Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Short Story

The Way Out 

by Andrea Rodriguez 

Eighteen year old Emily stood in the driveway outside her small apartment complex. She tried to steady her breathing, but knew she couldn’t do anything to prevent the oncoming panic attack. Her vision blurred as she looked down at the cracked pavement and back up at the leafless trees that surrounded the property.

To Emily, it was just another day with the same smothered feeling of the dead end town that no one ever seemed to leave. She turned and headed back inside the garage to find that Steve, her 23 year old boyfriend, had finally got out of bed.

Emily opened her shopping bag and pulled out a brand new aux cord that she had spent her last few dollars on. It was the last thing she needed to make the truck feel complete. She opened the up the cord and breathed in the scent of the truck’s air freshener she had just put in.
“Perfect,” Emily said aloud. Emily smiled as she hopped out of the truck and ran her fingers on the hood of it. She pulled her hands back and stared at them, they were beginning to shake.

Emily felt the familiar nauseous feeling as she remembered the day she got the truck.

“C’mon Em,” Steve said. “I’m not sure about this,” Emily mumbled. “You said you wanted a truck, and I found you a truck. But if you want it, you have to be the one to do it,” Steve explained.

Steve had already got the driver’s side door open for her and pulled off the panel covering the wires beneath the steering wheel. Emily just copied what she had watched Steve do several times before. Although she had never done it herself until now, she was able to connect the starting wire. The engine roared as the truck turned on. Steve laughed as he told Emily she did a good job. It didn’t take long for Steve and his friends to replace the license plates and repaint the truck to the black that Emily wanted. Soon it looked like an entirely new truck.

“Don’t worry, Em,” Steve said to her, “I’ve never been caught, and if I never have, I’ll make sure that you don’t too.”

When Emily got home that night after stealing the truck, she looked in the mirror and stared at her reflection. She knew she was no longer the same person she was before

Steve came along, and she wasn’t sure if she liked it. She had spent the night tossing and turning.

The next morning, Emily slept through her alarm. She sprung out of bed and smacked her palm to her forehead.

“I completely forgot I had work today,” she cried to herself. She quickly got ready and headed out the door.

Emily got out of her truck in the parking lot of the town’s only diner and jogged to the entrance. She put on a smile as she grabbed her pen and pad, ready to take orders from the usual customers. Emily’s smile quickly fell as she bumped into Sammy, her boss. She shut her eyes tightly, waiting for the yelling to begin.

“Emily, is it just me or does it seem like you enjoy the idea of being unemployed?” Sammy asked.

Emily felt her cheeks burning as her faced turned bright red. “You’re lucky there’s no one else around here looking for a full time job at diner or else I would have fired you a long time ago.”

Emily gave a generic excuse and apologized for being late again.

When it was finally time for Emily to clock out, she met up with Steve back at the apartment.

“I’m so sick of being in this town and this dead end job. I’m never gonna get anywhere. It’s like anyone who was born here is trapped and bound to die here,” Emily said.

“Well, hey Em, if you’re really serious about getting out of this place, I think I finally found a job that could get us far away from here,” said Steve.

“What do you mean?” Emily asked.

“I met some guys who need help with a job they’re doing in the city. If we both go, we’ll get the money once the job is done” Steve said with confidence.

Emily hesitated for a moment, then agreed.
Within the next few days, Emily managed to show up to work on time. Without having gotten any further detail about the job from Steve, she continuously wondered what she was about to get herself into.
As soon as Emily got home, her phone rang. She answered, already knowing it was Steve.

“Hey, I’ll be there in 10 minutes so be ready, Em,” said Steve from the other end of the line.

“Sure thing” replied Emily with a shaky voice.

A few minutes later, Steve pulled up in his old truck and got out, slamming the door behind him.

“Listen,” Emily began, “I already don’t have a good feeling about this and no job is worth getting prison time for.”

Steve charged toward Emily and aggressively put his hands on her.

“Look around Em,” Steve said, “you said so yourself you wanted a way out of this place and I found us a way. Do you really wanna be stuck here until you die like the rest this town?”

“No,” Emily finally answered. “I want out more than anything.”

“Alright then, help me load half the stuff into your truck,” Steve demanded.

Emily felt her eyes grow wide as Steve opened the back of his truck, revealing over half a million dollars worth of electronics. Laptops, flat screen TVs, music players, cellphones, and video game consoles were all stacked up in his truck. With shaking hands, Emily loaded half the stolen items into the back of her stolen truck.

“This is the course you’re gonna stay on,” Steve said as he handed Emily a map. “When we deliver, we get our money.” Steve looked into Emily’s eyes and told her, “Remember Em, I’ve never been caught, and if I never have, I’ll make sure you don’t too.”

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