Thank God there was an empty seat on the subway! Jan put the large and heavy package in his lap and sighed. He was too old to continue with these errands. But there was no choice, not since the tragic death of his son Mel.
During his long life, Jan had survived the horrors of the communist regime in his homeland in Eastern Europe, the traumatic process of immigration to the States looking for freedom, and the misery of a stranger who arrived having no money.
Little by little, Jan found his modest American dream. He got a job in a factory and started a family with his beloved Mary Anne; may her soul rest in peace. She was much younger than him, but breast cancer killed her too soon. They had a son and a daughter: Mel and Sunny. There were years of happiness when all were healthy, and the kids were small and innocent. They lived in the Bronx, and that was not easy, especially for Mel, who began to consume drugs and ended dealing and having big problems and debts with a very dangerous gang leader.
One day, three armed men cornered Mel in front of his house and killed him. He was 28. Jan saw them from inside the house. They went after him.
Since that day, Jan became their slave. They threatened him with killing his daughter if he refused to work for them. Jan would do anything to save Sunny after he had failed to keep Mel alive.
The job was simple: pick up a package containing cocaine at a house in the Bronx and bring it to Harlem in broad daylight. His appearance of a harmless grandfather carrying a box wrapped and ready for the mail would not arouse suspicion.
And indeed, today was the fourth anniversary of the killing of Mel, and nothing had happened.
-I’m so tired of all this, he thought while listening to the recorded voice announcing the stations.
Suddenly, a deep voice startled him:
He looked up
-Sir, please, would you let me see what do you have in that box?
It was a police officer.
The game was over.
Jan sighed again, this time with relief.