Chocolate Brownies

Hi! I thought maybe I’d share something long and different with you since I have been absent for a really long time here 🙂 Please tell me what you think.

I clutched the paper on which I had been scribbling notes for my speech tightly in my hand. He was watching me, watching me so intently that it seemed like his bulging eyes may drop out of their sockets any moment. I could feel the heat emanating from his stare and I clutched the paper even harder as if it might put up a shield between him and me.

I placed the paper carefully in my bag and stood up, still aware of the stare that was holding behind me. I held the bag closer to me and pushed the chair closer to the food-grimed white table before I increased my pace and hurried to the other side of the open restaurant overlooking a busy street of the city. I wanted to get out of the place as fast as I could and I took large steps, moving fast before he could catch up to me. I turned around when I was quite a distance from where I had come just to make sure his gaze was not following me.

There was no one where he had sat before and I thought to myself about how I should get over being so paranoid about everything. I was too quick to let that sigh of relief because no sooner than I had turned away, I felt a rapid cold breath close to my neck. I only had time to turn around as the same boy who had been staring at me a few minutes ago had me cornered. I backed into the wall, palms pressed flat against the cold white tiles, still staring at the face that was glowering inches above mine.

His eyes were a bloodshot red but they shined so bright that I couldn’t even tell what it meant. His nose was placed perfectly at the centre of his flawless face and his black hair, uncombed fell to his face in what looked like a largerly overgrown fringe. He wore a red t-shirt and faded blue jeans. His shoes were tarred with mud and dust and where it should have been white, it was brown. I finally looked back at his face and made sure I showed disgust in mine. His lips thinned into a mean smile and all of the fear that I had managed to get rid of came flooding back to me.

Instincts took over me. Even though I knew he was much younger, stronger and better built than me, I attempted to push him out of my way. I pressed my hands onto his chest and pushed him but it didn’t seem to make the slightest difference. He snickered and his smile grew wider. I took aim to his face next and balling my fists, I punched him. If anything happened, it was that my knuckles were searing with pain. I could see his face where I had punched turn the slightest tint of red but he didn’t seem to notice it at all.

For a second I considered screaming. Maybe that would grab someone’s attention, but I knew better. This boy in front of me could be anyone and I had clear instructions not to act impulsively. The seconds ticked by and I could feel my pulse on my temple. I was still afraid but not I was feeling slightly better since he hadn’t made a move yet. Slowly I looked up ay him. He was still standing there exactly the way he had a minute ago, his t-shirt sticking onto his sweaty skin. I couldn’t quite see what that smile meant… but now was not the time to be wondering about it.

“What are you thinking about, ma’am?” He asked.

My heart skipped a beat, maybe even two. He had the sugary voice of a teenager that reminded so much of my son would have been in school the very moment. Everything about this boy was mismatched. His eyes were so red but they still seemed to have some kind of a smile in them. I knew I wasn’t supposed to be admiring the eyes if the person who could at any moment hold a knife to my neck, but he had the eyes I’ve always seen in my son. He possible couldn’t kill me when there were people walking in and out all the time.

“Nice… So you like to keep to yourself? Would you keep your silence even if I keep asking you questions?” He continued as though accusing his best friend in a classroom conversation.

My head was starting to ache now from what I was hearing. It didn’t seem normal for someone to speak to a stranger like that. Why was he so confident, and how could he be sure that I was not some secret agent who knew martial arts or something. That’s when it struck me. This was how I could get him out of my way.

“I work for the C.I.D. Get out of my way before I get you arrested.”

He simply laughed, keeping his hands where they were. Maybe he thought that I couldn’t be working for the criminal investigations department or maybe it was that he did not even fear the C.I.D.

“I know you do,” he said politely and smiled, “but I won’t let you go past me till you cuff me.”

“WHAT?!” I blurted out, surprising myself and him.

He continued to smile as if things were going exactly how he had planned them. He pulled his arms away from the white wall and held them in front of me. I could have run from him now that he no longer blocked my way, but I didn’t. In all of the criminal cases I’ve dealt with, this was a first. His smile unflattered, his face unaffected by emotions, he really was waiting for the manacles. Why? Why was he doing this? And it seemed like he wouldn’t suddenly change his mind and run away either. A handsome young boy who had the looks anyone would want and a brilliant future if he could change a few bits here, and here he was standing before me allowing himself to be arrested.

If I had been someone with a boring job watching this on the television after a tiring day I would have wanted the detective to immediately manacle his hands and take him to the police station, but as I stood before him, every bit of me wanted him to run as fast as he could. But my job did not permit me to give such suggestions to the criminals. My task was to track down and capture the criminals but not to think any further.

I dug into my bag and drew out the handcuffs and tightened them around his outstretched wrists. People walking past were now staring, some not ashamed to gape at us and even point at me to those who hadn’t noticed. This only made me feel worse and didn’t help me with how I felt about the boy. Though some looked surprised, some passers by even gave me disgusted looks as if to say I was making a terrible mistake. I couldn’t blame them for I would gave avoided this if ever I could have.

“Right then,” I said, “wait till I make a call.”

His expressions didn’t falter and now that I wasn’t afraid he’d try to kill me, I even thought that he looked at me longingly… almost as if he could see something in me that he wanted so badly. Before I could think any further I called my station and informed them about what had come my way. When they were done with my identification I precisely explained my location. Until the vehicle would arrive, I had time to speak to the boy. I turned to him and noticed how he still hadn’t turned around.

Before I could speak he did, “This place is my favourite. Have you tried the brownies here? They’re delicious!”

I couldn’t help staring back at him, “But why did you even…”

He cut me short, “they make them while you’re watching. The chocolate chips just melt in your mouth. And they’re warm and chocolaty and wonderful. If you haven’t tried it… Honestly, I realised half the things I’m certain of now after those chocolate brownies. You should seriously…”

“I have,” I said, surprising myself for the second time that day.

“Oh,” he said losing a lot of the enthusiasm his voice had carried previously, “I thought everyone would think the same of it. I think they’re- oh, I guess my ride’s here. ‘Twas nice meeting you! See you!”

He dashed to the car that was parked outside, sirens blaring and I followed after him. I greeted the officer and told him what he needed to know, then I closed the door and turned away quickly before he could see the tears swelling up inside my eyes. All that I could think about was the boy’s smile still etched on my mind like it would never come off.

I headed home right afterwards that day but that smile of the boy who spoke so enthusiastically about chocolate brownies remained in my mind. I thought planning on the speech I had to make the next day might distract me but as I saw my son watching a cricket match on the TV made me think of the boy I had met earlier today. What could he have even done to deserve this?

I couldn’t do anything that day so I gave up practising on my speech hoping my excelled skills in speech making would save the day. I couldn’t fall asleep. All I could think about was the boy. He hadn’;t looked much different from my own son and I couldn’t help but wonder what I would have done if it had been my son instead of that boy standing there with his arms outstretched. Would I have given in so easily? I wondered where the boy’s parents were, probably cursing me for taking him away from them.

The next morning I woke up tired and with a twinge of fear. In all my years the only thing I had always been good at was speaking to audiences and today I feared the same thing. I had to deliver a motivational speech to the incoming inhabitants of the rehabilitation centre and I had no idea how many there were going to be. I had no time to have breakfast so I hurried to the nearest cafe before I caught the bus.

Less than a whole day ago, I had met the boy who had kept me stirring in my sleep in this very cafe. It seemed so unrealistic how he had stretched out his hands before me and asked me to cuff them. I walked up to the counter and the man behind the counter asked me if I wanted the usual. I ordered two chocolate brownies instead and put them into my bag. Knowing I shouldn’t waste anymore time, I caught the bus and arrived just on time.

I headed to where I was told the crowd had gathered. Nervous now, for what it seemed like the entire rehabilitation centre had turned up, I walked to the centre of the stage and looked into the crowd. At the front were the youngest of all alcoholics and drug addicts. A frightened little boy who didn’t seem to be much older than ten, probably abused into it stood next to rude looking teenagers who kept glancing at the girl a few feet away. The girl herself was picking her nails and seemed to be occupied with it. I looked at a few faces up and down the orderly mannered rows before I called them to silence. Now that every face had turned to look at me, I forgot all the words I had written. Some of the older men at the back were laughing aloud and I watched the security quieten them. For a fleeting second I saw something. I couldn’t quite believe it.

Among those wearing white, not beyond the fifth row were the eyes that had haunted me over the night. They were looking at me as if hoping I’d notice. I looked at him as he offered a smile. Sandwiched between two frightening looking older men was the very boy who had cornered me yesterday. I felt my throat burning and I lost all sense of reality I had. Avoiding the boy’s eyes, I tried to speak to the crows but for the first time in my life, words failed me. I felt the silence sink into me and finally when I knew what I had to so I looked directly at the boy once more. I remembered something and dug into my bag and pulled put a paper bag and held it up for them all to see.

“Chocolate Brownies,” I said and without a backward glance I walked away from the boy the boy for the second time. I went straight to the chief and asked for a resignation from my job.  I had a son at home to take care of.

 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. melon03
    Sep 09, 2013 @ 13:12:37

    awesome (y)

    Reply

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