The Loudest Silence

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My knees bounced back and forth insistently as I nervously chewed on my nail. The vacant street we were parked in was silent, void of cars and civilians. The moon hung high in the sky shedding bright light into dark night as the wind loudly howled.

Placing one of my hands on the steering wheel in front of me, I leaned forward as an attempt to see down the narrow alleyway. The shadow of five silhouettes could barely be seen as I examined the secluded area for any prying eyes.

The sudden sound of rapid footsteps approaching the vehicle I was seated in alarmed me as I quickly pulled my dark hat down to conceal my face. Leaning back against the seat, I slowly slid down as an attempt to blend in with the dark seat covers.

The sound of the passenger door opening greeted me as I turned to see who had entered. My wide eyes met Roman’s dark eyes as he slid into the passenger seat. He was dressed in a black sweatshirt and dark jeans with the hood over his head. He paid me a small glance as he shut the door before he silently turned and stared out the window.

I stayed silent and looked away as I pondered the reason as to why he had joined me in the car. Rick had asked him the join him outside, yet here he sat, staring into the dark night.

Unwilling to strike up a conversation with the brooding man, I fiddled with my fingers as I awaited the end to this unnerving night.

“They’re going to die tonight.” His deep voice muttered into the silence.

I turned to face him, however he was still facing away from me.

“What?” I asked as I pulled the sleeves of my dark hoodie down to cover my cold hands.

I heard him release a sigh before he turned to face me. His dark eyes studied my face for a few seconds before he pulled down his hood and stared at me.

“Those men that they’re meeting with tonight, they are going to die.” He spoke, spacing each word as if I were a five year old child that didn’t have the ability to understand what he was saying.

Clenching my the material of my jacket, I pushed a stray strand of hair away from my face before looking up at him once again.

Staring into his eyes, I responded. “It’s nothing I haven’t seen before.”

I was lying.

I hadn’t seen anyone die, despite the many violent interactions I had witnessed on many trips like this. However, Roman’s condescending tone was enough to make me spew a lie as an attempt to prove that I wasn’t oblivious.

His eyes bore into mine as he examined my face with deep concentration before furrowing his eyebrows at me. I stared back into his eyes for a brief moment before turning away from him and his deep stare that made me uncomfortable.

Looking straight ahead, I watched as Rick and a few men stood conversing amongst one another. Although it was dark inside the ratty car, and I could barely see Roman, I could still feel his burning stare on me. For some reason, he seemed to have something against me. Regardless of whether it was the fact that Rick hated me, or that he was given the responsibility of watching over me, it was clear that he did not like me.

Leaning back against my seat once again, I paid a glance to the digital clock on the dash board that read 11:48 p.m.

Rick had been waiting outside my dorm building around 10 pm with the instructions to dress as I normally did when he would bring me along to his ‘jobs’.

As soon as we would arrive to the location where Rick would meet with his customers and companions, the responsibility of handling the car to drive away was passed over to me.

As much as I hated being an accomplice to his crimes, I was given no choice. He would only end up furious upon hearing my protests and end up punishing me.

Due to those reasons, I was left silenced, and forced to be an accessory to his crimes.

Rick was a drug dealer.

A massive one at that.

He was the person behind every shipment and exchange.

The eyes and ear behind every interaction that involved his little business.

As his get-away driver, I needed to speed off within seconds him entering the car before the police would be called, or in some cases, before the scene became increasingly violent on both ends.

I tapped the steering wheel and stared out the window to pass time before the sound of yelling reached my ears. Looking ahead in the alleyway, Roman’s words flashed in my mind as I watched the two men that had arrived earlier begin to get pushed around by Rick and his men.

Despite their attempts to fight back, both men soon were shoved to the ground. I watched in horror as one of the men standing over the man that laid on the floor pulled out a knife and swiftly plunged it into his chest. His agonizing screams resounded into the silent night as I sat up in my seat.

My hair whipped across my face as I quickly turned to look at Roman who was studying the scene with an impassive face.

“They aren’t actually going to kill them right?” I questioned in panic as I watched the knife sear into the chest of the other man on the floor. Roman paid a slight side glance before pushing his hood back over his head.

“They owe Rick over one thousand dollars.” Roman briefly responded as my eyes widened.

Although Rick’s exchanges had gotten violent in the past, his men would simply threaten the recipients and slightly hurt them before leaving them to tend to whatever wounds they had acquired. Never had I seen them actually pull a weapon on anyone and proceed to use it.

I once again looked over at the alleyway and watched as Rick smugly stood to the side regarding the whole scene without a single sign of remorse on his face.

“You don’t try to double cross a person like Rick and expect to leave unscathed. He will always find out and get his revenge, no matter what.” Roman said quietly. My response died in my mouth as I watched Rick and his men rush over towards the car.

As soon as the men had piled in, I revved the engine before speeding off. Loud voices filled the car as the rowdy men scrambled to discard any evidence and blood that had stained their hands.

Restraining myself from displaying disgust at their actions, I silently drove off into the dark night with Roman’s words echoing in my mind.

This was my life.

And I would never find an escape.

Rick would always find out and deliver his revenge.

No matter the cost.

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