The Escape

He was in a group of other denim jacketed teenagers, as they passed by the window of the school.  I noticed, on several occasions, that this one, tall, long armed, blond haired, youth kept taking darting glances as he passed by.

Class had been over for two hours when he returns alone.  He slowly comes out of the alley just north of the school.  He steps quickly and carefully so as to not step on any of the papers or cans that littered the sidewalk, and only an occasional scuffle could be heard from his black sneakers.  Hands in pants pockets, he walks down the street.  Glancing over his shoulder from time to time, he passes by the school, without looking in the window, and stops a couple of doors away to lean against the side of the building.  Back against the wall, just outside the light from the street lamp, right leg crossed over his left, and just looking up and down the street, acting casual but checking out the area.  The shade of his faded denim cloths allowed him to blend with the shadows.  He keeps this relaxed state for a couple of minutes then moves into the light, and with a quick look both ways, turns his attention to the window.  As time passes his shoulders drop slightly, his head slowly moving from side to side as he looked over the items in the school.

Stepping out of the doorway, I quietly cross the street being careful to stay out of the reflection in the window, to stop in a position, just outside of the glow of the street light, and slightly behind his right shoulder.  I waited, and watch his reflection in the window.

The wait is not long.  I had made no sound in my approach, yet, he knows that I’m here and where. The shoulders and back slowly straighten as he comes to his full six feet of height, and there is the subtle movement as he shifts his weight onto his left leg.  I remained still and see by the reflection in the window that his thin,   ¨sandy eyebrows, are knit together into a frown and his lips tightly pressed together.  He is perfectly still.  A moment passes, then there is a further shifting of weight as he gets ready to move.

“I will not inform your friends.”  I say quietly.

His reaction is good.  There is only the slightest hesitation before he shows his surprise and turns in the wrong direction, then spins all the way around to face the direction of my voice.

“What the … You scared the …  who’s there?”

His voice is at that awkward time.  Mixed in with the high tones of a boy, there is the rich mellow tones of a man.

“I am the owner of this school.”

“Well, hey, I was just looking.  I wasn’t thinking of breaking in or anything. Where do you get off sneaking around in the shadows.  You could get hurt coming up on somebody like that.”  His last sentence demanding.

“I have noted your interest on several occasions.  Why have you not come in?”

“The dudes think that anybody who takes this crap is a coward.”

“You are not really sure of that.  Do you find that your friends ideas are not your own?”

“The dudes do not lie to each other, we take care of our own.”  Taking a step foreword, voice cracking as he reacts.

“They lie to others.  Having learned to lie, could it be that they could lie to you without you knowing it?”  Still speaking softly.  “You have lied to them.”

“I don’t lie to the dudes.  I tell them everything that I see or hear.”

“Then why haven’t you informed them of your interests in this school?  Withholding that information, is that not a lie of your wants and feelings.?”

“Shut up man, your trying to confuse me with your fancy words.  Besides what do you know about my wants and feelings?”  Turning quickly, he nimbly runs down the street and disappears around the corner.

He ran, and ran hard.  He ran until his chest hurt and his breath was coming in ragged gasps.

I don’t lie!  I don’t lie!  How dare he think that I lie.  Where does he get off, telling me I lie?  It’s true, that I haven’t told the guys about the school.  It seems interesting, but I am not a coward.  The dudes are my only friends, the only ones that understand me.  They wouldn’t lie to me, would they?  I’m one of them and no coward.

He stops near a park and plops down on a bench to catch his breath.  Let’s see, where am I?  Looking around he recognizes land marks.  Oh no, I’m in the Red Devil’s territory.  This park is there major turf.  I know better than to come anywhere near here.  I had better get away before they find me.  Look what that jerk made me do!  Let’s see, if I go up to Maple then over Oak, I can . . .

The sounds reached him, when the slight breeze shifted and comes in from the park.  He starts to walk away but stops, then heads into the park.  Shaking his head.  I shouldn’t do this, but maybe I can get a some evidence on the Devils.  If I stay out of sight, I should stay out of trouble.  See, you’re not a coward.  If I get caught they’ll kill me, but I am going to spy anyway.  I am not a coward.

Coming to the edge of some trees, and staying deep in the shadows, he finds a small group of the Devils, harassing an elderly couple, near one of the sparsely placed park lights.  Kneeling down by the base of the tree and watching from just behind the trunk.  The fools, they should have known that taking a walk in the park this late at night is dangerous.  Maybe the Devils will just take their money and let em go, but it doesn’t look and sound like it, they are really fired up.  Why did they have to take their walk here.  Maybe an anonymous call to 911 will help em.

From out of the shadows on the other side of the pathway.  “You boys seem to be looking for some trouble.  Why don’t you leave this couple alone and go about some peaceful, and legal, type of business.”

That voice! It’s him!  The guy from the school.  Where is he?  What’s he doing here?  I’m the fastest guy around here, and he’s an adult.  How did he get here?  There’s no way he could have followed me.

A figure, dressed in dark slacks and a dark sweater steps out from the shadows and into the light.  A calm but determined look on his face.  Hands casually down by his side.

“Hey look boys, another fool who doesn’t know better than to stick his nose where it doesn’t belong.  Hey big man, why don’t you go away before you get hurt and have to go crying to your mama.”

He’s not stopping!  He’s going right up to Jimmy.  Shuddering.  He’s the worst of this lot.  I had better make that call now.

“This couple will not be one of your victims tonight.  They will continue there walk and you boys will go elsewhere.”

“Ok big man, you first.  Then we’ll get back to business.  No body tells Jimmy Shaw of the Devils, what to do.”

Here it comes.  Jimmy is known to send in one of the other boys, and when you’re back is turned, then he sneaks up and catches you by surprise.  What the . . . Franks on the ground and Jimmy’s on his knees.  What did that guy do to him?  Here comes the rest of em, he’s had it . . .  what’s he doing?  He’s moving to fast, I can’t make it out.  He’s tossing those guys around like they were dolls.  Well at least the old folks are making a break for it.  They’ll be safe.  Looks like the Devils have had enough for tonight.  Look at em run.  Beaten on their own turf, boy are they going   to be pissed.  Look at him, just standing there, not even breathing hard.  Six street lords against one guy.  Wait a

minute, he’s turning this way.  No, it can’t be possible.  There’s no way that he can see me.  But, the way he’s look this way, it’s as if he knows I’m here.  Closing his eyes for just a moment.  Boy is this guy creepy.  Opening his eyes to keep a close eye on this guy.  He’s gone!  Where did he go?  I didn’t hear anything.  I had better get out of here before my luck changes, this place is too weird for my liking.

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