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One Step (standard:drama, 1773 words)
Author: Nathan KAdded: Nov 22 2000Views/Reads: 2638/1492Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
The hardest job two ex-robbers had ever done. One step to happiness.

We just sat there in the car. Harry was in the passenger's seat. I had
done the driving.  I didn't know what to say. This was hard for both of 
us, especially Harry. I met Harry when we were in prison together. We 
were both in for robbery. That is where we became friends. I often 
wonder to myself if we would have been friends under different 
circumstances. I mean, I spent every day for two years with this guy, 
it would have been harder not to have been friends. It had been a long 
time since either of us had done anything like this, we had both been 
out for ten years. 

Harry was just staring forward, not saying anything. I just wanted to
know whether he still wanted to go through with it. "You ok Harry?" I 
said. "Yeah fine, I just want to think about this for a few minutes 
ok?". I didn't think he was going to go through with it. He needed 
this, he really did. I was at the stage where I needed it too. We had 
driven such a long way. I was also conscious of the way we looked. Two 
fully grown guys sat in the front of a parked car with the engine off. 
I knew how bad it looked. We had both been here before, not with each 
other, but we had both got used to trying not to look guilty, not to 
arise suspicion in people who are passing by. However this time I 
didn't care as much as I used to, this was different. I didn't want to 
look at him. I knew he was in deep thought. 

The road we were sat on was lined with trees. The leaves were
continuously falling, taking my focus.  The dull cloud shaded sun shone 
through the trees which projected lined patterns onto Harry's 
emotionless face. We had been there an hour and I had not noticed a 
single car drive up the street, not that there hadn't been any, I just 
hadn't noticed them. I knew there was two ways the next hour could go. 
It would work, or it wouldn't. Harry still didn't say anything. I felt 
like I needed to find out what he was thinking. " Listen Harry, perhaps 
it's just best if we get this over with, come on, we've talked about 
this, we knew you would be nervous, especially after all these years" I 
said, trying to sound caring. Harry took a deep breath and replied " I 
just can't bring myself to do this, what if it goes wrong? I will have 
to live with it. I thought about how this would feel all the time when 
we were inside, wondering if I'd be able to go back." 

It started to rain. The sound it made on the roof of the car masked the
silence. However this silence was louder than the rain could ever be. I 
really wanted him to make the first move.  The car was getting humid. 
The windows were beginning to stream up. I felt trapped in the car. The 
rain made this worse. It meant that I couldn't stand outside.  Even 
though I didn't want to, I hated being constricted like that. I knew 
with every minute that passed Harry was getting further away. " I'm 
going to do it" said Harry, " I'm going to do it now, this is it, there 
is no point in coming all this way and not going through with it.  Do 
you promise you'll be here when I get back?" . There was no way in the 
world that I wouldn't wait for him, no matter how long it took. 

Harry hadn't seen his mother for 35 years. Here he was parked outside
her house. A short walk up the cobbled path to her house and he would 
be where he had wanted to be since he was 15. I can't imagine being 
without a mother for that long. I couldn't imagine being without a 
mother at all. I knew how hard this must have been though. Harry was 
put into care when he was 15. He lived there until he was 18. From 
there on he has lived most of his life in prison, not staying out for 
more than a few months at a time. That's why I wanted him to do this 
now. No-one ever knew how long until he next went in. If anything could 
change him though, this could. When we were inside I always imagined 
that meeting his mother would make him go straight. " Good luck Harry, 
you'll see, she'll be so happy when she sees you." Harry hadn't 
contacted her before because he was afraid that she would be ashamed of 
him. There was one thing that had been bothering me since Harry 
suggested us coming here. Why had Harry's mother never tried to contact 
him? I liked to think that she had been trying. Of course, Harry's way 
of life meant that he tended to live in the shadows. I imagine to do as 
many jobs as he had done you have to be unknown to society, which would 
have made it hard for his mother to ever trace him. That's what I 
always hoped anyway. 

"Right, I'm going now, see you in a bit" said Harry. I put my hand on
his shoulder and said " See you soon". This wasn't a way we had ever 
been with each other. If  we had showed compassion in prison we would 
have had a lot of trouble.  I felt like I could show him compassion 

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