At half-past eight, Ryan, a 10-year-old boy, quietly left the school games room. The hallways, usually filled with activity, were strangely solemn as he made his way towards the restroom in the senior block. However, his attention was drawn to muffled voices emanating from Principal Wilson’s office.
“Principal Wilson is still here?” Ryan wondered to himself. Curiosity got the better of him, and he cautiously peered into the room through the slightly open door. Inside, he witnessed his principal engaged in conversation with a group of menacing individuals.
“I have already unjustly sent someone to prison. What more do you want from me?” Ryan saw the older Principal Wilson pleading with the gangsters.
Realizing that something nefarious was taking place and that Principal Wilson was involved, Ryan discreetly positioned his phone and concealed himself behind the door, recording the entire conversation.
“Everything will be concluded within two days, Principal Wilson! Just two days! And this town will never forget us!” a menacing voice reverberated from the principal’s office, sending shivers down Ryan’s spine.
Two days later, Principal Wilson was apprehended and found himself in tears, handcuffed, within the confines of the interrogation room.
“Officer, please believe me,” he implored the detective. “I have been set up. I had no desire to partake in these actions. They left me with no choice.”
“There is always a choice, sir,” Detective Rudolf responded, seated across from him. “Now, why don’t you start from the beginning and tell us everything? From the point where it all began. Shall we?”
Principal Wilson lowered his head, recalling the ill-fated day that led to his current predicament.
It occurred on a Sunday evening when Principal Wilson’s son, Nick, returned home appearing defeated.
“Nick, what’s the matter, son?” Principal Wilson began to ask, but before he could finish, a group of tall, muscular men with tattoos covering their arms and necks barged into the house, following Nick.
“Who are these people? Nick, what is happening?” Principal Wilson exclaimed in shock. Nick appeared terrified and remained silent, while one of the gang members, their leader, casually seated himself on the couch, placing a gun on the living room table.
“Please sit down,” the gang leader sneered at the principal, who stood bewildered, glancing between his son and the intruder.
“What… What do you want? Please, don’t harm my son,” Principal Wilson stuttered nervously.
The gang leader smirked. “If I were you, I wouldn’t waste time with questions, Principal! Your son lost $5000 to us in a card game at a pub last night.”
Principal Wilson breathed a sigh of relief, considering $5000 a small price to pay to rid his home of these men. However, the gang leader wasn’t finished.
“Calm down, Mr. Wilson,” the thug laughed, observing the anxious father reaching for his wallet. “Your son has already repaid that debt. You do remember the recent town robbery, don’t you? Well, guess who was my accomplice… your dear son, Nick!”
Principal Wilson stared at his son in disbelief. “Do as we say, or else the evidence of his involvement goes public.”
The gangster played a video, and Principal Wilson’s face drained of color. He couldn’t allow his son to languish in jail.
“Oh, God! What… What do you want me to do?” he asked, defeated.
“Well, well, my boys struck gold in town tonight… at the antique store. The police are on high alert, so we need someone to help us escape this place without detection. You are a respected figure in the community, aren’t you? Nobody would suspect you. And just to ensure you don’t get too clever, your son Nick will accompany us in the same car until we’re out of town,” the gang leader revealed.
Principal Wilson slumped into his chair, overwhelmed with helplessness. He listened to the gangsters’ plan and reluctantly nodded. “I hope this will be the last favor I’m doing,” he muttered, his gaze fixed on the floor.
“You’re quite the businessman, sir! Excellent!” the gang members laughed as they departed. Principal Wilson was left alone, his tears flowing as he stared at a photograph of his son. Since his wife’s passing, Nick was all he had, and he was willing to go to any lengths to protect him.
Following the plan, on that fateful Friday night, Principal Wilson parked his minivan outside the children’s park and awaited the arrival of the gangsters and his son. In a moment of clarity, three gangsters swiftly entered his van, carrying their loot and accompanied by Nick.
“Drive! What are you waiting for?” one of the men commanded, and Principal Wilson obediently accelerated. The men, Nick, and the stolen goods were concealed beneath blankets in the backseat, disguised as household items using empty cardboard boxes.
Carefully, Principal Wilson deviated from the planned route and took a secluded road through the woods. It wasn’t part of the original plan, but he knew it was the only way to avoid arousing suspicion at the main checkpoints and evade the watchful eyes of the police.
However, fate seemed to conspire against Principal Wilson. Suddenly, he noticed police officers conducting vehicle checks at the checkpoint bordering the woods.
“Please step out of your vehicle, sir,” an officer approached Principal Wilson’s van, instructing him to lower the car window. “We need to perform a routine inspection.”
“Oh, Sergeant Davidson!” Principal Wilson forced a smile. “Don’t you recognize me? I’m the principal of the district school. I taught your son! You know me!”
But the officer remained skeptical and insisted that Principal Wilson exit the van. Seizing the opportunity, Principal Wilson feigned compliance, pretending to open the van door. As the officer stepped back, he slammed his foot on the accelerator, propelling the minivan forward with great force.
The vehicle crashed through the checkpoint barrier, leaving the startled officers behind. Some pursued the fleeing van, while others quickly alerted control rooms and nearby checkpoints.
Principal Wilson, now driving recklessly, had lost control of the wheel. With a deafening crash, the minivan collided with a tree. Just before losing consciousness, Principal Wilson caught a glimpse of blood staining the deployed airbag and heard agonizing cries, particularly his son’s, emanating from the backseat.
“…And that’s how it unfolded, officer,” Principal Wilson concluded his account, sharing the incident with Detective Rudolf. He then glanced out the window in the corridor, observing Joseph, the security guard, having his handcuffs removed.
“Oh, that boy!” Principal Wilson exclaimed, watching as Ryan, a third-grade pupil from his school, ran up to Joseph, embracing him. “He’s the grandson of our security guard.”
At that moment, an officer entered the interrogation room and whispered something into Detective Rudolf’s ear.
“Well, it turns out that this boy, Ryan, provided us with evidence against you, Principal Wilson,” Detective Rudolf cleared his throat. “By the way, I’m sorry to inform you that we just received news from the hospital… your son, Nick… he didn’t make it.”
Principal Wilson’s heart sank as he heard the devastating news. Overwhelmed by grief, he remained silent, contemplating the tragic consequences of his choices.