Stay calm, Parker.
I stared out my window in silence as I pressed the phone to my ear.
"Hello?" a familiar pretty voice said.
I cleared my throat. "Hey," I said slowly. "It's Tom."
"I have Caller ID," Chrissy said, giggling.
I smiled. I'm so stupid. "Right," I said with a laugh.
"Did you call for a reason?" she asked.
I said nothing for a moment. I glanced out my window down into my driveway, where I could see Aaliyah dancing in the rain. I smiled. "No, not really. I just wanted to talk to you. Is that okay?"
"Yes, of course, Tom," she said quietly. "You're a really sweet guy, you know that?"
I relaxed my smile. "So tell me, what are you doing right now?"
Chrissy sighed. "Nothing. My life can be terribly boring sometimes."
"All lives can," I said softly.
Aaliyah was still dancing, I noticed. She was running up and down the driveway, twisting and spinning...it was all so graceful. Aaliyah was a lovely dancer, always had been. I always loved to watch her dance, and sometimes would dance with her. Not that I was any good---I wasn't.
"True, true," Chrissy said, interrupting my thoughts. "But my life, I think, is especially boring."
"You certainly aren't," I said.
Aaliyah had just done a twirl. She leaped into the air, landed on one foot, and side-flipped out into the street. She was quite an acrobat. She could back-flip, side-flip, front-flip, somersault, you name it. She began to dance in the street, kicking up water, and continuing to dance. I almost laughed. Somehow, it wasn't weird that she would just dance out in public like this. She didn't care much about her public appearance, so neither did we, her family.
"Is that a compliment?" Chrissy suddenly said.
I shifted my gaze away from Aaliyah and to the roof. I needed to stop distracting myself. "Well, yes, I believe so."
Chrissy giggled softly. "You're too cute."
Her voice was light, and tender. I liked it. Almost a little too much. I liked her a lot, to be honest. A lot, a lot, a lot. I'm not sure why. There was just something about her. "Is that a compliment?" I said, sarcasm in my voice.
"Okay, now you're just being bratty," she said with a laugh.
We both laughed mirthfully for a few seconds.
As I laughed, I glanced down at Aaliyah. She was laying down in the street. I frowned slightly. That wasn't very safe. Then again, cars rarely came down our street anyway. She was a smart girl too. She would know to get out of the way if a car did come, as unlikely as it is. I continued staring as I said, "Tell me a little more about yourself. I don't know that much."
"Well," she began cheerfully. "I like animals. A lot of different kinds of animals---"
"Which one is your favorite?" I cut in.
"Patience," Chrissy scolded playfully.
I smiled. Aaliyah was still laying in the street. Now I was starting to get a little irritated. Even if no cars were going to come, her just laying there wasn't making me feel very comfortable. Suddenly, I saw a man. He was walking up to her, while she was laying on the ground. Why is that man going towards her? I thought to myself, standing. The man bent down and touched Aaliyah's face. I cringed. What is he doing?! Suddenly, it dawned on me.
She wasn't moving.
I dashed towards the door and threw it open, running down the stairs.
"My favorite animal is a---"
"I'll call you back!" I yelled, closing my phone. I dropped it on the staircase as I jumped off and landed right at the front door. I pushed it open and ran as fast as I could down the drive way. "HEY!" I screamed, as the man got down on his knees.
He looked at me in shock.
I threw myself at Aaliyah, who was still lying motionless on the ground. As I knelt beside her, I noticed something. Cuts and bruises, and blood. Lots of blood. She had gotten hit by a car when I wasn't looking. My eyes welled up with tears as the man pulled out his cell phone.
"Did you hit her?!" I yelled angrily at the man, grabbing him by the collar.
The man looked just as scared as I was. "No! I didn't! I was coming out to get the mail and---"
"Who hit her?!" I shrieked, pushing him back.
"A car sped by a few minutes ago," the man said quickly, looking back down at his phone.
"Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap..."
"I think it was a drunk driver---"
"SHUT UP!" I snapped loudly, quickly bending back down over Aaliyah. "Come on Aaliyah, talk to me, please."
Aaliyah didn't respond. She just sat there, white as a sheet, her mouth open.
I looked up into the dark, cloudy sky and screamed. I didn't hold back. I just wailed at the sky, squeezing Aaliyah's arm tightly.
There is no word to describe the anguish I felt at that moment. Nothing...no one...can describe how I felt.
And I'm glad.