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The night was blustery.
And that is what I noticed most of all while traveling down the weathered cobblestone steps through the back alley of one of Downtown Portland’s finest.
Through the sparse, naked twigs that were spaced evenly though carelessly down the five-foot wide shadowed path, wind bustled to and fro, shaking anything that was ever daring to become mortal or upon this Earth. The stars, which hung in the pageant’s sky, seemed to sparkle even brighter as I took another step with my boot’s high-heels, though didn’t seem to be bothered by Maine’s insane weather, taking pleasure as one after another joined in to watch the performance. Together, they were heaven’s brightest, only to accompanied by the pale moon as the sole source of light amongst my head-strong journey to my Coupe.
As the gusts heaved once more down the shady inlet and I grasped at my thin over-layer even more, my drunken foot collapsed into a gap in the aged mortar as the right heel of my shoe snapped. A sickening moan escaping my lips. With a swooping fist downwards, I picked up the three inch sized piece, sighing with the damage of my clubbing shoe and clear head. Never once had I engulfed this many beers, and already, my vision was dazed and mind wary, an omnipresent headache seizing my temple and further within.
Being a freshman in college, these type of situations usually initiate with your friends, who you were supposed to be the designated driver for, running off with suave seniors and your recent ex laying it on another girl, the same one that he cheated with your entire relationship. Through after some intense drinking and dancing, emotions just start to run into each other and all my present issues just grew into an illegible blur. There was probably no reason to head to my car in being such a state, but it was only a few miles till USM, the area’s community college, and the roads were slim and silent at this time in the morning.
So with those jumbled thoughts, I began to wobble towards my Coupe, adding to an already awkward crawling pace.
Danny hadn’t wanted me to leave:
“Come on Jordan! You can’t go yet!” He giddily shouted in the club’s main foyer above the bass and rhythm of the flashing music from the room around the corner meanwhile another group of underage college students strolled in to the famous Friday night hang out. No, he hadn’t even touched a drink yet, but that was also part of the reason he had wasted the time to halt me.
“You know I have to!” I began, dwelling on the thought, being surrounded by the strobe lights. “I need to have a clear head sometime this weekend to write that damned research paper,” I then finished to my best, gay friend at the home of the Huskies. Although I was still researching what I actually wanted to become in the future, Dan and I seemed to be enrolled in most of the same classes, his career focused on engineering.
“Ahhhhhh that’s no excuse: you have all day Sunday to work on English! Come back in and work off some of those beers,” he encouraged, leading me back to the dance floor. “Besides there’s someone I want you to meet!”
“Danny!” I pried my hand out of his stubborn grasp, heading back towards the door with my back towards it, ready to hit the roads and the sack before sunrise. At the same time, he just merely shrugged and gave an admonishing sigh. He knew me well enough not to argue. “I’m sure I’ll catch him around the dorms sometime.”
Dan rolled his eyes, ready to get back to the party, “Yeah, sure. Whatever, just let me know you get onto campus safe, alright?”
“I’ll send you a text like always!” I chanted, giving my wristlet purse a twirl as each individual sequin on my bag reflected the entire spectrum of the bar’s lights. “Bye Danny!” And that, is how I ended up cruising through the alley’s inlet, out to the inconvenient parking lot.
Nobody passed me as I waddled on and off the damaged shoe, which was suspected: not a soul is usually present at this hour. But nonetheless, I doubt I would have noticed anyone if they were indeed there, for my intoxicated eyes were lazily turning hazy, and ears not trustable.
Something felt wrong, I thought. My gut told me I should turn around and run back inside. The branch’s shadows laughed menacingly at me, as I pondered the thoughts of what could go astray, trying to find a solution to my haunting doubt. A cop could pull me over, for starters, and that would certainly not give me more time to focus on my homework. And even if I evaded that chance, my clumsy actions that were already showing struggle just walking down a straight line could get me into a crash. I could die, or I could murder. Indeed, I was a walking time bomb.
One that had to get back to campus. Now.
My old, red and scratched with tarnished rims and worn-down bumper stickers, Coupe was hidden in the back of the parking lot. The only available location when I had merely arrived here fifteen minutes late. Then, the area had been packed with drunken classmates and rowdy, starry-eyed companions ready to break loose from the law and normality. But now, I was alone.
Upon reaching the driver’s side of the car, after wobbling there, I fumbled with the zipper on my purse and eventually found my keys. Groggy, it took a few attempts to find the slot. Once in it, the key slid gingerly, though instead on a unlocked door, my body found something else at which it was not prepared for.
A splitting pain seared the back of my neck as my limbs instantly grew numb and cold, a mangled feeling even compared to the alcohol. I attempted to turn around to see what had caused such a sudden, frightening blow, but my nerves were unresponsive. As instantaneously as the needle had hit me, my sight and hearing was gone, along with the rest of my soul in the cold morning of this November day.