The passenger door opened and the gunman pushed the woman into the cab of my pickup. He crawled in after her and tilted the barrel towards her chin. “Let’s go,” he said.
The gunman was about 30, average build, Caucasian, brown, and brown. He wore rimless glasses and was holding a blued 45. It looked like a military weapon. The woman was younger than he, still a girl really: red hair, green eyes, petite. Her eyes looked like saucers. She was scared, really scared. I had seen her around the neighborhood but didn’t know her. I assumed she lived around here. I didn’t know which house, I didn’t know her name.
I thought my best bet was to remain calm. “Are you OK?” I asked the girl. She nodded her head but didn’t say anything.
“Well, I was going to work,” I said, “but, I’ll bet you guys have somewhere else in mind. Where are we going?”
“Mexico, get moving.”
“Sure,” I responded. I started the truck and pulled away from the curb. “I’m going to have to get gas. I’m down below an eighth of a tank. With the mileage this truck gets that might get us to San Clemente but no further than that. There’s a station by the on-ramp where we can put some in.”
“I don’t want to do that,” the gunman shook his head. He lowered his gun but continued to point it at the girl. Her head was swiveling back and forth between us like she was watching a tennis match.
“I don’t see anybody else out, no other drivers to jack” I told him. “It won’t take long and we can let her pump the gas. You and I will stay in the truck.”
“You better not try anything” he threatened.
We rode in silence to the gas station. It was a self serve place no attendant and no other customers. I pulled up to pump 3 and the gunman put his piece in his pocket and opened the door, stepping out but remaining close and vigilant. I handed the girl two twenties and whispered “run” as she slid out the passenger side of the truck. No reaction, I hoped she heard me.
I remained behind the wheel, our abductor got back in the passenger seat and the girl slid the money into the bill acceptor and activated the pump, she must not have heard me. She put the nozzle in the tank and started pumping gas. The gunman relaxed a little, but only a little. He looked at me.
The girl saw her chance. She pulled the nozzle from the tank and while it continued to spew petrol she put it in the window, drenching the gunman. The gasoline in his eyes was blinding, he screamed and dropped the weapon.
The girl dropped the nozzle, turned, and began walking calmly towards the street. She had never said a word.
I opened my door and slid out of the cab. I reached into my pocket as I closed the driver’s side door; lit my Zippo and tossed it into the gunman’s lap.
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