When many people used to pass by, she used to look up at the statue, but seeing Edmund sitting on top of it gave her a strange sense of discomfort.
She rejected his offer of a hand and took a step forward. There was quite a bit of space between where she stood and the statue’s base, but somehow it seemed closer to Anita.
“Be careful with your step; it’s a slope, so it’s slippery…”
Anita curiously tried to put one leg in the stirrups, but it slipped. As she stumbled backwards, she instinctively stretched out her arms.
What a shameful way to die – by smashing your head into a fountain. A million things went through Anita’s head in that brief moment.
Fortunately, even though her head didn’t roll smoothly, her arm was sufficient.
Edmund, with a close call, grabbed Anita’s arm and lifted her as if he were fishing.
“You almost got yourself killed.”
Anita replied, still dazed.
Sitting behind him, Anita, who secured her position, glanced down. It was higher than she had vaguely imagined from below.
She gripped the hem of Edmund’s shirt, feeling dizzy from the height, which was enough to take away what little sobriety she had left.
“Look over there.”
At his words, Anita raised her head and exclaimed in admiration. The square looked beautiful from a high place. The faint streetlight and the soothing sound of the fountain, the endless residential areas.
A sharp trumpet sound, piercing the ears, resounded at that moment.
“Who’s up there!”
Startled by the sudden noise, Anita, swaying, almost fell down.
“Get down from there right now!”
Anita turned her head towards the direction of the sound. Far away, two figures were running towards the square through the alley. Anita, squinting her eyes, stared at the two figures, then urgently tapped Edmund’s shoulder.
In a hurry, Anita could only say one thing. Edmund, who had been quiet for quite some time, suddenly asked.
“Don’t you see the badge and the club?”
Edmund snapped out of his silence with an insincere exclamation.
“That’s a big problem, isn’t it?”
“We need to run. If we get caught by the police, that old man might try to cut my throat.”
He landed with agile movements, unlike a drunk person.
“Hurry up. We need to escape.”
Anita realized that it wasn’t the time for unnecessary antics. She grabbed the hand Edmund extended and lifted one leg onto the pedestal.
“There they are!”
Although she should have started with her right foot, the startled Anita stretched out her left foot first. One leg slipped while caught on the pedestal. Anita thought she was going to die this time. Her leg might have at least fractured, and her head would be impaled on the fountain.
Fortunately, before Anita could prematurely end her life, Edmund lifted her up.
“Are you okay? Should I let them catch us? If it’s difficult to escape…”
“You said you’d die if you got caught, so run fast.”
Anita winced at the pain spreading through her right ankle. Although Edmund managed to catch her, it seemed she had sprained her ankle when slipping. Anita ignored the throbbing pain in her ankle and ran.
It’s probably just a minor injury.
Edmund, who was leading, noticed Anita falling behind and reached out to her.
“Try to catch me!”
They raced down the dark alley. Anita dragged herself along with him, glancing back to check the distance between them. One of the officers was close enough to reach out and grab her by the back of the head.
However, the gap between them did not close. Whenever they were about to be caught, the distance widened and then narrowed again.
The two of them, running towards the dark alley, seemed to have exhausted their strength as they had been running from afar.
“Don’t look back, just look ahead.”
Anita wanted to do as he said, but the approaching footsteps made her uneasy. Without thinking, she glanced back and stiffened. Anita found a police officer with a strong arm quickly approaching. When she froze, Edmund pulled her forcefully.
With the sudden gust of wind pulling Anita into the alley, the officer attempting to catch her lost balance and stumbled, tripping on his own feet.
Edmund grabbed Anita, urging her to run quickly. While partially dragged along, Anita apologized. The officer, who had been passionately trying to enforce the law on two thoughtless young men playing with a symbolic monument in the square late at night, scolded them as he fell to the ground. It was a warning that if caught, they would face consequences.
The alley, a bit away from the square, was like a maze. It got darker as they went deeper, with no signs of anyone around.
He navigated through such intricate paths skillfully.
As they ran, the scenery passing by Anita’s side changed rapidly under the flickering streetlights.
They ran like that for a while, until there were no more loud shouts or whistles. They stopped beneath a flickering streetlight, catching their breath.
“Your escape skills are quite impressive.”
Anita, catching her breath, spoke with a hint of sarcasm.
“Got caught before? Escaping from a home room teacher was a daily routine for me.”