Monday, February 20, 2006

The Bait

Just ride this out awhile, is what I thought to myself as I walked with Yvonne, or whoever she was, to meet her friend at the side door. I knew that I would be looking for a quiet, subtle way out of this situation. Until I found it, I would just keep playing along.

Mystery man number one opened the door for me to get in. Mystery man number two got in the front seat next to the driver. A taxi. I thought I had it made at this point. I could get the driver's attention and ask for help. I could make a fall out of the door at low speed when nobody was expecting it. Both of these options disappeared as quickly as they came to life.

"What took you so long?"

"Traffic." The driver wasn't just a driver; he was a friend. Yvonne got in on the other side and sandwiched me between herself and number one. I began to panic as we abruptly moved down Wellington Road, the way all Hong Kong taxi drivers jerk and go, using the gas like a binary switch. I could overpower Yvonne; could I get away from them both if I made a dash for it? I worked through hypothetical outcomes in my mind the entire ride. I glanced at my watch every two minutes as I parsed through my options.

We drove out onto the highway through Sheung Wan. From there, we headed out to the Eastern part of the Island that, though a nice area, I'd been to very few times. We clearly weren't heading to the nice part of town, however. The buildings were old, older than the average old Hong Kong building, many of them government housing no doubt. We stopped in front of a building that wasn't too tall; no more than six or seven floors. I could possibly find the building again if had a good driver and a couple of hours, but I'm not interested in revisiting the scene, for revenge or justice or any reason at all. I blame myself for pursuing Yvonne on-line. I blame myself for leaving the coffee house. I blame myself for getting into the taxi. I added this experience to my long run of messes that I had nobody to blame for except myself.

We all got out of the taxi and I thought about running then; nobody was too close to me. I had a flashback to a Bruce Willis movie and thought to myself, "since I'm still alive, they're not going to kill me now." I struggled to make myself believe it.


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