Alternative Attempts

Alternative Attempts

A Story by R J Fuller
"

When is it better to try to reach someone on how they are living their life?

"
                                                                            

There was no problem in opening the window and gaining entry into the home. No security alarms going off, but that was to be expected. No security alarms are going to be in this area. 
The dwelling was still and silent in the night. Find an adequate location to conceal one's self, then wait. Patience should all be worth it. Way of this world. The storage cabinet in the kitchen would suffice. Move inside, then pull the door to. Excellent place to watch events as they occur in the kitchen, to see that moment of arrival. Hopefully the wait wouldn't be too long. If this is the way things have to be, then so be it. The apartment seemed as tho no one had just entered it. But now someone did. 

This time, the key is heard clicking and turning at the lock. The door opens and the unfortunate figure steps in. She is unassuming and obviously unaware, just the way things are wanted. She hasn't a clue. 
She turns on the lights and tosses her purse and keys on the table, facing toward the unknown observer. Then she pulls the chair out and sits down. She is quietly watched from a mere six feet away and she doesn't know it. The best time to strike is when she least expects it. Doesn't know it is going to happen and she is completely helpless. Maybe when she makes her way around to the fridge for something and has her back to the supply closet. Bide your time. She'll get up eventually. She is exhausted and no doubt wants to retire after a nice hot cup of tea. 
Eyes blink in the dark closet. She just sits there at the table, her hands on her lap. Maybe the surprise should be now, but the results just won't be the same; won't be as enjoyable, worth it in the end. 

Still, she sits, facing forward, the closet in the corner of her vision. It was then he realized she didn't even take off her coat. She should have to prepare for the night, but she didn't. She didn't. He watches her unflinching. 

She then moves her arms onto the table and crosses them before her, then rests her head on them. He expects to hear her crying any moment now. Well, she's not getting off that easily. He's going to deliver to her what is least expecting and show her who he is. He is unpredictable, a firecracker, ready to be set off when he so desires. 

She doesn't cry. She just sits with her head on her arms. 

He'll show her what's what. He'll see to it she forgets everything else when he's around her. She won't know what happened to her. 


She doesn't make a sound, just rests her head on her arms. 

He looks at her still. Is she breathing? Is she still alive? Has she sat at that table and died or something? He decided he can wait no longer. He is in control of this situation, so he begins making his move. Slowly he pushes the closet door out of the way so he can exit the compartment. He extends one foot out to the floor and motions the rest of his body out of the cramped space as well. Now he is totally out of the closet, standing before her in her kitchen. He takes a step closer to the table, opposite side of where she sits, then another. he makes not a single sound. 

She rests her head on her arms and doesn't look up. 

He's going to attack her, grab her by her hair, haul her away from the table, throwing her on the living room floor. She'll be frightened, totally fogetting whatever it is here that has her so absorbed. All she will be aware of is the terror and fear that is upon her. She'll plead for all she is worth, but none of that will matter. He's going to get what he is after and there's no one to stop him. There's no one to help her. 

She rests her head on her arms and doesn't look up. 

She doesn't even know he is there. She's oblivious to his presence. He doesn't feel much like appreciating that treatment, but if his own foreboding self isn't intimidating enough for her, he wonders what he will have to do to completely shock her? Throw her out the window? He wanted that fear to fuel his power, to thrive on it. He was about nudge the table, when she sat up. 

She looked tired, obviously after a day's work. She looked at him. Her mouth was closed, nearly frowning. Her arms were still on the table. And she looked at him. He looked back at her from across the table. Neither said a word. He had that knife in his back pocket that was going to do his talking, but suddenly he sensed the knife wasn't going to be useful here. The whole plan seemed to be falling apart. She was sizing him over. Looking at his waist, his tight jeans, the bulge in his pants, then she looked back to his eyes, wide, dark eyes. She propped her head up on one hand and stared at him. 

"So," she started. "You want something."

He looked at her and felt himself just being stopped by her indifference to why he was there. She was a cashier asking him for correct change, a woman on the bus who wouldn't speak to him, the lady in the bar who told him to get lost. 

"Well, you are handsome enough, so I don't know why this is what you want to do," she said. 

He wanted to leave. He wanted to run right by her and get out the door, but he was afraid. If she locked that door back, as he suspected she did, she would turn and approach him with the key and no doubt unlock the door for him, and he couldn't abide that right now. 

"You seem to be in shape. Take off your jacket so I can see how muscular you are."

He swallowed. He really wanted to leave now, so badly. 

"Go on. Take off your jacket." 

He did as he was told. Once he slid the jacket off both arms, he held it so as not to touch her kitchen. 

"Well," she started, "that's nice. Very good upper body development," she said, her head still propped on her hand. "So, do you have a name?"

He couldn't speak. He didn't know what language she was speaking. What did she want from him? Why did she have to be sitting between him and the door?

"Well, do you?"

His throat was dry and he knew as soon as she heard him clear it, she'd know he was emasculated. 

"Kendon, . . . cough! . . . Kendonric."

"Kendonric?"

"Mmm-hmm." 

"Well, Kendonric," she said calmly, "you're obviously here for a reason. Is it to terrorize me?"

As her queries made him more and more uneasy, now he turned the tables and looked to her. She was already hurt, already in pain. He could see it in her face. She clearly already felt victimized. He closed his mouth and looked at her, then pulled out the chair on the opposite side of the table and sat down. 

"I can't harm you, can I?"

She looked at him uneasily, detecting he was now analyzing her. This was going to be a long evening. 

"No, Kendonric. You can't hurt me at the moment. Nothing you can do can break me or draw me down or cause me to feel overwhelmed."

She looked to the side. 

"My day has been completely trashed. My day has taken all I have worked for and sought to make of myself and made it a complete waste of my life." 

With those last words, she began to tear up and now covered her face with her hands. Then she proceeded to put her head down on her arms again. 

"All my life," she sobbed. "My ambitious youth, wanting to prove something to everyone around me. I'll show them, I said. I'll show them all."

Kendronic watched her. He looked up toward the window in the living room, at the night outside. 

"Sometimes," he began, "life doesn't go the way we want it to."

She sat up, her face streaked in tears. 

"No, I suppose not," she said. "I mean how likely is it you planned on being a rapist when you were young?"

The words hit hard. 

"I didn't have any plans when I was young. I just became what I am."

She sniffed some more and wiped at her tears. She reached for her purse, but Kendronic grabbed it before she could open it. 

"I was getting a hankerchief to blow my nose," she said. 

Kendronic opened the bag and removed the tissue and handed it to her. While she wiped away the tears and blew her nose, he saw the work badge in her purse. 

"You work at United Distrubitors, . . . . . Rafora?" he asked, reading her name on the badge. 

She sniffed and sat still and just stared at him. 

"I did," she croaked. "I . . . . I guess I've been terminated, or I quit. I don't know." 

"Why?" he asked. "What happened?"

She stood up and walked into the kitchen, turning her back to him, but all he could do was sit at the table. He was absorbed in her unhappiness. 

"I got tired of watching others being promoted over me. Year after year. People would start working there years after me and end up getting a promotion."

"Why'd they do that?"

She turned and looked at Kendronic. 

"Why does anyone do anything in this country? Why are you at the place in your life that you are, and not doing better for yourself? Skin color."

"Because your black?"

"Because I'm too black," she said going towards him again. 

"Because I'm blacker than the 'people of color' who come to work there with their light skin and pointed noses and small lips and hilighted hair. Look at me! I'm black!"

Kendronic felt every word she said come from within in him. Finally, he spoke. 

"At least," he stammered, "at least you tried."

She guffawed and turned away again. 

"At least you were able to try. Look at me. I was never even given a chance to work at some place like that."

Rafora took a deep breath and sighed. 

"I was always black and dumb. Always breakin' the law just by walking."

"Well, ain't we a pair? Just two more black people trying to make it in the white world." Rafora walked back to the table and sat down. She looked at him. 

"And if we fight and struggle," she began, "well, where does that get us? Where does that get you?" 

"I don't know," he said quietly. 

"Where does that get you, Kendronic? You know where it gets you. You get shot."

Kendronic looked down at her purse which he still held before him. 

"If I have to hear about one more shooting, . . . " she said, looking at him, "but I will, won't I? There'll be one. There'll always be another black youth gunned down, shot, killed." 

Kendronic sat for a bit and said nothing. Then he spoke up. 

"So did you quit your job?" he asked. 

"I . . . . I left early. Told them I didn't feel well and didn't care if they thought that was true or not, because actually it was true. I didn't feel well."

"Then if you haven't really told them you quit, maybe you can still work there."

She looked at this person sitting across from her as he tried to make sense. She could tell he had no education. 

"Why should I want to work there, Kendronic?"

"For the money," he said. "You can't do anything in this world without money. Look at me," he said with a smile that gradually faded. 

"You steal for a living?"

"Do what I have to do to get by."

She raised her head up and looked off into the distance. 

"Maybe, . . . . maybe you're right. I just told them I didn't feel well. I just came out of there feeling like I was being fired, with another white girl getting promoted over me."

"Seems to be the way it goes," Kendronic said, "but you can't hurt yourself as tho it hurts them."

Silence. 

"Maybe stay there until you can find another job," he said. "Or get a transfer."

She looked at him again and leaned in. 

"Kendronic, why do you seem to be able to make decisions for me for the better, but not yourself?"

He slid her purse to the side out of his way. 

"I told you, I just gave up too soon. That was my decision and now I'm having the consequences." 

"You are a young man," she said. "You can still try. At least." 

Kendronic put his hand to his mouth and looked at her as she stared back at him. 

"So?" he said. 

"So?" she repeated. 

"So are you going to use your gun?"

"How do you know I have a gun?"

"Saw the lisence in your purse."

"Do I need to use it?"

He looked down at his hands. 

"No. Do you want me to leave?"

"I think that'd be for the best. I've already called the police."

His eyes widened with that comment. 

"How did you do that?" he asked. 

"I could see the door had been jimmyed. I took my gun and phone out of my purse and put them in my coat pocket. I called the police out in the hallway." 

And as if right on cue, there was the knock at the door. 

"Hello? Open up. It's the police." 

"Why don't you get it?" she said. 

This time, Kendronic gave no hesitation. He was emotionally spent. All the resentment and hostility had been completely reasoned out of him over her kitchen table. He stood and walked around her to reach the door. She didn't move. Didn't watch him as he walked. 

She sat, near glassy-eyed, staring where he had been sitting. There was another knock, then the large pocket knife, still folded up, was tossed to the table in front of her. She looked at it, then stood and turned toward him as he opened the door. 

"Hello, sir. Ma'm. We had a report of a possible breaking and entering."

Before she could speak, Kendronic spoke up. 

"Yes, officers," he said. "That would be me."

The officers appeared a little bewildered and looked to Rafora. 

"He's the man you want, officers." She looked at Kendronic. "I guess you must have a rap sheet?" she said. "Prior arrests." 

He smiled. 

"Yea, I do."

The officers put handcuffs on him. They moved him toward the door to take him out, but he turned back to her. 

"Rafora?"

"Yes?"

He looked at her. 

"Was what you told me true?"

She looked back at him, having such a serious expression on his face. In turn, she maintained an expression of indifference. 

"Get your life on the right side of the law, Kendronic," she said, "and maybe one day I'll tell you." 

The police led Kendronic out the door and Rafora closed it behind them. 

© 2021 R J Fuller


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Added on February 4, 2021
Last Updated on February 4, 2021
Tags: crime, victim, racism, perpetrator, discussion