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My skin felt like as if it was burning. The clothes I was wearing felt like a metal armor weighing my body down. Steadily losing consciousness, I frantically searched for a way out, a way to survive. A heavy glass window caught my attention. I knew was going to be difficult, but I needed to get out. I pull back and draw on every bit of energy I have, mumble a quick prayer and throw myself through the 3rd story window.
I hit the left side of the window panel, barely making it through, and everything immediately slows down. I can literally feel each individual piece of broken glass pierce through my skin. The whole thing felt like surreal, like an HD movie; I could see everything happen, yet I did not feel present in the situation. So this is what an adrenaline rush felt like. An abundance of cars flashing bright blue and red fill the narrow street. Cries of despair can be heard from miles. As I fall for what felt like forever, I pray for gravity a little gentle to me. I smash into the ground, and intense pain shoots crushes my body. And then nothing. Numb darkness takes over.
I open my eyes and close them right away. It is way too bright in this room. I try and open them again, but more slowly this time and everything goes out of focus and back, kind of like a camera lens. Everything in the room is oddly white in the room: the bedspread, the walls, the blinds, and even the floor. I can tell it’s a hospital room, but why am I here? I suddenly have a random urge to open the blinds, but when I make the slightest movement pain screams out in every part of my body. Along with the flood of pain comes a rush of memories. I remember why I’m here.
“… Rockefeller was one of the richest… donated most of his…” the history channel was on TV and I caught bits and pieces of it while half asleep. I’m way too lazy to actually get up and close the TV, but eventually it gets to me and I move off of the couch to get remote. I glance over to the clock and it reads 2:30 am. It is 2:30 am on a Tuesday and I’m completely alone. Not for long, I think to myself, mom’s coming into town next weekend and I get to spend the upcoming week with her. Out of the whole year. It’s hard to think positive while feeling so lonely, so to take my mind off of that I walk towards my window.
The apartment looks like a mess; clothes all over the place, old pizza boxes over the coffee table and dinner table. It gets hard for a 17 year old to take care of himself with divorced parents, and with a mom being on business trips all the time. I sigh. I know this isn’t what’s bothering me; the thing that is bothering me is that I want to be somebody. Somebody with a purpose. Being alone all the time gives me a lot of time to think, and the more I reflect about my situation the more I fall into despair. I think back to the TV now, another vain attempt to try and avoid the problem at hand because Rockefeller’s name comes into my mind. A very wealthy man, a man loved my many because he donated so much of his wealth. I bet he wasn’t lone… I stop myself again. I look out the window and try not to think about anything. The night actually looks really peaceful, the streetlights and the light snow make a beautiful picture, and I have an impulse to go for a walk. So I throw on a coat and walk out the door.
I smile to myself. Although it was a silly idea and not to mention utterly random, the thought of being part of something beautiful makes me happy. I keep walking on and on, passing houses and cars just lost in a state of thoughtlessness, and suddenly I hear high pitched yelling. I break into a jog toward the hysteria to see what all the commotion is about, and I see a house with crimson red flames engulfing it and firemen and policemen alike holding a lady into place.
“Maam, please try to under-…”
“NO, you try and understand! MY BABY IS IN THAT HOUSE! I don’t care if it’s going to burn down. Let me go in there! I can get her out! She’s only on the second floor!” the lady cuts off the fireman even before he can finish his sentence, her voice cracking because she is screaming so loud.
All I do is stand there. I mean it’s not like I’m going to jump in the fire, that’s what the firemen are there for... Right?
The longer I watch the drama unfold I realize that the firemen aren’t going to go into the house. They keep saying the house is too unstable and might cave in any minute now. If the firemen will not to go into the house, I will.
Before I can change my mind I sneak into the backyard of the burning house which is fairly easy because the woman has the attention of everybody who was there. The backdoor was wide open because the mother probably escaped from the back door so I enter. Everything after that seemed like a fuzzy blur. I scramble around the house dodging burning planks of wood falling to the ground and other obstacles and find the baby, but when I turn my way out is blocked. In desperation I jump out the window. And now I’m –
Door opens and an old man, probably in his 50’s walks in. He’s wearing a doctor’s coat and scrubs underneath. “Mr. Anderson, it pleasant to see you awake now, you see you’ve been out cold for two days” he says in a raspy voice. It doesn’t suit him much, his voice, but I don’t pay attention that much.
“uh, wow” that’s all I can seem to mutter.
He smiles at me. “It was a brilliant stunt you pulled there son. Too bad you couldn’t get away with a lower toll on your body.”
“What do you mean?”
“Are you sure you’re ready for this?” The doctor asks me. What could he mean by that? Since I don’t want to keep up with the small talk I just nod my head yes. He pulls out a piece of paper and hands it to me. I stare at it in disbelief. It’s the list of injuries I had because of the fall. It reads: 3 broken ribs, a dislocated shoulder, shattered right elbow, 4 broken teeth, and 5 hairline fractures in different parts of my body.
“I’ll leave you on your own for a bit there Mr. Anderson”, I guess he sensed my despair, but as he was walking out the door he turned to me and said, “oh and I almost forgot, the baby, he’s perfectly fine.”
I smiled to myself, this time with true happiness. After 3 broken ribs, a dislocated shoulder, shattered right elbow, 4 broken teeth, and 5 hairline fractures I was finally somebody.