by John Vandenbrock

With the barrel of the gun pointed at him the little voice in my head chimes in; the past always comes back to haunt you, it reminds me.

No shit, I think to myself.

There is a "man" lying on the pavement in front of me withering in pain. he looks scared as hell and honestly I can't say I blame him. Things haven't turned out exactly like he has planned. If I went to beat the shit out of someone with two of my friends and got my ass kicked, I'd be scared too.

"All of this because you can't let something go" I yell at him. "It's because of your stupid pride and you are here, just let it go!!!"

The "man" continues to groan in pain. I faintly hear him say "you broke my arm" and more whining. His friends were a lot more quite. Then again they were unconscious at the moment; they will feel their pain when they wake up.

"I was the one who lost 9 months of my life" I continued "You got nothing but a slap on the wrist, after your daddy came to your rescue. Apparently trying to kill someone, doesn't get you in as much trouble as it used to!" I yell.

I can feel myself getting more and more pissed off. I need to take control of the situation and calm down. This is not how I want this to go; hell this wasn't even how I wanted my night to turn out. I've been working at JJ's Billiards for the summer and all I wanted was to show up, work my shift and go home. However it seems my past has other plans.

Things started out like a normal day. I woke up at 7 this morning went for my run, worked out, had some breakfast and went to the beach. You would never think it, but Delaware has some nice beaches, and I take advantage of these beaches every chance I get. I'm not here by choice but, by happenstance. Florida is where I call home, but I have family that lives here and Delaware. It seems that I am starting to earn a reputation of having a bad attitude and being a trouble maker. So after the last incident, which wasn't even my fault; I needed a place to get away. It's been two years now.

Two years since I was stabbed by the piece of shit groveling in front of me; begging me not to kill him. It's funny how things change.

Though it's tempting to kill him, I know I won't. I refuse to let this asshole take anymore of my life.

I focus back on the scene before me. The groveler is lying on his back, holding his broken right arm across his chest. I look closer and can see were his arm is bent at an unnatural angle. His face and the front of his shirt are covered in blood from a broken nose and a split lip that is still bleeding. His two accomplices are also bleeding from various places, but still are quite.

I can hear the sirens approaching fast and I know I have a choice to make. So I lower the gun slowly and toss it behind me. The asshole knows I am not going to shot him.

A smile slowly starts to spread across his face. "I knew you weren't going to shot, you don't have the balls you fuckin pussy! You're nothing but a little bitch!"

Laugher erupts from his lips as he sits up. He is still laughing as he gets on his knees and tries to use his good arm to stand up. I can see he is starting to feel confident; thinking that he has somehow gained the upper hand.

As he is bent over I rush towards him covering the gap between is in two strides. He sees that I am moving towards him and looks up just as my right knee connects with his jaw.

I feel my knee connect with his jaw; I hear his jaw snap shut with a sickening clap. As I look down I see his limp body fall to the pavement. Now there are 3 bodies laying parking lot of and it is oddly quiet. Well it would be quite if you can ignore the wail of police sirens.

I can start to see flashing red and blue lights from the police cars now. "And here come the Po Po" I mumble. So I walk back to the sidewalk in front of the pool hall and raise my hands above my head. I'm not taking any chances

Two black and white police cars speed into the parking lot, lights flashing, sirens blaring and tires squealing as cars slide to a stop.

"Ah Bethany Beaches finest" I say to know one in particular.

As the cars come to a stop the passengers both jump out guns drawn pointing in my direction. "HANDS UP ASSHOLE!!!" they yell in unison.

I look at them. The one closest to me is tall and stocky but looks young, no older than twenty. Only a couple of years older than me, I think to myself. The second officer that got out of the other car was older, shorter and rounder. He had the hair cut of a Marine and a face that was beet red.

"Hands up" repeated the young one

I look up at my hands that are already raised and I look back at them "This is going to be a really long night if you guys keep stating obvious things" I yell back.

"Keep your hands up"

"Shut up"

"Walk towards us slowly" they alternate commands

I start to walk towards them slowly, hands above my head. I open my mouth "I can expl...."

"KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!" yells the round one.

"What are you doing here?" asks the tall one.

I stop walking and cock my head to the side "Which one is it going to be, shut up or explain what I am doing. I can't do both."

"KEEP WALING DICKHEAD!" yells the round one.

"Yeah keep walking" glad to see they are both on track now.

As I get closer to the first police car, the round one moves towards me holstering his weapon "Keep an eye on him" he tells the younger one.

"I've got him" he replies.

As the fat one closes in on me he removes his cuffs and tells me to turn around and place my hands on my head. As I do this I feel him grab the back of my shirt and push me towards the front of the car. As we approach the hood, tons of fun slams he against the hood; pining my face to the front of the car.

"What the hell dude" I scream

"My name is Sgt. Monroe, not dude"

"Well whatever your name is chub-a-licious, easy with the head, or do you like beating up people prettier than you?" Yeah, no, I don't have a bad attitude at all.

"Keep quiet" the younger one tells me.

"I would love to, but thunder britches here seems to think I am a human punching bag, and while that may seem like a good time to you. My body has other opinions"

"Make fun of my weight one more time and I'll show you what real pain is"

I turn my head back and look at the cop holding me. I can taste the blood from my top lip, when my head was slammed on the hood. I smile my best smile and ask "Are you flirting with me?" This earned me a punch to the small of my back.

"I bet you think you are so smart don't you. Well lets see how smart you are with my foot up your as...."

"Knock it off Sarge" replies the young one "Here comes the Captain"

I look towards the entrance of the parking lot. An unmarked police car pulls in and stops behind the police car I am leaned over. I can see Captain Marc "Gonzo" Gonzalez sitting behind the wheel of his car and he does not look happy. As he steps out of his car I can see that he is dressed in a black suit and tie.

"Well hello Cap. I hope I haven't interrupted your evening. I was just trying to explain to these fine officers what had happened here when...."

"Shup up Mike" He calmly tells me.

He looks to the officer holding me "Sgt. Monroe, have you read the suspect his rights?" he ask.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa" I protest "My rights? I haven't done a damn thing wrong. These little bastards..."

"Shut up Mike"

"...are the ones who..."

"Shut up Mike"

"....started shit with me. All did wa...."

"SHUT UP MIKE!" the Captain yelled as he turned towards me. There wasn't anger in his voice, but he had to get loud just to get my attention.

He turned back to the officers and repeated his question. "Have you read him his rights yet?"

"No sir." Replied Sgt. Monroe

"We just put the suspect in cuffs sir." the younger one tried to explain.

"Thank you Officer James. Now can anyone tell me whats going on here?" ask the captain.

Sgt. Monroe spoke first "Well sir. Officer James and I were at the 7-11 down the street when a call came in that there was a fight in progress at JJ's Billiards. So we responded and when we pulled in the parking lot we saw the suspect here kicking the victim in the face"

What the hell is going on? I'm the suspect and the piece of shit is the victim. I don't think so. The anger is building up again when Monroe keeps talking.

"When James and I got out of the vehicle, we advised the suspect to place his hands on his head walk towards us. The suspect was being very uncooperative and had to be physically restrained and that is when you arrived, sir."

My anger had now finally boiled over and just as was about to open my mouth to speak. The captain looked towards me and started to read me my rights. "Michael O'Connor, you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to talk to a lawyer and have him present with you while you are being questioned. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer one will be appointed to represent you before any questioning. You can decide at anytime to exercise these rights and not answer any questions or make any statements. Do you understand these rights I have explained to you?"

Tight lipped I answered "Yes"

Place the suspect in the back of my car the Captain instructed office Jones

Wait? What the hell is going on I demand

The Captain just look at me, tells me to be quite and to get in the back of his car.

I am escorted to the back of the Captains car by the young officer and I get in quietly. I watch the officer walk back to the Captain and Sgt. Chubby. The Captain and the Sgt seem to be having a heated discussion about something. The Sgt seems to be getting angrier by the moment. His face is turning red and he keeps pointing at in my direction.

By this time an ambulance has arrived and the EMTs are checking on the three unconscious people. Now the fire department and two other ambulances have arrived.

This is starting to look like a crime scene from an episode of Cops. I think to myself. One of the EMTs comes over and talks to the Captain. He is looking at me the whole time the paramedic is talking to him. When the EMT is done the Captain slowly shakes his head and starts to head in my direction. He gets in the drivers seat and doesnt say a word. He just stares out the windshield at the scene before him.

The silence is killing me and I feel like I need to say something to break this unbearable silence. I gather my thought and start to speak, but before I can the Captain breaks the silence first.

Do you understand what you have done here tonight he asks softly.

It is more of a statement and less of a question.

He continues Why does it feel like whenever something goes on in this town you and those idiots are in the center of it.

This wasnt even my fault. All I was doing was defending myself. I didnt realize that was a crime now a days. I respond

He turns to look at me Defending yourself? Is that what you call it? Do you know what the paramedic told me? he asks.

Before I could answer he continues on. Let me tell what they told me. We two guys who appear to have been knocked out, both suffering from broken noses and it appears one of them has a shattered knee.

This brought a little smile to face.

Oh, so this is funny to you. The guy you kneed in the face. It looks like he might need surgery. His jaw and nose are both broken; not to mention his arm is broken as well! The Captain yells.

At this time I could hold it in no longer, and I just started laughing.

Broken jaw there put me in a coma for 9 months. Do you think I care he might to have surgery. Hes lucky I didnt kill him. I spit back.

The Captain turns to look at and looks me right in the eyes. Thats what worries me he says solemnly.

You need to get your life under control, before you end up some you dont want to be and someone you dont recognize.

I can see the hurt in his eyes as he turns back around and starts the car, puts in drive and pulls out of parking lot.

Where are we going I ask.

I taking you back to the precinct and putting you in a holding cell for the night until we straighten this situation out. He replies. While you are in there I want you to think long and hard about your life and where you want to go with it.

I have heard this speech before. So I say nothing as I stare out the window.

Also I want you to think about the possibility of joining military. You could use the discipline. I know it help me what I was your age. He tells me.

This was something new. The Captain has never mentioned this before.

I turn away from the window and look at the Captain. Ill think about it Dad.

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