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The Price of Fortune

Author's note: ​In the novel Before We Were Free, one prominent theme was “Sometimes, no matter how hard we...  Show full author's note »
Author's note: ​In the novel Before We Were Free, one prominent theme was “Sometimes, no matter how hard we try to avoid them, some things are going to happen.” This theme is prominently seen in my story. In the beginning, you have the main character’s best friend, Eddie, shot in a failed robbery. The main character and his friends Joe and Frank can’t afford to get Eddie to a doctor, so the main character decides to rob in order to get the money to save Eddie. He finds a way through which he can save Eddie (stealing from a rich girl he befriended), but by the time he finally has the money, Eddie has passed. The protagonist had a plan and was almost certain that he would succeed in his endeavor. However, no matter how hard he tried, Eddie died in the end, for it was what was destined to happen.  « Hide author's note
Chapters:   « Previous 1 ... 6 7 8


​“I'm back!” I shout, staggering onto the roof and turning to the radiator where Frank and Joe sit around Eddie's body. Allowing the success of my endeavor to overtake the loss I feel from having just betrayed Crystal, I run over to the boys, and hold up the bag, laughing with pride. However, looking down at them, I see that their faces are grim and lost.
​“You're too late,” mutters Frank, standing up with Joe and clearing room for me to see Eddie.
​Numbness shoots through my body, but quickly, I compose myself, realizing that he can't be right. Dropping the bag from my shoulder, I stumble over to Eddie, and fiercely shake his body. To my relief, his eyes pop open and remain bright with shock for a moment. However, once he realizes what is happening, they close slightly and begin to look weaker than ever. “Hiya Jimmy,” he moans.
​“Eddie, you're gonna be all right. I... I got you the money so we can get you to a doctor. You're gonna be fine,” I babble, unwilling to believe that what Frank said was right.
​“Jimmy... it's all right... there's this warm light... it's calling to me Jimmy, saying... saying that it'll take away my pain. I'm ready Jimmy... you can let go...” he whispers, struggling with each breath.
​“No, Eddie, it'll be all right. I got the money right here, we can get you all better. You don't gotta go yet buddy.” Sobs begin to get mixed in with my words as I try to convince myself that Eddie will make it.
​“Jimmy... this place isn't like New York... it's happy... it's free... it's home...”
​“Eddie, I thought I was your home!” I bawl.
​“Jimmy, I love you... and appreciate everything you've done for me all my life... Believe me Jimmy, when I say that you are the only person on this earth who ever made me feel wanted and loved... The only person who I will ever truly care about... But, Jimmy, the Good Lord is calling to me and telling me that it's time to let go...”
​“But Eddie... I need you... Come on Eddie... We can fix you up and then we'll get on one of those ships like you always wanted to... Just the two of us, escaping this city together... I just need you to stay here with me...”
​“One day... One day you'll see me again Jimmy... I promise... but for now... I've gotta go... gotta go... home...”​At this, his eyes shut and his head falls back.
​This isn't really happening! It can't! Shaking him, furiously, I shout, “Eddie! Eddie, wake up! Buddy, you're gonna be all right! We're gonna make you better! Eddie, wake the hell up, damn you!” tears stream down my face as I pointlessly thrash his cold, limp body back and forth, trying to pull him back. Nothing burns within me except regret and sorrow. I can't feel anything but pain. Still holding Eddie's body in my arms, I turn to Frank and Joe and scream, “DO SOMETHING, DAMN IT!” They just sit there, watching on with pity and sympathy. Disgusted by their lack of attempting to do anything, I return my focus to Eddie. Pulling him into a tight embrace, I cry out, “Eddie! Please, just come back!” But, I know that he won't be coming back. ​
​A long moment passes before a voice from behind me asks, “Was it worth it, Jimmy?”
​I turn my head far enough so that I am able to see Frank through my peripheral vision, “Was what worth it, Frank?”
​“That time you spent living the good life. Was it worth it?” he persisted, his tone dead and disappointed.
​For a long time, I remain silent. “No,” I mumble, “No Frank, it wasn't.”
​“Didn't think so,” he responds, coldly. Turning fully, I meet his bloodshot eyes. Two eyes, that used to be bright and cheerful, now are dull and lifeless. His face radiates no warmth or care, only hate and despair. “Joe's gone. He said his goodbye to Eddie but just couldn't bear to look a murderer straight in the eyes, so he left while you were busy with your weeping. I only stayed because I figured it would only be right to let you know what's happening. So, now that you know, and because I have already said my goodbyes to Eddie, it's time for me to get going as well.”
​“Wait... where are you going?” I inquire.
​“That's not for you to know Jimmy,” he chokes. “All the jewelry you stole is still in your satchel over there,” he explains pointing to the area on the floor where I dropped it, “and you can survive on your own with that. Don't follow me Jimmy. Joe and I need to forget this. We need to move on, and we just can't do that if you're with us.
​“So...” I sputter, “this is goodbye?”
“It's better for the both of us,” he concludes after a moment of silence. With this, he shoves past me, his face down, and slowly proceeds to the fire escape. Reaching it, he stops. His silhouette remains still for a long while, breathing heavily, and muttering something beneath its breath. Slowly, his head turns to me again. His mouth opens as if he is about to say something. However, after a moment, he turns away again, shakes his head, and descends the fire escape.
​Now, standing where I am, I realize that I have gained nothing from this ordeal. Instead, I lost everything. I lost two friends, Frank and Joe, both people who used to view me as their hero and leader. This happened when I went to go live with the Bells that one afternoon instead of searching for a way to save Eddie. I lost my one chance at love when I robbed the Bell's, drawing a knife on Crystal in the process. Worst of all though, I lost someone who can't be replaced or regained, as trust and chances can: I lost the only person who ever brought meaning and purpose to my life. What do I have left? A couple of pieces of stolen jewelry? What the hell is that going to do for me now? It can't buy Eddie back.
Chapters:   « Previous 1 ... 6 7 8

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This book has 4 comments. Post your own now!

Worker Bee said...
Sept. 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm
The author has a great gift for describing the scene in such detail that the reader can see each setting very clearly in their mind.  The story itself is extremely well written which enables the reader to easily feel the triumps & pain of each character.  Very impressive & I look forward to more posts from this author!!
Brofesser said...
Jun. 18, 2013 at 11:02 am
This story is so touching!! it was great and i fell in love with it!
Tomas R. replied...
Jul. 10, 2013 at 7:43 pm
Thanks. That means a lot :) Any suggestions on things I can change?
17srao said...
Jun. 16, 2013 at 9:32 am
The story is touching even before its core - I truly felt Jimmy's pain when Eddie was shot.

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