The Sound of Sunshine by Michael Franti & Spearhead comes on as the tears finally start to dry up. I’d like to say that the cheery opening notes of this song made all the difference, but the reality is probably more about how I’m dehydrated and simply don’t have enough water available for crying anymore.
I’ve never been much of a crier, but with all that has happened during these past few weeks, I feel I have more than enough excuse to let loose at least a couple drops. But if I’m truly being honest with myself, I’m not entirely sure why I’m crying.
Okay, yes, I know precisely why I’m crying. But I’m avoiding thinking about that. I can’t. I just can’t. If I do, there’s no way I can move forward.
I allow the song to envelope me and return to ignoring my emotions. I force myself to feel more optimistic about my decision. This is really the only way things could have ended.
Me, on my own, running a big run to see how far I can get before I’m finally captured for good.
You Can’t Hurry Love by The Supremes hits my ears next.
“Get up!” Grant yells as he pulls me to my feet.
I hurt all over, but I don’t think I’m seriously injured. Unless you consider my pride.
Alvin stands inside the door at the bottom of the stairs holding a gun to my brother’s chest. Eve and Miss Niles are standing beside him. I don’t see Maxine anywhere. Did I black out?
“Let’s go, Mr. Rhodes,” Alvin says, pushing the gun deeper into The Geek’s sternum.
You know, I knew the guy was a jerk when I met him in San Francisco, but I never would have guessed he’d be the type of guy who would hold a gun to a kid.
“I have some very important things to accomplish today,” Alvin continues. “Your imprisonment is only one of them, so I would appreciate if we could move this along a bit more hastily.”
“I had some important things to do today, too.” I spit some blood on the concrete floor. “You don’t see me complaining.”
“But the difference between you and me, Mr. Rhodes, is that I shall complete all which I have scheduled for today. You, on the other hand, will die in this prison. You, your girlfriend, your brother, and every single other person you’ve ever known or loved. They will all be placed down here just for thinking you were anything other than the pathetic little Runner trash that you are.”
“Why?” I ask as Grant pushes me through the door. “Why do you even care? I mean, I can understand wanting to put me away. Well, I can kind of understand it anyways. I can even understand The Geek and Eve. But why take it any further than that? Why threaten my family when you already hold all the cards?”
“The answer, my dear boy,” Alvin grins, “is simply because I can.”
“That doesn’t even make sense,” Eve huffs.
Alvin leads us deeper into the building as he continues to address us.
“It doesn’t have to make sense.” He smirks. I want to punch him so badly right now. I mean, like really badly. So badly I am weighing whether or not it is worth getting shot in the face for it.
Only problem is, I’m not sure I’ll be able to punch him before he shoots me, which makes it more difficult to determine if it’s a smart move or not.
But I still want to do it.
Alvin leads us to a desk at the end of a hall, in front of a wide doorway. There is a very pleasant, yet sad, looking woman at the desk. “I’d like to intern these four.”
He digs in his shirt pocket and pulls out a badge with his face on it. Emblazoned on the top, in bright blue letters, are the words Mackenzie-Lena.
“Mackenzie-Lena!” The Geek shouts. “You’re Miss Nile’s boss?”
“Interesting,” Alvin says with a smile as he signs the clipboard handed to him by the lady on the other side of the desk. “You almost sound as though you think you know something about M&L.”
“Hey, pal, my brother knows everything,” I say proudly.
“So, is that what this is all about? Is Miss Nile in trouble for misuse of power?”
“None of that matters to you,” Alvin shrugs.
Oooh, I don’t know if I can hold back any longer. Seriously. This guy is asking for it so bad. And I’m not even much of a fighter. But for him, I’d definitely make an exception.
“Here you go, Mr. Alexander,” the lady behind the desk says, handing Alvin a new badge which says ‘Visitor’ in large letters. Alvin attaches it to the front of his shirt.
“Let’s go,” Alvin says, waving Maxine and Grant toward the now-open gate to our right. “I want to make sure these four are in their cells before any other idiot comes along and tries breaking them out.”
Go to Chapter Seven