Sleeping Beauty (Part 3) This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

November 26, 2009
He couldn’t move for a few seconds. He watched Jenna lying there. Was she breathing? He could detect the small movements of her chest moving up and down. She was alive. In a trance, he reenacted the dream he had had so many times. Breathing hard, he ran around the building to the entrance. The brick wall grazed his shoulder, stinging his flesh. He turned the doorknob, yet it was locked. He gasped. He was trying to breathe ever so hard. The world was starting to spin. He pulled out his pocketknife, and jammed it into the lock. He twisted and turned it until he heard a soft click. He pocketed the knife and darted inside. He found her there, all of the versions of Jenna, lying in a cold sweat on the cold floor. He swooped her up in his arms. He could feel her beating heart against his chest. He ran with her then. He sprinted with her in his arms till he could run no farther. He collapsed on a park bench. He was halfway back to civilization, sitting on a cold park bench at eleven at night with a girl passed out in his arms. He adjusted his body and pulled out his phone. He had her home number; from the time they had worked on that group project together in fourth grade. He sent the call, and waited in trepidation. His heart was beating to the time of the rings. He counted them. One. Two. Three. Four. On the fifth ring, someone picked up.
“Um hey. Your- your daughter just p-passed out.”
Silence on the other end.
“I have her with me. I- I'm at the park on the corner of Jubal Early and Fox Run.”
“Okay. Okay.”
“Is she…”
“She’s alive.”
A bleep as the call ended.
Now all there was to do was wait. Wait and wait. He counted her eyelashes, and the freckles on her left cheek. He looked at the old rusty play equipment and remembered climbing on it as a child. As he got older, he and his friends would play soccer in the field. He had grown up in this park. Without thinking about it, he stroked her hair, twirling her ringlets around his fingers.
Headlamps lighted upon the scene. He stood up, with Jenna in his hands. Her dad, a tall, graying man, ran to meet him. Together, they carried her into the car. The dad didn’t ask any questions. Just looked Rafi in the eyes and said “Thanks, son.”
Then he drove off, presumably to the hospital, while Rafi sat on the wooden bench and lit himself a cigarette. The smoke twirled up above the treetops to send some soft-spoken message to a heavenly ear.

He got a call later that night. It was Jenna’s father.
“Hello, son. I just wanted to thank you again for today. And let you know that.... that Jenna was diagnosed with cancer. It’s in her leg. She’s not supposed to be dancing.”
This time, Rafi was the silent one.
“Does that mean…”
“Jenna- Jenna- my daughter. She will never... never dance again”. He was choking on his words amidst sobs.
“I-I’d just appreciate if you didn’t tell anyone about this. We want to---to keep it private.”
“Absolutely.” A short pause.
“I guess this is just how it was meant to be.” There was an unspoken question in his words.
“I guess.” Rafi sighed.
“Have a good night”.

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meanangel said...
Feb. 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm
hey i loove all of these keep at it... ...Meanangel...
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