Crossing the Edge (part 1)

It’s amazing how fast a group of let’s say thirty people can be made all silent and quiet. It took them at most twenty minutes. It’s also amazing how long it can take to get what you want. After two hours of sitting on that cold, hard floor, I was getting bored and wondering why it took them so long to get the money and disappear again. No word was spoken, because we were surrounded by robbers holding weapons. They hadn’t used them, only to scare us, but after two hours of silence, fear was completely leaving my body and brains. I started searching for a way out, something to do, anything to stop this annoying situation.
And slowly, a plan was developing in my head. I wouldn’t have done anything, I believe, if there hadn’t been one robber looking straight into my eyes, every time he passed by. I was sitting at the edge of the group, and as soon as I had gathered my courage and he passed by again, I looked at him with my most asking facial expression.
“Please…” I whispered. He stopped and bent over a bit.
“I have to go to the bathroom. Really.” He moved his hand and I cringed, almost as if I was deadly scared. His eyes, straight into mine. I could see he was in doubt, his entire posture showed it. He beckoned the other robber guarding us and they whispered to each other. Then he beckoned me and we left, walking into a small corridor. He took me by the arm, but not brutally. He seemed to be the softie of the group, the one who didn’t want to use violence, the one with compassion.
“It’s over here.”
His voice told me how young he was. I entered the bathroom, and he followed me.
“I’ll be waiting here”, he said.
“Okay”, I said quietly.
When I was done and washing my hand, I softly asked: “Will you keep us here much longer?”
“I can’t say, I don’t know”, he answered. “But don’t be scared, we won’t harm you if you just stay calm and silent.”
“I’d love to believe you”, I whispered, with uneasy eyes. “But how can I know if I can trust you?”
“Please, trust me. Why would I lie?”
His eyes straight into mine again. The rest of his face, and all the other faces, was covered with a forage cap, just like in a movie. Maybe I didn’t really realise this wasn’t a movie. The more we talked, the less I feared him. I needed but his trust.
“Maybe… Maybe I could believe you. You seem to be the one who has a conscience.”
“We’re human”, he said while grabbing my arm. “We’re not unscrupulous. Please, sweet girl, don’t fear us. It will take a little while before we go, but after that you’ll be freed again, unharmed.”
“Do they all think like you?” I asked.
“Normally, yes. If you all stay calm, at least.”
“Will you protect us? Will you protect me if not?” I whispered, watching him with despair. I grabbed his arm as well, begged him with my entire body and no more words. It was something he for sure could not resist.
Then he grabbed himself together again and answered: “There’s nothing to protect you from. Just obey them.”

I got him.

Not long after we had returned and I sat down on the cold, hard floor again, another robber rushed in and started talking agitatedly to my hostage-taker. I heard something like ‘oil’, ‘fallen’, ‘MESS’. “Find someone to clean this up, we can’t do it, like we don’t have enough to do already!” the other one snorted.
“I will take care of this”, my hostage-taker said soothingly. The other robber went off again, slightly calmer, and my hostage-taker beckoned me once more.
“Sweet girl, come with me.”
We walked through the small corridor again, to a small kitchen.
“What’s happened?” I asked him.
“Little accident”, he answered. When we entered, I immediately stopped walking.
“Oh my…”
The floor was covered in olive oil and shattered glass. Don’t ask me how, but someone had managed to get the bottle smashed on the floor. It was in fact a mess.
“I’m supposed to clean this?”
“Yes. I thought you’d like to do something instead of waiting”, he said apologetically.
“In fact I do”, I answered. “Thank you.”
He bowed his head, as if he was thanking me as well. I started cleaning up the glass so I wouldn’t get hurt by it, but then a small splinter slit my skin anyway.
“Ouch!”
“What’s the matter?” he immediately asked. I was watching the blood welling up on my wrist. He took my arm and looked at it as well. And then, then her removed his forage cap. I watched him, almost in shock. But he wasn’t looking back. He said ‘wait a sec’ and took a first aid kit out of one of the closets, disinfected the little wound and put an adhesive plaster on it, so carefully and tender as if the situation wasn’t awkward at all.
“So, you’re alright again?” he asked. He seemed to be somewhat embarrassed, but he hold my hand anyway, and looked at me. I saw his face. I just saw his face and wondered how I got him to trust me so easily. But at the same time, I knew I was playing with fire, and I knew that this could mean they would have to kill me.
“Yes”, I answered.
“Shall I help you cleaning this mess?”
“If you want to?”
“Yes.”

And so we cleaned the little kitchen, but not with much haste. It was for sure the strangest thing I have ever done: cleaning a kitchen together with a hostage-taker. Talking to him. Calling him Nick. Trusting him.
All the while, the fire I was playing with was burning heavily.

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7 Comments

  1. Interesting start…

    Reply
  2. This makes me very curious, makes me want to read more! Good work.

    Reply
  3. Guessing she lives since she’s the narrator.
    But really curious how the rest will play out.
    As said above, good start!

    Reply
  1. Crossing the edge (part 2) « No Blog Intended

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