Angela’s heart pounded. The sweat on her brow dripped into her eyes, stinging them, but she dared not even blink. She clutched her gun, her only form of defense, and pressed her back closely against the parked car she was huddled behind. There was noise and chaos all around, but it was drowned out by the relentless hammering in her chest; her heart felt like it was going to explode. Finally, she was snapped out of her trance when she heard a woman scream.
The gunman had snagged a young girl and was holding her at gunpoint. Angela listened frantically for an order to shoot, but there wasn’t one. Everyone thought he was bluffing, but she could tell by the look in his eyes that he meant business. He wasn’t going to surrender….or let her go.
The girl - no older than twenty - was whimpering and crying as she looked around for any sign of assistance the police might give her. But they remained still, aiming their weapons, waiting for any sudden movements. Angela couldn’t stand it. In the years she performed her duty as an FBI agent, she never learned to hold still and wait for an order. How could someone watch a person struggle without doing anything about it?
Angela started to inch away from the car slowly, trying to be as silent as possible. She was at the perfect angle; if she attacked the gunman, she would be able to do it from behind, but would have to act quickly. The sound of her body dragging along the ground as she moved, sounded to her like bombs dropping. No matter how quiet she tried to be, she was still making enough noise to attract someone’s attention.
“Angela….Angela, what are you doing?” James (or Jim), Angela’s fellow FBI agent and close friend, whispered to her.
“I’m going to go help her. This guy means business; if we wait any longer, someone’s gonna lose their life.”
Jim learned that arguing with Angela was almost pointless. Fighting with a brick wall was easier than having to disagree with her, and yet, her will to fight, live, and do her job correctly was what he found so appealing about her. She was a beautiful, strong, hardheaded woman.
And so he watched as she made her way to the corner of the parked vehicle and prepared to disobey orders.
“Man, I hope this one doesn’t get her fired.” He thought, shaking his head. “Or killed.”
Angela gripped her gun, took a deep breath and darted out, throwing herself upon the back of the gunman. He gasped as she pulled back his arms as hard as she could, releasing the young woman from his grip.
Angela struggled with him; trying to get him down to the ground and cuff him. But he was stronger than she had realized. He flipped her off his back, slamming her down hard on the cold cement, and with one stiff punch, nearly knocked the wind out of her. She felt warm blood trickling down the back of her head and her eyes began to blur.
Angela desperately tried to get her senses and her sight back as she struggled with the gunman, but couldn’t. Her gun had been thrown to the side and no matter how hard she tried to reach it, it was no use.
Finally, she caught him off guard, head butted him and gathered enough strength to flip him over onto his stomach. He struggled, kicked, grunted, and was becoming almost too much for her to handle. Her vision was still blurry and the pounding in her heart had moved to her head. She knew that there was still blood dripping down her head and she couldn’t help but wonder how serious the injury was. But she wasn’t about to let herself get distracted by that.
She reached for her handcuffs and to her horror, they weren’t there. She ran her hands down the side of her pants, into her pocket and everywhere she thought they would be, but was not successful in finding them.
“Jim! Help me!” She screamed out, desperately looking around for her friend. Angela couldn’t make out anyone’s face. It was all dark and foggy. “Please!” she screamed again.
Jim got up as fast as he could and started to make his way to her side…
But it all happened so fast.
The gunman loosened himself from her grip and stood up, knocking her back down to the ground. Angela couldn’t believe what was happening. It was almost surreal. What she thought was an act of bravery, turned her into the victim. In her weakened state, she was unable to struggle anymore. The gunman stood over her, grinning.
“How does it feel to be on this side of things, huh?” he yelled in her face. Angela just stared back up at him, surrendering herself to the situation.
Time seemed to go by slowly and painfully. It seemed as though they had been there for hours, but it all ended in just a matter of seconds.
A gun shot rang out and at first, Angela did not know what had happened. But suddenly, she felt a sharp, searing pain run through her abdomen. Blood seeped out onto the ground and as each second went by, she felt herself slowly but surely, losing consciousness.
In a fog, she watched as Jim and several other agents disarmed the gunman. She could no longer hear anything and the people around her turned into dark figures as her eyes darkened. And finally, she blacked out.
“Angela! Angela!” Jim ran to her side and grabbed her wrist, looking for any sign of a pulse. But there was nothing.
“No.” his eyes filled up with tears as he looked down at his friend. The paramedics made their way to the scene and asked him to step aside. He couldn’t believe what was happening.
A surge of anger went through him as he turned to see the gunman. He walked over and fighting tears, grabbed him.
“Was that your little friend?” the gunman asked with an evil smile. Jim ignored his question, as he was at a loss for words. At that moment, he could only rely on his job to get him through. He had to do his duty, otherwise he would break down. Jim took a deep breath.
“You have the right to remain silent….”