“This is so messed up” Chris said. “I’m waiting out here.”
I took a few breaths and walked through the living room to where I could hear the muffled crying. It was getting louder and sounded like it was coming from a door on the other side of the dining room. Perhaps that lead into the master bedroom. I heard her scream, “Just stop, please.”
I walked quietly through the dining room, squeezing past the old wooden table that was to big for the small space. Everything was brown in this house. I walked to what I presumed was a bedroom door and I could hear her crying behind it. I thought for a second that I could still turn around and just go home. Then I opened the door and walked in. There was her dad sitting on a large bed, still in only his boxers. She was crouched in the corner of the room covering her head and crying. It was the worst thing I had ever, seen, well, for a really long time. He turned and looked at me. I saw a flicker of surprise through his bloodshot eyes.
“I thought you would be long gone by now, boy” he said. “I left the bathroom door and the front door unlocked,” he said, as if he were going through a check list in his mind. “But I guess you were having so much fun you decided to stay.”
“I’m not leaving without Rissa” I said. She uncovered her head and looked at me in shock. Her eyes wide and watering, strands of her wavy hair sticking to her wet face. “Just leave, Jake!” she shouted. “You’ve done enough already!”
I didn’t know what to do. I hadn’t imagined she wouldn’t want to leave. I suddenly felt like an idiot and that I was making a mistake. But I have always been dead-on in sticky situations, I just had to remember that.
“You heard the girl” he said. “Get the hell out before I get that gun I bought in Macon.”
I took the gun out of my pocket and pointed it at him, “You mean this one?” I said.
He only looked phased for half-a-second, then he growled, “No, that ain’t it. That ain’t even loaded,” his eye twitching oddly. I wondered if his eye was going nuts because he was angry or because he was scared. He didn’t move though, so I didn’t either.
“Rissa” I said. “Get up and go get in my truck.” she sat there. “DO IT!” I hollered at her. She got up slowly and her dad said. “You sit back..”
I cut him off “I know how to use this!” he stopped. Then he looked at her and nodded. She slowly walked past us. I saw that her eye was as black and blue as mine was, with blood smudged on edge of her lip and I felt sick but relieved. I was doing the right thing. I dug my hand into my pocket and tossed her the keys. I saw her smile a little and put them in her pocket. Then she said, “It is loaded, dad.” as she walked out. Holy shit this was her gun. I stood there pointing it at him, my arm shaking. He cut his eyes at me and said, “Are you really going to kidnap my 17-year-old daughter? Do you think that the cops ain’t going to be on your heels in a matter of minutes, fool?”
“When they see her face and she tells them her daddy did that to her, they aren’t going to be concerned with me.” But I hadn’t thought about that. Was I kidnapping her?
“Look at you all brave behind that gun” he said smiling with horrifying confidence. Then he got up and started to walk towards me. “Sit down asshole” I yelled at him.
He walked past me and shut the door. “Give me the gun” he said walking towards me.
“I don’t want to shoot you!”
“You are starting to seriously piss me…”
I threw the gun at the other side of the room and we both jumped with the loud bang as it hit the floor. I tried to run past him to get to the door but he grabbed me and threw me against the wall next to the door. He pressed his arm into my neck and cut off my air. “You had the chance to get out of here but you didn’t take it. Not so smart college boy”. He had the breath of my uncle Jimmy, Maker’s Mark and bile. I struggled for oxygen and he let go for a second and I gasped in air, wheezing through my half crushed windpipe. Then he shoved his arm back in and cut me off again. I pulled with all my strength, panicking that I couldn’t breathe, but he wasn’t budging. “You’re not getting off so easy this time,” he hissed, his bloodshot eyes close to mine. “If I crush your neck I will be a hero for stopping the intruder with my bare hands. Not as messy as a damn bullet neither,” he gasped breathlessly into my face.
I realized this really was his plan. Ignoring the pain in my ribs, I used every bit of strength I had to knee him in the belly then heave his arm from my neck. I used his weight to swing him around with his arm tweaked behind his back, and slammed him so hard into the wall so that his head hit and ricochet off. Suddenly Chris showed up and I was so surprised I let up on my pressure and Rissa’s dad threw himself backwards knocking me on to the bed. I saw Chris going for him but her dad just picked up a baseball bat from next to the bed and nailed Chris in the stomach. Chris was on the floor and next thing I know the old man scrambled past us both to the other side of the room.
I realized what he was going for and tried to chase him down. But we tripped over each other and crashed to the floor. He was an inch closer to the gun and grabbed it then put the cold barrel against my forehead, grasping the handle with two hands. I was so manhandled I had nothing left in me. And now as I lay here at this lunatic’s mercy, I knew I had done everything I thought I needed to do about everything. I had no regrets, all I could do was wait.