Cold, Cold Metal

Chaos. Everywhere. That’s all I can see. Suddenly all I see is a black metal gun pointed at me.

It’s fired. My left shoulder goes back. Sharp pain begins to spread. But I don’t hold back. Someone is next to me, with me during this time. Someone I hold dear. Someone I yanked out of the fire line. They stagger back and stumble onto me. They look behind and see the wound that has been created. I see the worry on their face but, even if I hadn’t, I knew it was bad.

We run out of the place. But we are held back. Someone fires another and someone attacks. The bullet barely misses me and flies on by. A shield is put in front of us. About ten men appear.

Chaos. But help appears.

I am soon surrounded by people, both medical and armed. They tell me what I did was very brave, that I am very strong. They ask me for a phone number I wish to call. I give them my dad’s. I ask to speak to him first. My voice is starting to break as I lose more blood and grow weak but I want to manage to reassure him I’m okay.

They dial. Ba. (‘ba’ is Vietnamese for ‘dad’) He asks what phone I am using to call him. Ba, someone else is going to speak to you about what happened. A gunman came to school. Fifteen people were shot. I was one of them. He starts to panic while asking questions. I grow weak and can’t answer. Ba, I need you to stay calm. The doctors are here. They will take care of me. I need to go. He doesn’t want me to hang up. Ba. I need to go. They need to take care of me. The doctor will explain to you what to do. Ba, I need to go. In the end, my voice grows weak as I black out and fall back in my seat.

I start to wake up again. I am lying in the ambulance. You’re there, holding my hand. Cindy is there, very weak and can’t stand. She’s terribly pale and my worry automatically goes to her. There are EMT people taking care of me as we go. One is by Cindy, taking her heart rate and blood pressure. We get to the hospital and I’m doing fine. They tell me the bullet missed and somehow I managed to keep my life.

I go in for surgery. I come out and wake up alone, the room is bare. There isn’t anyone anywhere. I ignore the fact that there should be a nurse by my side. I ignore the fact that the hospital’s empty space was way too wide. I ignore the fact that I should not be alone. I ignore everything and stare out the window.

The sky is dark and the clouds are grey. The wind blows and it seems like my kind of day. If I were only well, if I were only okay.

Someone shows up. The hospital is back to its normal state, with nurses and doctors and visitors and patients all over the place. I remember talking to this person as if I knew them. I remember telling them where I had come from. There was something off about this person but I didn’t know what. I decided to shrug it off and not give a doubt…but I was right. There was something off about this person. Their eyes told me to scream for help. But I couldn’t move. I couldn’t flinch. I couldn’t make a sound. My shoulder hurts. My body is in pain. I knew this wasn’t going to be a fair game.

They grin an evil little smirk. Their eyes glow in the dark. And suddenly there’s only darkness that surrounds us. His eyes are that emerald green. I stare back. I am faced with a gun once again and a laser light beam. It’s fired. I hear the gunshot. Everything goes black.

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