The Event

March 19, 2011
By , Colorado Springs, CO
You wake up and see that your eyelids which you refuse to open yet are almost white from outside light. You're hoping that you were just having a really weird dream. You're hoping that the bright light blaring on you is just your fourth period teacher playing a cruel joke with a flashlight to wake you up.
You bring your arm across your face and feel something weird. On your arm there is what feels like tape, some kind of metal, and some pliable plastic. You open your eye a crack, and instantly close it again. There is an IV in your arm. You're flooded with fear as you realize that your hopes aren't true.
Your senses go on high alert as you try to find out where you are. You don't feel any sense of motion, so you come to one realization: you're lying in the hospital. You open your eyes far enough to see a clock. After reading that its only 5:38, and noticing a nurse sleeping in your room as if she was supposed to be watching over you, you decide to try and sleep, though your heart is racing so much you doubt sleep would ever be possible again.
You close your eyes, and suddenly you are watching the event, but as if you were someone else. You see yourself sitting all alone out in front of your school. There are people nearby, but you are clearly in solitude. Suddenly, you start. You hear yourself tell the couple nearby to get into a nearby classroom.
"Why?" The guy asked.
"Does that guy in a cloak and holding a submachine gun answer your question?" You reply. The guy and his girlfriend look to where you're pointing, and then run into the classroom.
They were followed by a group of other students that you know, some of which were calling for you to join them. As you watch them, you wonder why you hadn't thought more on following them.
Instead, you just said no, and ran past the intruder.
You will yourself to run, to keep running, to leave campus, but you watch yourself get behind the intruder, pick up a rock, then throw it at the person. Your stomach turns as you see the shooter turn around and you instinctively turn away from him. The gun blares for a couple of seconds. You feel your butt pulse in pain as you watch yourself fall to the cement of the bus turnaround. The shooter, assuming you will no longer be an issue, turns around and starts to walk farther onto campus.
You feel a spark of pride as the fallen you pulls out a phone and calls 911. You know that you're whispering about the situation, saying that you have been shot, and that you were going to put the phone on speaker so that they could hear and record your next attempt to delay the shooter, and you know that you were finally asking the operator to solely listen, not to speak.
You watch yourself slip the phone into your pocket, and then struggle to finally get up. You hear yourself call out to the shooter, who is almost at the building, and definitely able to shoot any of the students in the nearest classroom. You hear yourself, in disbelief at your own audacity, start to berate the shooter.
Also to your disbelief, the shooter turns around, but instead of just shooting, he advances towards you with his gun raised. He gets to about 5 feet away from you, (and you remember praying that that would be close enough for him to be picked up on the phone,) then he stops and responds to your insults.
You watch yourself speak to him in a relatively sober voice, though you know, inside, you are afraid. You were so afraid; you almost thought you were going to die from the fear, not from your leg that was steadily feeling more and more warm and wet. You knew you were afraid he was just going to shoot you again. You knew you were afraid that you were going to show your hand. But, more importantly, you knew at that moment, when you were thinking about all of the fear you had during that period of the event, what the biggest part of the fear was.
You realize that it wasn't the fear that you would die, it was the fear that you had assumed naturally came from staring down the barrel of a loaded gun was actually the fear that you would fail in what you were trying to do. You realized that it was the fear that the shooter would walk away at any moment and go kill someone else. Someone like the girl you like, the guy that tried to choke you last year, or even the people who told you they hated you without saying a word when you thought they were your friends. You realized that even though you were all alone in this place, you would still rather die than see any one of them harmed. You would almost rather that it would be the case because you don't want to be considered the hero, which you're sure will be the case if you succeed. You don't want people to know that you saved their lives, because you don't want peoples' opinions of you to change. You don't really know why, but you are willing to die, to save over a thousand people that you don't even know.
In fact, you are almost begging to die, just to save them.
You had learned a few minutes ago that the shooter was a hit man, and that he has a moral rule to only shoot his target. He had shot you already, and he refuses to break his code again. You have seen your opportunity, and now you keep egging him on, telling him to kill you, get it over with, and he keeps flaking between killing you and sparing you. You glance over his shoulder, and you remember how your blood went cold, because you see one of the guys from the closest classroom running out towards you and the hit man. Now you make one last desperate plea for the hit man to kill you, praying that the student isn't stupid and he would get away, save himself. Instead, he ran up behind the hit man, and threw his arm around the hit man’s neck and dragged him backwards.
As anyone would react to such a motion, the hit man’s body tensed up, and that includes his trigger finger, which maintains the pressure on the trigger until long after the clip was empty. You feel a wave of relief as you know that the hit man could have killed you, but the student stopped that from happening. However, his brave actions weren't fast enough to avoid you entirely, and you watch yourself twitch as some of the shots hitting you in the shoulder, yet unlike the last time, you don't feel the pain from it. You know it happened, but it doesn't hurt. You hear the student kicking the hit man in the stomach, and look over to see him holding a pistol in his sleeve, which the hit man then announced was his own.
The student looks over at you, and tells you about your shoulder. You and your wounded counterpart feel your shoulders in unison. Suddenly, all you can think about is the pain from the various wounds. You see yourself pass out, and you want to do the same. There are sirens in the distance. They finally start to come.
You see yourself stirring, and then everything fades away. You remember, as you stare into your blindingly bright eyelids again, flashes of the arrival of the police, then the ambulances, then the trip to the hospital, the ceiling as people were shouting something about "multiple wounds" and "steady loss of blood" and "possible arterial damage," and getting an oxygen mask before everything went black. Then you realize that you were shouting as well. The nurse was awake and shouting for a doctor. Your shoulder and butt are screaming bloody murder, and you are struggling to bear the pain as tears openly pour down your face.
A doctor rushes in and plunges a needle into your leg. Suddenly, you start to relax, and the pain subsided to a dull ache. The doctor then proceeds to ask you several questions about your well-being, and explains to you that you had to have your hip replaced from the bullets and thus you will not be running for a while. Your shoulder was luckier, and so you will be able to be on crutches for a few weeks then move into more advanced therapy. You refuse to speak to anyone until you knew that you were truly successful, that the hit man was arrested and that no one else was injured. Once assured, you relax even more and begin to accept and look forward to the future, wondering what you are going to do when you are sitting there on crutches and can't play anything in P.E. You find a silver lining in it:
You got a free period.

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