The deputy prosecutor’s voice droned like a minister giving a sermon. It didn’t penetrate Robert’s consciousness; he had heard this speech before. Robert stared at the dust particles in the beam of sunshine through the tall courthouse window and wondered why he called 911 when he saw the man grab the girl and force her into the car. In New York City stuff like that happened every day, he justified.
Robert rarely went out of his way for other people. Maybe the kid reminded him of Lucy, his daughter. The District Attorney said she would have been killed or worse. He wondered how different the last year would have been had he turned away from the window and gone about his own business.
Robert Wilson witnessed an act of revenge by the mob when he looked out his window while drinking his morning coffee. Six blocks from Robert’s apartment, the stupid thug ran into the back of a police car. The accident buckled the driver’s door and the cop realized this was his lucky day. He rescued the girl and got a special commendation just because he had been in the right place at the right time. The description of the girl was good and the terrified look on her face was a giveaway. It was a case of a kidnapping foiled and a happy conclusion for everybody but Robert.
The kidnapping was revenge for a mob killing. The mob boss ordered it personally and all the evidence pointed directly to him. The thug turned state’s evidence and gave all the details. A witness to a crime was the piece of evidence the police rarely got. The jury returned a guilty verdict in an hour. Now, the mob boss and the thug were going to Sing Sing and Robert had a price on his head.
The District Attorney offered him the witness protection program. All Robert Wilson wanted was to live his life and drink coffee while looking out the window of his apartment building. He had lost twenty pounds and half of his hair since this all began. He now lived in a safe house and had not worked for nearly a year.
Robert turned to his bodyguard/cop, Jack, “Did you ever wish you could undo something in your life? Why am I being punished for doing something that makes my mother proud and gave me headlines in the Times?”
Jack, a typical NYPD cop, who saw too much and had developed a tough, sarcastic attitude, replied, “Just lucky I guess.”
“I need to get a couple packs of cigarettes before we leave town. Oh, and let’s see if we can change my luck. Buy me a lotto ticket,” said Robert.
A few minutes later Robert lit the cigarette and used the quarter change to rub off the ticket. He almost threw the ticket in the trash bag in the cop car. Then he saw the three gold bars and the words, “Winner 10 MILLION DOLLARS.”
Mrellan Harahan (MT)