Starting Over

Submitted by Randi Wescott to Contest #15 in response to: Write about a character who is a reluctant expert on a topic they wish they didn’t know so much about.... view prompt

He sat there gripping the steering wheel, sweat beaded along his eyebrow. His heart was pounding so violently he thought it would rip free from his chest. 'What is taking them so long? It was supposed to be in and out!' growled Jason as he adjusted his position in the drivers seat.

Finally the back door to the jewelry store burst open! Before the doors had shut, Jason stomped his foot down hard on the gas pedal; the tires squealed in protest at the sudden movement.

"What took you guys so long?" demanded Jason as he maneuvered the car along their getaway route

"Some of our 'customers' were a little resistant..." laughed Mason gripping the backpack full of priceless jewels.

"What did you do?!" yelled Jason, "We agreed that no one would ever get hurt...we can't leave behind evidence!"

"Jason, stop worrying! We wore our masks and gloves; no one is going to find out that it was us." snapped Alex from the back seat

Jason gritted his teeth as he drove to the safe house; he couldn't wait to get away from the criminal lifestyle he had been stuck in since his teenage years. He swore that this heist would be his last. He finally pulled into the parking garage and stopped suddenly, causing Mason and Alex to jerk hard against their seat belts.

"Dude, what is your problem?!" yelled Mason glaring at the driver

"That's for keeping me waiting." replied Jason quietly as he got out of the vehicle and stormed inside.

Later that night...

Jason shoved his clothes and few precious belongings into his duffle bag. He grabbed the photo from his bedside table, he glanced down at his mother's smiling face. He smiled.

"This is it mom. I'm finally getting out!" whispered Jason his heart squeezed with guilt

His mother had refused to give up on him when he started with petty theft when he turned twelve; even now she continued to believe in him. Jason had written her a letter a few weeks earlier telling that he had had enough and was going to quit. He smiled as he thought back the letter she had sent him; she was ecstatic that he told her he was ready to move on and live an honest life. At 29 years old, he beginning to feel drained from the constant moving around and secrecy.

He quietly moved through the house and shut the door behind him. Pulling out his lock kit, he quickly locked the door behind him; he slid into his car. Smiling he drove away.

He laughed, he couldn't believe that he hadn't done this years earlier! The freedom he felt was unbelievable, he couldn't wait to see his mother's face when he showed up on her doorstep.

5 hours later...

Jason pulled into his mothers driveway quietly; he wanted his arrival to be a surprise. He nervously wiped the sweat from his hands as he walked to the front door; he hesitated before knocking. 'Will she really be thrilled to see her criminal son after all these years? Maybe this is a mistake, after all...' thought Jason lowering his hand from the door

"No, she's my mom. She loves me!" mumbled Jason raising his fist to the door once again and firmly knocked.

Minutes passed slowly as Jason waited on the doorstep of his childhood home. Sighing, he shoved his hands into his pockets and slowly backed away.

He had almost made it to his car when he heard his name.

"Jason?"

He whipped around, Jason saw his mother standing in the doorway her hand pressed against her heart. With tears in her eyes, Mira ran to her son; she pulled him into a fierce hug. She had waited for this day for so long.

"Jason. I've longed for this day for so many years!" sobbed Mira holding her son tight

"Me too mom!" whispered Jason as tears spilled from his eyes


A few weeks later...

Jason was walking down main street when two police cars sped past. He couldn't help the curiosity that surged through him, he followed the sirens. A few minutes later, Jason arrived at the crime scene. He observed the police milling around the local jewelry store; Jason felt his heart drop when he saw that the display cases were smashed and spray painted black. He knew that it was Mason and Alex; he knew that Mason couldn't help but cause destruction at each place they had targeted.

He once again looked at the police, his eyes searched until he saw one of the detectives speaking quietly with the store owner. Jason shoved his way through the curious crowd until he was close enough to get the detective's attention.

"Excuse me." called Jason, "Detective, can I speak with you a moment?"

The detective glanced his way, it was obvious that he didn't appreciate the interruption.

"Yes?"

"I...have information for you about the criminals who did this." said Jason quietly

"Oh really? You've been standing here for what...five minutes and you have the crime solved?" snarled the Detective

"Look Detective Thompson, do you want to know what I have to say or not? If not, it's your loss."

"Fine." sighed Detective Thompson, "Follow me."

Jason followed Detective Thompson to the side of the building; he could here his heart thundering against his chest. He knew that he could go to jail if he let it slip that he used to work with Mason and Alex.

"I know the guys who did this; they used to be friends of mine. Their names are Mason Whittler and Alex Johnston." said Jason keeping his tone even

Detective Thompson observed the man in front of him; he could tell that there was more to the story than was being said. He could tell that the young man was nervous.

"How do you know them?"

"I used to work with them...I recognized their signature style...the smashed glass, the spray paint job." whispered Jason, "I am willing to serve the time for what I did on the condition that we go to different prisons. I know that if given the opportunity, they will kill me for giving them up."

"What's your name?"

"Jason Stone."

"Jason, I will do what I can for you. I consider myself a decent judge of character and well...I can tell that your telling me the truth." replied Detective Thompson, "Help me catch them and I will talk with the DA about a deal."

Jason didn't need time to think, he knew that his mother would understand that he was doing the right thing. He lifted his chin and looked at the Detective with confidence.

"Deal."

It wasn't long before Jason's old accomplices were walked to the police cars, hands cuffed behind their backs. Jason closed his eyes and thought back to when his life of crime started.

"Jason, it will be okay." said Mira softly

"If only...I made such a mess of my life."

"No matter what you have done, I will always be proud of you...You are making a difference now by helping the police catch these criminals."

"I am a criminal..."

"No you used to be a criminal." stated Mira firmly

Jason laid his head on his mother's shoulder and allowed the tears to flow freely.

2 years later...

Jason stepped into the bright sun light, the heat from the sun had never felt so good. For the first time in two years, Jason finally felt like he was really free from his past life as a jewel thief. 'It feels good to be out of my prison uniform and back into my real clothes.' smiled Jason

"Jason!"

He looked up and saw his mother standing on the other side of the prison gate, she waved excitedly. Laughing, he ran as fast as he could to her. He was more than ready to leave the prison grounds.

When he got to the gate, he waited impatiently for the guards to open the large metal door. Jason didn't hesitate as he took the first step away from crime and prison into the life of freedom that he had craved for so long.

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6 likes 3 comments

03:16 Nov 21, 2019

Randi, It was creative to use the "ex" jewelry thief as the reluctant expert, who helps the police solve the final robbery. There were a few lines that made me chuckle or wonder why things happened. I certainly hope you don't mind me offering my observations and opinions. For example, after the first heist, and during the get-a-way ride, Mason and Alex put on their seat belts. I never expected that, and thought it was amusing that these criminals would follow the law in regard to seat belt use. Good for Jason to finally leave his life o... read more

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03:07 Nov 22, 2019

Sue, Thank you for your comments! I am glad that you enjoyed my story. It is my dream to be a writer and I find that by entering these contests my writing has greatly improved. Knowing that this story of mine has made someone chuckle and has encouraged imagination and musings about what could have happened, etc, encourages me to continue to work hard to create stories that others can enjoy. Thank you again for your comments, I greatly appreciate it. Sincerely, Randi

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18:15 Nov 23, 2019

You’re very welcome Randi! Receiving feedback on my comments is also most appreciated. You’re already writing! So, consider yourself a writer!! Sue

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