"Newton, please, tell me it's just a dream," Aivilo sobbed from her end of the phone.
2:14 a.m. If I cared any less about Aivilo, I would have hung up right then and there. Goodness knew I had enough on my mind...
But even though our relationship had grown quite rocky over the past two weeks or so, I tried to sound as chipper as I could for her sake. "Tell you what's just a dream?" I asked groggily. Then, it hit me.
Instantly, my mind entered panic mode. I couldn't believe I hadn't had nightmares about the whole incident. Being a witness to the entire episode, I had seen every detail, heard every noise, smelled the metallic smell of blood. Oh, yes. I'd seen more than my fair share of the crime.
"Aiv," I whispered, glancing over to where my roommate slept. Kyle was a pretty heavy sleeper, but still, I didn't want to wake him up. I pulled on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt and headed out of the dorm building. "Hold on a sec, Aiv."
All around me, Friday-night party animals staggered drunkenly to their dorms. As always, I was disgusted by them. I'd never been into the party scene.
And as I looked around at the people around me, all oblivious to my silent pain, I wondered, Don't any of you realize that life could be taken away from you in the blink of an eye? Is this how you want to spend the golden years of your lives?
The whole car crash event had certainly turned me into a philosopher.
I was beginning to see things differently...
Clay, who had always had a reputation for "livin' it up," stopped me, a beer in his hand. "Where you going?" he asked, slurring considerably.
I felt like smacking him. How can you waste your life away like this when there are children starving around the world? When there are little girls being captured for slavery? When innocent people like that teenager in the murder scene are...are...are...
I shrugged Clay's hand off my shoulder and continued on my way.
Finally as secluded as I could be, I put the phone up to my ear again. "I'm here, Aiv. Talk to me, baby."
Aivilo was sobbing. "I can't believe it...I can't believe she..." And then, the tears started flowing again.
I sank down to the sidewalk and sat there, trembling.
"I was there, Newton, I saw it all. I can't stop thinking about her. I had the worst nightmare I've ever had...Newton, please, make it stop! Make the nightmares go away!"
Helpless, I could only try to console Aivilo, but it wasn't helping.
"She was too young to die like that, Newt...what did she do to deserve it? I don't even know her, but I can't get her face out of my mind!" Aivilo's words were so tear-muddled that I could hardly understand them. "In the nightmare, I could see everything as though it was real life, all over again. Please, Newton, help me!"
A group of laughing girls plodded past me, and I tried to shut out their tinkling laughter. One of them tripped over my foot. "Watch where you're going!" I growled. The girl who had tripped over me gave me a scowl before joining in the obnoxious cackling again. I drew my feet in closer to me so that more people wouldn't trip. "Aiv, listen to me. It's gonna be okay."
I was shaking again. The phone dropped from my hands as I leaned back and stared blankly at the sky.