I wasn’t sure how this was going to work out. It sounded like such a good plan when we’d laid it all out. On paper. In the safety of our hotel room three hours earlier. Now it didn’t seem so easy. Not that we had any chance to back out. We had committed. We had to follow through, or else pay the consequences.
Charles had thought of this plan back when we were in Tucson, three months earlier. We had been working on this hotel, construction. The three of us had been doing odd jobs for the past several years, ever since the incident. Nothing more than a few months at a time. Trying to stay ahead. This was supposed to put us over the top, but you never know. Sometimes things have a way of backfiring, and ending up not quite like you’d expected. But then again, sometimes everything goes perfectly, and you end up coming up much better than your wildest dreams.
That had only happened once before. About halfway through, I thought that everything was going to go quickly to hell, but suddenly everything turned around, and all the pieces magically fell into place. It was perfect. The most beautiful thing you could ever imagine, unfolding right before your eyes. Something like that can spoil you, if it happens to early. It’s like you get a taste of perfection, and you spend the rest of your life chasing after something that only has a probability of happening once every three or four lifetimes. Only they don’t tell you that until it’s too late.
Something told me that this was one of those times.
You never know. Even when it’s too late, even when it’s obvious you should just cut and run, people tend to ignore the obvious and hold out for a miracle. I’ll never forget how it went down that one time before. We had been planning it for about six months, everything was detailed out, every last angle was sketched out, and planned for, and rehearsed. Every contingency was brought up, acted out, role played to death. Everything.
Then that kid showed up when he did.
I mean, what the hell are you supposed to do when that happens, just ignore it? You can’t do that. I mean there he is, right in the middle of everything, you can’t just not pay attention to something like that. So we hesitated, and tried to blend him into our plan, to make sure everything turned out ok. At first it looked like we might have a chance, a real shot at success.
But then they showed up. Like they were expecting us, almost as if somebody had tipped them off. But that was impossible, wasn’t it? We’d been so careful. Maybe the kid had something to do with it.
Then all hell broke loose. People screaming, alarms going off, tires screeching, everything you didn’t want to happen, happened. And just when we thought we were done for, that guy just showed up out of nowhere, with a solution so obvious, yet so outstandingly bold, we jumped at the chance. The kid and everything. And before you knew it, we were in the clear. Everything was just clicking, like it was all planned out.
Only it wasn’t planned out. We were just making it up as we went along. And the funny thing was, it was working out much better than our best plan. There we were, with this total and complete stranger, why he was helping us I still don’t know, and we were completely making things up as we went along, and it was going better than our best laid plans.
Nothing was ever so easy after that.
Every other job since then was never as perfect as that one time. We tried everything, but you just can’t plan for things like that. Sometimes we planned as much as we did that one time, other times we relied on chance, but never did we have such an easy follow through as when that guy showed up.
And we never even figured out his name, or where he was from, or anything.
Just as quickly as he showed up, he was gone. No advice, no words of wisdom. He only lent a hand, and then split.
So there we were, things looking like they might collapse at any second, but not nearly as worse as they’d been before. So we kept pushing, and hoping.
But not praying. Never praying.
That was the one thing that we were forbidden to do. Not that we argued. It seemed a good enough reason when the edict had been handed down. We’d readily agreed, given our options. Sure, sometimes, some of us secretly wished we’d never struck that bargain, but we held fast to our agreement.
It was almost time to make the move. I checked, made eye contact with the other two that were within sight, and they both checked the two they could see. We all gave each other the signal. It was time to move.
Now or never.
We burst through, with as much hope and force as we could muster, given the circumstances.
We had no idea what was waiting for us on the other side…
To be continuedâ€¦.
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