I remember being a little girl…standing there upon a stage. The school stage that we all know about when attending a public school with the thick dingy burgundy curtains…maybe blue. Either way this stage is responsible for many moments of strong failures, fateful wins, and beautiful moments of finally putting yourself out there for people to see you…really see you. Everyone was looking at me in that moment…little, scrawny, nappy headed, unimportant…me. There I was in the talent show, ready to sing my ass off because I swore to my friends, my mother, and my father that I could sound exactly like Whitney Houston. Confidence was sometimes far fetched, but hell if I cared, because I was certainly the one that night. I had on this beautiful navy blue dress that was dripping in sequins. I think there were so many that I could have survived any maze or Hansel and Gretel story because there would be a shining trail leading me back the way that I came. I had made it myself and was so proud that I didn’t care about the faces my family wore when they saw me walk out of that room. The giggle that escaped my bratty little sister’s lips couldn’t deter me from my moment, because it was MINE. The only things I mostly remember…over the laughs, the cheering, the stares….was the announcement of the winner…that was not me.
I was devastated and it was MY first moment of knowing what real failure felt like. Up until this point I was not athletic or really for extroverted enough to get into a lot of clubs. This was my first moment of confidence and putting myself out there to see who I really could be…to go against all odds and just take that leap of faith…come what may. I felt like the universe snatched it from me and gifted it to this ugly ass girl that danced some really provocative dance in barely nothing and won over many others more talented than she.
My eyes watered as the oogling eyes of the judges looked on as she cheered with excitement, breasts bouncing up and down in a black leotard with no tights and took home her trophy and fifty dollar prize. I remember repeating that “it wasn’t fair” at least fifty times on the way home. My mother and father sighed while exchanging awkward looks. ” Well maybe next time honey, it will all work out with more practice.”
They are supposed to say that.
“And I know that you think we’re supposed to say that because we’re you’re parents but we really believe in you and that everything happens for a reason, even situations like this.” They continued smiling and staring ahead as our station wagon made it’s way down the street towards our home with more noise than needed. We were always so happy and I admired my parent’s love and relationship. They were so warm towards each other and in this moment of reminiscing on the past, tears began streaming down my face when I thought of what they could be doing now. I couldn’t even check in on them without compromising myself and my life and that was the hardest part of all of this. What if something happens to them? Or one of them dies? Everything was getting out of hand and I was overthinking everything when I really needed to be putting my plan into motion for the next move off of this ship.
I stood at the railing staring out into the ocean in deep thought when I felt a pair of eyes on me. I knew whom they belonged to and slowly breathed out slow streams of air when he walked up on me looking good as hell in another tailored suit. My mind raced to the moments that passed in my cabin earlier the day before and I clenched my legs together in an attempt to calm the feeling he produced down there whenever he appeared.
“I see you had the same idea as me…came to take in some open ocean air?”
He smirked like he knew he had me. Confident and arrogant at the same time while trying to play this game of making it seem like wanted me to come to him, but of course he knew I wasn’t stupid by a long shot.
“Yeah I guess that you can say that…I would have thought being on this ship was growing a little old on you by now.”
I teased him and looked over the balcony without making eye contact with him while he stood closely to my right.
“I have grown to love cruises, actually. Here we are…in the middle of nowhere. Wide open ocean…no land to be seen for miles and miles. Nowhere to run off to when it gets uncomfortable, it’s made for you to hate or love…it’s perfect and I’m on a mission.”
I swallowed nervously but kept my composure as I listened to the smooth bravado of his voice.
He slowly moved around my frame like a vulture while he continued. Stopping right behind me so that his pelvis was against my back as the bottom of my yellow sundress flew around in the night air. No one was in sight, yet he continued to speak in low tones.
He pressed against me and moved closer to my ear, smelling like the sweetest smell of man that I had ever inhaled. My legs practically trembled and I stared out past the horizon of the ocean, watching the bright orange sun slowly dip down out of sight.
“How long do you figure you have? Weeks?…Maybe months….you think you got a year?”
“For what?” I whispered without moving an inch.
“For this running around. It’s interesting to watch your strategy. At times, it would even take me months to track you…such a rush when I finally did.”
His hand moved up…beneath my sun dress, between my thick thighs in light strokes. My breathing sped up and his other hand swiftly came up and forcefully gripped the back of my neck while he slipped a finger past my panties.
“I am the only thing keeping you alive…and you were going to leave without even telling me goodbye?”
My eyes widened.
“What do you mean I was?-“
“I’m not stupid. We both know that neither of us are. So stop fucking playing with me and let’s just make a deal.”
Every muscle I had tightened in his grip and my legs buckled a little when he pushed his pelvis further into me. I could feel the bulge through his pants…slowly grinding and teasing me while the ocean breeze and mist blew across our faces in the evening light, slightly relieving my flushing demeanor.
“How in the hell do you expect me to trust you?? I am on the run right now, I am the most wanted woman on the run right now! And what do you want? You want me to just be “Bonnie and Clyde” with you traveling the entire planet? For you to get what you want out of me then just give me up for the reward later? You are not about the fuck the common sense out of me and bring down everything that I have worked to hide at this point. I am always living on edge while just being another damn assignment for you!”
My voice began to raise and it made him tighten his grip.
“Quiet down and don’t be stupid.”
An elderly white couple strolled by with bright smiles on their faces because his sadistic ass was smiling right back at them and had let go of the grip he held on the back of my neck, transitioning it into looking as if he was playing in my long hair blowing in the wind and romantically holding me from behind.
“You have a lovely night.” He nodded his head towards them until they walked by and out of sight, continuing his pointless debate with me and trying to make me give in to his plan just like any man would that found a woman like me so interesting just because I’d outsmarted his ass a few times.
He continued in low tones.
“So when you planning on running this time? Where you headed?”
“Wow, you’ve never just straight out asked me. I thought I’d leave you a nice little challenge….”
I turned around and faced him now. He leaned in with the expectation I would kiss him as I moved into his space, then moved close to his ear.
“….just the way that you like.” I whispered then kissed the left side of his cheek and in one swift motion I kneed him in his groin, causing him to double over in pain and wince. I brought my entire elbow down on his head, causing his large frame to crumble to the ground. I grabbed a large bag from behind him and life jacket that sat on the deck.
He attempted to gain his composure and limp towards me, but I sat up on the railing of the ship, smiled, and flipped off backwards, landing into the water with a crash.
I could hear him calling after me and looking as if he wanted to jump in too for a minute but realized he had neither the gear nor the time. I floated in the water until the ship was completely out of sight and it was just me and all of the stars in the sky. I breathed slowly and remained calm, slowly wading water and pushing through.
The bag I grabbed possessed only my essentials. I eyed my watch as I floated on the large duffel bag and just in time, five minutes later, I breathed out a sigh of relief as a small fishing boat with one bright light on the side approached and lowered a small ladder for me.
I quickly grabbed it and tossed my bag on deck, shivering and breathing through several sighs of relief.
“Got yourself into a bit of trouble, huh?”
I shook the ocean water from my hair and let out a sigh.
“I guess you can say that. Thanks for deciding to meet me.”
“Hey, I honestly can’t stand the guy and I’ve been out of the game a long time. You have nothing to worry about because the person I can’t stand more than Vincent is that stupid ass president that started all of this bullshit in the first place!”
I let out a light chuckle and shook my head. His southern accent was strong and made me a bit nervous, but he seemed harmless so far. He hovered over me with a cigarette in the side of his mouth, blowing out puffs of smoke and looking me over in amazement that I’d escaped.
Apparently Vincent wasn’t that smooth and dropped some type of book that had names in it before he left me flushed and horny inside of my cabin. My mind went back to me taking it from between the covers and eyeing it’s pages in fascination. The names included were some of the most infamous criminals and gangsters around the world and shocking jobs he’d completed for politicians and celebrities that no one would have ever known. I knew I had to get off of that ship some kind of way and what a better way to contact one of his known enemies just for them to have a rush and something over his head. To know that anything slipped through his fingers unknowingly enraged him and I knew what I’d just done was created the ultimate monster. And I finally got the leverage I needed over his supposed “mission” with his little book providing all the information needed.
Hank Greisman was a retired assassin that never stayed home and never sat still, so when I contacted him and cautiously let him know what was going on and what was in it for him, he promised it would only take him until the following evening to find a jet and a boat to reach me and help plan the perfect escape. I realized I had found my first ally from a known enemy.
“Well we can’t sit out here for too long. No use in freezing to death.” He tossed me an extremely thick blanket.
“Thanks…I know it’s a little too late to be asking this…but how do I know that I can really trust you?” I clutched the blanket around my body and eyed him suspiciously.
He chuckled. “Well, I can tell you’re certainly new to this young lady, because this is the worst time to be asking something like that.”
He flipped his wrist and displayed the scar showing he was “chipless” and had been a while judging by its history.
I smiled. “Not new. Guess you can call it desperate.” I replied with a shrug.
“And the fact that Vincent has not killed you tells me all that I need to know as far as reasoning. You’re a pretty little thing, I can tell you’re smart as a whip. Stop asking questions you already know the answer to and that you don’t want to know the answer to. Now pick up that thermos of coffee there, sit down and enjoy the ride.”
Without another word, he moved towards the front of the boat, grabbed the wheel and revved the engine. I slowly took a seat in the back and snuggled into the blanket. We took off into the night, beneath the stars in the amazing feeling of victory. Inside of my head I could see the little girl that thought losing would be her entire life…the one that stood with a look of disappointment in a homemade blue sequined dress she loved so much. I knew at that moment nobody could take the bursting adrenaline coursing through my body. That feeling of winning a battle in order to take over the entire victory.
I sipped the thermos of coffee in calm and peaceful thoughts as I looked out over the ocean…unsure of what direction I could be heading next….
“Hey, hey little lady, rise and shine.”
I squinted as the sun beamed down into my face, reflecting off of the waves of the ocean water. Hank could have easily killed me in my sleep or thrown me overboard, but here I was.
“Would you like a little chow? It’s not much.”
I looked over and saw that he’d caught some fish or either already had them but they smelled pretty damn good to me.
I was starving and dug in like I hadn’t eaten in weeks. I felt drained by the sun and just wanted to lie back down but there was too much adrenaline rushing through my veins now that I was up and now that I had to keep an eye on Hank.
“I’ve done ya a great favor and need you to listen up carefully, you hear me?”
I quickly stared up at him in mid-chew.
What was this about?
“I have another friend that owes me a favor, he’s about to drop in any minute. His name is Taylor and he’s a great guy, pretty harmless and sure does believe in everything that you’re out here doing too. Also chipless” He added.
I perked up and cracked a confident smile.
“Seriously? That’s…um…thank you.”
I kept chewing then slowly looked up at him again.
He kept his back to me.
“It isn’t easy being all alone because you’re not a follower, ain’t it?”
I smiled and nodded my head in agreement and reminisced.
“Yeah…I can still remember the day that asshole came on the news and announced it. I was in disbelief then and even more now that they’ve actually gone through with it. They own everyone now and it’s like they can’t even see it. American’s have become property right beneath each other’s noses…”
“Well, I guess we both had the balls-” He looked at me and cleared his throat. “And the vagina to not become anybody’s damn property.”
He gave me a fist bump and continued to steer after taking a long swig from a silver flask. I eyed my watch and saw that it was about 8 a.m.
Early starter, I see.
Suddenly I could hear a low humming noise that sounded like something chopping through air.
Hank smiled and looked to the sky.
“Taylor’s here.” He stated with a smile.
My eyes widened when I realized that Taylor was hovering over us in a large helicopter and quickly flipped out a ladder over the boat.
“Well little lady, I guess this is where we part ways. I honestly don’t want you to, but should you ever find yourself in a bind with that asshole again then give me a holler.”
He handed me a small sheet of paper with a phone number. I looked it over for five seconds, balled it and swallowed it. I left no traces and I didn’t have a dumb ass book with everyone’s phone number inside of it to contact me for anything. It was memorized.
He smirked and gave me a fist bump.
“Be safe little lady.”
He delicately lifted me into the air to reach the ladder and handed me my duffel bag before zooming off the way that he came. I had so many more questions. Did he have a home or does he just live off the ocean all day just below Africa? This was getting more and more strange ever since the murder of my fiance and the capture of my client.
Once pulled up I looked in the face of a tall and handsome Hispanic man that eyed me over in admiration and looked as if he was honored just to be in my presence.
“Ah….here she is. My goodness, you’re so small. Not tough looking at all.”
“Well I’m a doctor so…nothing’s ever been tough about me.” I timidly sat down.
“Well hold on tight. I’ll get you to a place where nobody should ever be able to find you!”
I smiled and settled into the seats as I pulled the headphones on my head.
“That would be great, Taylor.” I shot him a warm smile. “Thank you so much.”
“Ayyyye, it’s no problem. I’m with you. Nobody was about to put shit in my body!”
He laughed as he zoomed off over the ocean and I looked down and out past the horizon. I felt more calm and at peace that I ever had since this all began and before I knew it I’d drifted into another deep sleep…