We heard three shots, bang-bang bang, one after another! It was terrifying. The closest I’d ever been to live gunfire was watching my neighbors at their back yard shooting range. This was America, everyone had a gun, but I’d never been in the line of fire. Our driver reversed speedily back to where Larry and Jack were. “Get Down!” he yelled. We didn’t need to be told twice. Janie and I dropped to the floor. The back door of the van opened, and even before it closed again, our tires screeched and we sped down the road. More gunfire. The back window of the van exploded! Janie screamed. A sharp right turn threw us across the floor. Finally, after a few more turns, we stopped.
“I don’t want anyone to move. Stay down!”
The tattooed passenger (I wish I knew his name) got out and disappeared into the darkness. Although I’d been told to stay down, I raised my head slightly and peeped over the back seat. Larry was sprawled on the floor cradling Jack in front of him. He saw the look of alarm on my face and put his finger to his lips. Jack turned his head and looked at me.
Thank God, he’s alive.
He’ll be OK, stay down pet, this isn’t over yet. I think my gran was with me. Car headlights appeared behind us. Filled with adrenalin, I was ready to run. The car pulled along side us. “It’s OK,” Larry whispered, “It’s our boys.”
I moved towards the door, wanting to put all of this behind me. “No, not you, this is for the old man and the other girl,” he said, “We need to split up.”
Janie clung to me “It’s OK go!” I said and pushed her gently towards the door wishing desperately I was going with her.
“What about me?”
“We’re going to get a cab!”
“Dressed like this?” I asked.
“Yes!” We need to be seen.
Larry helped me out of the van and caught me when my legs gave way beneath me.
“Come on, you can do this.”
We walked along the back streets just south of Colfax. It was a cold night and the streets were deserted. I wasn’t familiar with the area and completely lost. Cold and afraid I clung to Larry’s arm.
“What if they come after us?”
“Don’t think about it. Pretend it never happened.”
I looked at him with tears streaming down my face, “And what about Janie, do you think they’ll just let her go?”
“OK dry your eyes we’re almost there. It would help if you acted like a hooker!”
I looked down at my short skirt and ridiculous shoes. I certainly looked the part.
We reached a major intersection. It was Colorado Boulevard and Colfax. A line of taxis parked by the curb outside a club.
Several police cars and an ambulance raced past us, sirens blaring. They turned left onto Colfax. I knew where they were headed.
Larry helped me into a cab.
“Where to?” The driver asked.
“Can you recommend a cheap hotel near here?” Larry asked, “I’m from out-of-town.”
I saw the expression on the drivers face as he looked at me in the mirror.
Dear Lord, I hope I never see him again.
I glared at Larry. He was enjoying this way too much!
“I know just the place.”