I can hear the slamming of cruiser doors down below me.
I continue to lie there, trying to think of what my next move should be. I hear the men in blue walk through the entrance where there is now nothing more than a broken door.
I hear their reactions to the murder scene.
One of the officers must have run back out of the building, because I hear someone begin to violently vomit onto the sidewalk in front of the house.
He must be a rookie.
I can hear the men running up the stairs and diligently checking all of the crevices of the house when one of the men get to the window in Billy’s moms’ room.
They are directly below me now.
My mind is telling me to get up and start moving; to get away while you still can! My body is being stubborn and won’t co-operate, as I have no energy and can hardly move. I have to move now before it’s too late! If they come out onto the fire escape and realize that there is no ladder going down, the first place they are going to go is where I’m laying right now! The thought of going back to prison flashes before my eyes, and I force my aching body up slowly, get into a low crouch, and start to quietly move towards the other side of the roof.
As I move away the voices of the officers are becoming inaudible, but I can’t help but check over my shoulder repeatedly out of the fear that they can hear me and are coming my way. I can hear an officer yell, and it slows my movement to a temporary halt. I crouch down into the darkness and listen intently to the echoes of the officer’s voices projecting off the building and into the night air.
“There is no way that he could have jumped down, he would have broken his legs!” I hear an officer shout.
“Get the hell up that ladder, check the roof!” another one demands.
I feel my adrenaline start to pump back into my body as my anxiety begins to steadily rise. I start moving faster towards the other side of the roof, jumping over pipes that are sticking out of the surface beneath my feet.
I come to the edge of the roof and look down at the alleyway to see a huge drop to the pavement below. Off the right side is a dumpster and one side of it is open. I quickly look around and try to find a more viable option when my peripherals catch a stream of light emerging out of the darkness. It is coming from the ladder that I just fled from. I lie down onto my stomach and try to hide my body before the light makes its way over to where I am. Resembling a lighthouse oscillating back and forth over dark waters, the officer quietly continues to examine the scene for something to catch his attention.
I am flat on my stomach with my face down and I can hear my heart pounding so hard in my chest that it hurts. I don’t move, and I hold my breath for what seems like forever. The anticipation is unnerving, and everything in my core is telling me to get up and run, but I don’t. I stay motionless in my place like a chameleon trying to blend in to the forest to deceive its predators.
After a few moments longer the light disappears as the officer moves back down the ladder to the fire escape platform.
He didn’t see me.
Relief rushes over me in a great wave. My forehead, my back, and my armpits are soaked with perspiration, and the smell of the sour, pungent odor of my own body begins to burn my nostrils.
I don’t remember the last time I showered.
Although I feel temporary relief, my mind begins racing again with intrusive thoughts, as I try to decide what I should do next. The cops don’t know I’m up here, and they already had an officer check, so as long as I stay where I am and don’t move to give away my position, I should be safe.
Then again, this is now a murder scene, and the longer I stay here, the less likely that I will get away. The officers will set up a perimeter, and by the morning when it is light out, they are bound to climb back up the ladder and further examine the roof for clues.
My mind is once again at a standstill as I try to work through the best options of what I should do.
I’ve found the fix!
But now I need to get away so I can enjoy the rewards of my hard work.
I slowly get back up to my knees and crawl towards the edge of the roof.
There is the option of the dumpster, but one small miscalculation in my jump and I’ll be toasted. With that being said, I don’t really see many other options, and I need to decide now if I want to get out of here.
One more time I look over the edge.
If I hang directly over the dumpster and drop into it, I think I will have more accuracy than if I jump. If I jump I will run more of a risk of being caught by the wind, which will likely push me off my target and mercilessly smash my flesh and bone into the pavement. If I hang and drop I can put my legs together like a pencil dive off of a diving board, and I should fall straight down.
I can’t waste any more time; I need to act now.
I rub my sweaty palms onto my ragged shirt to try and prevent myself from slipping and ensure that I can get a good grip. One leg at a time, I swing my legs carefully off the roof and down against the side of the building. I’m hanging now, and I can already feel that I am losing my grip and will soon fall. My mind is telling me to swing myself back up and try a different approach, but it’s too late. My body is failing me.
I push my feet against the wall and look between my legs for my target. In one quick movement, I let go of the edge and begin my descent. I am falling fast, and in the short amount of time from the roof to the ground I am bombarded with thoughts.
Thoughts of fear.
Thoughts of despair.
The thought of seeing Billy lying on the ground dead...