Chapter 3 ~ "Painful Past"

Earth-dragon-master - Thank you very much. And, yes, I hope to continue writing on this story, I like it a lot.

Burnt Bread - Thank you. My goal was to bring in the audience without just blurting out everything. I'm glad you recognized that. An, basically, what I meant by that sentence, was that he was showing no emotion in his speaking.

Tamaku Songi - Thank you. I hope you like this chapter.

Titan Master - I hope I am beginning to explain the story behind the first chapter. Thank you for your constructive criticism. I appreciate it greatly.

Michael sat staring at that closed door for longer than he had anticipated. When his gaze was finally released, he felt a bit confused. Why had this woman's presence demanded his attention? He shook his head in resignation and resumed the quiet sipping of his beverage. The business was picking up. There was always a rush about three quarters of the way through the day, when most creatures of the night were restless, waiting for the sun to fall beyond the horizon.

He sat at his table, silently observing the scene. He slowly drifted of into a daze. He was remembering something from long ago, something he did not like to think about.

* * *

It was a cold night. Quite freezing, actually, when Michael had lost his life. It was not a spur-of-the-moment thing, though, as most deaths are. No, this had been happening for quite some time. Michael was a young man of twenty-two, but in his short life, he had experienced marriage, success, a family.and he had lost it all.

He never considered himself an enemy of anyone. At eighteen, he married the love of his life, a young girl, Catherine, and a year later they had a baby boy. His name was Peter. He was the light of Michael's life and, whenever possible, he was by his side. Michael cherished his moments with his family, since he led a busy life and was not at home as often as he would have liked to be.

Michael was the manager of a bank in London. His father had been a friend with the president and that had gotten Michael's foot in the door. Once the president had seen what a promising worker Michael was, he was offered a job and he slowly moved up the ranks in the bank's system. By the age of twenty, he had secured the manager position and was making double the money he had started at.

Catherine was very supportive of his career. She knew that he liked his job, but she also knew that he wanted to be at home more. She was careful not to make him feel guilty for his absence. Peter wondered why his daddy wasn't at home more, but he was grateful for the times that he was.

Everything was running smoothly for Michael, until a dirty-looking man came into the bank one afternoon. He slowly walked up to the counter and demanded that the teller put all the money he had in a bag and hand it to him slowly. Michael was watching the exchange from the doorway of another room. He thought the man looked suspicious and when he saw the glint of a knife blade, he sent someone after the police. Michael continued to secretly watch the man, hoping no harm would come to the teller. He was prepared to intervene, though, if the man became violent.

It was not long before the police arrived; Michael made a good choice in runners. The man was just to the doors when the police walked in and grabbed him. The boy had given an accurate description, too, thought Michael. He made a point to reward him later. As the police were taking the man away, he turned and saw Michael, standing solemnly, and yelled at him.

"You'll pay for this. I'll see to it that you do. This place robbed me of my life, and I'll rob you of yours!" The man was obviously disturbed and he screamed out a few obscenities before being drug out the door. Michael stood, staring at the doorway, with a crowd gathered around him. They were uttering complements about how he had handled the situation and assuring him of how pleased the president would be. Michael did not hear most of them, though. The man's words echoed in his head. "This place robbed me of my life, and I'll rob you of yours!" He could not shake the feeling of dread for the rest of the day.