It was in that moment that I realized who I was meant to be. Gone were the fears of past failures. Gone were the accolades and the triumphs. Gone were the struggles.
I knew what I had to do. All things past brought me to that moment.
In a second I was up and running. Gun fire rung out around me and it was without a doubt directed at me. I ran to the nearest marble column. Shards of it lay at my feet. Many a man died tied this post, I thought. I didn’t want to die there too.
I closed my eyes and waited for the firing to stop.
Breathe, Jack. Breathe.
I decided to run again after I counted to ten. No matter what was going on around me, I would be running at ten.
Bullets struck the column at my back.
I watched a man fall to his death from the second floor in front of me.
I see a young girl lying dead on the floor to my left. She was the same age as my daughter.
I just wanted to get home. To see her.
What was I doing here? The thought rang between my ears with each shot fired.
Can I do this?
Do I have a choice? I will surely die here today.
My breathing calmed and time slowed down.
I stood up tall away from the column.
I ran at full speed towards the open door.
I took the first bullet in my right arm. The second one grazed my forehead. The third, fourth, and fifth hit simultaneously in my right leg. That was when I fell.
I probably would have been dead if it weren’t for the fat man who shielded my body with his. He died at the right moment. It was like he sacrificed his body in communion with the gods who told him: “Here. Die right here. He has more to do, but you…your time has come.”
The bullets hit his body with a thud. It sounded like someone was hitting a beached whale with a baseball bat. I had safety for but a moment–this I knew. It was only a matter of time before a hole was blasted through him.
I don’t know how I ended up in the hospital later that night. Or how I escaped certain death at the hand of the cartel. I just know that I owe my life to the death of a fat man. My personal Jesus.
I never found out his name. I don’t want to know. To me, he’s my savior.
He shed his blood, so that I might live.