Author: Sally Can Wait PM
Murphy learned to live with her freakish bad luck, but when her aunt tells her it's because of a curse left by her suicidal great grandfather, she decides its time to take Fate into her own hands. Unfortunately, trouble making vegan Andy has other plans.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Mystery - Chapters: 2 - Words: 4,442 - Reviews: 25 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 14 - Updated: 06-27-09 - Published: 06-24-09 - id: 2689055
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2. It can always get worse.
I was going to get a job that summer.
Working at the Maine State Library seemed respectable enough. It seemed like a nice, normal, even mature and sophisticated start to my last summer before college. I would be doing my community a service, making a little cash and it would look good to future employers. And, just a little bit, because I thought I might be able to look at some of the genealogy books. But just a little bit.
I had been having a good week. Ever since the graduation fiasco, nothing had gone particularly wrong. I'd spent a week's worth of lazy summer days sitting by the pool with Alex and her boyfriend Johnny and his best friend, Chester.
There is one thing you should know about Chester, and that is that we are destined to be together.
I hadn't actually told Chester about this, but I was sure he knew. We were perfect for each other because we were opposites and disagreed about everything, just like romantic comedy movies. The more I hated him, the closer I knew we are to falling madly in love. Even our Zodiac signs said so.
"Tell me you don't actually believe that stuff," Alex sighed so heavily a few strands of my hair that she was trying to French braid came loose.
"Of course not," I chortled, although since I had never actually chortled before and I wasn't exactly sure how one goes about doing so, it might have been obvious that I was doing so on purpose. "That's ridiculous."
And while of course I knew it wasn't really true, anything that pointed to mine and Chester's blissful future together couldn't be all that bad. But Alex hated stuff like that. She hated horoscopes and science fiction movies and fairy tales and playing pretend. She called herself a realist, which was a nice way of saying pessimist.
"Anyway," she continued. "I still don't understand why you like Chester. I can't even understand what Johnny sees in him. He said they've been best friends since elementary school, but that doesn't seem like a very good reason."
"Hello, have you met Chester?" my jaw dropped. "He's… he's just so…"
"He's an asshole," Alex finished for me, although that was totally not what I was looking for. "And you two argue all the time."
"We argue all the time," I pointed out as she pulled my hair with a little too much enthusiasm. I wondered how it stayed in my scalp.
"That's different," she said grumpily.
Even when Alex looked grumpy she was beautiful. She wasn't exactly what you could call "pretty" I guess, but she was striking. Each of her eyes was a different color and you couldn't help but gaze into them even when she had on her bitch face, which was a lot of the time. Her cheekbones were high and angular as was the rest of her long body. She would make a good super villain.
When Alex finished my hair, I thought I was going to have time for her to do my makeup, but it turned out my watch had stopped at ten minutes before I was supposed to leave, and I was actually running late. Just my luck. Alex offered to drive me with the car her dad bought her in an effort to spite her mother, but I insisted on riding my bike because I didn't want to be a burden.
Besides, I liked riding my bike around town. Even though it sometimes seemed kind of built up, Augusta was a beautiful city. I loved to ride my bike up and down the bridge and look at the river at sunset, when the water and all of the old, intricate buildings were tinted orange.
My first clue I'd made a bad decision should have been that the day had record high temperatures. As I rode towards the library, my French braid was sticking to the back of my neck. I was more exhausted than I should have been as I arrived at the crosswalk to the library, and barely even noticed when I stopped to press the button and I was standing next to a woman with a mangy looking cat in her bag. I didn't think cats were the sort of animal people carried around, even the crazy ones, but I didn't say anything.
I was late, so of course it at least felt like the longest traffic light I had ever experienced. I considered darting out into the street when I thought I had enough time to get across the street before the next batch of cars, but with my luck I didn't want to risk it. I had started to zone out a little bit when I heard a strange moaning noise.
It was the cat. I didn't quite believe something so small and furry could make such a terrible noise, but it's squashed in face looked evil enough to be capable of anything. Much to my surprise, it was not looking at me, but instead looking behind me at the person I then realized was standing there.
I could kind of understand why it was upset, no offense. The guy didn't look more than a couple of years older than me, but he had a green Mohawk and mismatched brown, triangular soul patch and ridiculously tiny, circular sunglasses. He was wearing a black sweater and black pants even though it must have felt like a microwave in the Hellish heat outside. Even with his long sleeves I could see the ends of a tattoo where the end of his shirt had pooled up above his wrist. Judging by where I was, and judging by the looks of the obviously wealthy woman holding the cat, it had probably never seen anything like him before. Even cats are afraid of the unknown, I supposed.
He put his hands in the air to show that he was innocent as I eyed him suspiciously. I noticed that he had one of those dumb joke shop buzzers tied around his right palm, and when he noticed that I noticed he grinned and waggled his eyebrows. He stuck out his hand to shake.
I rolled my eyes and looked forward again. I guess that was why my dad was always telling me not to talk to strangers, even though I'd always thought there was a lot more good in people than most of us give them credit for. People are just bad at showing it sometimes.
I swear the light was about to change in my favor—all of the cars had come to a stop—when I heard the tiny buzz. It was such a small noise I at first thought I imagined it, but then there was a screech dozens of times louder to make up for it.
I didn't even have time to register that the guy had probably touched the cat with his shock buzzer before it jumped out of her bag and onto my shoulder. I had never actually had pets because my mother was allergic, so I freaked out a little more than I should have. I tried to hop off my bike but it was slightly too tall and my foot got caught under the pedal. It probably would have been ok if the woman hadn't tried to grab it. By then I think it was just terrified of hands, and instead of jumping into her arms like a good little kitty, it dug its claws into my skin and crawled onto my face. Ironically, I didn't actually fall off my bike until after it had jumped off of me.
That's when I heard a crunch.
The pain grew rapidly, but I think I was in too much shock to start bawling like a little baby like I normally would have. I could vaguely hear the woman talking in a frantic, high pitched voice and the guy using some very creative swear words, but I had mostly fuzzed it out. My eyes were closed because of it hurting so bad where the cat had dug a claw into my pupil, and I realized that while I couldn't move the arm I was on top of, I was beginning to feel very warm and fuzzy so it didn't really matter that much.
I was having a nice daydream about Chester when I woke up in a hospital room.
I was definitely late for my interview.
The white fluorescent lights were painful to see because of the blurred vision I had from just waking up. The sheets were thin and cold and I could tell I was in a hospital gown. It didn't really hit me for a good minute, though. That's when I started freaking out about my left arm, which I could see was in a cast, until I realized I was only looking at it with one eye. The other eye was completely black.
"Oh my God," I said loudly without planning on it. "I'm blind. My eye. I'm blind. I can't see. Oh my God. I'm blind. God. Oh my God."
"Um—" came a voice from my left side. I had to turn my head to see it. Because I was blind. God.
"Shit," I said when I saw the guy with the Mohawk. It took a second to recognize him because he wasn't wearing any sunglasses, but I assumed there were not any other people with green Mohawks that would be sitting with me in a hospital room. "Holy sweet baby Jesus."
I hoped my dad wasn't in the room, but I assumed that he was not because Mohawk boy was still alive. I had a feeling my dad would take the eye for an eye phrase literally. I had never actually seen his angry side, but my mom said he was pretty tough back in the day. I guess not tough enough to stay married to her, though.
"I'm going to have to get a Seeing Eye dog," I wailed. I didn't want to hear his excuses. "Oh my God. …I've always kind of wanted a dog though. Maybe I'll get one that's really loyal like Lassie and she'll save me from a well if I start drowning, even though I've never actually seen a real well. Wait, was it Lassie that did that? Well whatever, my dog—"
"Murphy," he said slowly but loudly and in an especially deep voice. "You are wearing an eye patch."
"—will be a total badass and know how to open doors and…" I stopped talking when what he said registered. I lifted my hand slowly to my face and touched lightly where my eye should have been. A smooth, convex piece of cloth replaced it. I lifted it slowly and the light hurt my eyes and everything was kind of blurry, but I could see perfectly well.
"Oh," I said, so relieved I could have kissed him. That's when I remembered my arm.
"My arm!" I shrieked. "My arm!"
"The doctor said it will be out of the cast in six weeks if you take care of it," he sounded like he was trying to be a person from one of those ambience recordings that are sold in bath shops.
"Six?!" I demanded. "Six?"
I felt like I must have sounded like a crazy person, but I couldn't focus on anything. I was going to cry.
"Well six for the wrist break," he said quietly, cringing a little bit. "The arm might take longer."
"Longer?" I yelped. I was going to repeat that as well, but I knew that if I did I really would start crying.
"Well at least it's summer?" he tried. "You have two and a half months until you go to school."
"Correction," I said, which sounded weird coming out of my mouth. "I have one month. I'm going to tennis training up until school starts. Because I play tennis. With my left hand."
"Shit," he said, which was actually the only response I could have imagined that would not made me have wanted to kill him with my bare… hand. My tennis scholarship was the only way I was going to be able to pay for school. My mom was a painter, she certainly didn't have enough money. James the History teacher would have done it, but he was only a History teacher and he had a couple of his own kids that would be going to school in a couple of years. My dad worked for a newspaper. He definitely couldn't afford it.
"Shit," I agreed. I had been informed upon receiving my scholarship that it was dependent upon my ability to play and that includes practicing. "Shit, how did you know my name?"
"Um," he shifted in his seat. "I looked in your wallet after you lost consciousness. I told the nurse I was your brother, so if she comes in play along, she seemed kind of oblivious—"
"Oh did I?" We looked over to find the nurse standing in the doorway. She was a large black woman with purple kitten themed scrubs, and she had her hands on her hips. "Well you seem kind of like you're going to get out of my hospital or I'm calling the cops."
"But I wanted to—"
"One," she began tapping her foot.
"It's my fault she—"
"Two," she warned.
"Ok, ok," the guy huffed, standing up quickly and walking towards the exit. I thought he was gone when I heard his voice again and realized he'd stopped in the doorway. "I'm going to fix this!" he cried, and then jumped away quickly before the woman could hit him with the newspaper she was holding.
I figured I'd never see him again. Although, I should have figured anybody who brought me that much bad luck was there to stay.
"Are you okay, baby?" the nurse said in the nicest and most motherly voice I had ever heard, so I thought it was weird when I started crying.
I could have felt worse, though, I thought strangely. Everything for which I had worked the past four years seemed like it had gone completely down the drain… but for some reason I didn't feel like my life was over. Perhaps it's a trait people with particularly nasty curses develop, but I had always had the tendency to fight for something I wanted, even when it was completely hopeless.
Obviously I couldn't do anything to fix my arm but wait, but if Mohawk boy thought he could fix it, I certainly could. Perhaps it was a fool's errand, but I was going to try to make something of it.
At least I would have a lot of free time on my hands since I wasn't getting a job at the library.
A/N: I kind of consider this to be, like... the second prologue. The story will be more fluid starting next chapter.
I feel like this might be going too fast, any thoughts? My second chapter is always somehow my least favorite. When I can write a story with a badass chapter two, I will know I have succeeded.
Now, enjoy! And REVIEW!
(Thanks to those of you who reviewed the first chapter!)
P.S. I noticed that in the first chapter I named two people Ricky. I must really like that name.