Quietly Waiting

by Clay Cruse

CRASH!

I was startled by the unexpected.

Bound and hidden away, I laid in the dark wondering if that time had finally arrived.

Waiting...Waiting, only deafening silence followed. Will the moment ever come where I will be freed?

Suddenly, a muffled voice, a whimper. The child ran in, looking for safety. Let me help, I wanted to say, but no one could hear me. An eternity of readiness all for that moment and no one was listening.

I told her, "Please let me help!"......"I need you to let me help!"

No one heard me....I guess no one thought there would ever be a need. Had I been forgotten?

Suddenly, I felt frantic hands. The unexpected, almost jarring nature at which I was grabbed was different than those many trial runs that came before. Fumbling and undisciplined, then months of practice took over. Fingers ripped the lock from my body. I was free! With exhilaration, I had to focus. She had to focus.

  "The child is cowering under the blankets, don't you do the same." "You've prepared for this," I told her.

"Don't start to second guess yourself", I commanded. "Hold me tight!"

I wanted to tell her, we're alone in this. Just the two of us... Alone.

Almost imperceptibly, I heard her say, "Why couldn't he be here to help?"

She had to realize that we needed each other. We couldn't do this if we didn't work as a team. Yet, she still doesn't hear me. A cascade of negative thoughts, emotions and anxiety, all pounding in her head.

Fear has a devious way of silencing reason.

In a low shaky voice, she kept repeating, "I don't know what to do?"

Suddenly, the reality of the moment came into focus. Her mind raced. Conviction boiled as her confidence grew. She paused for a few deep breaths and pondered just for a moment.

The disbelief.

The anger.

The audacity!

Her mouth became dry as waves of adrenalin made it hard to swallow. A slight shiver as cold sweat ran down her back.

I felt a light reassuring squeeze. A sort of unconscious assurance that I was there. She whispered to the child. "Hush and don't move," came the words. Soft, yet assertively spoken, they comforted the boy.

Bitter chills of aloneness, the acrid smell of sleep and the unbelievable quiet pulled at her attention.

Self-assured, she reached over and locked the door. This is the place. It will happen here.

I heard her whisper a prayer, but to whom, I'm not sure.

Receding into the dark, exposed only by shallow breaths, she waited.

The door handle jiggled, then stopped. Nervously she said, "Leave us alone!"

"No!" Came an unfamiliar voice from the other side. Terrifyingly followed by, "Let-me-in!"

The piercing words caused her to squeeze me even tighter.

I yelled, "Wait, wait, it wasn't time!"

She can hear a low cry from the child hiding under the blanket but did she hear me? I wondered.

With growing courage, she shouted a resolute, "LEAVE US ALONE!"

Silence....

The door exploded open! Paper like shrapnel filled the air as the man/the animal, broke its way in. Screaming, and cursing, I could hear it all. More than just vial words, there was rage and utter hatred. Brutal determination could be seen in the eyes, as he searched the darkness for his victim.

Straining, I proclaimed: "Use me. Use me now!"

Could she hear me yet?

Filled with depravity, it spewed, "Get on the bed!"

For a moment she paused, thinking. Maybe they wouldn't be hurt if she did as she was told.

"Wait a minute", I demanded. "You have a child! This would never happen to you, if he were home!"

I knew He would be strong enough if he were here. But was she? She had to be! There were no options.

I screeched at her, "DON'T YOU LET THIS HAPPEN!"

Her frightened mind began to clear as she succumbed to the confidence building inside. I believe she finally could hear me!

As she quickly ascertained the reality of that instant, came the obvious. What would the next few moments be like? Do nothing and she knew the inevitable. The line had to be drawn! With both hands, she lifted me up. Gleaming in the moon light, I boasted, "Yes, yes! I'm here....I'm here to help."

For you see, I can't help, if not asked. Until you do, I'm harmless, worthless; an object, a tool.

When you do decide. When you choose to make that ultimate decision, I'll become your most valued possession. In that moment of need, I'll become an extension, an extension of you.

Holding me firm, she squeezed.

As I clicked in preparedness, piercing evil locked in on me. Briefly, in that instant, I looked at him....looked at it and I saw. Deep in those desperate eyes, this was no man, it was a coward. A cold and soulless thing. Taking what it wants, hurting anyone who got in the way. I...She, had had enough.

I ROARED!

My deafening sound filled the room.

Ah, what a release. The light, the heat, the smoke, and her fury fell two hundred pounds of meat in an instant.

I WAS HEARD!

Oddly, I feel sad...maybe even a little guilty. For a moment at least, I believe she does as well. Did we do the right thing? I mean...I helped. I was finally able to help. But the right thing? I don't know. That's the question that seems to always be asked. Was there another option?

A funny thing about options; the only ones you have are the ones you prepare for. The reality of it all is that you can't prepare for everything. This is why I'm here.

In a moment of surprise, I can be your fears, your anguish or your pain. When prepared, I become your strength, your force, even your ally.

Some call me bad, a scourge on society. How can a hunk of engineered metal and plastic "be" or "do" anything?

Who am I? Shackled and now safely put away? Why, I'm her gun.

And she? A protector. A parent. Confident and now a little wiser, she hugs her child with reassurance. Did she gain anything out of this? Yes, I believe so but something personal has been lost as well. There's always a loss when you take.

And what of us? She and I? Forever, an unspoken team. Waiting...

Quietly waiting.

Waiting until...

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