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She looked nothing like he had expected. This was a perfect pick-me-up if Tyler had ever seen one. When she walked into the room everything froze and all attention was to her. The perfectly combed dark brown hair running down her shoulders was only overshadowed by the pair of big gray eyes that it started to cover. Gotta remember to thank my friends for this one. As she sat down at the table Tyler was hit with a comforting scent. Must be her perfume… he thought but anything he was thinking of was pushed aside by the purest sound his 18 year old ears had ever heard.
“I’m Tiffany, Tiffany Johnson,” she said while extending her hand in the daintiest most perfect fashion Tyler had ever seen.
With a stammer he managed to squeak out his name and shake her smooth hand.
After an awkward beginning, the two started talking and were only reminded of the time by the yelling of owner of the café and the ‘no loitering’ sign hung above the entrance. They had gotten caught up talking about school, friends and previous relationships. Tyler was proud of himself; he had gotten through a whole explanation of Mabel without calling her and leaving her a message until now. He explained their three-year relationship and how she broke his heart and started dating his friend. Tiffany seemed sentimental and gave her fair share of bad relationships.
Tyler walked her home and as he leaned in to give her a hug, she pushed his face up and they touched lips. His whole world stopped and he felt his heart stop beating.
“Ya know the rink on 47th?” Tiffany asked.
He was still staring at her with his mouth hanging open. “Yeah… I’ve been there”
“Meet me there in a hour.” she said. She smiled at him and walked into her house.
That was exactly one year ago. For their anniversary Tyler and Tiffany had decided to do the same thing on their date as they did on their first.
Tyler stood in front of her house, wondering about how he had managed to keep such a perfect girl, but a melody and a vibration in his pocket finally broke his trance. When he pulled out his phone his heart sank, and with a groan he flipped up the cover.
Ernie Sanders was tired. 40 years of being a taxi driver, just one more night and he could finally go back to his home knowing he’d never have to drive this wretched car again. One last fair and I’m done… he thought, and then he saw the kid. Not just a regular kid, this kid was under a lamppost kicking it, screaming at the top of his lungs on a phone and sobbing. Never get the normal ones…
Tyler hung up the phone and stood there, holding the lamppost. A raspy voice from behind him made him nearly jump out of his skin. “Goin’ som’re I can take ‘ya?” Tyler spun on his heels and was looking into the eyes of an old man in a cab. For his age, his hair was unnatural. It was long, down to his shoulders, and perfect blonde. His eyes were weathered but an inviting blue shade.
Wordlessly Tyler stepped into the car and they started driving.
“So wh’re we headin’?” Ernie asked trying to start a conversation with this kid who looked in despair. Ernie was watching the kid in his rear view mirror more than the road. It stunned him to see someone of that age so obviously shattered.
“The ice rink on 47th” Tyler mumbled barely audible under the groan of the taxi.
“’Ya wanna get somethin’ off yer chest?” Ernie asked.
“Not nothing you can help me with old timer” Tyler spat condescendingly but immediately felt bad for saying it. The man just wanted to help, so who knows, maybe he can. “Actually, I’m looking for some advice.”
Ernie grinned and cracked a laugh, “Ya came to the right old timer!”
Tyler started to ease up and he explained, “Me and my girlfriend, Tiffany, have been going out for a year, and she’s great, but then my old girlfriend who I loved calls me up saying she misses me. I’m torn between the two. I was thinking my old girlfriend doesn’t deserve a chance, she’s hurt me bad enough…” He trailed off while his gaze was lost onto the falling snow outside.
There was a silence and then Tyler began again, “I really liked her, but she was so controlling. It was like I was in a car speeding down the highway but I just couldn’t get control of the wheel.”
“I person’ly think ‘ya should give ‘er another chance. What ‘ya got to lose? ‘Ya seem like ‘ya want ta get back at ‘er, but an eye for an eye leaves the kingdom blind.” As if on cue when Ernie was finished the car pulled up to a frozen-over lake with a group of kids sitting on the edge.
Without a response Tyler got out of the car, “How much I owe you?”
“This one’s on me” Ernie said with a wink and a smile. Tyler watched the car until the snow clouded his vision of the street.
Wordlessly Tyler walked to the group of kids and stood next to Tiffany.
“What’s wrong?” she asked Tyler noticing his dazed look and staggering feet.
“Uh… nothing. Hey, can I talk to you for a second?” He asked her as he pulled her away from the crowd.
“What’s going on?” Tiffany asked. Tyler could sense she was concerned.
“I was thinking on the ride over here, are you planning on getting serious?”
“’Bout what?” She said looking down and twirling her hair flirtatiously.
“’Ya know, us” He immediately felt the blood rush to his face. It felt good saying ‘us’ around her.
“Well what do you think?” but before Tyler could answer Tiffany was up close against him, her gray eyes piercing his fragile teenage essence.
“I… the… uh…” He stammered, and then he pushed her away. “Tiffany we need to talk.”
She looked disappointed. God, what am I doing? She’s beautiful! He couldn’t help but stare at her in the tight white jacket and skinny jeans as she went to go sit down on the bench. “Talk” she said with her arms cross, giving off a ‘this better be good or your toast’ aura.
“Remember the girl I was telling you about, Mabel? Well she called me right after I left your house. She said she’s sorry and wants to work out what she…” but he was immediately cut off.
“Hold up! So you’re telling me I’m getting dumped for some girl who hurt you?” Tiffany was in a rage now. Tyler could tell this wasn’t good, she never got this mad.
“No! I’m just a bit confused…” Tyler looked away and something caught his eyes coming across the ice. It was a girl, roughly 5’5” with short blonde hair. Two completely different emotions of dread and joy streamed into his body, it was Mabel.
How did she find me? What am I gonna do? Tyler’s mind was racing.
As she approached Tiffany stood in forn of him in a protective way.
“I… I gotta go!” Tyler yelled and he started to run.
“Tyler! Wait!” was all he heard, but he didn’t stop.
He did not want to think of what was going to happen. Just get home. Just get home and forget all of this.
An hour later he hadn’t heard from either girl. He’d left six messages and sent at least fifty texts.
He settled into the couch with a cup of coffee and a chocolate crescent. I’ll just watch some TV until one of them responds. Then his phone started ringing, it was Mabel. About time!
“Mabel! Why haven’t you answered me back? What took you so long?”
“You said you loved me, you said I was everything to you.” Her breathing was loud and he could hear the hum of a car.
“Mabel! What are you doing? Where are you?” Tyler was worried. She didn’t have a car; even worse was her license was just revoked for a DUI. He got up and went outside.
“Ha! You care about me now don’t you? Would you care if I told you I had your precious b**** in my backseat and we were heading towards the pier?” Tyler was sure he could hear a growing hysteria in her voice.
“Mabel, stop right now! I love you! I love you I swear!” Tyler was pleading now. He started running towards the pier, but he knew he’d never make it.
“Lies! Lies, lies and more lies! You’re just trying to save your little girlfriend! Your little b****…”
“Tyler! Tyler help me!” It was Tiffany. She was crying and then she was gone.
“Shut up!” Mabel screamed and Tyler heard something that sounded like a computer smashing in the background.
“You hurt me! You left me! What did I do wrong?” Tyler was screaming and running as fast as he could, his warm tears burnt the frostbite creeping up his neck.
Everything got quiet on the other side of the phone and Tyler heard Mabel whisper, “I loved you.”
There was a crash and a scream then the line went dead. He dropped the phone and just ran. Finally, Tyler stopped in his tracks. He fell to his knees, the agony too much to cry or make any sound. Black was creeping in over his vision and he lay down. All he heard was the crunching of snow across the street but he could care less about his safety now.
“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes,” The woman proclaimed. Tyler’s thoughts were a black wall. Everything was in slow motion except this lady, walking across the street. Back in Jesus’ time these people were referred to as prophets, now only one word describes how they’re seen: crazy.