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I Had to Go
It was just me. In a crowd of people. My mind set off in the distance. Over the rainbow, as Dorothy would say; but not in good thoughts.
I was up.
"1 ticket please"
45 dollars later, I was underground smothered with wind, screeching and noise.
I got on the fast moving underground transporter, took out my cell phone and began to write down important numbers. People I wanted to say good bye too.
Where was I going? I wasn’t sure. I was, but I wasn’t.
Rewind. -45 minutes earlier-
Sitting in the principal’s office, police behind me resting their assertive hands on my shoulders, I felt the sweat drip off my temple. How could they think it was me? A straight A student. High honors, extra curricular activity freak doing twice as much community service as a normal human being. It wasn’t me. But I couldn’t explain the evidence. The principal came in. I knew him. He knew me. Soon as he saw my face,
"You’ve got the wrong girl"
"The gun was in her locker. Her prints all over it." the police officer replied.
"Is this true Lila?"
"I didn’t do it!" I was crying. "I don’t know how it got there. I don’t know how it had my prints. I loved him. Why? how?... how could I..." I drowned in my own tears.
"In the school of excellence, there are no excuses. The evidence points to you. Take her with you. I will notify her parents." the principal spoke in disbelief and sighs.
Roughly, the officers pulled me up and out of the room; I was allowed to get my stuff from my locker on one condition...they kept it with them. They ducked my head as they pushed me into the flashing light car as the whole school starred out the windows; even of the third floor.
It wasn’t me.
They got a call. A robbery. They had to respond. They were short staff. A light bulb went off in my head.
They get out, I get out. Somehow.
We get there and like I expected, they had to unlock and get out. Guns raised, they crept up to the broken glass. I snuck out the opposite side of the car, grabbed my stuff through the window and ran quickly but quietly. I was somehow calm when I ran down into the subway station. Maybe because I thought I got away.
I had to switch lines. I got off and went up to the street. From here, I was best taking a train. I was so lucky I had the $300 for my yearbook, gown, and T-shirt with me. Plus I had about $35 saved up from un-used lunch money from the past couple weeks. I dumped by bag, and cell phone in a dumpster. I kept the list of important numbers in my pocket. I would find a pay phone and call them then.
I got a map and found the train station.
Minus another $45 and I was off to Brooklyn NY.
I got on the train. Another light bulb went off. I remembered this guy I met. His name Andre. He lives there. He has a place. I had written down his number.
I turned to the woman next to me and asked if I could borrow her phone. She gave in to the tears running down my face. I got up to the bathroom and locked the door. I dialed his number.
"Andre, its Lila. I need your help. Please."
"Of course, what is it?"
"I am coming. Right now. I need a place to stay. I can explain the rest when I get there. Just please, tell me your address so when I get to Brooklyn I can get a cab straight there."
"Baby, what is going on?"
"Just please. I will explain later."
"Okay okay. Its 102 12th Ave. apartment number 35. I will buzz you in."
"Thank you." I hung up sobbing.
I returned the woman’s phone and sat down. She asked if everything was okay, and I told her I just had to call my brother to tell him I was going to be late. And that I thought he was going to be mad. She said okay and that was all for our conversation until our goodbyes when we got to Brooklyn.
I stepped onto the busy street there and called a cab. I got in, read the address and off we went. Fast and furious through the crazy streets. We pulled up and I knew I was in a dangerous place. But I would rather be here than being at home in jail for a crime, a gruesome horrific crime, I did not commit.
As I walked to the door, 3 bigger guys with tattoos and cigarettes approached me. I walked faster.
"Why don’t you come with us?"
I ran to the lobby.
I buzzed his apartment and he buzzed me in.
I climbed the 3 stories to his floor. I ran into Andre’s arms. My heart was pounding, my mind still somewhere over the rainbow.
"What is going on?" he pleaded to know.
I told him everything. About the principal, the police, the robbery, the creepy guys outside the apartment.
"I mean, how they could think I killed him. I loved Joey. He was my everything. just because he cheated and left me and the fact that I was a hot mess over it does not mean I shot him and then buried his body in that cooler in the park. I can not even think about it without a chill going down my spine. I have never touched a gun and I never want to. I know it has something to do with those guys and that war they had with him. The guys hit one of his friends with their car, and ever since there has been a war between the two groups. But why frame me? The innocently crushed ex girlfriend?" I broke down. Again. For like the millionth time since I got there.
He hugged me tight, rocking me back and forth, whispering how it is all going to be okay.
The first sign of comfort since that last kiss before Joey and I broke up. Before the war went too far. Before I was framed for the murder of my love.
Before my 14 year old life fell to pieces…