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The bag holding the digital cameras fell out
of my hand. If the floor wouldn't have been carpeted I know I would've
heard some crackling and breaking sounds. "What?" I gasped.
"They estimate he's been gone for about thirty minutes and we're not quite sure how totally. They think somebody might have helped him get away or something, because an officer came in and took him from his cell, but kept his face turned so that the cameras couldn't get a clear look at him."
I didn't even realize that I'd picked the bag
back up and had started heading for my office.
"Do they know where he might have taken off to?" I asked.
"No. Nobody does." that response only added to the horror. "But just to be on the safe side an officer is en-route to pick up Mateo from school, then he'll be by there..."
"No." I interrupted. "Don't have him come here. That'll just cause uproar and make things worse. I'll come to City Hall."
"Okay, that's sounds like a better plan. When should we expect you?"
I had made it into my office and was sitting down at my desk.
"Right now. I just have to let Terri know what's up. Do you think I should have her close the place down or anything?"
"Just a second."
Realizing my office door was open and that
all my business could be heard by someone walking by, I got up and proceeded
to close it. I was mid way across the room when Cordelia got back
"Let her know what's going on and that we're going to send some out of suit officers over to keep a watch on things."
"Okay I will."
"All right, Jack. We'll see you soon."
Both of us hung up. I was almost at the
door and was about to reach out to pull it shut. Since the call was
over there was no reason to do that now. Hopefully I'd be able to
find Terri in her office and let her know what was going on so I could
get on my way.
I was just about to go out when the door swung out at me with remarkable speed. I jumped out of its way as it swooped past me and slammed shut. No, it wasn't a poltergeist playing around with me, though I really wished it would've been. Previously hidden behind my office door was a young man I had never seen before in life. But I knew exactly who he was. He had a solid husky build and was dressed in normal street clothes. From the shadowy outline of his trimmed mustache and beard on his light colored skin I guessed his age at 17 to 20. His dark colored eyes were leering at me, filled with pure hatred. His mouth pulled into a nasty scowl.
Before I could even think about reacting, the barrel of a gun held by his hand met with that spot between my eyes.
"You scream or yell, and I swear to god I'll blow your fuckin' head off. You got that, bitch!?" he hissed in a mild Spanish accent.
I nodded a few times, unable to find my voice.
"Good." he smiled a horrible grin. "Go sit your ass down at the desk!"
I did what he said. Each step I took
my legs felt like they were going to give and collapse under me.
My stomach was twisting into hard knots and if my heart would've been beating
any harder it probably would've broken through my rib cage.
Taking a seat back at my desk, he kept the gun on me as he stood in front of it. "So, you're Jack, huh?" he asked.
"...Yes." my voice cracked.
"I guess I don't have to introduce myself, `cause you know who I am, don't you?"
I nodded again.
"I just thought I'd come pay you a little visit before I got outta here and let you know how much I appreciate you sticking your nose into our fuckin' lives. Who the fuck do you think you are, homes?"
I swallowed and cleared my throat.
"I...I just wanted to help your brother, Tomas." I told him.
"Yeah? Well it looks to me like you did a whole lot more than just help that little motherfucker out! Who told you he needed your goddamn help anyway? Did he ask your bitch-ass to help him?"
I tried to muster up what courage I still had
left and use it to keep myself from completely loosing my mind.
"It's...It's my job. This is what we do here. He didn't have to ask me for my help. I volunteered." my voice was still laced with fear.
"Oh, and I guess letting him come live with you is part of the job too, huh? Or making him think that his faggot ass is something special!?"
That could've just been his choice for words,
but it was the way he said it that let me know he meant it with every intention
of its true meaning. The surprise that he knew about Mateo's secret
must've been written all over my face, because Tomas nodded and said,
"That's right. I know my little brother is an ass-licker. Been knowin' it for days now."
Keeping the gun on me with one hand, Tomas
pulled up a chair with his other and took a seat. For a second I
wondered if I might be able to snatch it away from him. But he still
looked like he had too good a grip on it for any retaliation on my end.
"You look like a nice civilized man, Jack. But so did my father and he used to shove his dick up my ass every night after he got drunk. So tell me something, and tell me the truth. `Cause if you don't, I'll blow your fuckin' balls off one by one."
His eyes narrowed and his stare became intense.
"You fuckin' my little brother?"
And if I was, it really wasn't any of his damn
business. That was between me and Mateo. That comment also
made me feel like I knew I'd sometimes feel, like I was the big nasty pervert
molesting the innocent fifteen-year-old boy that you see in those movies
on the Lifetime Channel.
"No." I stated truthfully, unable to not feel suddenly upset.
His eyes stayed on me with their piercing gaze.
It was like he was trying to see into my brain and read my thoughts.
His gaze mellowed out, but the expression on his face remained angered.
"Well you should. The little bitch would probably like to have a fat black dick like yours up his ass." he sniggered.
"Why?" I asked.
"Why are you doing this? You're in here right now with a gun in my face trying to act like you're a big bad ass man. But if you were really a man you would take what's coming to you instead of dragging your mother down with you."
Yes, it was stupid of me to say that.
And I don't know where in the fuck the courage came from. But I couldn't
stop myself. The words just came out before I could bite my tongue.
Now he was probably going to cap my ass.
He was up out of the chair in the blink of an eye and the gun was pressed against the front of my forehead just as fast. I didn't dare move.
"What the fuck did you say to me nigger-boy?"
This was a double-edged sword. If I responded
either negatively or positively it would more than likely piss him off.
If I didn't say anything he might think I was ignoring him and become further
enraged. I decided to stay silent, but I kept my eyes from meeting
his. They would say it all for me. They would give the appearance
that I was backing down from him by not looking at him. When my answer
didn't come he started again,
"You want me to tell you why, Jack? Huh? You want me to tell you why? Maybe because my mother let my father fuck me and didn't do nothing about it. Maybe it was because she let that bastard smack her dumb ass around and tell her what to do. Maybe because she kept letting him come back into the house, believing when he lied to her and told her he had changed. There's a lot of fuckin' reasons, homes. And that's why I'm not gonna fry for this bullshit. Everything woulda been perfect, yo. But then you set her up with that bitch who knows too much shit for her own good."
So that's what was really going on. The whole thing with the drugs had been done intentionally. This boy, this young man was so vengeful and mad at his mother that he was willing to get her sent to jail. This was supposed to be his way of making her pay for what had been allowed to happen to him, and I had thrown a monkey wrench into the plan.
"So, you're going to shoot me because I interfered?"
"You're smarter than you look." he sneered.
With that, he cocked the gun and put it back
in the spot between my eyes.
"Shoulda just kept your nose in your own business."
The world from that second switched on me. It was like I was in a third person view, watching Tomas as his finger got ready to squeeze the trigger and put me down like the fact that he was about to take my life didn't even matter to him. All the colors that made up the world and the sounds were gone. There was just black and white, and the sound of my heartbeat thundering in my ears.
Suddenly my office door came open and Mateo came
in. He froze the second he saw Tomas. Tomas snapped around
to face him and without taking a moment to realize who was there, he aimed
and went to pull the trigger.
Somehow, in that short amount of time to actually do something, I got up on top of my desk and was able to kick the hand that was holding the weapon, causing it to snap upward suddenly just as the bullet was discharged. As if remembering that I was there again, Tomas turned back toward my direction. The angle that my kick had snapped the gun to put it directly aimed at my chest once Tomas was facing me. There was no time to move out of the way or act again. I was just steadying myself from the kick I'd delivered. All I remember was that there were two piercing separate pains that tore through my body. For a second I was cold, and then I got very warm but not hot. And then everything began to waver, like it was made out of liquid instead of being solid. The wavering became more and more powerful until I couldn't distinguish anything anymore. Then it was like falling down through a tunnel, as the world chose to continue moving on without me, leaving me behind like a forgotten plaything a child grows to old for in complete darkness.
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It's been three months and two weeks since the horrible day that scarred many lives. I can't say much about it because I honestly don't remember much. All that I can say is that by some miracle I survived.
Up until two months ago I was comatose, made possible by being shot twice. The first bullet went through the lower torso and managed to miss every vital organ and exit my body. It was the second bullet that did it. I'm still not quite sure of all of the details, but it did something to my spinal column that threw my nervous system out of whack. It took that long for it to repair itself and get back into as proper working order as possible.
I decided to start this journal today because today marks a lot of good things in my calendar. For starters I took my first steps without any help. That's the last of three things I have to teach myself to do again. The first was gaining control of my bladder again. And the second, which I'm still working on but almost have knocked out, is the stutter in my speech. Even though I know it'll probably be at least the rest of this month until I get walking down fully once again, I'm just proud that at least I can do it. Trust me, you don't know what it's like to not be able to walk until you can't do it anymore.
The second thing is that since I had a lot of time to sit down, I put the final touches on a story about the things that happened after my return home because of my mother's death. I've written about everything, especially the part about meeting Mateo, how he became a part of my life, and what resulted because of it. I don't think I'll ever show it to anybody. With the way people trip in this day and age, I'm not even trying to feed any more fuel to the fire. But it felt good to put it down, you know, to get it out of me and into something, even if it is just MS Word.
Third is that today is Mateo's 16th birthday. Thanks to Cordelia, him and his mother were placed in a kind of protection program shortly after I was shot. See, when the officer had come to pick up Mateo from school and then refused to let him call me and let me know what was up, he bailed out and came to The Shack on foot. So by the time the officer had gotten to The Shack, Tomas had just left there. He hasn't been heard from or seen since that day. The authorities believe that his disappearance is the final act to this whole fiasco. The plan to get back at his mother and make her suffer for all the things that had been allowed to happen to him. I can't say his reasons for doing what he did weren't justified. But it was wrong the way he went about settling them.
Because of the protection thing, Mateo never got to be there to pray with my family by my bed when I was in the hospital for my recovery. He's never heard that I'm awake and making a full recovery. I'm pretty sure he never even got to say goodbye. I know I didn't. I never got the chance to thank him for being a part of my life. For bringing something into it that had been missing for a very long time. Because of him I know what its like to genuinely love someone and care about them. I'll never get to tell him that.
I've actually been thinking about him a lot today.
The house feels a lot like I do, empty without him. I miss him so
much that it hurts. And it tears me up when I think about the fact
that I'm never going to see him again. I guess I could look at it
as God being the almighty fucker. Because what I am goes against
what's right under his law, I'm doomed to a screwed existence. There
has only been two people in my life. The first one raped me and the
second one was taken away far out of my reach. But I don't look at
it like that. I believe that things happen for a reason and for the
best, even if it is fucked up.
So as I close out my first entry, I guess I just want to say that wherever Mateo and Esmerelda are that they're making good with their new lives. I hope Mateo finds someone who'll treat him right and love him right. I hope Esmerelda finds herself a real man who'll have her back and support her and love her like a real man is supposed to. And lastly, here's to a second chance at life for myself. Because if God really was being the almighty fucker, I'm sure I wouldn't be around to write this now. So until pen meets paper for entry number two, I bid you adieu.
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