The battered green van rumbled down the street heading for its destination, its load bumping around almost as much as the nerves of the young man in the driver seat. His mind contemplating what he was about to do.
If anyone had cared to take a look out their window that summer night and take notice of the van they would have realised what a curious sight it was. The van’s deep green paint was all scratched and chipped away revealing the old white paint and rusted steel that lay beneath. The front windscreen had a long, thin fracture running through it on the passenger’s side, a scar from an incident long since forgotten, the old rusty engine coughing and spluttering with the strain of the weight in the back. But people aren’t accustomed to looking out their windows into the street at 10:27 on a Sunday night so as planned, the van went unnoticed.
The van’s driver turned the wheel to the right as the van turned onto the main road. The suspension crunched under the weight of the van’s cargo. The young man in the driver’s seat of the car held back a tear as he thought about what was approaching, his dark matted hair shadowing his despondent face from the streetlights. He had been 17 when he had emigrated here; it seemed like such a long time ago now. Who would have thought in 8 short months, so much could change in someone’s life. Who would have thought that in 8 short months one man’s heart could be filled with so much hatred. He was too young to die and far too young to be doing this, but yet… here he was.
The driver’s heart rate jumped as he heard shouts erupting from a side street, a bead of sweat tricked down his cheek. “This is the end” he thought, “I’ve failed, it’s all over”. Suddenly a drunken couple stumbled out on to the pavement, they had just been kicked out of the bar and they appeared to have been the cause of the commotion. The driver was filled with relief, but also sadness. He realised there was no way out of what was coming, no way of cheating death. The result of 4 months of hard planning was here, and he wasn’t quite sure what to feel. There was no noise in the cabin except the rumble of the engine and the slosh of chemicals in the back. There was no radio and a tangle of wires and a small yellow switch hung from the cavity where the radio should have been, but this made little difference to the driver, he didn’t want any music. All he wanted was for life to go back to normal, for life to be like it was when he had first arrived. He had been filled with such hope, so many dreams and so many plans for himself. But the prejudice of society had quickly shattered all of that.
He was yanked back to reality by the harsh smell of fertilizer stinging at his nostrils He glanced down at the map, “not long now,” he thought, as he rounded the final curve before his destination. He turned the wheel and the car glided into a vacant car park out side the building, he pulled into a parking space, and turned off the ignition, He listened as the engine slowly died down and he listened to the sounds of the outside world, the world he was about to change forever.
He could hear the sounds of the city, a vehicle sped by somewhere in the distance, and somewhere near by a dog was barking. A bird flew along and landed on the fence in front of his parking space, he watched dreamily as it scratched at a place on its wing with its beak. “Fly away bird” he muttered to himself ”fly away..”.
He looked down to the dashboard and at the non-existent radio. He reached down and curled his fingers around the cold black plastic switch. He thought about what he was holding in his hand. Who would think such a small thing could do so much. It wasn’t just a switch, it was revenge, it was vengeance, it was a step along the path to the freedom of his people, it was a strike back at those who had mistreated him, it was his payback for what they had done. But, it was also a thing of terror, it was death, it was shock, it was pain, it was suffering and it was horror. But it was also one other thing, it was the thing he wanted most of all at this time. It wa a thing he wanted more than anything else in the world. It was a way out; it was his way of escaping this evil place. This burrow of hate. The only way he could ever be peaceful again. And yet… could he do it, could he really do it, all it would take was the slightest motion, all he needed to do was press his thumb and it would all be over. He thought of all the innocent people that would be affected by this he thought of the innocent people whose lives could be ruined by what he was about to do. But then he remembered the reason, he remembered the hatred there had been towards him, the hatred that had started when he arrived and had never stopped. He felt anger at society, anger at the World, He let the anger overtake him, his breathing became heavy as a tear ran down his wet and sweaty face. He felt the anger flowing through his body, anger at the world, anger at humanity, anger at himself, he felt hatred, pure hatred. It pulsed through his veins like a poison. His breathing became heavier as he looked down at the switch in his hand, he placed his thumb on the button, his chest pounding, his whole body tense. He closed his eyes, he raised his head as he let out one last scream of anger, his final message to the world he despised so much.