haired man walk into the store. I got my pen and paper out and started to record what I saw. The man walked tall with his broad shoulders back, this guy came from a nice home with parents who taught him well regarding his posture it seemed. Then, when I turned to the meeting area by the little santa and Rudolph statues, there was a second and third man standing there. I didn’t even see them come in! What if they knew I was there? What were their plans for any trailers they discover? I couldn't let myself get spooked, I had to do this job. This is where I get the big bucks, undercover work. The two men suddenly took a black cloth out and covered the the first man! This was a kidnapping! They ran out through the “EXIT” and down the flight of stairs. They must have another man down below ready for the hand-off. Now I was scared.

I ran out the front door and down the stairs, the pier had gotten way busier than when I first got here. I was running and tip toeing through the crowd to try and see the men. I luckily caught a glimpse of the men, they were heading towards the end of the pier towards the bay. What was I supposed to do? The police would be too late to save this man from this group of lawbreakers. My first instinct was to save this man myself. And me only. I started to push and shove my way through the heavy and dense crowd. I could still barely see the men in the distance. If I was going to save him, I had to be a little faster. Then, as I came out of the crowd, I saw them, they were at the end of the pier. I sprinted over and hid behind a crate of seafood. I heard a gunshot, then, I peeked my head around the crate. I was frozen in place, my eyes wide open, my face pale. My heart went cold. I saw the two men dump the poor, cold, dead body over the railing. I have witnessed a kidnapping and a murder, and there was nothing I could do about it. The two men started to walk away from the scene, and I still was watching them from the crate. They were just a few yards away and then I got this feeling... It was a sneeze! If they saw me, they would know I was a witness. We all know what happens to most crime eyewitnesses, especially a murder. I was guaranteed to be taken, possibly even killed.

I tried to hold it in, there was just nothing I could do. I was rubbing my nose, but it was just coming back each time. I could try to stall it but I knew it would come out while they were still close by. And without a warning, it came out! I sneezed louder than I’ve ever sneezed in my life. The two men quickly turned around, I stared back at them, my heart racing like crazy. This was flight or fight for me and I knew exactly what I was going to do. RUN! I got up in a hurry and sprinted towards the busy street. I turned around and saw the men, one of which was on the cell phone. I looked around the square with urgency and the one thing I wanted, was right there, in front of me. A police station. I hurried towards that building, crossing traffic and tram lines. As I got about 20 yards away, 3 men came out of nowhere and stepped in front of the entrance. One of them, as well, was on the cell phone. Without hesitation I assumed these men were in connection with the two guys I “met” at the pier.

I turned and ran for my life, literally. As I left, one man pulled out a gun with a silencer. I thought to myself, “oh man, I’m definitely asking for a raise.” Without looking back, I ran, I didn’t know where I was going to end up, but I just needed to put some space in between me and those criminals. I headed for the train station downtown, I was thinking of going to just a random place far from here. So, I did just that. I boarded a train to Santa Clara. From there I would go to the San Jose airport, and get out of the country. I knew this was serious, I had to be cautious. I was not taking any risks from here on out. I’m a runner, a runner from humanity. Scared to go out, scared of everyone who looks at me; who knows, they could be the ones who are looking for me.



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Obi-WanThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jun. 29, 2013 at 1:00 am
This was very well written.  I really liked his story I wish he would continue with this one it had me on the edge of my seat!!
 
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