We were being held hostage by a psychotic terrorist.
It didn't even have to be us. We held no political value. We were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was my parents' 20th anniversary. They had booked the entire Sydney tower buffet restaurant to accommodate all our family and friends. We sat shivering in our seats as he walked up and down rows of tables, bellowing his hatred for the legal system, the government.
It was only one man. It was only one man causing utter fear in a group of three hundred people. I flicked my eyes over at my shaking grandparents on the opposite table. It wasn't fair. It wasn't fair that such elderly people had to be put under such emotional distress. Slowly, I raise my right hand, praying to God, any God up in heaven that it wouldn't get blasted right off my wrist, 'Excuse me, Sir....' His head spun at the sound of my voice, his flickering eyes watched my lips, he pointed his machine gun at me, 'What? Speak loud and clear; don't shout or you'll hurt my ears and I'll be forced to shoot your tongue off.'
I held your hand, underneath the dining table for support and raised my voice, hoping it wouldn't waiver, 'Please sir, is it possible to let the elderly go?' I was surprised when he let his hand drop and grinned broadly. He raised his free hand and patted my head. I bit down my tongue to stop myself from trembling at his touch. I watched as he stepped away from me then pointed at my proudly, as though a teacher proud of his student, 'Now this, everyone is an example of a good upstanding citizen. They pay their taxes on time, they help elderly people walk across the road' Suddenly, he was no longer smiling, he thrust his gun down my throat. I blinked back tears and shook my head ferociously as you stood up in protest. He pointed the gun at your heart, 'Sit the fuck down, lover boy!'
He cleared his throat and continued to point the gun at me, 'This' he continued, 'Is an example of an idiot who does everything because it is "right". They blindly follow the laws of the corrupted government without questioning their actions. Does that sound right to you?' We all shook our heads. He raised his voice even louder, 'What is also not right is the fact that you spent thousands of dollars to eat in a "classy" restaurant just because it is high up in the air while out there are millions of people suffering from poverty and injustice!' He pulled out a beeping remote from his jacket and smiled sadly, 'Sorry folks, I'm burning this whole tower to the ground with everyone in it. The government needs to understand it is wasting money on such pointless expenses.'
I cried into your shoulder as you held me tightly. I could feel the hatred, anger and fear in the heat of your arms. Everyone around us also finally broke down. What little hope we had of surviving this ordeal was finally thrown out the window of this revolving restaurant. We were being held hostage by a psychotic terrorist. And he had no plans of letting anyone live. We were always meant to die.
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