Narrator: Crystal Jennings
I heaved open the door, and let my senses take in the situation.
She was one of those girls that was too pretty for her own good, by the standards of this female-objectifying androcentric culture. She didn't need the make-up on her face. And whatever she wore, she always looked like a whore. It was the lips. It was the breasts. Too plump.
Strands of curly black hair fell down either side of her face, framing beautifully around its ugly sneer. Her thin, delicate brow converged with confusion.
Between the teeth of that sneer, her teeth clenched firmly the handle of a bloody knife. Her eyes were wide with surprise. No doubt for the sake of intimidation, her tongue slithered under the handle then, licking blood from the dagger's hilt.
I no longer cared about the co-op placement I was putting at risk, as my fist slugged her in the face and the knife fell from her hand. Nothing seemed to matter when it came to protecting the ones I love.
Yes, that's right, love. Not the kind between a man and a woman, though; that's over between me and Gregory. I loved him now as a friend, a confidant, and that was enough to make me carelessly defiant.
I pulled her out of the side door by the collar.
"You'd be regretting that if you had any idea what this is about!" she snapped after spitting blood from her mouth as I parried a kick with my calf.
I tried to punch her again, but she blocked me with her left forearm, and so I swung my left fist while tripping her as best I could. She fell to the pavement, still conscious.
"Whatever he's done to piss you off, bitch, it's no reason to cut up his back!" I said as I grabbed the pistol from her pocket without touching the handle, checked the other pocket which was empty, and tossed the gun to the opposite side of the road.
She laughed derisively, not even bothering to get up. I had no idea how I had managed to overpower her, whoever she was. I guess the element of surprise was enough to turn the tables against one so strong.
I pressed one foot down, lightly, upon her neck, as I peeked into the limousine. Everything was covered in a translucent plastic layer to keep it clean, and for good reason. There was enough blood to churn my stomach.
She had bound him face down to the table with tight knots. How she had managed that, I assume involved holding him at gunpoint. I could barely read the bleeding cuts on his back. She squirmed beneath my foot, and I pressed harder, careful not to choke her.
I knew they'd leave permanent scars, as I thought things through, For his sake, there better be a dermabrasion treatment that works on the back. And what about nerve damage? At least she avoided cutting directly over the spine. She could have paralyzed him!
The attacker's heavy breathing beneath my foot was becoming laboured, so I eased off the pressure. She spat out more blood.
Why am I still standing here doing nothing?! Immediately, I turned away from the blood and involuntarily vomited onto the road as a sports car went zooming past just a foot away from my head.
I reached into my left pocket for some tissues to wipe my face off with, but found my cellphone instead. Without a second though, I pulled it out, flipped it open and pressed those three precious numbers: nine-one-one.
Then, I leaned back into the limousine and put a finger against Greg's neck. Everything else, even the words I was speaking into the phone, seemed dead silent.
I waited, I waited, I waited.
I longed for the throbbing of his heartbeat.
Mind on auto-pilot, I requested a police car and an ambulance, and told them my precise location.
And that's when I heard the sound of shoes running across the pavement. It was a long moment of waiting before I turned around, hoping someone had come.
There was no longer a pistol at the pavement's edge.
A frightening realization came like dusk, rendering all things dark: I had allowed a murderer to get away. No more waiting. I was alone.
I felt like collapsing on the plastic-covered seats. I had not the energy to chase that woman. I sat down.
Jason stared back at me from a monitor, naked and semen-covered. He seemed satisfied with this situation, watching from above with wings of white bedsheets. An angel of death.
I wanted to look away, but I knew that if I did, all I would see was blood. My eyes closed, and I focused on the killer's face. I replayed things in my mind, making sure that I would be able to tell the police everything as accurately as I could. I knew there'd be a sketch artist.
I looked down and opened my eyes. At the table's edge, was a bound limb. That's where and when I went wrong. It was a crime scene, after all.
I stopped talking into the phone. Then, it slid from my fingers with newfound insignificance.
I looked away as I untied every knot. My fingers worked away at them with fervour and seething grief. My fist banged against the table in anger. And finally, his body was free.
And I didn't want him here. First, I rolled him over. That made him easier to look at. Then, I dragged him out of the limousine and closed the door behind me.
I pushed, then counted.
I pushed again.
And I repeated this process. But I'm no defibrillator. And it was too late. Even if I could get his heart started again and his lungs breathing again, he'd probably have been dead long enough to suffer brain damage.
I leaned my head forward and kissed him on the forehead. Tears fell as I backed away, and landed right below his eyes as if he too were crying. And then, with two fingers, I slid his eyelids closed.
"Goodbye, Gregory," was all I could manage to whisper before my grief silenced me.
That's when the ignition turned on, and I looked at the car in confusion. If my ears had not deceived me, Greg's murderer had run off towards the school. Had there been another person in the front?
Then, I realized what I had to do. My head spun around, and I memorized the Ontario license plate on the back end of the limousine as the letters and numbers shrank away.
The limousine was gone. There I was, alone with a corpse and a trail of blood leading from one roadside to the other.
Kieth! I thought abruptly. Oh no, how will he cope with this? The love of his life is dead! I guess I have to tell him. He'll find out sooner or later, and he'd probably rather hear it from me than some insensitive and homophobic cop. Or worse, the front page news.
I checked my pockets, front and back, but I couldn't find my phone. Where the hell is my phone? I was frustrated, angry and full of unexpressed grief. "Arrrghhh!"
And then I just kept yelling hysterically. It was the only thing I felt comfortable doing. I couldn't stop. I wouldn't stop. I shut my eyes, zoned out, and screamed and yelled with all the energy and obscenity I could muster.
Not long thereafter, I returned to sanity in the back of a speeding car. It seemed to me that I was waking up from a nap. The kind of nap that makes you carsick, and irritable; not restful at all. Then, I wondered where I was being taken. For a moment, I didn't know what day it was, how old I was, or what had just happened.
I tried to ask the people in the front, who I assumed were my parents, where we were going. However, my words came out as only silence can.
Silence accompanied by the consistent blaring of a police car's siren outside the vehicle? If there are cops here, shouldn't we pull over to let them pass? They don't sound like they're getting any closer or any further away...
I sat up. My arms were limp on my lap and very tired, as if I had been flailing them randomly for a long period of time. Rings of silvery metal. Bracelets? I blinked. There was a meshed grill of crisscrossing metal bars between me and.. people who were not my parents. In a car that wasn't my parents's.
My brain reluctantly regurgitated the truth of things.
A truth I could not speak.
I wanted to wake up from this nightmare, and remember none of it. I tried again and again, to no avail. Surely, this was not reality.
I tapped my forehead lightly against the bars, and sniffled.
"Oh, I see you've regained some sanity?" said a gruff woman's voice from the front passenger seat. She looked me in the eyes, and I nodded. "Well, Mrs. Jennings, we've pinpointed the signal coming from your cellphone several times, and we know roughly where the culprit is headed. Sorry about the cuffs, but you were getting rather violent."
I sat back in the seat, feeling a little more relaxed.
Then, the officer who wasn't driving turned around and handed my a pad of paper, a pencil and a key through a slot in the mesh of bars, "We're in the middle of a car chase, nearly got them in our pincers. But... tell us anything you can."
My arms were cuffed behind me. I hoisted them down below my butt and up along the underside of my thighs. Then, I spread my legs enough to see what I was doing as I grabbed the key, balancing on my butt, and tried to unlock my own cuffs.
I sighed with relief as the metal clicked open. I assumed this was not standard procedure, as they were in the middle of a high speed chase.
I wrote down the license plate. Then, I hastily scribbled down Gregory's name, middle names and surname followed by the words 'is the victim'. After that, I jotted down an explanation of how the main culprit had escaped, that she was armed, and that I was almost entirely sure that she wasn't in the limousine.
As I handed the notepad back through the slot, I realized that the information I had provided had undoubtedly sentenced the school to a lockdown.