In the end, her wailings were drowned out by those of an ambulance. I was barely conscious. In my peripheral vision, I saw a police car as well. There were questions I couldn't answer, because I was muted by pain.
Then, I passed into an instant that was far more. That was the time of the moon. That afternoon, and then a whole night.
I woke up, lethargically rubbed my eyes, and looked around. Bleak. Dazed. Hazy. These weren't my sheets. This wasn't my bed. And then I knew. A hospital bed, curtained off.
There was morphine dripping. Well, presumably morphine. It had a soft, gentle rhythm.
I barely remember much else. Bits and pieces.
A nurse came in. He asked me whether my real name was Eff, as they had said. I told him it was a nickname. An initial that had stuck, and that I used to be 'Frank'.
Too many witnesses had seen it, for me to be charged.
"And you're still a minor, Frank."
I don't like being Frank with people. Truth and candour usually get people hurt. She just might be an exception though.
You see, what was more important was what I remembered from the night. From the time of the moon. They say that when you die or go unconscious, your hearing is the last sense to leave you.
So, I heard them through the curtain.
The social worker had a thick Caribbean accent. However I got the gist of things. Run-away mother. Alcoholic father. Therapy. AA meetings. It was safe to assume, that this eavesdropped misfortune was Onley's.
A week later, I came back to school. All my bones were in the right places now. Catch-up work was stressful. It loomed like smog over a metropolis. Leniency was hidden in dark alleys.
School, day in and day out. Homework. Procrastination. Work that came out just above average. English was smooth sailing though. However, she was always in the back of my mind.
I left a poem in waiting. I feared they'd empty her locker.
Nobody said anything. Nobody seemed to know. That was, until Onley herself returned.