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In My Shoes
In My Shoes
“I could be doing more productive things if we weren’t here.”
“Like watching Netflix on your Xbox?”
Jeremy turns his head to glare at me. I know I upset him with my semi-harsh comment but his constant whining got irritating after twenty seconds. We climb up the fire escape to get to the rooftop of the Keystone Apartment building. An acquaintance of ours invited us to a party and since there’s nothing better going on in my life, so I seized the opportunity. Taking Jeremy along was a big mistake.
Looking over New York City late at night was one of the most beautiful things to see. I never give enough appreciation to the beauty and mystery of the city. The buildings look like candle lights shining through the dark sky, guiding people on their way. My crystal blue eyes skim over the sea of people, each one invested in their surroundings, except one. I’ve never seen someone with such beautiful raven hair, so dark and silky. Each curve of her hourglass figure enhanced by her form fitting navy blue dress. She’s no taller than average height while wearing silver flats. She swiftly moves her body around to see the party as my crystal blue eyes meet the calm before the storm.
“Jeremy. Have you ever seen a girl so beautiful?” I ask over the loud music.
“Which one?” His eyes scan the populous rooftop.
“Ten o’clock, navy blue dress.”
“If you don’t go get her, I will.”
I rub my hands together, preparing myself for what is yet to come. I second guess myself as I attempt to fix my hair, “Do I look okay? Is my hair in place? How about my teeth, is there something in them? What ab-”
“Dude! Shut up. You’re fine. You look as spiffy as Luke Bryan. Remember, I’ll go after her if you don’t, watch out.” He sneers his famous Grinch grin.
I take a deep breath, “Wish me luck!”
“Knock ‘em dead tiger.”
I brace myself, trying to calm my nerves down as I go talk to her. “She is so beautiful, she would never go for a guy like me. Stop it. You’re a handsome guy, she’d be silly to not like you!”
I push my way through the mass of people “I’m sorry,” I say to the big guy as I make my way towards the beauty with raven hair.
“People need to stop running into me,” my deep voice rings in the cold air.
“You’re drinking too much Jason. Please go home.” My girlfriend shouts.
“No! You’re just scared of what I become when I’m like this!”
“Jason, please. For my sake, and the sake of others, I need you to go home.” Her honeydew eyes plead.
I sense the palm of my hand make a harsh connection to her left cheek as I hear the sound of sobs escaping her delicate lips. Penny clutches her cheek running towards the exit. No one confronts me about the pain I cause her to endure. I guess I’m off the hook, for now. I run off in the general direction of my crying Penny.
I found my parents sitting at a booth in the corner as I walk inside the famous diner, this wasn’t a good sign. Sitting down, I could see the pain, discomfort, and worry in my mom’s eyes.
“Mom, what’s wrong?”
She looked at my dad, then at me, then at the shining white plate, then back at me. “Jason, I’m not sure how to tell you this. Your brother was killed in action last night. They tried their best, but it was too late to save him. Soldiers showed up this morning,” tears rolled down her face.
My heart shattered, I had no idea what to think, let alone what to say. I sat in shock, wondering if I would ever be able to move. “You’re lying to me, right?” I forced out a laugh.
“I wish I was Jason.. I know it’s hard but you-”
“I- what?” My frustration grew, I couldn’t believe what they were saying.
The anger was too much for me to control. I got up out of the booth, walked to my car it on, turned it on and threw it into reverse quicker than Dominic Toretto in The Fast and Furious. I drove off wishing I could burn the words I heard, and I refused to think my brother is dead, he was the only thing that helped me through anything. The only person that knew the real me.
I drove faster than necessary to my house to find the one thing I could use to help me cope. I never thought I would turn to it myself. Once I got to my house, I ran inside to my brother’s room to grab what I needed. Heading down the stairs and out the door, I got in my car with the tequila and drove off to the one place where I could go to for peace and quiet.
I arrived in the middle of the woods twenty minutes later. I got out of the car with the bottle and sat close to the edge of the cliff to grieve. I don’t remember much else on that day because that’s when my world took a turn for the worst.
Being caught in my horrifying thoughts, I bump into someone with a nametag said ‘Jev’. “Hey! You! Did you see a girl in a red dress and black heels come this way?”
“She went out,” the scraggy freak against the wall spoke.
“Well s***.” I mumble stumbling out of the party.
“I have never met someone so rude and arrogant. Not to mention his temperament issues. She should have kicked that jerk to the curb a long time ago. He may look all macho and strong, but he sure doesn’t act like it. He is a coward, too scared to be alone. He really should get over himself. I don’t know how or why anyone could be abusive, no matter the type of situation. Whether it be a guy abusing a girl or a girl abusing a guy, it’s wrong on so many levels.
This party isn’t as interesting as I wish it to be. I don’t normally put myself out there because I prefer to see where the life of the party lies. Looking around, I wish I was more confident to put myself out there to see what interacting with others is like. I don’t even know who’s hosting this event. I was eavesdropping from someone’s conversation on the street. Oops. This is how I have plans.
Oh my goodness. This song is so good, it hurts. It brings back too many memories... I thi-” My stream of consciousness was rudely thrown off its tracks from a tap on my shoulder.
“Yes?” My eyebrows raise in question.
“Jev? Is that you?” The brunette spoke.
I pause before I open my mouth. I’ve seen those piercing green eyes as they haunt me in countless dreams. She gives me a look of confusion, as if I am not the person she needs.
“Yes it is I. You are?” Jev answers me as my heart sinks into my stomach. I never thought he would have forgotten me.
“Nora Fee.” I raise my voice over the music.
“Oh, um, we dated in high school.”
“Wait a second. Weren’t you the one who left me because you thought I was cheating on you when I clearly caught you cheating?”
I bowed my head in shame, “Yeah.” I observe the pent up pain and anger outbreak his dark chocolate brown eyes now after seven years.
“I thought you said we were never going talk to one another ever again,” he coldly spoke.
I keep my head looking down at my feet, “Well, uh, yeah we did, but I was curious to see if it was you or not, and to see how you were doing.”
“Why do you care Nora? You said to me the day we broke up, you wished we never met! That was seven years ago! But look at where you stand to this day,” He grits through his teeth as the vain on the left side of his neck is popping out.
Tears collect in my green eyes as he spoke the harsh truth, “I know sorry won’t fix anything, but-”
“You’re damn right sorry won’t fix anything!” His voice growls.
“I miss you Jev. I regret leaving you senior year,” I was doing everything I could to not look weak and vulnerable.
His Hershey’s dark chocolate eyes open wide as his mouth releases a mocking laugh to fill my ears. “You don’t mean that, do you?”
I turn around and walk away from him. I thought he would have had a different reaction to seeing me, and maybe not have been an ass to me. I guess I’m too naive to think he would be kind to me after I left. My legs move me over to my best friend by the bar. As soon as I see her raven hair, I notice a blonde male talking to her. I feel terrible for interrupting their conversation.
“I’m going home. I’m not feeling great.” Nora yells over the blasting music.
“What? We just got here and you were so excited! What happened?”
That is when Nora’s green eyes let a flood escape. She turned around to walk out the door as I reached for her arm, “Text me when you get home, please.”
She shook her head in confirmation as she left for the door.
“I’m really sorry about that,” I apologize to the blonde male.
“No worries. I’m Nathan, and you are?” He gave me a soft smile.
“I’m Teryn, nice to meet you.” I return his smile.
“You look gorgeous tonight and your eyes are so stunning. Grey eyes are so rare, it’s beautiful.”
“Awh! Thank you. You look great as well, purple is definitely your color.” I blushed.
“Thanks. Would you like a drink?”
“Surprise me.” I gave him a flirty smirk.
Nathan made his way to the bar as I sat down on a stool waiting for his arrival. My curious mind wandering to Nora, “What could have happened?” Nathan came back and I saw his hands shaking out of nervousness. His blonde hair is a little shaggy, but it doesn’t take away attention from his crystal blue eyes, something I don’t normally see.
“So tell me about yourself,” Nathan spoke, taking me out of my thoughts.
“What would you like to know?”
“Whatever you want to tell me Teryn.”
“Well, I am-” Were the last words I spoke before I fell into Nathan’s arm as a bullet found its way to my head.
The warmth of my blood flowed out of my cranial cavity and down out on the concrete. I could hear the party die after the gunshot rang out. My vision fades rapidly as I feel myself going in and out of consciousness.
“Teryn. Teryn.. stay with... me.... stay..... awake...... please..... Don’t stand there you idiots! Somebody call 911. Now!” I take my shirt off to help clot the oozing blood from her skull.
As I hold her close to me, I feel her body become limp with every minute passing. “Teryn, I need you to look at me. Focus on my eyes, don’t you dare close them!”
“I’m so tired,” she mumbles weakly.
“Did somebody call the damn ambulance!?”
“I did Nathan, they’ll be here momentarily.”
I keep my sight on Teryn’s face as I say a pray. “Please don’t take her away God. Please keep her around. I’ll do anything to get to know her, please. I beg of you. It’s no-”
The sirens from a block away took me out of my prayer. I hear the paramedics run into the building to get to the rooftop. The tension in the air continues to rise as the paramedics rose to the top of the building, seven minutes felt like seven years.
“Look at me. Let me see those grey eyes of yours.”
She looks up at me and weakly smiles, “Thanks Nate.”
As her breathing gets shaky and the blood continues pouring out, the paramedics arrive on the rooftop taking her frail body from my arms. I follow them towards the elevator and the younger woman stops me. “Sir, you can’t be in the ambulance with us. You can meet us at Newyork Presbyterian Hospital.”
As they rush her down to the ambulance, I race to the fire escape that I ascended earlier. Skipping a step on my way down to the sidewalk, I stumble over my feet in nervousness. I jump the last section, shakily landing on the cement with a harsh thud and took off in a sprint towards the street.
“Taxi! Taxi!” I scream in I hope one of them sees me.
The taxi driver notices me and pulls over. “Where to sir?”
“Newyork Presbyterian Hospital, step on it!” My trembling voice demands.
The driver gets there in record time of thirteen minutes. I hand him extra cash yelling to keep the change. Rushing towards the entrance of the Emergency Room, I found my way to the service desk. In between gulps of air I ask the nurse, “Ambulance...girl...bullet wound...where is she?”
“Take a seat hun, she went in for surgery.”
I situate myself in the waiting room while watching the clock slowly tick the seconds away. There’s nothing appealing about blank white walls. The magazines had no interesting news to distract me from the last thirty seven minutes of my life.
Minutes- no hours past before a surgeon came out from the forbidden entrance of the Operating Room.
“Is anyone here for Teryn?”
“I am.” Standing to talk to him, I pull down my shirt and wipe my sweaty palms on my khakis. “How is she?”
“Let me put it this way, it’s a miracle she’s alive. She will have brain damage, but we won’t find out the extent of it until she wakes up. She will be in the hospital for a while since she lost a lot of blood. Would you like to see her?”
He takes me to the third floor of the hospital. We take a left out of the elevator and begin down the long stretch of hallway. I notice the distress, heartbreak, and pain radiating from family members wondering if their loved ones are going to survive as I peer into each room. He stops at the second to last room on the right.
“Here we are, page the nurse if you need anything.”
I nod my head as I slowly enter the room. The constant beeping of her heart monitor broke the eerie silence of the room. I doze off for a while as I come back to reality from the sound of rustling sheets. Teryn slowly opens her eyes to scan the room.
“Where am I?”
“Oh my God, you’re awake. How are you feeling?”
“Where am I?”
“Newyork Presbyterian Hospital.”
“I’m feeling okay. Can you get me some water please?”
I page the nurse asking for a glass of water, “Anything else?”
“Yeah, who are you?”