August 27, 2017 by Patrick Starks
Never thought I would be doing this, but it’s the only way. It has to be quick—in and out, just like we planned. But It wasn’t always like this, things use to be much better, peaceful, bright.
Cindy always deserved better, a better husband, but it was my selfishness that would get in the way of such glory. She was all I had, all that would put up with my ignorance—she was a strong woman, but didn’t deserve such a life as this. And our daughter, my heart can’t even begin to describe how much I miss her, my little princess. She was only two when I decided on what I would do.
At times I’d swear against the government, on life—blaming them all for our struggles, and for that year Cindy and I became homeless. For once I felt god had shown me mercy, Dalila hadn’t even been born yet to experience the horrors Cindy and I would face. People always assumed that being homeless was someone sitting around with cardboard in hand, hoping for someone to give them money, but that was barely even a fraction of it. Nothing but drug deals, prostitutes, murders, were all that was heard or seen at night. I’d sometimes even hear women being assaulted, and I wanted to be the hero, save them from torment, honestly I did, but I needed to stay with Cindy for that I feared the same would happen to her. But even though things are slightly better now, I knew the day would come where we would be in the dumps again, a part in our life’s chapter I wish my daughter never to see.
“Pipe down back there, you’re going to blow our fucking cover!” Ron said. Ron which you haven’t been introduced to was quite the paranoid man. He too had been through a lot in his life, and became as I had—desperate. His wife had left him years ago, but he was in denial, he felt he could win her back. “All we need is this one job, just this one, and I will be in her arms once more,” Ron said. I remained still, as I stared through the glass ceiling we would soon breach through. Didn’t not what the hell I was doing, but I knew I had my reasons and so did Ron.
“Are you ready? Don’t fuck this up man, your looking pretty nervous over there,” Ron said. But I wasn’t, I just wanted to be with my wife, with my daughter. What if this was all a mistake, what if we mess up and I do time for the crime. On that day , I would wonder who would protect my family when I was gone, and the result—I knew would be no one.
After a moment. Ron and I would burst through the ceiling, landing on our hand and knees. I felt like a real-life ninja, but one that would sadly rip his pants. “Did you really just split your pants?” Ron asked but I was too embarrassed to answer. “Jesus, where bigger pants next time man,” Ron said. However, it was the only pants I could find—we, my family, hadn’t had the money to buy new clothes for months now. I told Ron I will get new ones once we finished the job, and he smiled confidently.
The room was dark, and luckily no alarm had gone off—Ron apparently knew someone that could get the job done for us—although I still wondered who that could’ve been. “There, there it is, look over there,” Ron said. And he was right, there it was, the painting of Mona Lisa. I was stunned, I never thought we’d ever get this close to it, let along be able to break into the Louvre undetected. I began to wonder more on who exactly did Ron contact, this all could be a trap I thought, and so I asked.
“Oh come on, just relax, I told you everything was under control. All we need to do is just twist the little…” and before Ron could finish his sentence, he triggered an alarm. I felt the center of my chest would cave in, how could he have been so stupid I thought, but it was Ron. “Get the hell out of here! I’ll meet you at the rendezvous,” Ron yelled. But I wasn’t going anywhere I needed that painting, more so the money I would get from it.
I then lunged my foot through the glass compartment the painting would be held in. The momentum was so strong I nearly put my foot through the smile of Mona Lisa herself, but luckily due the force, my foot would miss it just by a hair, literally Mona Lisa’s. I grabbed the painting and followed Ron’s lead—he was apparently given the blueprints to the Louvre and knew of places that not even the workers would know of.
Down the steps and around the corner we went. That was when I saw the “The Raft of Medusa,” for the first time, one of Cindy’s favorite paintings. I was eager to grab it—what a wonderful present for my queen I thought—however, it wasn’t what we came for. And as I neglected thought of taking it, Ron put’s each one of his hands on the right side of the painting, and began to pull it towards his chest. And as he pulled an opening was revealed, a secret path. I asked Ron what the hell it was and where it would take us, but no response was given, he only through his body in it, and I of course followed for that I did not want to be captured—I couldn’t be, for the sake of my queen, my princess.
“My god, look at this place. I thought it would be complete filth, but it’s paradise, its truly fucking paradise,” Ron said.
What we entered wasn’t normal, it was as if we stepped into a different world, a world with no government, no sins, only purity—the kind of life I felt myself was unworthy of. The water sparkled, the wind sang, the trees gave off an energy that made one feel immortal. I began to think of Cindy and Dalila, and how they deserved to be a part of this—this extraordinary discovery.
“So how do we exactly get out of here,” Ron said. I looked at him ridiculously, he couldn’t have been serious, he was the man with the master plan after all. The painting behind us then closed, and faded to dust. We became even more worried, we didn’t know if we would make it back. But all I knew was that we had our reasons, and the painting that we would hold, our families that we loved—would be my reasons why.