It was a normal Friday afternoon at one of our favorite cafes. Business was slow, and we were enjoying ourselves- laughing and drinking at the front of the cafe, where a small wooden ledge met the sidewalk. We were both so young, and new to the city too. We had grand dreams, and planned for many years together.

A man walked by. A big man- looked like he was military. He looked at us with a mean glance, and started walking over. Something felt horribly out of place.

“Honey, what’s wrong?” My girlfriend at the time asked.

Before I could respond, it was as if I was taken over. Rage and desperation overtook me. As he reached the table, I swung behind him and held him in a choke-hold. I must have surprised him- for he was confused at first. After a second, he realized what had happened and began to struggle. I had a strong hold on him however. He struggled but I held on tight. A few seconds passed- what seemed both like a passing moment as well as an hour. The man stopped. I held on for another few seconds, then let go.

“Oh my god.” She finally said. “You killed him.”

I stood stunned at what I had done. There was no reason to- nothing to justify the murder. I had no idea what overcame me.

She took my hand and hurriedly lead me out of the cafe. We jogged down two streets and hailed a cab. By the time we were in, I could hear sirens behind me. They came fast.

“There’s a gas station at the end of the street. Drop us off there please.” She said. The taxi driver obliged, and after the five minute ride we were dropped off.

We said our thanks and got out. Our apartment was not very far away. Down one street and take the lift next to a medium-sized grocery store. We entered, and she pressed 9. We got back into the room and I locked the door. I was still in shock of what had happened, and pushed it out of my mind.

The next morning, I awoke believing that I had dreamt the strangest dream. I sat up to her watching the news.

“The police are still unsure of who is responsible for the murder. All we know was that he was killed yesterday afternoon through a choke-hold. Anyone with any information is encouraged to contact police…”

My stomach sunk. It was not a dream.

“Oh, you’re up.” She said. “We have to go. There are people who can help.”

There was a peculiar building downtown which I never noticed before. The building had a one way mirror on the outside. It was impossible to see inside from outside, but looking out, everything was clear.

“Is Canton here?” She asked.

“Straight down the hall, third door to the left.”


As we walked, I wondered how she could know so much about a city she was new in.

“Canton we have a bit of a situation.” She said to the door. The door opened. Inside, a large man with a formidable afro sat in a swiveling chair. Around him, others watched. They were all armed to the teeth.

“So the news- that was you?” The big man replied.

She hesitated, then looked at me.

“Oh.” Canton eyed me. “Well, no big deal. Just wait it out. If they don’t find you within the month, they’ll forget. The city has lots of crimes every day. Just stay safe, and be smart.”

“But…” She was cut off by the sounds of sirens outside.

“What?” Canton jumped to his feet.

Behind us, we could hear multiple police vehicles stop. I looked at her, and she looked back at me. We walked to the entrance, and from the inside could clearly see around ten officers walk towards the entrance.

She looked towards me with a panicked expression.

“They can’t see us from the outside.” I said. I took her hand and lead her to the door, then pushed her to hide behind them. As one of the officers swung open the door, we hid behind it. One by one, the officers filed in. A few were left outside, but they were preoccupied by what looked like an engaging conversation.

As the last cop entered, we snuck out and closed the door- walking at a brisk pace, only slow enough to not seem awkward among the passing crowd.

I do not know how we did, but somehow we made it past the police. In the confusion and hustle in, we dodged outside and walked casually down the side walk. After a block, we took a sharp turn and hailed a cab back to our apartment.

For the next few days, I lived in paranoia as the police asked around for people matching their sketch. It was pretty convincing, but I looked pretty average, with no distinguishing features. Besides, I was new to the city. I sat in the darkness and hoped nobody recognised me.

On the third day, we were running low on food. My girlfriend offered to go out, as it was still too risky for me. Most of the police had moved on, but it seemed that a few were specifically assigned to my case. While I continually wondered what drove me that day, nobody talked about the man I had killed.

While my girlfriend was out, she called that she had found some guy selling a cheap car. Apparently, her contact recommended that I leave the city. The heat here was not dying down on me, and I should get as far away as I could. With food in tow, she drove up to the apartment and I was to meet her by the steps.

While there was a back parking, we never asked for the key. The building manager was out this late Sunday, so we decided to just load the car from the front and go rather than wait another day. The police did not seem to know who I am, but they are closing in on spots where I have been seen. Loading took a while, as we quickly packed all our belongings and jammed as much water into the car as we could. We wanted to make the least amount of stops necessary on the trip, and minimise human contact.

During the last round of hauling, however, I bumped into a pair of cops on the street. It looked that they were off duty. I had on a shabby cap and grew a bit of a stubble. Nonetheless, they stopped for a few seconds as if recognising me. I passed them nonchalantly and got in the car. My girlfriend waited in the passenger seat as I took off. In the rear-view mirror, I could see one of them talking on their phone. I had wondered if I had been made.

We drove due east as fast as we could have without breaking the speed limit. Every moment seemed to be a race to get out of the city. After a few minutes, I noticed that a car was following me. An unmarked cruiser? But if the sirens are not on, they are not sure. Nonetheless, I knew I had to lose them. It was getting dark. At least that gave me an edge.

“Turn right onto the next exit. There are lots of hidden corners and alleys on the map, we could lose them there.” My girlfriend said.

I did as I was told. We turned off a sharp corner and I sped off to lose the car. It followed. I took two more sharp turns, and it slowed- careful not to take a wrong one. I had read somewhere that pirates used their eye-patch for night-vision purposes, essentially always allowing one eye to be used to the dark. I closed one eye as I continued driving, now with a slight lead. After a few more alleys, I turned again quickly. I then turned off the lights and continued driving, opening my closed eye and closing my other. It must have worked, because I navigated the pitch blackness and took a few more turns. Then, I stopped by a building and turned off the engine. We waited there and held our breaths.

The cop car seems to have lost us. It took them a few more turns and they came from the opposite direction. They must have been circling the area for around 20 minutes- what seemed like an eternity in the darkness.

After a few more rounds, it left. We assumed that it radioed back and may have continued on the freeway out of the city to look for us. We took another highway heading north, and the rest of the drive was thankfully uneventful.

My girlfriend and I took turns driving, and only stopped when both of us could not keep our eyes open. We turned off into a dirt road and took a few hours break, then continued on again soon after. This continued for the next day. We managed to put a little more than three states behind the city, and only had to stop for petrol twice. We thought we had done quite well, considering.

The following morning, we stopped near a site famous for its caving attractions. We decided that there was no harm having a little fun to ease ourselves out of the last week of continual adrenaline. It had started to rain.

We went to the counter and paid for the tickets. No issues. Spent around half an hour exploring the intricate tunnels. It reminded me of the playgrounds McDonalds always had. We climbed to the top, where there was a ledge we could look out on. It was completely enclosed by glass, sheltering us from the rain which was now really starting to pour. To my surprise and absolute horror, I saw the very car which had tailed us two nights ago in the parking lot a little distance from our car.

I immediately informed my girlfriend, and together we made the rest of the tunnel in haste. Somewhere along the way, there was an emergency exit. We took it, and found ourselves outside the shop somewhere. We sprinted to the car, glad that the rain and mud covered our tracks. We then got in and sped off on the road again, the heavy rainfall muffling and covering our escape. I drove without lights for at least an hour just to make sure, and saw no lights behind us all the while. We had gotten away again, but I still wonder how they found us.

This time, we kept driving.

Tags: , , , , , ,
blog comments powered by Disqus