You ever had a bad dream where you knew your life was in danger? You try to get away but the fear is somehow still chasing you. The adrenaline you feel, your heart pumping—you somewhat wake up and realize it was all a dream. But this wasn’t a dream. This was in my face and I was being tested by life. You dream of these scenarios and you try your best to somehow prepare yourself for that. But it is true that once it is unfolding before your eyes you really don’t know how it would turn out to be. This is how my worst dream came true for $2.75.
My friend and I were taking the train for only three shortstops. The ride would not take any more than five minutes. Little did I know it was going to be the worst subway ride of my life. We got in the front of the train, the very first car. The train was screeching away from the station and you could see the summer sky was still fresh as the sun was starting to fight with nightfall. The train was empty enough for us and a stranger to share an eight person bench.
Then the train suddenly stopped. Someone pulled the emergency break. The sudden stop made me and the stranger bump into each other—when we weren’t even next to each other to begin with. We were all startled, looking around not knowing what really happened. For a few moments everyone and everything was peacefully quiet.
The quietness was shortly interrupted when the conductor—who is in the middle of the train—started saying over the loudspeaker a special code reportedly, as if he was trying to communicate with the operator—who drives the train. The next thing you know, the train operator runs out of his cabin, runs through the subway car, and goes running down the train. I was curious to see what he was running to when all I saw was a mob of people running to the car that we were all in. That was when we all knew that something serious was happening.
People were screaming from the top of their lungs. One lady was stating she was pregnant and that she needed to get off this train. She wasn’t in labor and why would everyone be screaming and shouting for help?
“There's a gun!” Her voice, her cries, her fears said it all. My nightmare suddenly came true. Children were holding onto their mothers and mothers were confused about what was happening. They came to our subway car for safety.
“We need to find a way out,” I told my friend. I was shaking but I needed to get out. I did not want to end up being 22 and dead because of some foolishness.
We were all trying to open doors and windows. Nothing worked. One way out was through the operator's cabin window. Since the train was on elevated tracks, it was not safe to jump out of a window not knowing where you would fall. The second way out was to go in between subway cars and jump through the tracks. One guy was already out when the operator communicated with the whole train that everything was under control.
We all clapped and screamed for joy. We didn't think this would end this way.
I was overhearing a conversation of what really went down. Two men got into an argument and one of them decided to pull a gun in a subway train. The emergency break was pulled to get someone's attention.
You dream of situations like this and because they are nightmares, the worst usually happens, but to actually think that the worst can happen and that the end could—in some weird way—be near…. Man, I’ll never look at $2.75 the same again.