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The sweat drips from my head, comes from my pours, runs down my face. Ouch, the cut on my eye! The sweat enters it and mixes with my blood. I touch it, and with the squinted eyes I now have, I looked at the color-bead of liquid. As the sweat and blood mixed it created a sort of light read swirl.
Then, there was a thrash on my calf. A tight grip and tug on my ankle, and I was dragged on my stomach, face scraping on the rocky cement, and hands trying to grasp whatever was possible. My hands hurt so bad from being cut that I just gave up and clasped them behind my back.
My face was trying to survive a deep cut that was beginning to grow bigger. More flesh was torn open, I could tell.
As I was being pulled by whom I could not see, this was agony. I try to lift my head, but the weight was of a three pound sand bag. I gently close my eyes, and hope that this person would release their grip from my ankles and see my pain. But the dragging and scraping continued. Then, my left ankle was let go of while then my knee cracked on the pavement.
Was this it? Was this nightmare over? No, it couldn’t be. This thing wasn’t human. It had no feelings for another person.
My left hand was then pulled apart from my right and a grip tighter than before occurred in both my left wrist and my right ankle. I felt my body lift off of the rocky pavement, only to be swung in the air. The next thing I know, I was thrown in the other direction.
I hit dirt, which seemed so soft compared to the endless pain on the cement. I opened my eyes, hoping that this would be the end-for real. But all I could see was a cloud of dust and the diamond-shaped grate of a fence, right in front of my nose.
A new sensation began now. The striking hits, blown to my side occurred. I tried to roll over some to catch a glimpse of what was going on. I heard myself wheeze, scream, shriek, and shout. I was struggling.
And then I saw what seemed to be the tip of a base ball bat. A some-what tallish sort of looking male stood over me. He was wearing a white “gangster cap” with graffiti on the front in all sorts of colors.
I believe I was then knocked out, because I do not remember anything after this until I woke.
When I did, a wave of heat rolled over my body. I could not breathe very well. Every time I tried to take in a breath, I would have to stop in the middle of this process and let it out. I never knew trying to breathe could be such a challenge.
My brain suddenly “woke up”. My college paramedic’s skills came back to me. I broke a rib or two. The pressure and stabbing was near my lung which would be the cause of my breathing troubles. Yes, definitely a broken rib.
While still struggling to catch a good gasp of air, I opened my eyes. The stinging in the cut had gotten to the point where it hurt very little (probably because of the more severe pain in just about all the rest of my body).
Through what were my eyes, I saw that I was now crumpled into a ball, obviously without care, and was placed in the back of a white, open topped, pickup truck. It was rusting and the paint was peeling so now most was orange and silverfish-gray metal.
The bouncing, speeding truck jiggled me around. It made my breathing worsen. After an abrupt stop, I slid in the truck, the flaking paint following behind me. I smashed the truck head on, still rolled up in a ball. That same gangster who beat me up came around the truck and opened the door-gate of his pickup. He yelled curse words at me and then climbed abroad, punched me in my bleeding side, and told me to get out.
I couldn’t move and I just lay there closing my eyes, imagining my foster home with the spicy spaghetti smell, steaming in the pot.
But I did manage to kick him away, which then seemed to be my only protection for myself. The gangster slung me out of the truck and I could see we were at a rocky cliff, burden with chunky boulders. The waves splashed against them creating an un-real motion. I felt like I was being arrested.
I now got up (unwilling to), walked on my two wobbly legs, and followed the lead of the gangster. I was not looking forward to what I thought might happen next, but I personally thought that if I am already this beat up, what’s the point in living? I feared that I could not lead a life with broken ribs and such, knowing that there is still that memory of what could be my worst nightmare. I reasoned that this would be my time and day of death. This very moment…
I constantly opened my deep dark blue eyes and closed them when the pain worsened. I could feel myself step onto an un-even ground and figured it must be the rocky wall. That’s when he released his grip from me and pushed my back. I stumbled and fell down the boulders, tumbling, it seemed, forever.
Then smack! My face was buried by water. I had no time for a good deep breath. Trying to shout, I struggled, horrendously treading myself to the top. The gangster threw me into the ocean, and the saltwater stung my opened and bleeding side.
I heard the engine start on the truck, and dust followed its trail. I managed to wearily throw my legs out from under me, and use all the energy I had left to throw myself against the boulders. I was now out of the freezing water, but was left on a bouldered cliff with no help. I looked around me and then I spotted a chunk of scrap cloth. I scooted my way down the cliff and grabbed the fabric. It was a long dirty piece and washed out white, but I figured since it was probably long enough to tie around my waist, I could tie it to try to stop the bleeding in my side. Soon it was soaked with vibrant, devilish red blood. It seemed to be dancing around me. So did the thought of using my cell phone.
The thought never haunted me until now. I was fully conscious and even though I had taken a plunge in the frigid water, I figured the phone could work. I reached into the deep, right pocket of my dark wash Levi jeans and hurried to search for it. The screen was black. It must have turned off I thought. Lucky for me, my scratched silver Nokia worked. I dialed 911 and heard my voice echo through the crisp, thin air as I explained some of what I knew. They said they would send the police to look for the white truck, while the ambulance would try to find the location in which I explained my best at where I was at.
I waited. Boy, did I ever wait! Then the sirens and horn from the familiar sound of an ambulance and fire truck came to my rescue. I looked up the rocks, and it did seem like the only thing I could move was my neck. Even though it was daylight, I squinted at the truck’s lights. My heroes pulled as close to the cliff as they could before it would roll into the water. The paramedics jumped out of the truck and came rushing towards me with all of their gear. I tried to get up, but I could not. I couldn’t even scoot anymore. Closing my eyes to rest, I waited patiently until I could get help from the pros. These are great people I thought.
As soon as they were at my side, they asked to make sure I was breathing okay, and I explained how it was a challenge. They ordered the men that were still seated on the inside of the large red truck to grab the stretcher. These helpful guys hoisted the banana yellow stretcher with pure white padded sheets to my side and helped me onto it.
I was then rolled into the back of the ambulance, which had fairly dim lighting, and much equipment. I was put on oxygen, and they checked out my side, unwrapping the cloth from it and in a flash, there was a new one tied tightly on me, covering the medicine they had spread over my now cleaned out cut. They too, had said that I had broken some ribs. Yet there was no way to tell for sure until I really got cleaned up and they could do an X-ray.
Very gently, they dipped my hands into some clear, clean water so that I could be a little bit more comfortable.
I was to be taken to the hospital, and the truck drove off. I was now enclosed in this truck, with the smart paramedics who were with me. For once in this whole experience, I finally felt safe and well cared for. I hoped to God that that gangster would be caught, and maybe while I was in recovery, I could see that he was caught. Maybe on the news. Yes, I am for sure that he was a bad man, and that no creature of this such should be living on this land if they are to act that way. No way in the world should I have let anyone treat me like that, because now I looked at where I was. I was in an ambulance on my way to the hospital, all because someone who didn’t even know me decided to be rude, and un-human like.
When we arrived at the hospital, of which the name I did not know, I found that I was to get an X-ray to determine if I broke a rib or not. Which I was almost certain that I had-just from how bad the pain was. This hospital was really well lit, and I closed my eyes for most of the way when I was wheeled in. There were a lot of busy people there, and they were running all over! I tried to relax, and then finally we got into a room where I waited some more until the x-ray room was available.
I went in, and they very gently slid a heavy vest onto me and had me lie down. They took my x-ray and then sent me back to a room while they waited for the x-rays to come back. The doctor came back in, reporting that I had for sure broken one rib, and they would have to do surgery to patch it all up.
I waited, and waited, for this immediate, very important surgery I was going to go into. I was a little nervous, but I had always been a sort of problem child since the beginning where I had wrecked teeth, broken arms, legs, and cracked skulls. I was pretty used to the hospital, but this time just seemed more traumatic. Maybe it was because I haven’t taken a visit there in so many years, and I wasn’t in this much pain. After a few more things that had to be done, I was ready to be carted into the Operating Room. There, they put another I.V. into me and I was put on anesthetics. I had no clue how long this surgery lasted, but I felt worse than I did before, although the serine re-assured me that this was the best thing to do, and that now I was all patched up, and I should take some time to heel and rest with my cast thing around my torso.
Meanwhile, I kept an eye on the news hoping to hear about the gangster, but I didn’t. I was just glad that I lived. After a long time in the hospital, I (Clair) was finally glad to be discharged. My foster home was contacted, and my family came to visit in the hospitals, but now I was to be home for good. My foster mom questioned me, and she explained how worried and horrified she was that I was missing for so long. I had explained how was just on a walk that Tuesday when that man beated me for no reason. That is how all this happened. I was out on a nice walk watching the bluebirds take flight and hearing the crack of the squirrels opening peanut shells and nuts. I questioned it for a while, and decided to try and forget about it as much as I possibly could. I arranged a day where my friend and I would just hang out and take another walk. That was another promise to myself-I would not go out alone anymore. We were going to take a walk by the train tracks and sit and talk. We had a lot of catching up to do!
“So how is work?” I asked curiously.
“It’s okay, I have been working as a secretary, as you know, and I got a weekend job at Dillard’s.”
“That’s really great. I am trying to take some online classes on paramedics while also having a temporary job at Bath and Body Works. You know, ever since this whole incident, I have really had faith in those amazing paramedics. I just can’t get over how committed to their job they are. It’s great.”
“Okay. Well do you want to head back? I promised Sally that I would babysit her kids while I’m off work.” Kristen, my friend insisted.
“That’s okay. I just wanted to catch up. I need to be with my family anyway. Ever since I have been out of the hospital, it’s been a while since I’ve actually seen my family. I’ve been so caught up in trying to get everything with work and college all sorted out.”
As we were walking by the muddy railroad tracks, I slipped on the wet mud just as a train was coming past. My whole world was ringing, and I felt like it was turning around me. I heard my name being shout “CLAIR, CLAIR, CLAAAAAAAAAIR!!!!!! WATCH OUT!! GET UP, HURRY!” was just about all I heard.
With all the strength I had, I pushed myself up, and was relieved that it was a close one. I survived yet another tremendous event. I felt like a cat with nine lives. Until up ahead there was a man with a beard. He was quite old, in fact. He was walking toward us in the opposite direction as us, swinging something in his hand. It looked like a pistol. I shrugged it off, and shook the thought from my head, thinking that the fall might have given me brain damage!
But no. This was not my mind playing tricks on me. For he raised his hand up, stood dead still, closed one eye and….
I felt Kristen grab onto my arm, I saw her leg go up as she buried her head in my shoulder. This is what she did when she was scared. She acted as if I was a tiger with all the strength. Like I would be the one to protect her. But I was no fiercer than she was. At least, at the time! I could not be the one to save her from a bullet to pierce through her. As much as I wanted to, I felt that this was my time. It truly was. It was now and I wasn’t going to let anyone stop me. I was going to die today. My nine lives were up already, and there was nothing that I could seem to do.
As for Kristen, well I wished her luck for I would bet that I would probably go down first, me being as weak as I was. All I heard was a sort of PPPUUUCCCCCCKKKKKKOOOWWW sound. I dropped dead to the muddy ground, and there I was to stay. Nothing could pick me up now. It was my head, and no surgeon could fix it this time. I watch down on Kristen now, almost as if I’m her guardian angel. Here and there I see kids leave my foster home, and they do great in the world I used to live in. I saw that gangster when I was in Heaven, and I did know him. It is to stay a secret.