July 7, 2016-Henri carried Edgardo like a football and sprinted to the moving get away car. The police sirens were getting louder and I knew that I had one chance to get to Simba. I climbed down the ladder at break neck speed and waited for a beat while a police car raced around the corner of the museum. I had one shot to do this right or else…I climbed a cement fitting around a lamp post and counted down, 3, 2, 1! I leaped from the post and landed on the roof of the police car. I held on for dear life as we sped towards the weaving car, gaining on it with every passing second.
My arms were beginning to get tired from gripping the roof and I feared that I couldn’t hang on for much longer. The black get-away car weaved on and off of the road as it tried to lose us but the officer in our car was quite skilled at driving with accuracy at such high speeds. I hoped the tall, thin human would be stupid enough to lead the police to the pet hotel…in fact, I was praying that she was because if she didn’t, our plan would fail and the animals and Simba would remain as hostages.
The black car sped off road through a field and back onto the main road that led to the hotel! I could see the hotel from the roof and in less than 3 minutes we would be there. I prayed that the animals I had entrusted with Simba’s life had executed the plan we had put together without incident. The black car finally came to a screeching halt in front of the hotel and the tall, thin human, Edgardo and Henri jumped out and ran towards the doorway. The police car was only seconds behind;the officers jumped out and drew their weapons, “Put your hands where I can see them!” one officer shouted at the humans. I ran to the back of the pet hotel and saw the broken window…our plan had worked; I was sure Simba was safe.
I remember my first encounter with Stephanie as if it were yesterday. The details will be forever burned into my psyche. I had always been a prisoner, in fact, I was born into captivity. The warden held me at my first breath and I immediately loved her. I was not always the world dominating mastermind that I am currently and the hatred that I had for others came on like a slow burn.
I had an excellent childhood. I played with my brothers and sisters and my mother and father were loving and caring. They did a good job raising me; Simbicile is my father and sadly my mother passed away after childbirth she was called Salem and she was as black as the night sky when there are no stars hanging in it.
The prison had always been my home and my favourite place to perch was on the back of the sofa so that I could watch the world through the glass barrier. I saw many things over the years and made many friends. One particular summer evening was akin to a Shakespearean sonnet; the wind blew softly and the sweet smell of cherry blossoms hung in the air like a thick veil, the sun was setting and it filled the skyline with shades of orange, pink and light purple…then I saw her.
The warden usually left the large prison gate open but a smaller gate still stood between me and the outside world. The smaller gate held a sort of mesh material that I could see and smell through. I hurried down from my perch and raced to the small gate. The magnificent feline approached the gate and shoved her pink, button nose to the screen. I touched my nose with hers and wished that there had been no barrier. She sat and spoke with me for hours about many things; we talked of life and of love over the next few months and it filled my heart with joy. I could hardly stand the time in between our encounters and missed her sorely each waking moment that I was alone. One summer night I worked up the courage to ask her to be mine. I groomed my suit to perfection, gathered a flower from the dining room table and waited.
That night Stephanie never came to the prison gate. I had wasted an entire night waiting for her; I returned to my perch worried for her safety and my mind went to the most terrible place of What If? As I fretted with worry I saw something in the distance; it was Stephanie!..but she was not alone. I narrowed my eyes and tried to get a better view; there she was in all of her glory, and she was holding hands with Sylvester the common gypsy! At that moment my heart shattered into a million sharp pieces and I swore that never again, would I ever love something. The tale of Sylvester is for another day because I cannot bear to tell it now.