Thrown together, if the goal was to be reached, each had a part to play.
|There we sat. Each person wrestling with their own discomfort as they thought of what was going to happen, yet also studying each other, evaluating, judging and considering who could be trusted. I studied the others, looking for the weak spot. It is just as dangerous to overestimate someone as it is to underestimate them.
First, there was Jerry Lanski. He seemed to be such a harmless old man. I remember when, as a kid, my dad had taken me to Mr. Lanski for my first haircuts. Today, at almost eighty, his hands shook too much to attempt a haircut, let alone a shave. Now this old man is a serial killer who has killed eleven women over the past twenty years.
Then there was Melanie Burke. She and I had known each other in high school, and had even dated a few times. Back then she was a cheerful teenager, with a "girl next door" sort of beauty. She had planned on being a writer and perhaps a teacher, but whatever the future held, she insisted that she would have at least two kids, and would be the best mother anyone had ever known. Now she was a heroin addict willing to do anything, or anyone, for a fix.
I had never met Maria Lopez, the next of the group. She was a fifty year-old, well groomed, well educated lady, with a clear voice and laser-like stare. We all knew that she was the only real pro amongst us, and we expected her to get us through this. She was a professional widow, a roll she had perfected.
Finally, there was Linda Wellman, pretty, twenty-four and an emergency/trauma nurse. She was the most hated one in our group, as well as the most evil, having thrown her three year-old, Angela, from the freeway overpass.
That left me, of course, but I was nothing compared to the others. I was just a thug, an ordinary gun for hire.
The five of us sat quietly for another moment, then Maria nodded, and in her no-nonsense tone, instructed "Alright, we're as ready as we are going to get. It's all come down to this. There's no turning back now, so let's get on with it".
She was right, of course. We all had our parts to play, and now it was time take our places.
The curtain was ready to go up on our latest community theater production.